I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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Clocks | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

VFD AC Filament Driver V1.1


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I took a little break from the VFD Clock to work on the Portal Weighted Storage Cube. Paint is drying, and it's supposed to rain tomorrow. So I'll probably have to take a day or two off from painting and sanding. There's no better time than the present to get back to work on the VFD Clock. Read More...

Large VFD Clock - Part II


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The good thing about making a lot of clocks is that after a while, writing the code become a bunch of cutting and pasting. The code for this clock closely mirrors that of both of my nixie clocks as well as my LCD clock. I just had to make a few small tweaks. After about two hours, I had all the code written for the time mode, date mode, and alarm mode. Read More...

More VFDs!!!


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I just put the wraps on my last clock, the IN-14 Nixie Clock, and I already can't wait to start another one! I found some really huge ILC1-1/8L 7-segment VFDs on eBay. They're almost 4" tall. The digits themselves are 2.25" tall. Massive! Read More...

Nixie Clock V2 - Part III


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I'm really happy with the way that this clock came out. It's so much nicer than my IN-12 clock. I can't wait to get started on another one! Read More...

Nixie Clock V2 - Part II

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This clock is coming along nicely. I know I designed it a few months ago, but I shelved it for a month to wrap other things up. Now that I've decided to go ahead with it, it's been less than a month and it's almost complete! Read More...

Nixie Clock V2 - Part I


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I left off last time with the notion that I'd be able to create a new IN-14-nixie clock based off the design that I used for my IN-12 nixie clock. The plan was to use the main controller board as-is, and combine the driver and display boards. This proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated. The routing of the high voltage traces left much to be desired, simply due to the lack of real estate. I decided to not only use the original controller board, but the driver board too. After all, OSH Park gives you three boards for each order, so I have some left over from the last clock. I might as well use them up. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part VI


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The VFD Clock is finally complete. I started it almost a year ago. However, once I actually figured out how to drive the display, it was another 7 months before I actually started it. I had so many other projects to finish first. I'm glad I waited until my plate was clear to work on this. It really came out nice. It's definitely one of my favorites. Read More...

Mini 7-Segment Clock V4 - Part II


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What a long two weeks it's been! I was dying to get my hands on the boards! The assembly was a snap and I think it came out way better than I had imagined. Read More...

Mini 7-Segment Clock V4 - Part I


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A friend of mine at work cut the cord on his cable TV. Needless to say, the cable box had to be returned. Unfortunately, he relies on that little clock under the TV all the time. He asked if it was possible to basically take my Mini 7-segment Clock V2 and cut it in half. Challenge accepted! Read More...

VFD Clock - Part V


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The electronics have been assembled, so it's time to work on the enclosure. I'm almost finished with this clock. I ran out of black PLA for the base, and I still need to stain the woodfill PLA top, but I'm making excellent progress. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part IV

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All the electronics are complete. I'm so pleased that everything worked on the first go without any tweaks. All that's left to do is design an enclosure for it. Read More...

Mini OLED Clock - Part VI


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It's been almost 8 months since I assembled my Mini OLED Clock. It's been sitting unfinished on my desk since then. All I needed to do was 3D print a case for it. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part III


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With all the clock code written and the audio stuff worked out, it was time to pay closer attention to some of the details. Like properly driving the filaments. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part II


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The progress that I've made on this clock over the past week is amazing. It also helped that there was a 4-day Thanksgiving weekend in the mix. All the clock code is complete, including the alarm menu and the audio. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part I

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It’s been at least 6 months since I last played around with this VFD. I had so many other projects in the works that I needed to finish first. I really want this clock to be something special, so I saved it for when all my other projects were complete. That, and I’m supposed to be saving my money since the holidays are right around the corner. Read More...

3" LCD Clock - Part VI

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I’m so thrilled that I finally completed my 15” LCD clock. It was so much work and it took a long time to complete, but it came out awesome. It's like they say... if it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing. Read More...

3" LCD Clock - Part V


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After some delays, I finally got the panels for the clock laser-cut. I thought I was going to just drop the electronics in and screw the back on, but I ended up having to redo a lot of the wiring to get things to fit. I’m still not done. As it turns out, I need to reorder some more panels to make the enclosure a little thicker. The wiring for the set buttons takes up more space that I had anticipated. So the clock’s not compete yet, but much progress has been made. Read More...

