- Published: Thursday, 01 April 2010
- Written by Graham Mitchell
- Hits: 9573
Credit where credit is due, this project was inspired by Jon Chandler's Clock for Geeks.
After reading through one of Jon Chandlers recent projects, I was rather inspired to make my own! The Geek Clock is a great spin on a more then well known concept - displaying time. His method employs a Servo, PIC and a little intuition.
Rather then using the paper clock face like Jon did, I experimented with a few other methods to spice up the presentation. At work, we recently acquired a large Vinyl Printer and Gerber Cutting machine. Long story short, we can make all sorts of decal stickers (very handy indeed!!). It was a pain staking ordeal creating the clock face on the Omega software (for the vinyl printer/cutter) as it was written in the early 90's and very vector based graphics. In the end I got something that looked like a clock.
Originally I was going to use the decal cut-outs to create the clock face - problem was the decal stickers would not adhere well to wood. I could have used glue, though any excess would have lead to a bad varnish job. Then it struck me - what if I use the external part of the sticker as a template - to paint through? The result was perrrfect! We're about due for a montage:
Figure 1. Preparing the Decal.
Figure 2. Paint is dry, time to start peeling!
Figure 3. Slow process, don't want to mess it up!
Figure 4. Removing the little inner bits.
Figure 5. Light at the end of the tunnel. Ready for the servo cut-out and then some varnish.
Figure 6. The Final Product!
I used the DS1307 as it offers an automatic low power mode (to continue clocking time with the absence of main power). It's highly accurate (PIC's generally drift from a few seconds to a minute or two each month), and cheap!
Before I get started on the code - it should be noted that the clock needed calibration first. This was done by using a slightly modified version of Jon's.
Not that the schematic matters much - the TAP-28 Development Board already has 95% of the hardware. The other 5% is the RTC Daughter Board! IF you wanted to make something similar, then message Jon Chandler and get in on the next TAP-28 production run, or you could submit the Gerber files and make your own!
As for the DS1307 board, well I did post the Gerber files for it, and the design is easy enough to make on a protoboard.