The first thing I decided to build, to get me out of the long dark hibernation that was(n’t) my electronics career, was a clock.  There’s no particular reason for that, other than that the logic would be fairly simple (just wait to see how wrong I was), and that I had started to amass a sort of ad-hoc self-proclaimed “Geeky Clock Collection.”  It started with the Nixie clock I mentioned in the last post, which was added to with a few choice selections from the ThinkGeek catalog, and which slowly and organically started to grow into a rather voluminous pile of boxes sitting on my office windowsill:  Check these out (as it stands today):

The Geeky Clock Collection

These are, from the left, the EvilMadScientist BulbDial, a genuine 1970’s Arrow Ball clock, the NixieNeon kit from Nuts&Volts magazine, the Nixie Clock from that started this whole mess, the Adafruit Icetube and Monochron, a TIX, a Thinkgeek Epoch clock, the Analace Binary clock, a Thinkgeek Matrix Cube clock, and lastly a few I’ll post on later: Two CRT clocks I built from the ground up (one a direct copy of the design at, and the other uses the Sparkfun O-Clock, or “Dutchtronix,” oscilloscope clock circuit, to drive an analog stage taken from Jon Stanley’s design here, with some power supply modifications of my own.)  Sitting on top of those CRT clocks is an RGB scrolling text matrix entirely of my own design, which will also be the subject of a future post.

Given this growing pile of vibrating crystal, it wasn’t much of a stretch for me to try my hand at building one of my own.  The thing that ultimately pushed me into action was a New Product post from Sparkfun for a cheapo WWVB radio module.  These are what they put in those weather stations that claim to be “Atomic Clocks” that set themselves automatically from a radio signal. “Aha!” I thought.  “I’ll wire one of these up, and I’ll have my own super-accurate clock reference!” Yeah, well, it wasn’t quite that easy…