3" LCD Clock - Part IV


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With all the PCBs assembled, it was time to get to work on the 3D model and the laser-cut enclosure. Read More...

Talking Clock - Part VI

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I really wanted this clock to be something special, so I spared no expense, took my time, and made sure everything was perfect. No shortcuts, half measures, or it’ll do’s. It came out better than I’d hoped. I just hope it shows in the final assembly. Read More...

The "Zorg Door Bomb"...Clock - Part III

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After a month and a half of juggling multiple projects, the “Zorg Door Bomb” Clock has finally crossed the finish line. It came out great, and I’m really happy with the results. Read More...

Talking Clock - Part V

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With all the electronics complete, it was time to work on the enclosure. It took 15 hours to print, and a day or two for the stain to dry. I can’t believe this project is almost finished! Read More...

The "Zorg Door Bomb"...Clock - Part II


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I was so excited when the board for this clock arrived. This is such a fun project; even if it is just for a laugh.
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Talking Clock - Part IV


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My PCBs finally arrived! As parts and PCBs become available, I’m bouncing back and forth between this, my 3” LCD Clock and my Zorg Bomb Clock. It seems like all the PCBs showed up within days of each other. So much to do! Read More...

3" LCD Clock - Part III


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If you've been following along lately, you know I've been juggling multiple projects. It's probably not the best way to do things, but it all just sort of happened. After a few weeks of jumping back and forth between projects, things are really starting to come together. Some of these projects are finally starting to see a finish line. Read More...

Talking Clock - Part III


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With the prototype working, and the code 99% complete, it was time to put together a PCB and get to work on an enclosure. I really want this clock to look sweet. Read More...

Mini OLED Clock - Part V


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My first attempt at making an 18650 battery charger for my Mini OLED Clock was a disaster. I made some silly mistakes on the board, and needless to say, I let the smoke out. I hope this new board works. Read More...

Talking Clock - Part II


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The Talking Clock is coming along pretty good. However, I wanted to add a little flare to it. When the clock annunciates the time, I thought it would be really cool to have some LEDs come on. Maybe fade in and then fade out. With all the buttons that I have, the audio amplifier, and the VS1053 breakout board, I’ve pretty much run out of I/O. How am I going to PWM multiple RGB LEDs with only 1 pin left? The answer was Neopixels. Read More...

The "Zorg Door Bomb"...Clock - Part I


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It’s the Zorg Door Bomb! The Fifth Element is one of my all-time favorite movies. I watched it again the other day and as soon as I saw Zorg’s Door bomb, I said to myself, “I’m so building that!” Read More...

3" LCD Clock - Part II


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It’s only been 3 weeks since I got my hands on some 3” LUMEX LCDs, but already I have made some fantastic progress with this clock. All the PCBs have been designed and ordered. It’s just a matter of waiting for the PCBs to arrive, designing the enclosure, and putting it together. Read More...

3" LCD Clock - Part I


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In my last post for these awesome 3" LUMEX LCDs, I left off by concluding that I'd need some dedicated LCD driver chips. Well, I have the drivers now, and the displays look sweet! Read More...

I Finally Figured Out This Vacuum Fluorescent Display


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Back in the early 2000s, I got it into my head to build a clock. On a whim, I picked up this vacuum fluorescent display a little before I realized I was in over my head. Needless to say, it sat in a box for over 10 years. It’s time to figure it out.
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Mini OLED Clock - Part IV


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My Multi-Function OLED Clock PCBs arrived. I hit a few snags putting it together, but in the end it came out fantastic. The battery board that was supposed to go with it is a different story. Read More...

Talking Clock - Part I


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In my last post for the VS1053 breakout board, I left off with simply playing an MP3 by pressing a button. Basically a "Hello World" for the breakout board. Now it's time to dig in and see what it'll take to make a talking clock. Read More...

LUMEX 3" 7-Segment Displays

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I picked up these sweet LUMEX S101D22TR 7-Segment LCDs the other day. They were only $3.50 a piece. Read More...

Mini OLED Clock - Part III

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Time for some PCBs! This clock is going to look pretty cool once it’s assembled. With a 3D model, I can get a better idea of what it’ll look like. While the PCBs are being manufactured, I can get to work on coming up with some kind of 3D-printed enclosure. Read More...

