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 04/21/2014 at 19:530 Comments

What's new?

We were very busy this weekend - bwa was exposing and etching PCBs, I was cutting, soldering and drilling them. We've made some progress and finished most 7 segment displays:

I can chain huge number of these modules with a 10 wire cable and drive them from a single Arduino. The class that does this job just needs to know the number of characters and some pin numbers.

You can also notice the missing LEDs in time modules (empty drilled holes, plus some holes missing...). It turnes out that the service called "courier delivery 48" offered by polish post office doesn't deliver in 48h hours like the name could suggest and my package with LEDs and some other goodies sits in a warehouse not too far from me for 5 days already waiting to be delivered. It is even worse with my radio modules order. I ordered them also with polish post office delivery option, this time a service called "priority business delivery" - no idea what that even means. I'm waiting 6 days for this one and I don't event have a way to track it.

There were also different kind of problems. I was hoping we'll be able to make the display boards for month names (14 segments), but it didn't happen. 14 segment displays are not very common, so we had problems getting a component for them in Eagle CAD. The only component I found had huge pads. Those pads forced me to use thinner wires which are troublesome to etch. Here you can see the difference:

The boards have either broken wires or short circuited with adjacent wires. I don't know yet how we will handle this issue, I'm hoping bwa will be able to work this one out.

What's next?

Time is running out and there is still so much to do...

BWA will try to etch the display boards for months and I will try to design the third row of the clock, the one with huge number of alphanumeric displays (10 or 12).

I'll also try to collect the missing components and maybe figure out how to make the casing. Anyone could share some ideas? I really don't want to end up with a cardboard casing.

I'm hoping the clock will be ready hardware wise by Saturday, giving me Sunday to write the software part. This is very ambitious, but hopefully I'll manage to do that.

Wish us luck!