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16 Jan 2015


by Alan @ kalshagar.wikispaces.com:

I found those beautiful vintage IV9 & IV16 tubes and I had to use them, clock being the perfect candidate. I made already mutliple others based on what was supposed to be a WordClock (hence the project name) only, but became more diversified. I did also a first test with a chainable 5cm x 5cm tube board, this is a 5cm x 10cm dual board improved version.

When I made this project and designed it the idea I had was of course the design (very important) but also reusability and pragmaticallity regarding the components used. What I mean by the latest is that you never really know what component you’ll have at hand, depends on your provider, the component availability, it’s price, or even the package DIP or SMD. Hence the board can work with 3 different type of RTC clocks: just use your favorite or the one in your shelf stock. Personally I love the Maxims DS3231 and DS3234 which are temperature compensated (to a fantastic extend for the DS3234), and both are accessed through different protocols: SPI for the DS3234 and TWI for DS3231. There’s also the EPSON RTC4543 for those living in Japan like me. So again depending of what else you need to wire, choose your poison: all the pins of the MCU are accessible and there’s even a small zone for some DIP components.
The top board uses 74HC595 for maintaining the displayed digits: they come very cheap but I didn’t want to be stuck to the DIP or SMD model (having both in stock), so the board can use any of the two. Same goes with the current limiter resistors: SMD, through hole or even resistor array, your pick. And of course there’s a SMD or DIP led footprint under each tube for the blingbling! (single color, not RGB led)

IV9 & IV16 tube numitron clock - [Link]

2 Jan 2015


This project embodies the concept of I2C bus standard. It signifies how important to know the I2C devices and how they will be integrated. There are a lot of innovation can be made using the standard and more people are attracted to get involve in the embedded world professionally or just as hobbyist. The number of I2C devices included in this project may develop new ideas and designs.

The design includes 8-Bit Microchip PIC18F14K22 microcontroller which serves as the master of the I2C bus communication principle. The PCA9547D device is an 8-channel I2C-bus multiplexer with reset that communicates with the I2C devices one at a time. The PCA9500 device is an 8-bit I/O expander with an on-board 2-kbit EEPROM that simplifies the connection of LCD to the multiplexer. The MCP9801-M/MS device is a 2-Wire High-Accuracy Temperature Sensor for temperature monitoring. The 24LC025/ST device is a 2.5V, 2 Kbit Addressable Serial EEPROM (Tape and Reel) with no WP pin for firmware application. The MCP3221A0T-I/OT and TC1321EOATR devices are both for data conversion. The MCP3221A0T-I/OT is a Low Power 12-Bit A/D Converter With I2C Interface and the TC1321EOATR device is a 10-Bit Digital-to-Analog Converter with Two-Wire Interface. The MPL115A1 device is Miniature I2C Digital Barometer for pressure sensing applications. The MCP79400-I/MS is a Battery-Backed I2C™ Real-Time Clock/Calendar with SRAM and Protected EEPROM for applications that includes time. The PCA9530D device is a 2-bit I2C-bus LED SMBus I/O expander optimized for dimming LEDs in 256 discrete steps for Red/Green/Blue (RGB) color mixing and backlight applications. The 2X16 LCD is for display and monitoring application.

The design is very versatile since it opens up ideas to innovate. It is an excellent project for embedded system application. There are a lot of student will be attracted to develop their own design.

Interfacing MCU to various I2C Devices XD - [Link]

13 Dec 2014


John Boxall over at Tronixstuff has posted a detailed tutorial on how to on how to use DS1307 and DS3231 real-time clock modules with Arduino:

There are two main differences between the ICs on the real-time clock modules, which is the accuracy of the time-keeping. The DS1307 used in the first module works very well, however the external temperature can affect the frequency of the oscillator circuit which drives the DS1307’s internal counter.
This may sound like a problem, however will usually result with the clock being off by around five or so minutes per month. The DS3231 is much more accurate, as it has an internal oscillator which isn’t affected by external factors – and thus is accurate down to a few minutes per year at the most. If you have a DS1307 module- don’t feel bad, it’s still a great value board and will serve you well.


Using DS1307 and DS3231 real-time clock modules with Arduino - [Link]

10 Dec 2014

The most popular RTC for the Arduino is the DS1307. However, it does have some drawbacks, the most notable of which is that its operating voltage is 5v, which means it cannot be used with 3.3v projects.  The Maxim DS1339 however, features a wide tolerance of voltages from 2.97V-5.5V with the typical voltage as 3.3v, a battery backup, two alarms, and a trickle charger. The breakout board here packages the DS1339 with the components and connections necessary to use with your Arduino projects easily.

