Creating a DIP ATtiny85 Watch with the DS3231

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Creating a DIP ATtiny85 Watch with the DS3231

As Douglas Adams explained in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, digital watches are “pretty neat” to us primitive life forms. Something about the marriage of practicality, and sheer nerdiness gets me oddly excited. Somewhere in my fascination I asked myself, “can I make a digital watch entirely of my design?” I did! And it taught me a lot about pcb fabrication, low power programming, and shift registers.

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Probably the most important function of a watch is that it keeps time. While you could use your microcontroller to count the seconds and save on parts, there are some major downsides to this. For one, the microcontroller is much worse at keeping time than a dedicated RTC (Real Time Clock) IC, the time would drift significantly with temperature and battery voltage. Another serious problem is that it would require the microcontroller to always be on, keeping track of the time. This would consume much more current than an RTC IC, draining the battery significantly faster. Thus we employ a DS3231 to casually sit in the background, consuming microamps from it’s own back-up battery (which, at the rate of 200µA, would take 12.56 years to drain).

Creating a DIP ATtiny85 Watch with the DS3231

Maker Faire Denver this weekend (Oct. 13-14)

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Maker Faire Denver is this weekend, October 13th and 14th:

Maker Faire Denver is entering its second year as the only Feature Maker Faire in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding states! It features awe-inspiring maker creations, hands-on activities for makers of all ages, presentations and competitions. We are also dedicating ourselves to growing our engagement with social impact makers.

 

Look for our Drew Fustini (@pdp7) in purple!

Maker Faire Denver this weekend (Oct. 13-14)

Open Hardware Summit highlights by Leslie Birch

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Great post by Leslie Birch about the Open Hardware Summit last week:
Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) recently held its Open Hardware Summit in Boston. For me this is one of the few times during the year that I get to hear about open source hardware projects directly from creators and users.
It’salso a fine time to play with some tech on location and network with people that have the DIY bug. Public Lab was in the mix with Jeff Warren talking up his reverse engineered toaster design for OSHWA’s new certification process and Bronwen Densmore wielding the new community microscope kit.
Open Hardware Summit highlights by Leslie Birch