Does anyone have advice on T-Series Noritake VFDs?

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Hey all-->

        I've spent the better part of 3 weeks trying to get my T-Series
Noritake VFD to spit out the appropriate characters to the screen, but to no
avail. I'm using SERIAL input (9600bps 8N1, using jumper pad set on
backside), but it won't respond with the character, nor do control
characters work. I've connected it directly to both a PIC microcontroller
and my PC serial port. The self-test works. I know that with LCDs you need
to send an activation character ($FE) first. Is it the same way with this
unit? I've been sending it raw hex values corresponding to it's
HD44780-compatible (I think)character table. Help!



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