Mini OLED Clock - Part II

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OK, so maybe I’m not quite ready to design the PCB yet. Although I was very happy with the way that the clock and alarm features came out, I felt that it needed more. I only used about 15K of the 328’s 32K, so there was definitely room to add some more goodies. I decided to spend another day on the code and implement a timer and stopwatch function. Read More...

Mini OLED Clock - Part I


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I’ve been meaning to make an OLED clock for a while, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I managed to score these super tiny 64x48 OLED displays from eBay for $10 bucks each. Read More...

Word Clock 2 - Part III

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Wow! It really works! And it looks great! Could the case be better? Yes, but I think it looks pretty good. I am really surprised at how fast I cranked this one out. Granted, all the code (with the exception of the two new set buttons) was already written. It was just a matter of taking what I had already accomplished with version 1, and making it better. Still, I completed this project in only 2 weeks. That has to be a record for me. Read More...

Word Clock 2 - Part II


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The Word Clock 2 is coming along great. It’s almost complete. This is the most SMD components that I’ve ever soldered onto one board. It was a little challenging, but not impossible. All in all, it took just about 4 hours to assemble and test everything.
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Word Clock 2 - Part I


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I had to get through the busy holiday season before I could get the ball rolling again. I've taken a long enough break from my hobby stuff. One project I've been meaning to revisit for well over a year is my Word Clock. I think it’s time for a tiny all-SMD version 2! Read More...

CRT Clock Case

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I'm really proud of this one. I learned a lot from this project, and it was a lot of fun. It has a little bit of everything: PCBs, coding, 3D-printing, laser cutting. I put a lot of work into it, and I think it came out great. It's probably my most unique clock yet. Read More...

Nixie Clock Final Build, Part III

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Since this is my first nixie clock, I really wanted it to be something special. I've been wanting to build a nixie clock for over 15 years. I started out with a 7-segment clock back in 2001 just to get my feet wet, but I just never got around to it. I'm so glad that I bit the bullet and just went for it. I put a lot of work into this clock, and spared no expense. I learned a lot from this project. I'm sure the next nixie clock will come out even better. Read More...

Nixie Clock Final Build, Part II


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The clock is built, the case is prototyped, and the code is 90% complete. This project really picked up some steam. I'm almost finished! Read More...

GPS Clock Rework - Ditching the Joystick, Part III


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My new GPS button boards arrived in the mail. I hacked them into my new 3D-printed case. It works perfectly. All that's left is to firm up the code and this one's a wrap. Read More...

Nixie Clock Final Build, Part I

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There is still much work to be done. I have to put in a bunch of code for the set buttons, the date, the alarm. Little things. I also still have to design a 3D-printed enclosure for it, as well as order some more nixies for the 2 that arrived DOA. In any case, it's coming along great! Read More...

CRT Clock, Part IV

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I love it when everything just comes together at the end and it just works. No hacks, no head scratching, no second spins. It just works. This project involved some serious engineering, and I'm really happy with the way that it's coming out.
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CRT Clock, Part III


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Now that I know I can display my own custom time and date on this camcorder CRT, it's time to get serious about a PCB and a 3D-printed case. Read More...

GPS Clock Rework - Ditching the Joystick, Part II


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With the GPS button board designed and ordered, it was time to put together a 3D model and design a new case for the clock. Read More...

Nixie Clock Main Board PCB Build

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At long last! My nixie main boards arrived. This project has been long in the making, but it's finally starting to come together. Read More...

CRT Clock, Part II

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Not only have I successfully figured out how to use the TVout library to display a custom "gui" showing the date and time, but I also figured out how to hack it into a vintage camcorder viewfinder CRT.
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GPS Clock Rework - Ditching the Joystick, Part I


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The GPS Clock has been fully assembled and sitting on my desk for months. I started this clock two years ago. I just can't seem to get the code to where it needs to be. I just want to put this project to bed already! Read More...

Nixie Clock PCBs / EAGLE Upgrade

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I've been struggling trying to make the PCBs since EAGLE limits the board size on the free version to 100mm x 80mm. I have to make everything modular. That means one board for the power supply, one for the audio stuff, one for all the logic, and 3 each for the nixies and the drivers. 5 PCB designs, 9 boards in all. They'll all have to be clipped together with wires and headers, etc. The whole thing seems less than ideal. I wanted to be able to just make one big board. I know I can’t make the entire clock one giant PCB. It’ll have to be at least 3 "layers" stacked up, but not made out of 9 separate boards. I bit the bullet and paid the $169 upgrade fee to the EAGLE Hobbyist version. It allows 160mm x 100mm PCBs. What a difference! Now I can make PCBs that are 6.29” long! Read More...

