Fluorescent-tube digital clock

I'm thinking around building a massive digital clock with fluorescent tubes.

Starting with a basic digital clock, the output to LED segments would be put through transistors, to 12v relays, acting upon the mains feed to the tubes.

However, some segments will be on more than they are off. I'd rather have the relays using power to switch to the less frequently used position, but I can't find an easy way to figure-out which segments spend more time off than on (and vice versa).

any ideas?

Did some calculations to produce the graphs. Based upon 4W tubes, surely the smallest available?) and 12V 50mA relays.

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trialex10 years ago
Awesome project!

If you can find a copy of the "Secret Life of Machines" episode "Quartz Clock" from series 2, they build a similar clock using fluorescent tubes.

In fact the whole Secret Life of Machines series would be great viewing for anyone on this site.

You can work out how often each segment appears for each number, I've included a table below (hopefully formats OK)

         a         b        c        d       e         f        g Number	1	0	1	1	0	0	0	02	1	1	0	1	1	0	13	1	1	1	1	0	0	14	0	1	1	0	0	1	15	1	0	1	1	0	1	16	1	0	1	1	1	1	17	1	1	1	0	0	0	08	1	1	1	1	1	1	19	1	1	1	1	0	1	10	1	1	1	1	1	1	0 

Segment C is the most commonly used in nine out of the ten numerals...

Next question, and what I assume you were asking in the first place, is what are the most common numbers...

lemonie (author)  trialex10 years ago
Thanks also (as above) L
lemonie (author)  lemonie10 years ago
Secret life of Machines.
That was the Tim Hunkin / Rex Garrod thing?
That was good (but I don't remember the clock)
http://www.timhunkin.com/
(bandwidth limit reached on the download site...)
trialex lemonie10 years ago
Yep. I can't find the specific segment I'm talking about on any free hosting websites, but will keep looking. He did/does some pretty amazing stuff
lemonie (author)  trialex10 years ago
Got a copy, they only built one segment, and it wasn't shown how. L This project is too big and expensive for me unless I can sell the finished product, which would require some good design.
trialex lemonie10 years ago
Ah well, my apologies then.... to be fair though it was probably a decade since I last saw it. Still pretty cool though hey!
lemonie (author)  trialex10 years ago
Oh yeah, very cool. No need to apologise though, I'm glad you mentioned it. L
lemonie (author)  trialex10 years ago
westfw10 years ago
It's a CLOCK. You know exactly how long each number is displayed at each position, so it's easy (if perhaps annoying) to calculate how long each segment is on during any day... Also consider latching relays, especially over in the "hours" digits.
westfw westfw10 years ago
I get, out of 720 ticks (60 minute * 12 hours, 12 hour format)

Hours Tens
Segment A : 0
Segment B : 180
Segment C : 180
Segment D : 0
Segment E : 0
Segment F : 0
Segment G : 0
Hours Ones
Segment A : 540
Segment B : 600
Segment C : 600
Segment D : 480
Segment E : 300
Segment F : 360
Segment G : 480
Minutes Tens
Segment A : 480
Segment B : 600
Segment C : 600
Segment D : 480
Segment E : 240
Segment F : 360
Segment G : 480
Minutes Ones
Segment A : 576
Segment B : 576
Segment C : 648
Segment D : 504
Segment E : 288
Segment F : 432
Segment G : 504

Looks like you should have them all "normally on" except for "E" and the tens-of-hours display.
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