Instructables

Advent Calendar for Geeks

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Picture of Advent Calendar for Geeks
The "Advent Calendar for Geeks" is a perfect present for your nerdy friends. It has some awesome features like:
  • looks really nerdy
  • you just need to buy the parts, your nerdy friend has the fun making it
  • 24 different switching stats
  • no glue, no soldering
  • all parts are re-usable
  • easy to make
  • including batterie!
Okay, it is a simple counter circuit involving two 7-segment displays and two counter-ICs. Every day of December you can push the button one time to count until December 24th.
 
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Step 1: Parts

Here is what you need:
  • a breadboard
  • 2 7-segment displays, common cathode
  • 2 IC CMOS 4026
  • 2 resistors 10k
  • 2 resistors 330
  • 1 capacitor 47nF
  • 1 momentary push button
  • 1 9V battery
  • 1 battery clip
  • wire
Buy these parts, put them in a gift box and give it to your friend! Let him / her have the fun of making the advent counter!

Step 2: Make it

Picture of Make it
Stick the parts to the breadboard like shown at the graphic. Wire the second IC and the first display like the other one. At the graphic I just wired one display to make it clear and avoid a messy rat nest.

Step 3: Have fun

Picture of Have fun
Connect your calendar to the battery. The display should show number 00. At December 1st you can push the button the first time! Push it only one time a day to have pushbutton-fun all along holiday season!

Bonus: At December 24th you can take it apart again and have a some cool parts for later projects. Or you can solder it to a protoboard and save it for next year.

Happy Holiday!
globo2 years ago
I've made an instruction sheet for my kids.

It's a little easier to build in 5 steps.
mischka (author)  globo2 years ago
This is awesome! Thanks for sharing.
Ploopy1 year ago
Can you post the .fzz file?
mischka (author)  Ploopy1 year ago
Ploopy mischka8 months ago
Thanks
Ploopy10 months ago
Is it possible to make This a 31 day calendar?
Great design, im ordering the parts soon, but i was wondering how i would turn it into an alarm clock?
mischka (author)  Cordellious121 year ago
you would need some more parts, counters, an oscillator, maybe a chrystal if you want to make it a relialble alarm clock... check out this intructable for example http://www.instructables.com/id/24-Hr-Digital-Clock-only-with-basic-CMOS-Chips/

spoons1952 years ago
Hey I am just using the Fritzing programme now and was wondering what are the serial numbers on the black rectangles on the middle of your breadboard, just so I can find the right ones.
mischka (author)  spoons1952 years ago
The rectangles are ICs or "chips", the number is the name of the chip.
I think this project is purtty dern cool...BUT JUST A THOUGHT...how about Making the assembly small enough and put it on a PCB and then into a Project Enclosure. Also rig it up to use an external power source so you dont have to buy batteries...you could also do this same thing and enclose it into a tree topper like object, and put it on your tree so EVERYONE can see it...
Avasar100002 years ago
Is it possible to add a 555 timer so that once you start the clock, it will continue to count down daily instead of pushing the button daily? I am sure there is a arduino type of procedure, but I am looking for a way to do this with limited skills and compoents. Any thoughts....anyone? .....Bueller.......Bueller.......Bueller?
Thanks to all!!!
mischka (author)  Avasar100002 years ago
You may wire the 555 in astable mode and use the output as a trigger for the first 4026 (instead of the push button). The resistor and capacitor must be very big and I guess it would not be very accurate. But possible.
flyingace2 years ago
I thought that this looked like a fun project but am having trouble with a couple things.

Firstly, in the text below your diagram you write that we should wire the second IC like the first one. To a total novice like me (or the friend I might give this to) following this instruction is far more complicated than you might think. It would be much more helpful if there were a complete diagram to follow.

Secondly, I noticed that the breadboard in your photo is not the same one in the diagram. It may be that the breadboard in the photo just isn't as long as the one in the diagram, but it looks like there are also two red wires at the very right edge of your breadboard which aren't in the diagram at all.

I hope that you can clear these things up cos I'd really like to do this project. Thanks for posting it.
mischka (author)  flyingace2 years ago
globo has made a 5 step build instruction (see comment on top). Think it can help you!
Thanks to you for your reply and your instructable and to Globo for his kid-friendly instruction sheet! Merry Christmas!
mischka (author)  flyingace2 years ago
The two wires you are missing connect the power lines of the breadboard. In the diagram they are on the left close to the battery.

I did not wire the second chip in the diagram because it would end up in a big mess, but you can simply wire it like you did with the first one. Thats all the same.

Hope it helps a bit. Feel free to ask if you have any question!
Nemweb2 years ago
what is the name of the program you used to create this breadboard schematic?
mischka (author)  Nemweb2 years ago
Fritzing. You can download it here. Its free software.
Nemweb mischka2 years ago
thank you
hey I just want to try an Alarm circuit, for which i can keep 4 alarms per day at different specified times.. can u help me on this??????????
sockless2 years ago
Not hating on your project, but it would be better if you added a new component in every day and it changed the counter that way.
mkunst2 years ago
can you also control it with Arduino?
mischka (author)  mkunst2 years ago
Yes, you could make a circuit to control the display with an Arduino. There is even a library to make things easier. See http://arduino.cc/playground/Main/InterfacingWithHardware#Output for more information.

In fact this is NOT an Arduino project. I put it in the "living" category, but the Instructables staff changed it to Tech > Arduino. I did not have the time to change it.
BrittLiv2 years ago
Gut und Günstig *g*.
Treupp2 years ago
But...but...but... there's no chocolate :(

Nice 'ible though. :D
mischka (author)  Treupp2 years ago
:)
Robot Lover2 years ago
I love it! I have been trying to learn about logic for a while! perhaps this is a good project for that! Staying on the Advent calendar theme, would you care to participate in my advent calendar? Here is the page: http://www.instructables.com/id/Instructable-Advent-Calendar-2011/
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