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28 Aug 2014


Johannes’ Numitron GeekWatch features Numitron tubes housed in a hideous 3D printed case:

Numitron tubes are cut-down version of Nixie tubes, but instead of having a wire-mesh anode with a cold-cathode display, uses a seven-segmented indicator commonly found on digital meters and clocks.


Old School Tube Watch - [Link]

24 Aug 2014


A breakout board for the 555 timer exposing the leads astable or monostable implementation.

Hello, my name is Patrick Grady and I’m a highschool senior in the US. I’m an avid programmer and tinkerer and love anything related to electronics and computers.

This past winter I took a class in Digital Electronics and was introduced to the 555 timer. One of the most common applications of the 555 timer is the astable mode, which is unfortunately rather clunky to build on a breadboard. This 555 breakout board does more than expose the 555′s eight pins: it sets you up to run your 555 timer in astable mode with slots to insert two resistors and a capacitor of your choice. This board eliminates all the wiring for the 555 timer. The 555 Timer Breakout Board Plus will cut out the tedium of setting up the 555 timer and will allow hobbyists to dig straight in to their projects.

As a electronics hobbyist myself, I recognize the usefulness of this simple device, but also acknowledge its relevance is limited to the niche market of hobbyist electronics. If you want this device or think a friend could use it, please contribute to the campaign and buy a 555 timer breakout board!

555 Timer Breakout Board Plus - [Link]

14 Aug 2014


Elia wrote an article detailing his binary wrist watch project:

I have just finished my binary wrist watch project (well, the new revision anyway). I was surprised at how small I was able to make it compared to last time.
I chose to go with the “super-yellow” color LEDs as they fit the purple OSHpark PCB very nicely. The biggest challenge was actually making a good looking wrist band for the watch. I originally intended to use a design like this but it turned out that due to lack of enough para cord I had left, I went with a simpler design that I had done once before.


DIY binary wrist watch - [Link]

12 Aug 2014


Here’s a voltmeter clock project based on a multimeter clock design by Alan Parekh:

I have used three voltmeters and mounted them on a wooden plinth with a clear Perspex cover to give the clock an industrial look.
I have modified Alan’s code to run on PICBasic Pro version 3. I have also added the following.
Switched display On and Off (keeping battery backup as per Alan’s design) but also allows me to turn meters Off in full power mode.
Synchronization to my Master Clock every 30 seconds
Synchronized LED & Re-Synch LED
Synchronization On & Off
Transistor meter drivers
Separate hourly Chime Circuit
Pulsed “tick tock” seconds sound.


Voltmeter clock project - [Link]

7 Aug 2014


Kyle wrote an article detailing his DIY automatic water timer:

Now that I have power and output figured out, I need to work on the control aspect. 555 timers are great for simple applications requiring up to a few minutes of delay. At 10 minutes, the RC values needed would boarder the danger zone of the timer not functioning correctly due to the leakage current of the capacitor and the small charge current of the resistor. I could have cascaded two or more timers together but that would be sloppy so I fell back on my trusty friend – the ATtiny micro controller. This would allow me to make changes as I want without redesigning the board.


DIY automatic water timer - [Link]

5 Aug 2014


Kerry Wong writes:

As I mentioned in my previous posting, there was an issue with my Wavetek 907 microwave frequency generator. While everything was fine during my initial testing, the frequency display is now stuck with an out-of-range display and the adjustable frequency range is limited to between around 6.9 Ghz to 7.9 Ghz (instead of all the way up to 11 Ghz). My initial suspicion was that the PTC heater inside the YIG-Gunn oscillator was malfunctioning. But as it turned out, it was something else.
Since initially my gut feeling told me that the YIG oscillator might be at fault, I thought I would at least try taking it apart to see if it was something trivial to fix. And even if it is beyond economical repair, it would at least be a pretty interesting teardown of the YIG oscillator itself.


Wavetek 907 repair, YIG oscillator teardown - [Link]

22 Jul 2014


Kerry Wong writes:

DS3232 is an extremely accurate RTC with a guaranteed accuracy of 2.5 ppm (0 °C to 40 °C), which translates into an error of just 80 seconds over the course of a year under the worst case scenario. I had done a few projects using this chip before (you can read about them here).
While by default DS3232 is already very accurate, we can push its accuracy even higher by adjusting its aging offset register (8bit). This adjustment works by adding or subtracting the corresponding capacitance to or from the oscillator capacitor array. The adjustable range is represented as 2′s complement (-128 to 127) and each LSB change corresponds to roughly 0.1 ppm of change in frequency. So the overall adjustment range can be achieved programmatically is roughly ±13 ppm.


DS3232 clock frequency calibration - [Link]

25 Jun 2014


This timer project can be used to switch ON/OFF any device after a set time, this circuit can be used in lots of application like switched ON/OFF Radio, TV, Fan, Pump, kitchen timer, the circuit describe here its unique in its own.

Project has been designed around two CMOS IC CD4001 and CD4020. Two gates of CD4001 make the oscillator and rest has been configured as flip-flop, BC547 transistor is to drive the Relay. Circuit is pretty simple, has jumpers to set the required time duration, Preset is to set the 1Hz oscillator. SW1 is to start the timer, SW2 Power on/off project. Relay output switch contacts can handle 230V AC @ 5Amps

Long Duration Timer - [Link]

12 Jun 2014

SiT8008-resonatorby zeptobars.ru:

SiTime SiT8008 is a programmable MEMS oscillator reaching quartz precision but with higher reliability and lower g-sensitivity. Also SiTime is one of companies who received investments from Rosnano – Russian high-tech investment fund.

The trick is that to reach maximum Q-factor (up to ~186’000 according to patents) MEMS resonator must operate in vacuum. So they package resonator _inside_ the die in hydrogen atmosphere, then anneal it in vacuum so that hydrogen escapes through silicon. So we see here only a cap with contacts to “buried” MEMS resonator. We were unable to reach the resonator itself without x-ray camera or ion mill.

SiTime SiT8008 – MEMS oscillator : die-shot - [Link]

10 Jun 2014


by diyfan.blogspot.gr:

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.

Simple timer with PIC16F628A - [Link]





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