I used to get the feeling that it wasn’t obvious enough that I really enjoy working with embedded systems. I decided to change that by designing a binary timepiece that is portable, easy to use, has long battery life, and has a very barebones “circuits and components” feel to it. After wearing the final product for about a month now, I feel like I was successful on all of those goals:
The Binary Wristwatch - [Link]
This project is a timer project and build around popular 555 Timer IC, It can be used for all application required a delay of up to 100 Seconds. Onboard board preset to adjust the required timer duration in range of of 1 to 100 Seconds, Tact switch SW1 to reset the timer and SW2 to start the timer. LED D3 works as power indicator and LED D2 to indicate timer operation.
Load can be connected to CN1 Screw Terminal, Out-put has both the operation normally Open and normally closed. Circuits works on 12V DC and consume approx. 100mA current. Very useful project can be used in various applications like water irrigation system, Kitchen timer etc.
Supply input 12 VDC @ 100 mA
Onboard start and reset tactile switch
Relay output: SPDT relay
Relay specification: 5 A @ 250 VAC
Relay state LED indicator
Preset adjustable range function
Power-On LED indicator
Screw terminal connector for easy relay output connection
Four mounting holes of 3.2 mm each
PCB dimensions 48 mm x 63 mm
1 to 100 Seconds Timer - [Link]
The PCA8565 plays a very important role in the real time systems like digital clock, attendance system and tariff switching. In applications where timestamp is needed, PCA8565 real time clock is a good option. It provides the following benefits: low power consumption, allows the main system for time-critical tasks, and more accurate than other methods.
The PCA8565 is a CMOS real time clock and calendar optimized for low power consumption. A programmable clock output, interrupt output and voltage-low detector are also provided. All address and data are transferred serially via a two-line bidirectional I2C-bus with a maximum bus speed of 400kbps. The built-in word address register is incremented automatically after each written or read data byte. It provides a year, month, day, weekday, hours, minutes and seconds based on a 32.768kHz quartz crystal. It features alarm and timer functions, low current, and extended operating temperature range of -40 degrees Celsius to +125 degrees Celsius. It further contains an 8-bit year register that can hold values from 00 to 99 in BCD format, which also compensates for leap years, thus leap year is automatically corrected.
From the application circuit, the PCA8565 can be used to perform standard RTC functions, such as tracking the actual time and date, or acting as a reference timer. To support power management, the PCA8565 can be used to wake the microcontroller from hibernation mode. In systems that use a PLL, it can serve as a system reference clock for the PLL input. The PCA8565 can also be used as a watchdog timer, or as an activation timer to start measurements or initiate other functions.
PCA8565 Application Circuit - [Link]
by Ashish Kumar and Pushek Madaan @ edn.com:
In our modern era, digital logic has become the core of all the electronics circuits either in the form of an FPGA, microcontroller, microprocessor, or discreet logic. Digital systems use many components that must be interconnected to perform the required functions. The vital element for proper operation of such a digital system is a CLOCK signal that enables all these digital components to communicate and establish synchronization between them. Hence, we always need a source to generate this clock signal.
This source comes in the form of an oscillator. Although most of today’s microcontrollers have an integrated RC oscillator, the clock generated by such an internal RC oscillator is typically not good enough to support the precision required for communication with other modules in the system. Thus, an external oscillator is required that can provide a clock signal to the complete system and yet meet all the requirements for precision, signal integrity and stability.
Oscillators: How to generate a precise clock source - [Link]
This is a quick project for a timer. Recently I finished my UV light exposure box and thought that it will be convenient to have a build in timer to switch off the light after preset time. So I had a PIC16F628A lying around and after searching the web I found a Brazilian site (I think?) with tons of interesting projects with microcontrolers. This project is based on one of them.
The schematic uses the internal oscillator of the microcontroller which is enough accurate for my purposes, but as the pins 15 and 16 are left unoccupied, there can be connected external quartz resonator with better accuracy. As I said, this project is based on an existing project, but actually my schematic is quite different and the code was almost completely rewritten. My programming abilities are little rusty, but I think the final result is quite good.
Simple timer with PIC16F628A - [Link]
by Jeremy Cook @ makezine.com:
Most of us have probably seen clocks or numerical displays that flip sequential boards to display the next number in a sequence. If you wanted to take that a step further, you could make a replica of “Dottie,” which flips small dots as pixels. As the great video below says, it makes a “pleasant mechanical flipping sound all day.” It also tells the date, chimes every 15 minutes, and gives an animation show once an hour.
Dottie the Flip Dot Clock - [Link]
The ChronodeVFD is a personal project I’ve been working on for a couple of months. It’s a wristwatch built around the IVL2-7/5 VFD display tube. I originally purchased a few of these tubes to build a standard desk clock, but after playing around with them, I realized I could probably build a wristwatch too. The tube has a number of features which make it more suited than most Soviet-surplus VFDs for this purpose.
ChronodeVFD: Wearable Electronics VFD Wristwatch - [Link]
F*watch is a fully open electronic watch project featuring an integrated GPS receiver.
The development started at CERN as an after-work project to make a special present for a retiring colleague who likes hiking and timing.
The full design (electronics, mechanics and software) is available under free licenses and the design is exclusively made with free tools.
F*watch – a fully open electronic watch - [Link]
The MAX6369-74 series watchdog-only supervisors are available in tiny SOT23-8 packages and have selectable watchdog timeout periods (1.7ms to 104s), start-up delays (1.7ms to 104s) and output pulse widths (1.7ms and 170ms) depending on the part selected and the state of 3 pins (SEL0, SEL1, SEL2). These parts have several advantages over the historical “555” solutions. As well as the lower supply current (20µA max instead of 120µA max at 5V supply) the overall solution takes much less board area with the smaller package and the absence of large timing resistors and capacitors.
MAX6369 Series Watchdog Timers – [Link]
Meter clock: keeping “current” time. Read more about the clock:
I’ve seen a few meter clocks in my travels of the web, and I love the idea. A few days ago, I decided that I must have one of my own. Such began the “How to do it” pondering cycle. I had seen builds where the face plate of the meter is replaced. This works, but I wanted to try and find a way to do it without modifying the meter, if possible. After some more ponderation, I came up with what I think is a serviceable idea.
I came across this style of milliamp meter on Amazon. They’re not quite 0-60 mA, but the 0-100 mA (a 0-20mA meter for the hours) is close enough. And they were cheap. So yay.
Part of my requirements were that the clock run off of an Arduino Pro Mini I had lying around, and with minimal additional parts. In order to drive the meters with some degree of precision, I would use the PWM pins to vary the effective voltage across a resistor in series with the meter. This would, by the grace of Ohm’s Law, induce a current that, based on the PWM duty cycle, would be scaled in such a way as to move the needle on the meter to the corresponding hour, minute, or second.
One minor issue came up in the form of the max current the GPIO pins on the ATMega328 chip can source/sink. The pins can source/sink a maximum of 40mA, a bit far from the 60mA needed for the minutes and seconds meters. Enter the transistor.
Using a simple NPN transistor switch circuit, I was able to provide the current for the minute and second meters from the 5V supply. The PWM signals switch the respective transistors on and off, effectively varying the voltage across the resistors in series with the meters.
The resistor between 5V and the meter is actually 2 1/4 watt 100 Ohm resistors in parallel for an effective resistance of 50 Ohms. The two in parallel was necessary as 5V x 0.06A = 0.3W (more than 0.25 that a single 1/4W resistor can handle safely).
Meter clock: keeping “current” time - [Link]