[time-nuts] Clock Project Help
J. Mike Needham
iain_nitro at att.net
Wed Oct 28 19:33:31 UTC 2009
Yeah, the LCD idea would be fine. Better would be OLED I think. Digikey is
one solution, but I am not even sure what embedded system to look into.
Eventually I want to package these for marketing, so they will become more
specialized once we get a prototype built, so I wanted to know what makes a
regular dedicated clock go (IC wise) and then kind of build my controller...
but I am definitely open to suggestions.
Thank-you for your help in any case.
From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On
Behalf Of Hal Murray
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1:38 PM
To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Clock Project Help
> Where the problem lies is that I need to find the IC chips for clocks
> and build a display.
I'm not sure what you are looking for. Are you looking for "IC chips" to
keep time or to display the time?
You don't need a special chip to keep time. Just count CPU cycles. Most
embedded type CPU chips have a way to do that.
If you run ntpd, it will correct for the error in your crystal. (makes a
What type of display do you want? Aside from Nixies, I can think of two
possibilities. One is LEDs. The other is LCD.
There are lots of small LCD modules available. Typical sizes are 1x20 and
2x20 characters. They usually come with backlights. Most of them are
really bitmapped. They just have a built-in font to simplify programming if
all you want is text. One of those would make a fine clock display. You
could show the time in a huge font, and put the date and whatever in the
You can get them packaged as a USB module so you could prototype everything
from your PC.
You may be able to get a special LCD designed for a clock, but they will
probably be hard to find unless you want to buy a zillion of them.
7 segment LED displays are readily available. You may be able to get one
specialized for clocks: 4 digits with a : in the middle. Or you could build
your own from single/double packages with discrete LEDs for the :. Go to
Digikey and poke around.
One for your checklist... You probably want some sort of photo-transistor
sense the ambient light level so you can dim the lighting at night. (unless
you want to use the clock as a night light)
These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's. I hate spam.
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