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Precision Clock mk III feature request.
ReadyKilowatt Posted: 4 Nov 2023, 02:57 PM
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DK if this is still an ongoing project, but I really like the clock. If there is going to be a new version I'd like to offer the following ideas/requests:

1) Dual displays, different colors. Think Doc Brown's time machine display with red/green/yellow options. Seems useless but then again having UTC date and time would be nice for those of us who work in UTC but live in local time.
1a) "daughter board" that uses the same GPS/PPS module but displays an alternate timezone
2) In line with the differnt colors, sell everything but the LEDs or boards, and just link to sources like Mouser, etc for compatible components.
2a) sell just bare boards or downloadable Gerber files
3) port for ESP32 and/or RP2040 modules
3a) ESP32/RPi pico NTP client

I realize this is probably more a labor of love than anything so I'm thinking these are more of a community project than one developer. In that spirit, I'm thinking about printing a 19" rack mount, if it looks OK I'll post the files somewhere.

Also, I'm not sure what firmware I'm running. If I just try adding the UTC/Local switch on the capacitor pads will I damage anything?

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slate Posted: 5 Nov 2023, 10:12 AM
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I'm replying because I might have some answers for you as a user/builder of one of these great clocks.

1. RGB 7 segment displays exist but are expensive and tough to get in bulk. It's possible but might not really be worth the effort.

2. I have a parts list from Digikey that I compiled to make the clock. It's attached to this post.

2a. I downloaded the hardware source from Github and imported to KiCad to export my own gerber files to send to a board house to make the PCB's. I can't attach those files to this post but if you want them just let me know and we can figure it out. It's not too hard to do yourself.

Side note, I'd love to see that 19" mount if you end up designing it. I'm working on a rugged case with a battery backup for it right now that I'll post when I'm done.

Also, adding the UTC switch on the capacitor pads will not damage anything. The functionality is built into the firmware and works without any modifications (besides the switch).

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mit Posted: 5 Nov 2023, 12:57 PM
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yeah whatever

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Hello. So, I probably should put this on the shop page but I have hundreds of the PCBs already made, which I'm happy to sell off.

Dual displays - quite a few people have simply built two of the clock. You could connect them both to the same GPS module if you wanted.

19" rackmount - I've thought about this, annoyingly the clock is just a tiny bit too wide. Either we'd need to get rid of the last digit, or get rid of the gap in between time and date, or have the clock sit proud of the rack.

NTP stuff, I did make an ESP8266 board that replaced the GPS unit but never got around to releasing it. There's a picture of it here. The other direction is making the clock an NTP server. Doing this well is difficult. You can make a mostly-functional NTP server quite easily but the whole point is to make it super accurate and reliable. If the GPS signal is intermittent it needs to either cease being a stratum 1 server or have a local oscillator that's sufficiently accurate.

Replacing the ATtiny on the clock with a Pico or another microcontroller would be well worth it. The ATtiny chips now cost five times as much as they did when I designed the clock. Unfortunately, with it all being in assembly, porting it to another chip means starting over.

I've designed a new version of the clock which uses an STM32 processor and is programmed in C. It's finished and ready to sell, I just need to write the documentation and make a video about it, which I've been putting off for months.

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TimeBandit Posted: 2 Dec 2023, 03:41 AM
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I'm in your clocks...

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Joined: 2-December 23
Please do add the PCBs to your shop. I think it's worth the incremental sales.

Looking forward to a new clock version. I have a Mk II½ and will definitely get a Mk III.

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