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By: Anonymous: Dave () on Monday, May 21 2007 @ 10:53 AM PDT (Read 3580 times)  
Anonymous: Dave

Speaking of clocks, here's an idea for you (since evil mad scientists always need to know what time it is):

How about a serial clock. Basically, it's a clock that sends the time out serially. One form would be via a single display digit, where the hours, minutes, and seconds are sequenced through (with a pause to separate them). This means that a clock would only need a single display digit (thus saving those precious funds to build other EMS projects with).

Another variation would be to send the time out serially via a single pixel. Blink the pixel to display the hours, minutes, and seconds (well, ok, 10s hours, hours, 10 minutes, minutes, 10 seconds, seconds). The advantage of this is that it only requires one light emitting (or modulating) device. Plus, you could tell the time without wearing your glasses (e.g., When us extremely near sighted guys are in bed and wake up in the middle of the night, we could tell what time it was without fumbling for our glasses.).

Plus, such a device would definitely foil anyone attempting to stop the EMSes from taking over the world, since they'd be puzzled by what the device was (only to eventually realize that they've wasted days analyzing a clock).


By: Windell (offline) on Tuesday, May 22 2007 @ 12:31 PM PDT  

We're certainly into clocks. Besides the obvious connections, we've also built nixie tube clocks, like the one in this article.

Now a single-digit alphanumeric LED clock would be a pretty simple modification of our LED micro-readerboards; but perhaps it would be more fun to spell out the time in letters? "ONE TWENTY ONE AND THIRTY SECONDS PM" It sounds like an easy mod, *except* that the micro-readerboards run off of their (not very accurate) internal oscillator, not a crystal, and there's no (easy) way to add a crystal to get a reasonably accurate clock unless you add a circuit board into the picture.

A little bit further afield, we have some nixie tubes, dekatrons, and even pixie tubes that have been waiting for a good project. Maybe I'll make a very-limited-edition set of single-digit pixie tube clocks. =D

As far as single-dot clocks go, it would be a pain in the rear to read, but as you note, good for those of us with bad eyes. It could be made much easier to read by using three LEDs to color code the three parts of the time so that you started reading on the right phase. It might actually be a good idea for a wrist watch-- using a single LED could make the power consumption small enough to be practical, perhaps even with a solar cell.

Windell H. Oskay

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