January 27, 2015

Make an Arduino-powered BCD Clock

The Arduino platform is an excellent base for any clock project, thanks to the ease of programming and availability of accurate real-time clock ICs. One different example of such a clock has been documented by reddit user ExSim who has made an interesting twise on the binary clock - a BCD clock.

BCD - Binary-Coded Decimal - uses binary to describe each digit of the clock display, and as you can see below is neatly illuminated LEDs in matching bezels. There's a button to set the hours, minutes, and another to reset the seconds to zero making it easy to set the time accurately.

For details on how to make your own version, and discussion about the clock itself - visit reddit. And for more, we're on facebooktwitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

The most important part of any clock or timer-based project is the inclusion of an accurate real-time clock IC. Here at Freetronics we have the Maxim DS3232 real-time clock IC module:

Apart from keeping accurate time for years due to the temperature-controlled oscillator and having a tiny coin-cell for backup, it is very simple to connect to your Arduino project. A driver library allows your program to easily set or read the time and date. Perfect for clock projects, dataloggers or anything that needs to know the date and time. Furthermore it contains a digital thermometer and 236 bytes of non-volatile memory to store user settings and other data. For more information, check out the module page here.

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