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JD's Binary Clock — Parallax Forums

JD's Binary Clock

JDJD Posts: 567
edited 2022-11-01 20:07 in Customer Projects
Hello Fellow Builders,

I have another time keeping project :nerd:. I was sitting at my desk at work and thought that it needed a touch of home, and what better than a binary clock to show tech and accuracy of a clock. It has been a project to get under my belt since I was working with Chris Savages in technical support; looks fun and it really was.

I took some pictures and video along the build anticipating posting on the forums (in the gallery); it actually was nice for me because it kept a nice logical flow and documented the process. There are already updates that I can’t wait to play with, but overall this is what I envisioned it to be. I wanted to build a toy that I could play with on slow days at work. I figured that a clock of some sort would not only be versatile but useful at my desk.

First I was going to use a 4x20 LCD display but opted for the sensible 2x16 to work within the constraints of the case :surprise :surprise:. I had the option to go with a completely custom case but I’m going to use that for another project for a lot more bang; and this came out better in my opinion. There are no parts sticking out other than the power cord, so it’s tidy and still had a bit of room for other stuff that I will undoubtedly put on it.

There are two sides of interest when operating the binary clock. The power and programming side on the left and 3 buttons on the right. Enter, Up and Down.

Im going to whip up a small doc regarding operation; I hope I can upload some video of the setup and operation tomorrow.


  • ercoerco Posts: 20,204
    edited 2011-09-29 00:25
    Too cool for words! A great project that is fun to use, and also helps to sort out the people who "get it" from those who don't. If they ask "why", they don't get it. Thanks for posting.
  • Jessica UelmenJessica Uelmen Posts: 490
    edited 2011-09-29 12:15
    Glad to see you finished this, it really turned out nice! Thanks for posting & look forward to seeing more from you soon! :]

  • JDJD Posts: 567
    edited 2011-10-07 22:11
    Thank you, it was a lot of fun to build, and it's been a learning all around. I'm going to put a little bit more programming to show a demo, but I wanted to get it finished; it's easy to keep building and never get finished. lol


    I'm starting a private tutoring next Sunday and we are going to build another one, and a spy camera. :-D . . . I have a little mad scientist in training. lol
  • JDJD Posts: 567
    edited 2022-11-01 20:07
    Buttoned up nicely, here are all the materials that I have for my project, JDs Binary Clock.

    This project started out as a desk toy; well since then Comcast has become quasi-nazi rule makers for desk activity. I still like the clock and will continue to build and add-on sensors and display option. I will be writing a user manual, so that will be on it’s way once finished.

    Hope you all enjoy, and feel free to leave back feedback or responses
  • CircuitMageCircuitMage Posts: 62
    edited 2011-11-09 06:47
    Just curious, as I have not used the Propeller, what kind of clock accuracy is that providing?

    I made mine based off a crystal oscillator and a PIC about 4 years ago, and found the accuracy off by several seconds each day (compared to web clock) bugged the heck out of me. I made the clock a drop in part, so also used the PIC internal timing, and found it very suseptable to temperature as it changed speed during the night and day! I got to the point where I calibrated it to within 1 or 2 seconds accuracy each day, but that still drove me nuts.

    I have not revisited my binary clock project since!
  • MikeKMikeK Posts: 118
    edited 2011-11-09 18:06
    5 seconds per day, which sounds like a lot, is 5/86400 or within 0.006%. The internal oscillator of a 16F88, for example, is spec'ed at +/- 1% typical. 1 second per day is 30 seconds per month. I've owned wristwatches that weren't that accurate.

  • CircuitMageCircuitMage Posts: 62
    edited 2011-11-10 06:47
    Yeah, that seems pretty good.

    I've heard that said alot, about wristwatches, and I wonder how you really know. The only confirmed clock issue I have seen is my car clock. It's slow by about 10 minutes every 6 months it that's about 25 seconds a week. That even bugs me, just because I can compare it readily with my cell phone. My assumption is that my cell phone time source is more accurate...but how can we be sure? Just because it is syncing with some server somewhere doesn't mean "they" are right. I've seen two different products that sync their time over the network, off by several minutes!

    Time is such a strange invention.
  • MikeKMikeK Posts: 118
    edited 2011-11-10 14:55
    If I really really need to know the correct time (or at least the governments idea of the correct time), I go to I don't trust the time on my cell phone, because that's the phone company's idea of the correct time.
  • JDJD Posts: 567
    edited 2011-11-29 20:43
    Functionally, the time keeping device was intended to keep a specific measurement of time I needed, such as a 15 minute "break" or 1 hour "lunch" timer, basic clock, and so on. Thats whats great about this piece because with a little alterations you have any number of devices that you can use basically ever day. I want to add sensors, but I'm still figuring out all the ways to use it in the current state.

    I would suggest contacting Parallax and get a starter kit or something basic using the Propeller. It's a lot of fun to and easy to program and they always have stellar deals going on.
  • JDJD Posts: 567
    edited 2022-11-01 20:08
    This project is coming alive in another form... a weather station :)

    Thank you,

  • Moved to Customer Projects.
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