Electrics: Part 1

29 July 2007

I am working on building a physical version of Word Clock, from scratch, with electronics components. Here’s the first working circuit:

I’ve been learning electronics from various books and all over the web. One of the best resources I’ve found is Bowden’s Hobby Circuits which includes some lovely clock examples and circuits. This circuit is partially based on the 72-LED clock, but I’m using a very accurate crystal oscillator for the seconds pulse and a different approach to the startup sequence.

Next stage is to build up the seconds, hours and minutes LEDs and add time setting functions.


4 comments so far
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Use a PIC microcontroller rather than doing it all in counters. Programmable in C. Use multiplexing to control large numbers of LEDs arranged in a grid.
I make cool animated LED clocks – stacking dots, fading colours etc.

You should consider using printed electroluminescent or printed OLED displays for a hardware implementation of the word clock. Very cool and easily done.


17 November 2008


Try Arduino – perfect for this kind of thing. You can build things like…

Tom Whitwell
14 August 2009



I love your software version of the word clock – You were a long way ahead of me!

I just thought you may like to see my versions that I built in hardware.

A PIC based clock at Instructables.com

and an Arduino based version

Both coded in ‘C’, and with full sources and PCB layouts available.

but – I have downloaded your cool screensaver – for my laptop – thanks!

Doug Jackson
6 April 2010


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