B-7971 Project

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7 months 5 days ago #9747 by Ty_Eeberfest
B-7971 Project was created by Ty_Eeberfest
This is an old one but I never made a proper video of it until now. I built this thing in 2007 and it's still going strong. If I were to design it today I'd probably do some things differently but I must admit the "old fashioned" TTL + transistors design has proved to be pretty bulletproof.

The controller was originally an Allen-Bradley PLC but I converted to Atmega328P a few years ago. It's programmed in plain old C. A "Wiznet" module enables it to connect to the LAN. All the time / date / temperature / humidity / stunts / scrolling stuff is done in the Atmega. The words and sentences for the top-of-minute tricks such as FLW and random sentences are pushed to it over the network from a perl script that runs on a little Linux box.

Some of you who have been on this forum for years may remember it on my old site. I used to have a live streaming webcam pointed at it and anyone who wanted to could watch the stream and post messages. The URL was public. It got quite popular, had its own sub-Reddit for a while, and so on. After a while it got too popular and I shut it down because I got tired of it hogging all my bandwidth and slowing everything down.

This was a 100% "scratch built" project that took several months of part time work. The only things I shopped out were the PCB fab and the machining of the glass top.


Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
The following user(s) said Thank You: judge

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7 months 4 days ago #9748 by Ian
Replied by Ian on topic B-7971 Project
Hey Ty, that's super cool!

Mind if I feature it on the front page? I'd like also to put a few words around it... Any chance of that?

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7 months 4 days ago #9752 by judge
Replied by judge on topic B-7971 Project
Amazing device, and great video. Thanks for posting.

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7 months 3 days ago - 7 months 3 days ago #9753 by Ty_Eeberfest
Replied by Ty_Eeberfest on topic B-7971 Project
Ian: front page sounds good to me! I can write something up but let me know what you had in mind: should I talk about what it does or details of how it does it? I have quite a few construction photos I could pick out a few of but unfortunately they are not particularly high res.

Judge: thanks for noticing the effort that went into that video! I'm no pro editor or videographer, so I spent an absurd amount of time making that short vid.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
Last edit: 7 months 3 days ago by Ty_Eeberfest. Reason: Apparently I can't spell "went"

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7 months 3 days ago #9754 by Ian
Replied by Ian on topic B-7971 Project
It's really just a chance to show off what you did and get some kudos for it. It's a unique clock, and will be of interest to many. Perhaps even put it online for a little while again, just for a few days.

Whatever you want to say about it - I can help you with the copy and give you something to work against.

I feel for you with the videos. I make quite a few videos, and they always turn out crappy and utilitarian. I just don't have the time to invest in making them polished and flashy. I do notice that with the right tools, it does get a lot easier. I use Kdenlive now, and that works for me. Before it was like wading through thick mud, but now it's just like wading through slightly thinner mud.

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7 months 3 days ago #9755 by Ty_Eeberfest
Replied by Ty_Eeberfest on topic B-7971 Project
Putting it back online is certainly the best way to present it. It's been a long time, things here have changed a lot computers-wise, it would take some doing but probably not out of the question. I'll take a look at things today with an eye toward getting it online and we can go from there. I'll let you know - probably by email.

Yes, kdenlive is what I used for this video. First time for me and there is definitely a learning curve. Prior to this I always used a 10 year old copy of ULead Video Studio (windows) which was easy but not very capable (or stable) but for various reasons I can't use that anymore. Kdenlive looks very capable and didn't crash even once so I think it'll be my new video tool.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

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