Recently, I’ve been working on a new clock project and it suddenly occurred to me that except for the physical display aspect of the clock, the internals are nearly always the same. A battery-backed RTC for the date/time (usually a Dallas DS1302) with support components, a PSU section of some type that usually puts out 5v for the logic and possible an additional higher voltage for larger LED displays, a PIC to glue everything together and some display driver hardware.
The only really custom part is the physical display, and the PIC firmware, and this got me thinking; “Can I construct a generic clock that can have many different displays connected, and just need to update the PIC firmware as required”?
So, this is what I’m currently working on. Some more thought is required on some of the projects finer attributes but I have an initial prototype sat on my breadboard that’s driving a strange looking LED display with 60 LEDs on it (I’ll post pictures later) and it seems to be working well.
The next part is to design several other display units and make sure that they can be driven by the hardware.