Mini 7-Segment Clock V3, Part II

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I hope the LEGO minifig gives you a good sense of scale. This clock is pretty small. It's amazing how small the Mini Clock has become after just 3 iterations. I'm really happy with the way that it came out.
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Mini 7-Segment Clock V3, Part I

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I got my hands on a few really small 7-segment displays around 10 years ago. Back in the day, I didn't have the slightest clue as to how to multiplex them. I just put the wraps on a new 7-segment clock to replace the innards of my old 7490 clock. Seeing how easy it was to multiplex those 7-segment displays, I thought I'd have a go at trying to make another Mini 7-Segment Clock out of one of these teeny-tiny displays. Read More...

Large 7-Segment Clock, Part IV

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I'm really happy that it all came together so well. I love when I design a board and it just works. I attacked this project fairly aggressively. It only took me 3 weeks to go from concept to final build. Not to mention, two weeks of that was mostly waiting for PCBs to arrive. I probably saved myself another 2 weeks by already having the enclosure built. The code was relatively straightforward and the PCBs were easy to design since I was able to apply what I've learned from my other clock builds. There wasn't much "R&D" involved at all. I basically just banged this one out. Read More...

Large 7-Segment Clock, Part III

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With the display electronics complete, it was time to move beyond the concept phase and begin the actual prototyping of the 3D-printed frame. It came out better than I could have anticipated. I totally nailed it! Read More...

Large 7-Segment Clock, Part II

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After a 13-day wait, I had my 7-segment LED breakout boards in-hand. It only took a few minutes to solder the boards together. I just have to wait a few more days for the colon boards and I can finalize the 3D-printed frame. Read More...

Large 7-Segment Clock, Part I

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I was extremely satisfied (and proud) of the way that the enclosure turned out for the rework of my 7490 Clock. The electronics on the other hand, is another story. The innards of that clock were from a prototype I built in 2001. It was a proof of concept. It led to the design of what would become an extremely well-polished and accurate clock. It's just a shame to throw it in a closet and forget about it. The case came out so nice and it looks great in the living room. I'm going to gut it, and replace my old 7490 prototype board with something brand new. Read More...

GPS Clock Assembly, Part IV

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It's been almost 4 months, but it's time to put the wraps on the code for the GPS clock. I've been so busy with other 3D printing and 3D rendering projects. 3D printing a joystick for the 5-way switch has proved to be far more difficult than I had anticipated. I'd really hate to think that this $2 button is going to be the death of this $100 clock! I should have just stuck with my original design and used buttons. Read More...

GPS Clock Assembly, Part III

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I've been working on this clock for a long time, and a lot of effort has been put into it. I've learned so much from this project. I do have to admit some parts of the code aren't as elegant as they should be, but it works. With the code complete, all that's left to do is try my hand at designing a 3D printed joystick for the 5-way switch. Read More...

GPS Clock Assembly, Part II

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If you’re following along, you know that version 1.0 of my GPS clock was a total bust. I somehow managed to screw up the PCB. I had the FTDI RX and TX lines tied to the wrong port on the ATmega2560. There was just no way to rework the board. Besides, I like to keep my final projects looking neat and clean. Rework wires are just a big no-no in my book. That meant that I had to fix the error on the PCB and place another order. I got my boards and most of my parts. I soldered together what I could. So far, it looks like it’s going to work! Read More...

More Nixie Tube Experiments

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Moving right along with the nixie tube experiments... I decided to add a 74595 shift register into the mix and attempt to shift out some data to two of my nixie breakout boards through a 74141 nixie driver.
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GPS Clock Assembly, Part I

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I was amazed at how fast my GPS PCBs arrived in the mail. Usually OSH Park takes a good 2 weeks to turn around a board. However, this time they arrived in 5 days. The boards look great...and they arrived just in time for the weekend! Read More...

GPS Clock Prototyping, Part V

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Wow, has it been a long time since I worked on the GPS clock. A whole 8 months! The prototyping and PCB design was completed a long time ago. I just didn’t want to order the PCBs until the code was complete. The PCBs cost $60 bucks from OSH Park. That’s a lot of money to spend on PCBs that might not work, so I really wanted to make sure everything was solid. I just keep getting distracted with other projects. It’s time to just bite the bullet and finish it. Read More...

