Digital clock with voltmeter based display

There are several digital clocks with analog displays around. They are somewhat unique giving the feel of the retro. With proper enclosure such clock becomes great design element. Following project was inspired by Alan Parekh multimeter clock. Originally there were three analog multimeters used in voltage mode to display hours, minutes and seconds. In this project there are three analog voltmeters used with their faces printed to match time scale – one for hours, one for minutes and third for seconds.

The clock code runs on PIC16F628A but time is synchronized every 30 seconds to master clock. Analog displays are driven through transistors by generating PWM signals that are equivalent to DC voltage. This part is fairly easy to implement on microcontroller. The clock also has a Chime circuit based on ISD1730 that gives “tick tock” seconds sound.

PIC16F628A timer for UV exposure box

Using UV exposure technology is common way of building PCB at home. If you tried this, you probably know that exposure timing is very important to get precise image on photoresist. Overexposure or underexposure always lead to failure. So it is best to leave timing for timer. If you built your own UV box, then you should also build a timer.

Diyfan suggests simple PIC16F628A based timer project. It is really simple – 2×16 LCD displays time and status. Three push buttons allows to select time, start timer and stop timer. It also has speaker to play sound alarm when time runs out. Circuit simply send signal to a pin which can be connected to relay of your choice which then controls the lamps. Of course it can be used for other purposes including motor drive for some time, water sprinkler and other.

Pushing old good numeric LCD to the limits

In most cases we use these HD44780 LCDs for displaying text messages. But also there are four bytes in LCD RAM that can store custom characters. This is handy when we need special symbol to be displayed. But here is a good example how text LCD can be turned in to graphical display and be used to chow pretty neat graphics.

Program library is written in PicBASIC and runs on PIC16F628A. Library works in similar way as you would write code for graphical display. You can set point coordinates, draw a line or circle. Library takes care of updating custom chars when needed and refresh LCD. As you can see refresh rate is impressive. Playing with refresh and pixel ON times there is also a doubled resolution mode.

PIC based LC meter remake

LC meter is a handy device. Probably any hobbyist can find C meter on their multimeter while L meter is rare feature on common devices. If you feel that you need compact and reliable LC meter then check this one. This is actually slight remake of Phil Rice original LC meter that was designed quite some time ago. But this circuit seems to be time proved and can serve as good reference for new one.

Among changes there is a Li-Ion battery that replaces 9V pack. So this needs a 5V voltage booster and charger circuitry to make it work. Mini USB connector were added to make charging easy. Also there were minor changes made to firmware where recalibration were fixed. Board was placed in to nice box and now looks really pro.