Building an electronic clock is a great project with a rewarding climax. The 6-digit clock explained here, besides being truly a great conversation piece, will make an outstanding piece of furniture for your living or desk room. Digital clocks, list most accurate instruments, are expensive. However, because the development of IC’s and with developments in the state-of-the-art an electronic clock can be a reality.
250.00 with six digits as here described. For the more minded economically, a four-digit model can be produced for considerably less, leaving out IC10 and IC8, V5 and V6. A little scavenging (like we all seem to be masters at), and a well-stocked scrap barrel can also do miracles in saving the lender move.
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The Nixie pipe readouts can be removed. This gives the builder the utmost in independence of design. Two of the clocks on the cover cases of this technique. The dark desk-set clock was originally a desk radio that was converted and redesigned into a six-digit clock. Its electronics are packaged separately and can be secured to the side of the desk unobtrusively.
The red clock began life as a bed light fixture. After a trip to a rubbish shop it was resurrected and today is a four-digit clock with the electronics mounted behind the bezel. A friend of mine packed the readout for his clock in a roll-on deodorant can and installed it on the neck-piece of a broken goose neck lamp. He packed the electronics in the bottom.
It’s a genuine Buck Rogers masterpiece that suits well into his modern furniture. A trip through a second-hand junk store or your local drug store will give you many great ideas for a great new and original clock design. The two most important substances in my lock, the IC’s and readouts, were chosen very carefully.
THe IC’s are the heart of the clock I used to be especially careful here. I take advantage of SN7490N counters and SN7441N Nixie pipe drivers made by Texas Instruments. They have good noise immunity for a 5V IC and can be counted on for dependability and long life. The Burroughs B-5750S Nixie pipes were chosen because they were originally created for a calculator market as a higher pressure tube and they are the best available when one digit must stick to for any length of time.
Clock operation can be divided into basic subsystems – the 13 o’clock reset circuit, the basic keeping track of circuits, the timing circuits and, of course, the charged power supply. The power supply is a straightforward half-wave rectifier that provides pulse input to the timing circuits. Also, provision is manufactured through transistor Q5 and the 6.3V Zener diode for 5.6 volt Vcc.