The Old and The New
I'm posting a picture of the old and the new. The old is the Heathkit GC-1092A clock that I built when I was home from college in the summer of 1977. This clock has run continuously since I built it, aside from the occasional move or power failure, of course. Just as a point of comparison, I dug out the assembly instructions and counted up some of the parts that went into the clock: 102 resistors, 15 capacitors, 31 diodes, and 34 transistors. And that's not counting all the other bits of hardware like a transformer, speaker, displays, switches, and so forth. As I recall, it took me several weeks to put it together. The assembly manual ran 60 pages, including schematics, diagrams, and theory.
It had a couple of the features of the Ice Tube clock - battery backup and a photocell to adjust brightness based on the ambient light. I've added John Archie's updated firmware to my Ice Tube clock, which automatically adjusts the timekeeping as you reset the time. The Heathkit clock had an adjustment where you tweaked it until it matched the 60-cycle AC cycle, allowing for very accurate timekeeping.
The Ice Tube clock was a fun kit to build. I remember opening the box and thinking "Okay, now where are the rest of the parts?!" I'm working on making a base for the clock to keep it from sliding around. It's a light clock - nothing like the heft of the Heathkit! The base is sort of a work-in-process. What you see is a piece of scrap wood with four notches cut out for the four corners to sit down in and a piece of non-slip rubber material on the bottom.
I'm looking forward to using it - hopefully, I'll get 37 years use out of it as well!
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