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A bit of progress

A project log for Back To The Future Time Circuit Clock

Back To The Future Time Circuit Clock with clock, alarm and FM radio receiver.

atherosatheros 04/17/2014 at 16:291 Comment

What's new?

I finally managed to make a new driver module for the only display board I had. I made it on a prototyping board, and somehow it works:

That board should hold 2 more characters (day of the month), however I don't have it yet. I finally feel there is some real progress - I have a component I'll use in the final clock.

Additionally I received most of the components I'm waiting for. Here's a photo of my desk:

As you can see, lots of prototyping boards, displays, 74hc595 hiding in the back and IDC connects, a stereo audio amplifier and a nice matrix keypad. A lot of other components like resistors and atmega boards arrived earlyer. The only very important components I'm still waiting for are the radio modules. I was hoping they'll arrive yesterday, but that didn't happen obviously.

As far as I am aware, the only components I'm still missing and didn't order yet are some electric switches, an idea how to power the final device (some power plug) and speakers. I'm not mentioning the casing, as I still don't have any idea how it will be build. A lot still depending on my radio module - will it have RDS or not. If I don't get an answer by tomorrow, I'll have to consider if I want to use the lowest row as a general text display or not. I still might throw in a Raspberry Pi or some other linux powered arm/mips board I have to give it internet access, mp3 playback ability or internet radio. This would require that text display area. There is nothing decided on the subject yet. One thing is sure, I won't throw out the idea FM radio as it was in the initial specs!

I also updated the GIT repository with some more schematics and finally some source code. I've been forgetting about the code for a week now... Anyway, it's standard arduino code.

What's next?

I'll have to review all the other schematics and prepare to print and etch all the display modules for 7 segment displays. I may start making the driver modules today too.

Additionally, I have to figure out the 14 segment displays and write some code to handle it. I only know it should be similar to 7 segment displays, except I'll have to use twice as many shift registers and a lot more complicated font.

During the weekend I'll be etching the boards with my friend and hopefully have most of the electronics assembled by the end of Easter break.

I'm a bit worried time is running out, but I sill think it is possible to finish the clock in time.

Discussions

Gabriel wrote 12/31/2016 at 05:17 point

I ADORE the look of 14-segment displays. Where did you get yours from? Especially since you seem to have found all three colors! I've had very little luck finding them online (from China, though)

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