HOME / PERSONAL PROJECTS / SCHOOL CLOCK

A school clock from the 1950s  brought back to life with a new  custom digital controller.

Project Details

When I first came across this clock I immediately fell in love with its aesthetic. Inspecting it, I quickly realized that it wasn’t a conventional clock, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that it was an old slave clock, likely from an old school. With no real electronics knowledge I had no idea how to make it work but I decided to see if I could.

I discovered that it used a 24v power supply to pulse an electromagnet every minute in order to advance the minute hand. There was no turning the clock back – it could only go forward, once per minute, with a loud “ka-chunk” noise. Enlisting the help of my dad, we came up with a basic circuit that pulsed the power every minute and it worked well.

Over the next few years as my interest in electronics grew with my other projects, I decided to revisit the clock. It still worked well but I decided to make it a bit more accurate and clean the circuit up. 

I designed a custom circuit board with an onboard AVR microcontroller and a real time clock module which gave it a much higher degree of precision over the previous analog circuit. A small 14×2 character display with some buttons to set the time on the clock module was also added in case the RTC battery ever died. 

Project Client

Personal project

PROJECT SCOPE

PCB design & assembly

Firmware design

Let’s work together!

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