Upgrading My Old 7490 Clock, Part V

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I did it! I finally finished upgrading the clock internals and the enclosure. I think it came out amazing. I just can’t believe after all these years that this clock finally looks like something I can be proud to display. I’m really happy with the results. Read More...

Upgrading My Old 7490 Clock, Part IV

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The last prototype Arduino board I made for the 7490 clock rework didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. The board did what it was supposed to do, but the implementation wasn’t that great. The more I thought about it, the more it became clear that the Bare Bones Arduino boards I designed months ago were the perfect solution. After all, it’s projects like these that inspired me to create the Barebones Arduino in the first place. Read More...

Upgrading My Old 7490 Clock, Part III

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Since I wasn’t happy with the engraving on the first spin, as well as totally forgetting to make a cut out for the display, I revised my SVG file and resubmitted it to Ponoko. As far as the color, I think it’s going to look pretty good. I might lower the value of the resistors in order to brighten up the digits. I’ll have to see what it looks like when it’s all put together. Read More...

LCD Clock Version 2 - Part II

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With my PCBs and the laser cut acrylic in hand, it was time to wrap this guy up. I think this clock came out so much better than version 1. I can’t think of a reason to do a version 3. With this, I think I’ve done all I can do with a 16x2 LCD clock. Read More...

LCD Clock Version 2 - Part I

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When I had shelved this clock a year ago, I had gotten pretty far with the PCB. Although I still had some design decisions to make, as well as a ton of code to write, it was pretty much complete. Now that I’ve spent some time working with SMD Atmegas, I decided to redo the PCB to make it all SMD. Read More...

Upgrading My Old 7490 Clock, Part II

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While the PCBs for the new daughterboard were being fabbed, I took the time to design a new laser-cut acrylic enclosure. It needs a few tweaks, but overall it came out awesome... and the PCB fits like a glove! Read More...

Upgrading My Old 7490 Clock, Part I

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Despite looking like a prototype, as well as a total piece of junk, I’m still very proud of the first clock I built in 2001. The 7490 clock was the first “big thing” that I ever designed and made from scratch. It’s a shame to leave it just sitting in the closet. After 13 years, I think it’s time to finally get it up and running the way it should, give it some upgrades, and a new enclosure.
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Mini 7-Segment Clock Kit For Sale


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My Mini 7-Segment Clock kit is a go! All my parts have come in and it’s all ready for sale! It's a neat little kit, and a neat little clock. I warn you though, it's not for the faint-of-heart! This is no beginner-kit. It's 80% SMD, so ninja skills with a soldering iron are required. Not to mention you’ll need to burn the bootloader on the Atmega. Read More...

Darth Vader Clock Upgrade


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Back in 2010, I scored a clock from the maintenance guys at work. They replaced all the clocks around the building and put the old ones in the break room for people to take home. I refinished it and used a 1977 Star Wars LP as the face. I was very happy with the way that my Darth Vader clock came out. It hangs in my 7-year old son's room. However, he tells me that he has a hard time seeing what time it is without numbers on the clock. Understandable.

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Mini 7-Segment Clock V2, Part II

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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. I’m really happy with the way that version 2 came out. Read More...

Mini 7-Segment Clock V2, Part I

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My Mini 7-Segment Clock has to be one of my favorite projects to-date. I really like the way that it came out. It's so tiny!

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I plan on selling a kit for it. I even received an email from a reader who sent off to have some boards fabbed. He put one together himself and reported that it worked out great. When someone else builds one of your designs, it's a nice little pat on the back. Read More...

Fixing the 7490 Clock, Part IV

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This 7490 clock has been a thorn in my side for a little over 5 years. It's never run right. It looks great, but it runs fast. Is it time for yet another rebuild, or can I just fix it with a cap or something? Read More...

GPS Clock Prototyping, Part IV

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I decided to use a 5-way switch the fully control the clock’s menu system. Removing the rest of the buttons required a re-write of the menu system. I first needed to map the whole thing out in order to better visualize what options the menus would use, and what actions would be allowed in each menu. I created a spreadsheet to map it all out. It was then a matter of translating that into code. Read More...

GPS Clock Prototyping, Part III

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I decided to ditch the IR remote in my GPS clock in favor of buttons. Once I had all the IR code implemented, I realized that it just wasn’t the way to go. Instead of the IR remote, I’m basically going to include a keypad on the clock that pretty much mirrors the functionality of the remote. Read More...

