Design choices.

A project log for Tower clock

Freeform Attiny 816 driven clock

Pierre-Loup M.Pierre-Loup M. 04/23/2022 at 15:010 Comments

It's been a long time since I wanted to give a try at freeform circuits (or circuit sculpture, call them how you like). And preferably a clock, because it's probably the most obvious thing can be useful in everyday life. In fact, the clock should have an old calculator VFD display. The ones I saved here and there will one day come to life again.

So. Clock, freeform. Freeform, but there's a catch : I'm quite lazy. Planning something too complex was the best way to start nothing at all. And a display, two shift register, a microcontroller, quartz, photodiode and amplification circuit, plus a safety cell start to be something complex, at least if every connection has to be hand made, and hand shaped. That's roughly 120 wires to cut, form, etc. Plus, I love the esthetic of PCBs. Making a PCB that groups functions on several individual boards could be a good base for several different geometries, and that will easy the freeform assembly.

The circuit has been subdivided in three (four) different circuits :

A final note : I would never have designed such a circuit made of several different boards without a fantastic tools, Kikit. It makes panelizing almost as easy as blinking an eye. It's been mentioned on Hackaday, and you can find the reference here. I really owe Kikit to have unleash the potential of what can be made with PCB.