Hacking PV Electronics kits.

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2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #8363 by Scott
Pete's kits are among the best out there for ease of build and operation and most people find them to be exactly what they need.
I have a preference for his DINK and QTC kits as there is scope to make these into fantastic looking clocks. Recently I have started hacking the kits to provide me with a variation on the AM/PM indication. The little FunKlcok was my first alteration to convert from neon to LED by using the 5 volt rail to power the LEDs and still use the Neon circuit.

Paul Parry of Bad Dog Designs has been great at pointing me in the direction of mods that can be done and the latest one I have designed is a circuit to give a 'Comet Trail' effect to a LED array that I built. Getting the fade right for this was trial and error replacing resistor and capacitor values on a breadboard until I came up with the desired fade effect.

Fading LEDs


AM/PM Indicator


From there I was able to work out a circuit to run a display of 10 rays consisting of 3 x 2 mm LEDs per ray. My first efforts to layout the schematic was by using Paint as my drawing board. A member of the Nixie Clock Fan page pointed me in the direction of KICAD, a free circuit board compiler program. I downloaded this and within hours be able to get a good grip of it to allow me to draw a proper schematic, a PCB track layout and a 3 D view of the complete board. It is by no means a masterpiece of circuit board design but it is enough to take things further.

The images show my progression from caveman to the middle ages of circuit board design.







Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by Ian. Reason: Made pictures inline, hope I got the place right

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2 years 5 months ago #8365 by Ian
Replied by Ian on topic Hacking PV Electronics kits.
I know that Pete is a lurker here (I have been trying to persuade him to come out of the shadows, but I do know that there are only so many hours in the day) and I'd love to hear his take on it.

I think all mods are worthwhile, and make it much more of a personal experience. Any chance of making a short video to show us the animation in detail?

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2 years 5 months ago #8367 by Scott
Replied by Scott on topic Hacking PV Electronics kits.
I am waiting on components to complete the prototype board, when I get it finished I will post a video of it working. I have one of the trials to get the fade so I will add it here.

Btw - the Paint image was the first iteration of the circuit as I didn't have the KICAD then.
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