MAX DS1339 RTC Real Time Clock for Arduino - [Link]

1 Dec 2014


RTC or real-time clock is a kind of computer clock for keeping track of the recent or most current time. Commonly, RTCs are present in almost all or any device, which are electronic in nature that needs to keep time accurate. Meanwhile, temperature sensors are devices that gather data concerning the temperature from a source and convert it to a form that can be understood either by an observer or another device. These sensors can be in various forms and are used for a wide variety of purposes, from simple home use to extremely accurate and precise scientific use. They play a very important role almost everywhere that they are applied; knowing the temperature helps people to pick their clothing before a walk outside just as it helps chemists to understand the data collected from a complex chemical reaction.

The circuit uses a PCA8565 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 400kbit/s. The built-in word address register is incremented automatically after each written or read data byte. It also includes a MCP9801 digital temperature sensor capable of reading temperatures from -55°C to +125°C. Temperature data is measured from an integrated temperature sensor and converted to digital word with a user selectable 9 to 12 bit Sigma Delta Analog to Digital Converter. The MCP9801 notifies the host controller when the ambient temperature exceeds a user programmed set point. The ALERT output is programmable as either a simple comparator for thermostat operation or as a temperature event interrupts. Communication with the sensor is accomplished via a two-wire bus that is compatible with industry standard protocols. This permits reading the current temperature, programming the set point and hysteresis and configuring the device. Address selection inputs allow up to eight MCP9801 sensors to share the same two-wire bus for multizone monitoring. Small physical size, low installed cost and ease of use make the MCP9801 an ideal choice for implementing sophisticated temperature system management schemes in a variety of applications.

The board is basically a carrier for the two IC’s that make up the Real Time Clock (RTC), PCA8565 and the Digital Temperature Sensor, MCP9801. It conveniently combines the two for applications that require RTC and temperature sensing. A particularly useful feature of this RTC is that it can detect power down and record the time at that event. This is ideal for connecting to a microcontroller that does not have an RTC.

I2C Temperature Sensor & Real Time Clock - [Link]

27 Nov 2014


by df99 @ instructables.com:

This is an OLED clock I built using an Arduino Micro, a tiny OLED 128×64 display using the SSD1306 controller and I2C interface, and a precision DS3231-based real-time clock module with rechargeable battery backup. It features a menu system for setting the RTC (no serial port or USB required)

DS3231 OLED clock with 2-button menu setting and temperature display - [Link]

29 Sep 2014

The most popular RTC for the Arduino is the DS1307. However, it does have some drawbacks, the most notable of which is that its operating voltage is 5v, which means it cannot be used with 3.3v projects.  The Maxim DS1339 however, features a wide tolerance of voltages from 2.97V-5.5V with the typical voltage as 3.3v, a battery backup, two alarms, and a trickle charger.   The breakout board here packages the DS1339 with the components and connections necessary to use with your Arduino projects easily.

MAX DS1339 RTC real time clock for arduino - [Link]

17 Aug 2014


by embedded-lab.com:

If your design contains Microchip’s MCP79XXX series RTC chips and you are running into troubles using them, this technical brief is intended to resolve several of the commonly-asked questions regarding developing stand-alone serial interface real-time clock/ calendar devices with MCP79XXX. Similarly, there’s also another application note from Microchip which provides detail assistance and guidance in using these RTC devices.

Q&A concerning Microchip’s MCP79XXX RTC chips - [Link]

10 Apr 2014


The MAX31629 I2C digital thermometer and real-time clock (RTC) integrates the critical functions of a real-time clock and a temperature monitor in a small-outline 8-pin TDFN package. Communication to the device is accomplished through an I2C interface. The wide power-supply range and minimal power requirement of the device allow for accurate time/temperature measurements in battery-powered applications. The digital thermometer provides 9-bit to 12-bit temperature readings that indicate the temperature of the device.

MAX31629 – I2C Digital Thermometer and Real-Time Clock - [Link]

17 Mar 2014


luca @ lucadentella.it build a nice app that let you configure an RTC chip using a PC GUI and your Arduino board. The system is composed by two elements, the PC GUI written in C# and a sketch running on Arduino. The RTC is connected on the Arduino using I2C interface and Arduino is connected to PC using a simple serial protocol.

I chose to use the Adafruit’s RTClib library to talk with the DS1307 chip, that is for sure one of the most used RTC in the hobbistic world. The connection between the IC and Arduino is established using the I2C bus.

RTCSetup – configure an RTC chip using your PC - [Link]





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