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Make Your Own Open Source Retro Arcade-Style Clock

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the needs-felix-eyes dept.

Hardware Hacking 77

ptorrone writes "Hardware hacker 'Ladyada' has released an open source, retro, arcade-style, table-tennis-for-two clock called the MONOCHRON. According to the MONCHRON project page the desire was 'to make a clock that was ultra-hackable, from adding a separate battery-backed RTC to designing the enclosure so you could program the clock once its assembled.' It includes an ATmega328 processor (with Arduino stk500 bootloader for easy hacking. It's completely open source hardware: all firmware, layout, and CAD files are yours to mess with."

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77 comments

Open sores sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288168)

And Rob Malda's penis is so small that a toddler looks Mandingo in comparison.

Question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288894)

Is this [ladyada.net] an effeminate male or a really ugly female?

Re:Question (1)

aaptel (1574041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289214)

Are you stupid or just a really hairy troll?

Re:Question (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296424)

You are a troll.

I am a member of the Make.com community (I subscribe to the magazine, try some of the projects, etc.) and she's come up with more original stuff than you have ever thought of in your poor, sad lifetime. I tink she's smart, and kind of cute and think that intelligence in a woman scares you.

Re:Question (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289280)

Assholes like you are the reason there are so few girl geeks! Personally, although the piercing is a turn-off, I still think she is hot... brains are sexy!

Re:Question (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289492)

The answer to your troll is no.
The next question is are you stupid or just unpleasant?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31290176)

You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. I'd wager she's an exceptional lover...

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31290824)

If you left your mom's basement more often and discovered women whose last names weren't JPG, you'd know.

Re:Question (1)

furbearntrout (1036146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31291474)

I dunno, but she's cuuute.
EDIT:After reading this [ladyada.net] -- definitely girl, definitely hawt.
I think I'm in love...

I did something like this as a student (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288182)

No, I'm lying. I spent most of my free time at parties.

But hey, that's pretty cool, man!

Re:I did something like this as a student (0)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288532)

Parties?

Please surrender your Geek card....

Re:I did something like this as a student (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288566)

Who says he wasn't at lan parties? Or that the "parties" he mentions weren't him and some other neckbeards playing D&D?

Re:I did something like this as a student (2, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288978)

And who says just because you're a geek you don't know how to binge drink, score good drugs and hit on chicks?

One end of the bell curve, of course, but we exist.

Re:I did something like this as a student (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289092)

At most, geeks can only do two out of the three.

Re:I did something like this as a student (1)

ad0n (1171681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289426)

nah, i can do all three. but it's taken my years to perfect my imperfections . .

Re:I did something like this as a student (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31289632)

Yeah...well... considering he's married...

Re:I did something like this as a student (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290124)

>>>who says just because you're a geek you don't know how to binge drink, score good drugs, and hit on chicks?

Age helps.

Hitting on chicks is a lot easier after you pass 30. I think there's some kind of daddy issue going on there, that makes college-aged women and 20-somethings unable to restrain themselves. I don't know? Whatever it is, I like it. ;-)

Re:I did something like this as a student (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31291352)

And here I went and got married before starting my job at a college IT shop. D'oh!

Re:I did something like this as a student (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31290656)

On the -6 sigma end of the curve, that is.

Re:I did something like this as a student (4, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290074)

>>>Parties? Please surrender your Geek card....

While I was visiting my classmate's dorm room, to borrow her Quantum Chemistry book and notes, her roommate walked in wearing nothing but a towel and water dripping from her long hair. I said, "Excuse me I'll leave," and she said "No need" and then dropped her towel. It was the first woman I'd ever seen nude, and I admit I enjoyed it.

Your honor: Since I was still holding a Chemistry book, I argue I should still be allowed to keep my geek card.
 
;-)

Re:I did something like this as a student (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31291682)

it was a key signing party you insensitive clod!

I did something like this as a student (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292116)

Until we can return to the innovation and diversity of personal computers from the 1980s the modern computer is little different than an appliance. The glory days of Radio Shack / Tandy, Commodore, Timex, et al. were the best years for technology hobbyists and professions alike. Hell, bring back the 1980s in its entirety and freeze time. ;)

Touch panel pong? (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288212)

When will it get an app store?

