I decided as a learning experience to use the MSP430G2211 from the Launchpad kit to build a Chronulator. It turns out that this is a really fun project, and yes, I learned a lot!
See the plans for the mantel clock case that I built for this Chronulator.
Step 1: What you need - Materials / Tools
The details on how to get a Launchpad are at http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/MSP430_LaunchPad_%28MSP-EXP430G2%29?DCMP=launchpad&HQS=Other+OT+launchpadwiki
List of Materials to make Chronulator:
1 - Radio Shack General Purpose Printed Circuit board part # 276-150 (project board)
4 - 0.1uF capacitors
1 - 1nF capacitor
3 - 47k resistors
3 - push buttons
1 - 14 pin DIP socket
2 - panel meters with any combination of full scale values of 50uA, 100uA, or 1mA
note: I'm using a 50uA (mins) and a 100uA (hrs) because that is what I had on hand.
Higher sensitivity meters will result in using less power - longer battery life.
1 - 4 pin male single in-line 0.1 inch header (to connect meters)
1 - 4 pin female single in-line 0.1 inch header with wire
note: I got mine by cutting off a small power connector from an old PC
1 - battery holder for 3 AA sized batteries (Radio Shack)
3 - AA batteries
1 - battery leads for 9V size battery (the battery holder required this)
1 - MSP430G2211 (part of Launchpad kit)
1 - watch crystal - 32.768 kHz (One comes with the Launchpad - but I would
suggest keeping that one on the Launchpad and getting another for this project.
I went to Target and bought a watch from their dollar bin and took the
crystal from it. BG Micro sells them for $0.65, but you have to pay shipping.)
1 - LDO, low Iq, 2.5V voltage regulator (I'm using a Seiko S-812-C series regulator
Mouser part # 628-812C25AY-G, Manuf # S-812C25AY-B-G price: $0.51)
The key is to use a LDO regulator with low quiescent current (Iq).
Note: Another alternative is to use 4 AA batteries and a 3.3 V LDO, low Iq,
2 - resistors (values depend on meters used - see next step)
Solder gun and solder suitable for working with printed circuit boards
Multi-meter (optional, but great in troubleshooting - Harbor Freight price: $3.97)
Screw drivers (for working with panel meters)
needle nose pliers