GPS Clock Prototyping, Part II

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It’s been a few months since I worked on the GPS clock. I couldn’t nail down exactly how I wanted it to work. I had a few ideas floating around, as well as a list of what features I wanted to include. However, in order to build the clock without compromises, I would have to overcome several hurdles. Considering I was already juggling a few other projects, I figured it was best to shelf it until I had a clearer vision of exactly how I wanted it to work and how I’d pull it off. Read More...

Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part IV

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It’s been a good month since I submitted my PCBs for version 1.1. It seemed to take forever for the PCBs and acrylic to come in this time. I was so happy to finally put this guy together and complete the project. Read More...

GPS Clock Prototyping, Part I

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A while back I picked up a SparkFun 128x64 LCD and an Adafruit 66-channel GPS module to have a go at making a GPS clock. The great thing about setting the time and date via GPS is that I won't have to put any buttons on the clock. It'll set itself!
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Reading the Temperature from the DS3231 & DS18B20

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One thing that I definitely want to add to Rev 2 of my LCD clock is the ability to display the temperature. I found out that since the DS3231 has a temperature compensated internal crystal, you can poll it for the temperature. I wondered how accurate it would be. What good is displaying the DS3231’s temperature if it runs 10 degrees over ambient? There was only one way to find out. Read More...

Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part III

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I received my Mini 7-Segment Clock PCBs. I’m pretty excited to put one together. I think it’s going to look pretty cool, as tiny as it is. Read More...

E-Paper Clock Final Assembly

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My E-Paper boards finally arrived. I wasted no time in putting one together. I was really excited to see if I got everything right. Needless to say, I totally nailed it! It's so awesome putting in that last piece, powering it on and seeing all your hard work pay off!

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LCD Clock Version 2 - Design Decisions

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I was really pleased with the way that my LCD clock turned out. Being my first Arduino project, I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t work, but I totally nailed it! There were a few trials and errors in making a stand for it before I figured out how to make a laser-cut enclosure for it. In the end, it turned out great and it works like a charm. So, how can I make it better? Read More...

Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part II

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I left off last time needing to write some code for the alarm setting feature. After a couple of hours of tinkering, I figured it out. It seemed like a nice idea at the time, but once I saw it implemented, I realized it’s not worth it.
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Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part I

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SMD soldering can be a little tricky, so I figured the more I do, the better I’ll get. I decided to go ahead and push on with the mini SMD 7-segment clock. After a few little projects like this, I should be a master in no time!
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Laser Cut LCD Clock Enclosure: Take 2

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If you remember, the first attempt at getting a front panel laser cut for my LCD clock didn’t work out so well. I don’t think it was a tolerancing issue. I think I just screwed it up.
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E-Paper Clock Prototyping, Part III

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I shelved the E-Paper clock for a few months so I could finish up some other stuff. (Bare Bones Arduino, RGB Night Light, SpeakJet Board, and the 7490 Clock.) That stuff’s all been wrapped up, so it’s time to switch gears back to the E-Paper clock and wrap it up. Read More...

Fixing the 7490 Clock, Part III

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I’m so happy this clock is finally complete and ticking along accurately. It’s been so long. It’s nice to see all this time, money, and hard work finally pay off with such a nice looking clock. Read More...

Fixing the 7490 Clock, Part II

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Several months ago, I set out to finally fix the old 7490 clock that I designed back in 2008. I got busy with some other projects, so it’s been sitting on the back burner. I used a cheap crystal and a crude setting circuit to set and run the clock. The crystal module put out a 1 Hz signal that, through a series of buttons, I would steer through to the seconds, minutes, and hours section of the clock. The problem was that the signal that the crystal module put out was pretty lousy. I figured it was time to revisit the 7490 clock and see if I could use a microcontroller to improve the design. Read More...

Laser Cut LCD Clock Enclosure: Take 1

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Although I was pretty happy with the wooden DIY stands that I made for my Arduino LCD Clock, I thought they looked a little too homebrew. I was looking for more of a “finished product” kind of look. I imagined something fashioned out of acrylic. That didn’t work. I threw around the idea of getting some acrylic laser cut, but I didn’t know the first thing about doing it. Read More...