Re:Touch panel pong? (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288262)

No touch panel. The clock plays Pong against itself, will "throw" a point for one side when one of the clock digits needs to increment, resulting in the game score equaling the time.

No touch panel? So much for this iPad killer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288542)

Pfft, the iPad is *way* better than this.

kind of a one-sided contest (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289082)

poor left side, he gets schooled mercilessly!

Re:Touch panel pong? (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290208)

How funny is it that the time in the video was changing to 4:20? haha, marketing to the stoners

Ummm ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288364)

I don't want to know what time it is bad enough to make my own clock. But if I ever do, I have some old pans around here for making one out of a lemon or a potato.

Right side wins...again (5, Funny)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288366)

I think that the right side is a better player.
But I must argue that the handicap given to the left side (reset score to 0, after 23) is a tad unfair.

Re:Right side wins...again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288928)

I think that the right side is a better player.
But I must argue that the handicap given to the left side (reset score to 0, after 23) is a tad unfair.

You think _that's_ unfair? Whenever the left side scores at all, the right side loses _ALL_ their points so far!

Quote on the bottom of the page... (0)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288486)

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." -- Ford Prefect, _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_

Brilliant! And matches my sig...

Ever since Tiger came out... (2, Funny)

Tau Neutrino (76206) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288522)

I've had a Dashboard widget that does exactly this.

Life imitates Apple.

Did retro style arcades even have clocks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288558)

When I used to frequent arcades back in the eighties, I don't think the had clocks around the place, it was pretty much filled with game consoles.

Re:Did retro style arcades even have clocks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31288780)

Really? That must have been weird, low-grade arcades. The ones I went to had real arcade cabinets, not Intellivision and Colecovision consoles.

The Lady is cool (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288586)

I love the things she dreams up and the level of detail she puts into the explanations. I've built a few of her kits, the "Minty Boost" being the one I use most. Warning, TV-B-gone can get you kicked out of sports bars and beaten senseless.

Re:The Lady is cool (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288896)

TV-B-gone can get you kicked out of sports bars and beaten senseless.

Or banned from CES [gizmodo.com] .

Re:The Lady is cool (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288972)

Turning off the televisions at a sports bar? If you actively desire to piss people off, you could spit in their food without having to build anything.

Re:The Lady is cool (2, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289104)

Turning off the televisions at a sports bar? If you actively desire to piss people off, you could spit in their food without having to build anything.

As long as the TV was on, they wouldn't even notice. I saw one drunk refill another drunk's beer stein "under the table" and the drinker didn't notice till the second gulp.

Re:The Lady is cool (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289658)

> I love the things she dreams up

Someone else dreamt it up, years ago...

http://mocoloco.com/archives/001766.php [mocoloco.com]

Re:The Lady is cool (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292290)

I think it is much cooler for that sort of thing to be on an actual CRT instead of an LCD. And there's a PIC project out there for a Pong game that is embedded into one of the fairly simple PIC processors which is programmed to directly spit out the composite video. The problem for kit dealerships like this is that a PIC/CRT design only requires the PIC processor, a few resistors and the circuit board. You supply the video hardware. To be most completlely authentic, you'd want to use a cast-off smaller TV set, ideally one that would have been obsolete and in the basement in about 1985, i.e. an old 70's set. Or a 9" portable b&w set, like the first TV set I bought new when I was in college (I wasn't a regular TV watcher, but rumors were going around at the time that the Beatles might do a reunion performance on Saturday Night Live so I didn't want to miss it) That's real retro hardware. When I think retro, I do NOT think 100% reproductions, and for that era you want CRT or VFD, not LCD.

Re:The Lady is cool (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31292346)

Posted as a follow-up, here is the PIC Pong project [gunee.com] which could be adapted to be a clock. I guess you'd want to strap on a two or 3-wire serial RTC onto it to do the timekeeping and code the video to show a numeric display. The basis for the thing is already there all coded, including the code to generate the composite video.

As I said, far more authentic for the circuit to spit out composite video than to use a new-fangled LCD display. Use a RF modulator from an old Atari game for even more authenticity.

