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A project log for GPS Clock

My entry to the circuit sculpture contest - A digital Clock which pulls its time from the Global Positioning System

Matthew James BellafaireMatthew James Bellafaire 08/24/2020 at 21:320 Comments

Last night I began working on the code for the clock. The code doesn't need to do much normally, just parse the time out of the NMEA sentences of the GPS module, convert to your time zone of choice, and update the seven-segment display. Unfortunately, It's looking like the GPS module is dead. When the module works properly it constantly sends out data over UART, when the current module is powered on it does not output anything. My pocket oscilloscope doesn't show any output at all on the TX line of the module and there is no short between any other wires. I'm not sure what caused the module to fail, I also didn't test it before putting it into the circuit so I can't be sure that it didn't get damaged from sitting at the bottom of a box for the last few months (although that seems unlikely). Either way, I've ordered a new GPS module to replace the current one and it should arrive sometime this week. Luckily with the ESP32 I can get the time from a WiFi connection and complete all the other code before the module arrives. 

With all that said I still put a little more work into the ascetics of the project and built a base for the clock. I have a lot of 3/4 maple plywood sitting around from a desk I built awhile back so I decided to use some here. I just cut out a piece that's roughly the size of the clock and beveled the edges with a file. I then added a coat of wood stain and a few layers of polyurethane. Overall, I think it came out alright. 

The small hole is for a wide-headed screw to hold the sculpture down by one of its wires. 

I'm not too sure about the color at the moment, it's a bit too similar to the wire color so I may have to go with something lighter or darker. 

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