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Binary clock...
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Binary clock...

by bobfixesstuff on Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:41 pm

Timed by counting AC oscillations. 60Hz in the US, 50Hz in the UK. Adjustment therefore needed for UK usage.

Schematics currently unavailable as they've gone offline :( and this clock isn't my design, a very kind clever bloke in the states designed it. I still have his email address somewhere, but I think it'd be rude to paste it here. His name is John and he (at least used to) have a blog like Lady Ada's earlier one, full of tutorials etc.

Not sure if it'd be cool to paste his full name here either lol as this forum is open to the whole world lol.

Anyway the clock reads out the time in binary! Minutes, seconds and hours. Perfectly feasible to expand it to count days, months, and years. Just means more counters and more diodes lol.

Oh and it looks pretty. I have mine set to count seconds on all counters. That way it keeps blinking, and people can quickly see the binary patterns emerging.
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Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:54 am

Re: Binary clock...

by adafruit on Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:18 pm

nice! next up...solder it to perf board (or make a pcb!)

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Location: nyc

Re: Binary clock...

by bobfixesstuff on Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:58 pm

been down the pcb road... they're all printed in countries that have a language barrier. I ended up posting them some three layered pcb layout and they told me to get stuffed. turns out english, bad english, queens' english, plain english guv, franglais and klingon just aren't enough to enchant hungarians into assistance. plus i mentioned the war :s

but hey that breadboard has a bangin rustic look.

must track down the designer of the circuit. that guy was so helpful both in pcb layout (which I still have somewhere) think i built it in ExpressPCB but yeah the hun weren't interested and the prototype worked fine so i lost interest. and yeah he was just helpful every step of the way.

but i settled. i was happy with it on a breadboard, keeping the time... or not quite. whatever it has blinked away for years now; it did and does count in binary, and it counts the right number of seconds to a minute, and minutes to hour, and hours.

but yeah, I just keep it flickering away. i'll pass on the designer's contacts to anyone senior at AFI or someonewho buys me a beer.

maybe i should post the board to AFI and see if y'all can reverse engineer it.

although.... i thiiiiiiiiink i still have the original schematics burried deep in one of my backups;. no promises. will delve if hintedto do so. miught take some time. its a jungle in there
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:54 am

Re: Binary clock...

by meseta on Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:47 am

hey Bob, if you're based in UK, we're about to submit a bunch of PCBs for prototype run (two layer, tracks and holes only) from a company in Ireland, if you'd like you could pool your PCBs with us. And if you want to take it further, we do our production PCB fabrication and assembly with a Chinese company whose English is pretty good, we could introduce you to them, or you could pool orders with us.
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Re: Binary clock...

by sircastor on Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:41 pm

We have a Tri-weekly run over here in the States. We manufacture domestically for pretty cheap (and I don't think the international shipping is bad either)

As an aside, my Uncle has a Binary clock from years and years ago. The short version of the story is as follows. My Aunt and Uncle were out in some town a few hours away from where my grandparents lived, on vacation or something. My Uncle buys this clock and back at the house shows it off. My grandfather is so impressed that he makes my uncle drive him back to the store he bought it from (3 hours away) and they get another two (1 for my grandpa, and 1 for my other uncle). The funny thing is, my other Uncle was serving in the Airforce in Germany at the time. They plugged in the clock, and it kept time incorrectly because Germany (I believe) runs at 75Hz.

Seeing your clock made me think of that story (I have desperately wanted that clock since the first time I watched it hypnotically tick time away)

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Re: Binary clock...

by bobfixesstuff on Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:41 am

meseta; best of luck getting the PCBs done! I myself do not have a PCB design. I had one a few years ago, but if I was able to find that in my archives, I'd just put it and the schematics up here on this forum for any/everyone to make use of lol. I don't currently seek to get this design beyond the breadboard... but if you guys get prototype PCBs done then I'm sure myself and many others would love to buy and assemble! So remember to keep this forum informed on developments! :D

sircastor; I bet it would be easy for someone to make a binary clock that could be adjustable for different AC frequencies, so, one clock for anywhere on earth. Perhaps the method would be as simple as not asjusting the counter, but instead adjusting a potentiometer? like how in a mechanical clock a spring's tension might be adjusted like a micrometer, to calibrate the timing to within accuracy of fractions of seconds.

in fact I think that sort of calibration would be better, as AC frequency is already (at least in the UK), often sped up or slowed down, (depending on factors beyond control), so as to keep everyone's clocks at the right time lol.

come to think of it, AFI sells a high precision clock module? wouldn't it be so much simpler and more effective to simply employ one of those units?! that way a binary clock would be accurate to the original calibration of time, over a great length of time, and it could also run of batteries or DC wall adaptors. it would take the complication of AC out of the equation.

I think that'd be a much better way for the design to work! :D
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