About this Blog

This blog is an engineering log book; for me to record the progress on my many projects and hopefully to inspire you.

Some projects do not get off the ground, they remain as interesting thoughts, a select few get some work done on them, even fewer get close to completion, and none get completed because unfortunately I subscribe to the theory: "If something ain't broke then it doesn't have enough features". If you'd like to collaborate on some work to get something to a useable state then send me some communications.

Being a blog, posts are listed in chronological order. However I usually have multiple projects on the go and will try to post some of my earlier work. With this in mind I'll try to add labels to each post so all posts relevant to one project can be easily extracted.

Enjoy and happy hacking.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Time Pieces

I have a little fascination with time pieces, not your regular clocks though, but interesting ways to display the time. Every now and then I think of a new idea (or find one on the net) that I think would be cool to have sitting on my desk.

The Nixie clock. I have a bunch of nixie tubes that i scavenged from a 1960's calculator. A nixie tube is what ws used for electronic displays before the 7-segment led came along. They are neon lights with cathodes in the shape of the numbers 0-9. When you apply ~200V between the cathode and annode the neon glows an awesome orange colour around the cathode. The difficulty with this project is the high voltages required.

The Binary Clock. Simply six columns of upto 4 led's that light up with binary numbers. Simple, but you have to be a bit of a geek to read and appreciate it.

Volumetric Display Clock. A 5x5x5 cube of RGB leds. Can display alot of cool patterns on it but also the time in a number of ways.
Multi-meter clock. And my latest idea, have a microcontroller generate three voltages that extend to three test points labeled Hours, minutes and seconds. By probing with a multimeter you can discover the time.

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