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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Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part IV | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part IV

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 also delayed in completing the clock since I needed to order some 17mm push buttons. The regular push buttons I used on version 1 were too short to clear the front of the acrylic.

2013-07-26 at 18-58-00

I also needed some more crystals. I usually pick up my crystals from SparkFun. They charge $1.50 each. I found the same exact crystal on eBay for 70 cents (with free shipping). I ordered a strip of 10.

2013-07-26 at 19-16-14

I’ve soldered a few of these now, so I’m getting pretty good at them. I like soldering the crystal in first. I’ve found it’s easiest to do it when there’s nothing around to get in the way.

2013-07-27 at 10-08-06

Version 1 used the standard-sized push buttons that everyone sells. They were too short to clear the holes that I cut out in the acrylic enclosure. You’d need to reach in there with a paperclip or something to push them. I thought that was pretty impracticable. The solution was to use some 17mm switches.

2013-07-26 at 20-11-09

2013-07-27 at 10-47-33

I’m also getting pretty good at soldering fine-pitched ICs.

2013-07-26 at 20-26-06

I sandwiched the PCB between my custom acrylic with some 3/8” and 1/4” standoffs and plugged in the adapter.


It works perfectly. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It is super bright!


Once I verified that everything worked perfectly, I went ahead and built the other two.


I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 months since I though this clock up. I’m so happy to finally see it assembled and complete.

I gave one to my Dad. He thought it was totally awesome. I wonder what lucky person is going to get the other one?

See this project from start to finish:
Adafruit SMD Book
Mini 7-Segment Clock
Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part II
Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part III
Mini 7-Segment Clock, Part IV