Her spokePOV project rocks! (1)

bensch128 (563853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289746)

I agree 100%. I love her kits. especially the SpokePOV.

Ladyada, if you are listening, please please please release a kit for a full RGB SpokePOV. The monochome version is awesome so an RGB version would be 3x better!! heh

also, instead of having separate magnetic sensor for each spoke, it would be easier to have one sensor and wire the spokes together so they are guaranteed to be synchronized.
I guess the design would have to change so the user has to program in the angle between the spokes.

Re:The Lady is cool (1)

j_kenpo (571930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290090)

I have to agree. Between her and the NerdKits guys, I get my fair share of electronic hobby kits to keep me entertained. Although the Replica-One is one kit that neither offers, and I can't wait to put together.

Re:The Lady is cool (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290164)

Being a moron and going to sports bars when you don't want loud TVs around you, and trying to impose your will upon other customers who came there to watch TV can get you kicked out of sports bars and beaten senseless.

Re:The Lady is cool (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290702)

Yeah, thats exactly what I said...

Re:The Lady is cool (1)

shar303 (944843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290526)

a friend of mine modded a tv-bgone so that it was triggered whenever the noise reached a certain level. he also boosted the ir output to a ridiculous extent.

he would secrete it in a big pub somewhere and wait till the footy match started up. as soon as the crowd cheered - zap.

we always wondered how it was the sports fans present never made the connection - they just assumed it was bad luck that the set always conked out at a really exciting bit.

great times!

Not exactly new... (2, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288622)

http://boingboing.net/2005/11/25/pong-clock-plays-one.html [boingboing.net]

...but it's open source now. Good job.

Re:Not exactly new... (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31288690)

Yes, open-source hardware is a concept most people find hard to grasp (since they don't realize the difference between someone having detailed information and someone having to take it apart to figure out how it works), but I think that, if it crosses over to more complex embedded devices and such, it would allow much more synergy between the designer of the hardware and the designer of the software.

Re:Not exactly new... (1)

paulczy (307203) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289702)

I was lucky enough to get one of those before they were told to stop selling them because of Pong copyright violations. http://www.retrotogo.com/2009/11/ebay-watch-pong-clock-by-buro-vormkrijgers-.html [retrotogo.com] It's hanging on the wall behind me right now. Maybe I'll keep it as a retirement fund :) I wonder how long this one has before it suffers the same fate?

Good framework (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289100)

The nice thing about this kit is that it's just begging to be used for more stuff.

Want to get the temperature? No problem. There are three open digital pins, and you can probably do trade offs to get other stuff to work.

Adding the sensor to the clock pcb and add the needed code to clock is easy. Most of the 1-wire libraries are avaliable, making the coding a trivial task.

You can use it as a jumping off point to even more stuff.

At $80, it's a bit expensive, but there's nothing stopping you from taking the plans and making your own.

Hackable? Pfft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31289126)

Does it run Linux?

Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

ah13 (957364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289534)

Neat project, but I wouldn't call this project "open source hardware".

I took a look at the schematic and PCB for this project and they are not in an open source friendly format. As far as I can tell they are in a highly proprietary format (Eagle's closed and undocumented format). Eagle is not open source by any stretch of the imagination. The no-cost version of Eagle is crippleware (limited in capability, closed source, lacking file format transparency and portability, and not for commercial development).

So, how can you create open source hardware by using non-open source software? It is hard to "mess" with CAD/PCB/schematic files that cannot be edited with open source software.

The phrase "open source hardware" is being slowly hijacked to mean something completely else. :-(

--
Full disclaimer: I am developer on the gEDA project. Really I don't care if you use gEDA, KiCad, XCircuit, whatever, just use something that isn't closed. And please don't call projects that use Eagle as "open source hardware".

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289630)

Neat project, but I wouldn't call this project "open source hardware".

Why? "Open source hardware" means all the specs are available to be seen. How does that not describe this project?

So, how can you create open source hardware by using non-open source software?

The same way you can create open source software in an non-open source IDE like Visual Studio?

It is hard to "mess" with CAD/PCB/schematic files that cannot be edited with open source software.