E-Paper Clock Prototyping, Part II

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I was having some trouble formatting the strings for the time and date. I kept ending up with extra zeros at the end. I posted a question over at the Arduino forums and someone suggested dumping the strings in favor of the sprintf() command.
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Completed the Word Clock

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I finally nailed it. I finished the Word Clock. OK, I lied. It’s 99% complete. Read More...

E-Paper Clock Prototyping, Part I

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I know it’s been a month since I picked up the e-paper display, but I’ve been so busy with other projects. OK, let’s see what this thing can do… Read More...

Arduino LCD Clock: New GUI

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Was I happy with the GUI for my 16x2 LCD Digital Clock? Sure. I did what it needed to do. It displays the time and date. It displays the time in 24-hour mode. Why? Because it was easy. If I wanted to display the time in 12-hour format, I’d have to massage the numbers a bit. Read More...

E-Paper Display

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I needed to pick up a few more parts for the Word Clock. I’m still waiting for the PCBs to come in, but I already identified the need for a few more switches and connectors to finish it up once the boards come in. I figured while I was at it, I’d shop around SparkFun for some cool parts to be used in future projects. Read More...

Fixing the 7490 Clock

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I made a really nice looking clock back in 2008 using nothing by 7490 TTL Decade Counters. Despite the fact that it came out really nice, it never really worked right. Read More...

Finishing the Word Clock Display

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With the Word Clock display’s electronics complete, it’s time to make the baffle and the overlay. Read More...

Completed The Word Clock PCB

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I completed the PCB for the Word Clock last night, but I slept on it for the night before submitting it. It’s a good thing too, because I thought of something else. Read More...

Another Clock Stand

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With Christmas around the corner, I thought that the first clock based on a microcontroller that I built would make an excellent present for my Dad, since he’s the one that inspired my interest in electronics. I finished up the clock just in time. He loved it.

Since I had three boards made, I also assembled a clock for myself. I didn’t have time to make stands for both clocks, so mine had to wait. Until now…
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Making the LCD Clock Stand - Take 2

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The first attempt at a stand wasn’t that great. I needed to try something a little heavier than acrylic. Let’s try wood… Read More...

Arduino LCD Clock Assembly

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I have all my parts. I have my PCBs. I have a new Dremel. It’s time to put this bad boy together! Read More...

Making the LCD Clock Stand - Take 1

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I took a trip to Staples to buy an acrylic photo frame or sign holder and was very happy to see that they had 3”x5” acrylic sign holders for only $3 each. Read More...

Clock Design Decisions

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With the clock code complete, it was time to hop online and order my parts. With the parts in hand, I’ll have an easier time laying them out on the PCB and getting the spacing right. Read More...

Clock Code is Complete

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I finished the code for the clock. I would have been finished a week ago, but Hurricane Sandy hit my town pretty hard and I lost power for 8 days. What a setback. Anyway, power’s up and it’s full-steam ahead! Read More...

Setting the Clock

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I reached another milestone today. I figured out how to read the state of a pin and react to its state. In other words, I can tell the Arduino to “do something” based on whether or not the pin is HIGH or LOW! This is awesome. That means I can now hook up a switch to a pin and press it to set the clock. Read More...

We have a clock!

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I got the DS1307 up and running. It was pretty easy to interface it with the Arduino. You just hook the SDA and SCL pins to the Arduino’s analog 4 and 5 inputs, import the RTC library and you’re done.

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Darth Vader Clock

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They replaced all the clocks at work with cheap plastic ones from Staples. All the old-school ones made of metal and glass were headed for the garbage. Luckily, they decided to put them in a box and threw them in the cafeteria with a “FREE CLOCKS” sign.

I have an old Star Wars 12” LP from 1977 that I have always wanted to use as the face for a clock, but never got around to it. Immediately I saw the opportunity for a nice weekend project.

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Digital Clock 3.0

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It’s time for a new clock. While the first clock I made was nice, it wasn’t exactly “display in the living room” material.

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Digital Clock 2.0

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It would be a waste to have perfectly functional prototype parts sitting in a box somewhere. If they’re going to sit in a box, might as well have them sit in a box keeping the time.

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Digital Clock 1.0

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Ever since my Dad showed me the nixie clock he built in the 70s from 74XX TTL chips, I’ve been wanting to make my own. I’m a little nervous about playing with high voltage nixies. So for now, I’ll get my feet wet with some low voltage 7-segment displays.

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