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EEVblog #1034 – Mailbag

Mailbag is back! Forum HERE SPOILERS: Beginner schematic and PCB layout analysis. Can Dave guess ...

  • So what did the pc board on the clock do? The battery case on the analog meter was pretty neat

    • nsayer

      The board is a replacement controller. There are ten different firmware loads available for it, but the one Dave got was called the “whacky” clock. It ticks once a second, but on a random tenth-of-a-second. So it’s arhythmic.

      • A wacky clock for a whacky person, We are in like Flin !

  • Eric Hill

    The clock is an off-the-shelf part that keeps good time but randomizes the “ticking” second hand to “drive people insane”. There’s a project here about this very thing:

    http://hackaday.com/2011/10/12/building-a-better-clock-to-drive-you-insane/

    • nsayer

      That’s not actually the same one. I took some inspiration from that project, but I’d like to believe that my version is more sophisticated.

      • Eric Hill

        I do love the idea, and have toyed with the idea of grabbing one of those Vetinari clocks for my office. What did you do differently? And can you post the source for others to use online?

        • nsayer

          My design is SMD, and it’s small enough that you can actually install the board inside many clock movements (Dave’s board is an older, larger version). Instead of being powered by two AA batteries in a separate holder, I use a boost converter to turn the single AA battery into a regulated 3.3 volt supply. That also allows the clock to keep working all the way down to around a half volt or so, so you use up more of the battery before it quits. The version of the board that Dave has has a 4 MHz crystal, but I got it working with a 32.768 kHz crystal, which was a bit of a challenge as a PRNG takes quite a bit of time (so much so that the original project dispensed with randomness and just uses a repeating pattern). With the recent firmware (which when set up for a 4 MHz crystal will pre-scale that down to 32 kHz) a single AA battery should last at least two years, which is on a par with the original controller, I believe.

          The source for all the firmware is available at https://github.com/nsayer/Crazy-Clock .

  • asds

    Very good mailbag. Keep it up!

  • Zsola

    Don’t just unpack it; tear it apaaaaaart! 😀

    There is a hungarian folktale, where King Matthias ask the smart girl to bring him a gift and not bring anything at the same time. As a bonus, try to translate the tale: http://www.mikulasbirodalom.hu/mese/matyas/szekely_lanya.htm
    David, you just get the same 🙂 What a shame!

    (In Hungary, family name is the first one, like in Asia, but we have no relationship with asians as a nation.)

  • Elektrofreak

    I couldn’t find the direct link to the downloadable video. Could you David place it here?

  • Ron G

    Dave: Pleases stop using that silly knife. You destroyed the solar cell with it. How about a nice little sharp pocket knife like everybody else uses? I cringe when I see you attack a package with that machete.

    • Zsola

      Not the knife kills; Dave kills solar cells 😉
      Crocodile Dundee rulz!

  • Joe Steer

    Cool ruler

  • re: ITI USB Analyser, Cyclone chip upside down so electrons fall off…
    BZZZT, WRONG ! Made in USA, for people in North America with their right side up.
    It’s you in -̶ ̶A̶u̶s̶t̶r̶i̶a̶ ̶-̶ Australia that have your head upside down, thus the falling electrons.
    Just so you know. 😉

  • new299

    Sanwa multimeters are all made in China these days. The only multimeter manufactured in Japan that I know is one Kaise model.

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