Boohoo.

The phrase "open source hardware" is being slowly hijacked to mean something completely else. :-(

Since when did it mean anything other than access to the hardware schematics? You seem to be redefining the term.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290146)

It meant access to the hardware schematics.

So where do I download the microcode and production details to produce my own Atmel processor?

I'm not redefining the term.

'Open Hardware' implies the hardware is fully open. COTS processors are not generally open.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

ah13 (957364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294808)

The same way you can create open source software in an non-open source IDE like Visual Studio?

Ah ha. If you are using an IDE like Visual Studio and suddenly Microsoft decided they don't like you using it to write open source software, what are you going to do? If you have written your code to be some what standards compliant and you don't need any of the niceties of VS, great, then it isn't all that hard to port your code to gcc, or clang, or some other compiler.

But that's the rub of using something like Eagle. If Eagle goes away, you are finished. You have no where to go, if you cannot get/run the software to even view your designs. Your Eagle design is lost because the file formats and such are not documented (on purpose). It's all about vendor lock-in and that is incredibly widespread problem in the EDA industry. And every vendor has their own "standards" so you can't just port your design to a different tool.

It is hard to "mess" with CAD/PCB/schematic files that cannot be edited with open source software.

Boohoo.

No boohoo. :-) What if I distribute "vmlinuz-2.6.28-14-generic" and you need to modify it? How would you do it? It would be somewhat challenging wouldn't you say? Boy it sure would be nice if I had given you the C source files and then you could modify/compile those instead. (Thank goodness I am required to give you those sources :-)

Same argument applies here with schematics/PCBs where you do not have the control over the tools that generated them. You are given Eagle files that you might be able to open/modify/save now, but can you guarantee that you will be to do that in the future? No, you couldn't because Eagle is closed source.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

ptorrone (638660) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289984)

it doesn't matter what tools to make to create open source hardware, the computer you are using isn't 100% open source, so does that mean you can't write open source software?

the gerbers are posted, the schematic and source is posted.

open source hardware means you can make it by using all the things published and commercial use is allowed, it's obvious that ladyada is doing open source hardware - and has for years.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

ah13 (957364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294658)

> the gerbers are posted, the schematic and source is posted.

One does not generally edit gerbers to make hardware design changes. The usual design flow is to modify the schematics, propagate this change to the PCB and then generate new gerbers.

If Cadsoft ever decides to withdraw the crippleware version of Eagle, all of a sudden a bunch of people might not be able to 1) download Eagle and 2) view/edit/print the designs. If gEDA should go away (or any other open source EDA software), no big deal, the file formats are usually well documented and the design contents cannot be lost.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

ah13 (957364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294912)

One more follow up here...

open source hardware means you can make it by using all the things published and commercial use is allowed, it's obvious that ladyada is doing open source hardware - and has for years.

Hmmm, I'm confused. From the Eagle website (cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm):

The EAGLE Light Edition can be used for free!

Limitations
...

Use is limited to non-profit applications or evaluation purposes.

You are not allowed to use the crippleware version of Eagle for profit/commercial projects. Now if I want to modify/respin the posted schematics/PCBs for a commercial project, I have to either purchase Eagle or redraw the schematics in something else. So not only am I locked into a closed source tool, I have to purchase it too if I am doing a commercial product with this "open source hardware" design. Are these the correct conclusion(s)?

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290238)

If you want folks to use something that isn't "closed", then make it better than Eagle and have documentation that shows us how to make better stuff with it.

Right now, I can download eagle, find a bunch of "directed at n00bs" guides that take baby steps to end up at a fully functioning ready-to-send-off set of files. Just [instructables.com] look [sparkfun.com] around [instructables.com] .

gEDA's website, on the other hand, has three links to tutorials, two of which are broken, and one that breezes through a lot of things. You want folks to use it? Cater to the baby steps and release good guides.

As a side note, there is plenty of images of the schematics [ladyada.net] for this project. You don't need eagle for that.

The logic of the hardware is free for anyone to use. There is nothing stopping you or me from taking her work and cranking monchrons out in our own form.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

ah13 (957364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294588)

> gEDA's website, on the other hand, has three links to tutorials, two of which are broken ...

