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11 Apr 2014


Marcus Linderoth built a clock using a TI MSP430g2553 microcontroller and a HPDL-1414 display, that is available at Github:

After having ported Contiki to the Launchpad, I was eager on doing something with it. I built this simple clock with a vintage HPDL-1414 “smart four-character 16-segment alphanumeric” display and a msp430g2553.


Clock with retro display - [Link]

20 Mar 2014

This is another common device people use everyday, in which a circuit drives the motor found in our watches or clocks to determine the time.

The circuit is mainly operated by PCA1462U IC, specially suited for battery-operated quartz-crystal controlled wrist watches. The quartz crystal is used to input an oscillated signal to the PCA1462U IC then produces an output of pulses that drives the stepping motor ON.

The IC used in this circuit is specialized for this application featuring an amplitude regulated 32KHz oscillator, with excellent frequency stability resulting in a high immunity from oscillator-to-leakage currents. The loss of motor steps is not possible because of an on-chip detection on the induced motor voltage, this output is applicable for different types of bipolar stepping motors. This IC also has a very low current consumption; typically 170 nA, and the time calibration of the pulses is electrically programmable and reprogrammable (via EEPROM).


  • PCA1462U CMOS integrated circuit
  • 1.55V dc power source
  • Quartz Crystal Oscillator
  • Stepper Motor

Quartz-crystal Controlled Wrist Watch - [Link]

19 Mar 2014


Electro-Labs informed us about his latest project:

One of the most enjoyable part of being an electronics person is creating your own gadgets and using them in daily life. In this article, we are building one of those with the help of SoloPCB design tools, a digital desk clock with temperature display feature.

The brain of the circuit is a Microchip PIC18F252 microcontroller. It acquires precise time information from DS1307 real time clock via I2C interface and displays it on four digit 38 mm seven-segment display with the help of MAX7219CNG display driver. The temperature data is read by the on-chip ADC module of the microcontroller from LM335 temperature sensor which outputs 10mV per kelvin degree linearly. The temperature data is also displayed periodically.

DIY Digital Desk Clock with Temperature Display – Part 1 - [Link]

25 Feb 2014

svkatz80 @ fritzing.org build a nice LED clock. He writes:

This clock is based on ATmega328p microcontroller, with combination of DS1307 – Real Time Clock, MAX7219 – 64 LEDs drivers, 74HC595 – shift registers, DS18B20 – temperature sensor, GL5528 – photoresistor, LEDs and other electronic components.

  • Clock with RGB seconds — Four 74HC595 control 10 RGB leds. But TLC5940 is a better choice.
  • Ellipse clock — Three MAX7219 control all LEDs. No shift registers needed.

Each MAX7219 can control 64 LEDs. For ellipse clock I used tree of them. The first one controls 2 hour’s digits (2x7x4=56 green leds + 6 blue leds + 2 dots between hours and minutes ). The second one controls 2 minute’s digits (2x7x4=56 green leds + 6 blue leds). The third MAX7219 controls second’s 60 red leds .

For making a 7 segment digits, I used 5×7 cm prototype PCB circuit board. Before solder the LEDs, I wired the board for 4 digits and 7 segments each of four boards with copper wire. See circuit.

As a main board I used a coroplast (polygal) sheet. Just print the sketch and make on polygal holes with a needle for LEDs.

ATmega328p based LED wall clock - [Link]

13 Feb 2014


Kevin Rye writes about his Mini 7-Segment clock V2 project:

Now for the moment of truth. I crossed my fingers and connected a battery pack. Woo hoo! It works! I love that feeling you get when you spend weeks working on a project, it all comes together in the end and it just works. With the electronics working, it was time to put it in the enclosure. I cut the end off a SparkFun 5V DC power supply and soldered on a 2-pin Dupont connector. I then secured everything with a little heat shrink tubing. I then took the acrylic panels that I designed and had laser-cut from Ponoko and secured them to the clock via some screws and standoffs.
It looks amazing! I’m really happy with the way that it came out. I also really like the “kelly” green segments on this display.


Mini 7-Segment clock V2 - [Link]

11 Feb 2014


pinomelean @ instructables.com writes:

Numitrons are neat display devices similar to nixie tubes but designed for much lower voltages. Numitrons are basically incandescent displays in which filaments create the segments.

They have a steampunk look that i liked so much. I bought 6x IV-9 russian numitrons in ebay, they were about 3$ each, they’re pretty cheap!
At that time i didn’t know what to do with them, but then i thought about a clock. Using software from a single LED display clock i made this impressive numitron clock.

Single digit numitron clock - [Link]

14 Dec 2013

Dave celebrates the classic 555 timer IC by building the Evil Mad Scientist “three fives” discrete timer kit. Some scope measurements and an explanation of the internal 555 timer circuitry follow.

EEVblog #555 – 555 Timer Kit - [Link]

14 Nov 2013


This is a 7 segment clock displaying HH:MM:SS using PIC16F84A and 4017 digital IC. Complete source files are included.

PIC16F84A Digital Clock - [Link]

12 Sep 2013

gerrysweeney.com writes:

Having obtained a reasonably reliable 10MHz lab reference (see here) I decided to calibrate my Frequency Counter only to find that the stock oscillator provided in the HP 53151A is absolutely terrible – a joke even! I looked around for an “010 High Stability Timebase Option” but they are rare — and if you can find one not installed in a counter they are very expensive – in the few hundred dollars range at least — and buying one from HP is, well, expensive in the extreme. There are many second-hand 10MHz OCXO modules available, these are mostly stripped from old telecommunications, satellite or cellular equipment so they are plentiful and relatively cheap to buy too. I decided to make a clone 010 option board for my counter using a second-hand OCXO bought from e-bay. I designed a PCB to get a professional finish as well as a reliable upgrade for my counter. The main goal was to make an option board that just like the original could be automatically calibrated using the internal software and front panel controls so I had to use the same DAC chip (which is now obsolete) and basic topology of the original option board to make it work.

DIY HP/Agilent 53131A 010 High Stability Timebase Option - [Link]

30 Aug 2013

This is a collection of Maxim’s newest real-time clock ICs.

39aac6d2082b4fff1c5e1db589abb5deA real-time clock with lots of features including a version with an integrated crystal.

770e5cde575dd5ec1ccec8a85d4c7883This real-time clock IC operates with very low current and is compatible with high-ESR crystals for a space saving, low-cost design. Read the rest of this entry »





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