My VFD Clock Project

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1 year 1 week ago #7972 by mazevedo
Well, it currently emulates GPS NMEA messages using either TTL or RS232 logic levels (thanks for Mr Nixie's schematics).

My current version doesn't have any GPIO available, as it uses the ESP01, but for a future version, I could use 1 GPIO pin to emulate the 1 bps from DCF or others.
The code is all there, just need to adapt it.

You can find more info about it here: azevedo-devices.com

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11 months 1 week ago #8011 by Torsten Lang
At least there is some progress regarding the emergency power supply. I did some final measurements which appeared to be a good idea as the voltage regulator I chose is reverse current protected but nevertheless under certain conditions will back feed a small current high enough that a power fail will not be detected reliably.

As I now know which final changes I need to make I will very soon be able to order the PCBs.

Regards,
Torsten

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11 months 3 days ago #8017 by Torsten Lang
Hi,
this week we received some front and back panels - anodized aluminium with under-eloxal print. Looks very good and was not too expensive. So it would be a good alternative to a brushed stainless steel cover.

With this information I can give a first prize tag for the case which then would be clearly below 200€ (possibly around 150€) where the major part is my carpenter's work.

With best regards,
Torsten

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9 months 3 weeks ago #8072 by Torsten Lang
Hi,
some minor update: The PCBs for the clocks arrived about one week ago. And the other parts also arrive slowly, especially the rare ones are quite complete now. I'm still a bit short of the readout tubes as this special model is quite failure-prone.

While the clock itself is quite feature-complete I'm still working hard on the XPressNet and LocoNet implementations. The LocoNet implementation should by now also be complete, but I'm not yet sure how to handle the problem that the owner of the LocoNet protocol right, Digitrax, is not willing to talk to me regarding the licensing.

Hopefully I will finally find some time to capture a short video to show some of the basic functions. I already tried but it's a bit difficult to get the balance between ambient light and the tubes right and to avoid reflections. I will do my best to get it ready by the end of this week.

Regards,
Torsten

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9 months 3 weeks ago - 9 months 3 weeks ago #8078 by Torsten Lang
Hi,
I've just taken better photos of the clock prototype. And I will try to add some videos by tomorrow, but to demonstrate a few things I will need to implement a key press injection module to run a demo.

A short question to the moderators, Ian and mazevedo: Do you have some storage where the video files can be stored permanently? I will upload them to my internet provider's cloud storage, but when I need the space I will have to remove them.

And another question to mazevedo: If you can output TTL levels over the serial interface of your time sync device, can't you just reconfigure this output as GPIO so that the user could select what he needs (serial line GPS data or DCF77 in GPIO mode)?

Regards,
Torsten
Last Edit: 9 months 3 weeks ago by Torsten Lang.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #8093 by Ian
well, nowadays, I'm starting to put things on DTube, which is a sort of distributed Youtube. In general, it's a problem with things like video that they are generally a bit too big to store long term. I have various cloud providers which I can offer to host on for the meantime, but the site only has 50GB of space, so long term it's a bit tough.

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8 months 1 week ago #8177 by Torsten Lang
Hi there and a Happy New Year to all,
still no videos, sorry for that. Nevertheless there is some progress: I was busy with the PCB assembly which I finally could do just two days before Christmas. I have fully equipped one of these boards between Christmas and New Year to do the final software development and more fotos and videos.

The LocoNet fast clock is now tested with the Intellibox II and the Z21, I still have no response from DigiTrax regarding the licensing, so I possibly will have to lock this feature with a PIN code.

The software now supports the emergency power feature of the release version, so alarms will also fire without main power.

Furthermore, for those using no radio receiver I implemented an automatic daylight saving change according to US or EU rules. This feature still requires some more testing.

What's still on my desk is the XPressNet fast clock implementation which I most likely will not be able to test before release because this is an OpenDCC extension to XPressNet and seems not widely spread by now.

Furthermore I'm planning to implement an auto-trim feature for the RTC for those using no radio receiver.

With best regards,
Torsten

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8 months 1 week ago #8183 by Pacman223
that is looking really nice.

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8 months 4 days ago #8193 by Torsten Lang
Hi there,
I can finally announce a major milestone: I just have completed the XPressNet fast clock implementation. This was the final missing feature of the clock. When I'm back at work next week I will complete the design of the cases...

Regards,
Torsten

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7 months 3 weeks ago #8223 by Ian
OK, found the problem (I think). Here's a little test:

Attachments:

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