Either way, could you please tell me which two tutorials are broken? I know that one of them is currently down due to the storm activity on the East Coast. What's the other one? Thanks.

> As a side note, there is plenty of images of the schematics [ladyada.net] for this project...

How exactly do I edit an image to change the design? Especially if I have to make a schematic change, propagate the change to the PCB and generated new gerbers?

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296780)

http://www.acooke.org/andrew/electronics/spice.html- [acooke.org] Spice and GEDA tutorial

http://members.dslextreme.com/users/billw/gsch2pcb/tutorial.html-Bill [dslextreme.com] Wilson's tutorial on using gEDA/gaf, gsch2pcb, and PCB

As for the images, it allows us to take her work and recreate it. Now, if having to look at images and actually recreate a schematic is a problem, then I'd suggest recreate the schematics, pcb's, and release them in whatever format you want. She's released under an opensource license, so there shouldn't be a problem. Heck, I imagine she'd even let you submit them to her github for download.

Seriously, if you want folks to use gEDA, release a beginner's guide showing how to make something simple, like a fm transmitter or lm317 board, and how to successfully prepare it for sending off to some place like batchPCB.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (1)

ah13 (957364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311674)

http://www.acooke.org/andrew/electronics/spice.html- [acooke.org] Spice and GEDA tutorial

http://members.dslextreme.com/users/billw/gsch2pcb/tutorial.html-Bill [dslextreme.com] Wilson's tutorial on using gEDA/gaf, gsch2pcb, and PCB

Ugg! These tutorials are completely ancient. I have removed them. Thanks.

The official documentation for the gEDA project can be found here: Official Documentation [seul.org]

Seriously, if you want folks to use gEDA, release a beginner's guide showing how to make something simple, like a fm transmitter or lm317 board, and how to successfully prepare it for sending off to some place like batchPCB.

How about these documents:

There is lots of documentation available for using the gEDA suite of tools and the geda-user mailing list is very friendly to all levels of users. I could probably dig up a few more tutorials if the above isn't enough. :)

I've also added a bunch of new free/open source hardware projects to the gEDA links page [gpleda.org] . There are some really awesome projects listed there that do not use proprietary tools.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31290350)

It's still open source hardware buddy, stop whining.

I hate to bash on gEDA (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290960)

But since I might possibly have the ear of a dev there, this seems like a good place to discuss things.

I love the idea of gEDA. I really do. There is a definite need for such a project. But Seakip18 is right. The lack of documentation makes it nearly unusable. I can't say if it's a good program or not because it isn't terribly welcoming to new users. I simply don't have the free time to puzzle it out.

Eagle on the other hand, is welcoming to new users. It is intuitive, documentation is good, you can get up and running with it pretty quick. It is easy to use.

If your vision of "open source hardware" means "open source hardware tools were used", it's within your power to make that happen. Give the world an on-ramp to using gEDA by writing some good documentation. Make a beginners interface that looks Eagle-ish. Write tutorials. Do something to make the tools more usable and the rest will take care of itself.

Apologies for the off-topic rant, but I can't pass up an opportunity like this.

Re:I hate to bash on gEDA (1)

ah13 (957364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294564)

I am not going to make apologizes (or even advocate gEDA here; that wasn't my point) for gEDA. It is certainly picky who it's friends are and has a steep learning curve.

However, if you don't like gEDA there are plenty of alternative such as KiCad, XCircuit, Fritzing, and host of other tools of varying capability. Some of which are quite newbie friendly and easy to use.

Getting back to my original point, if you don't control the tools, you don't control the design. I'll respond to the other posts with more meat than just this one line.

Re:Open Source Hardware? I do not agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295028)

You are absolutely correct. "Open Source" is pointless unless anyone can read and make changes and contribute those changes back. If you use Eagle then only a very few can make changes.

Open Source projects really should use free tools. Either that or don't use the words "Open Source".

Auto-sync (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31289638)

Anyone with an idea how hard this would be to set up with an auto-sync to the time broadcast out of Colorado?

Like these: http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_021W767769110001P?vName=For%20the%20Home&cName=WallDecor&sName=Clocks&psid=FROOGLE&sid=KDx20070926x00003a

More than you probably want... (1)

Zinho (17895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294804)

Considering that I'm not planning on doing this myself, I just obsessed way too much on finding an answer for you. For starters, the Colorado time broadcast is a pretty good choice:

The time codes are sent from WWVB using one of the simplest systems possible, and at a very low data rate of one bit per second. The 60,000 Hz signal is always transmitted, but every second it is significantly reduced in power for a period of 0.2, 0.5, or 0.8 seconds: 0.2 seconds of reduced power means a binary zero, 0.5 seconds of reduced power is a binary one, 0.8 seconds of reduced power is a separator. The time code is sent in BCD (Binary Coded Decimal) and indicates minutes, hours, day of the year and year, along with information about daylight savings time and leap years. The time is transmitted using 53 bits and 7 separators, and therefore takes 60 seconds to transmit. A clock or watch can contain an extremely small and relatively simple antenna and receiver to decode the information in the signal and set the clock's time accurately. All that you have to do is set the time zone, and the atomic clock will display the correct time.

(from the Galleon [ntp-time-server.com] corporate website)

As far as integrating that into this specific project, you may want to add a processor dedicated to just decoding the time signal - one bit per second, read over a full minute, is more attention than the primary processor probably wants to give to the radio. Once the time is read off of the radio, though, it's pretty simple to dump it into the clock. The clock chip's data sheet [maxim-ic.com] gives details on the serial protocol used to send data to the chip, and on pg. 8 it tells what registers to address for setting time and date.

I'd say it's possible, and would probably be easy for someone who knows what they're doing =)

If you do end up making an add-on circuit for this project, just make sure you publish it; Ladyada might even be willing to host it.

Is everything open source now? (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31289982)

"Completely Open Source Hardware"? Sounds like a code-phrase for "here's the schematic, guys."

Great idea, and happy to see it, but waving the big "open source" flag over nearly everything that isn't for sale is getting silly. When are we going to start referring to manuals as "open source training?"

Re:Is everything open source now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31292378)

You know, in the old days, you bought something electrical, it *came* with a schematic. The idea was to actually help you if you needed to fix it yourself. What a concept eh?

Bullshit binspam! (0, Flamebait)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31290170)

And this chick is nuts.

"Fresh Air [ladyada.net] "?!

...intended for city-dwellers who feel that their personal space is being overrun with undesired radio transmissions...for cleaning up the air around the user.

*sigh* poor old Slashdot... just another sign of the times we live in

You're missing the point (2, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31291030)

You've bought into her "marketing disclaimer" - not the actual function. The clear air angle is nothing more than a good healthy dose of CYA. It's illegal to block cell phone transmissions. If she pitches this thing as an air ionizer - then she's golden.

She says this: "It is intended for city-dwellers who feel that their personal space is being overrun with undesired radio transmissions." That's the disclaimer. Which is patently absurd since the thing is a transmitter. I'm pretty sure she's bright enough to get this point.

She also says this: "Much like the personal air ionizers available in catalogues, this device is for cleaning up the air around the user. By pinning this device to a bag or jacket, the user can enjoy a radius of silence. The device is also small enough to tape underneath classroom and office desks, or tables in libraries and restaurants." The only thing she didn't add was "wink wink nudge nudge".

She's hoping that the reader is intelligent enough to see through her CYA disclaimer and use the device as it is intended - to keep people around you at restaurants and movies from screeching into their cellphones while you're trying to have an enjoyable evening out.

Re:You're missing the point (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31293968)

What, jammers are legal now?

Re:You're missing the point (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298482)

No, they're not. But holistic air ionizers are.

Get it yet?

Re:You're missing the point (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299730)

Yeah, the article belongs in the idle section..

Pong Clock? Is it 2005? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31291978)

Pong clock:
http://mocoloco.com/archives/001766.php

This was all over Slashdot in 2005, remember?

Pong clock, pong watch! (1)

BillX (307153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31294548)

Cool! This reminds me of John Maushammer's Pong Watch [maushammer.com] .

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