A non-military display codebase is here: http://www.picaxeforum.co.uk/entry.php?63-AXE133Y-Evolution-with-20X2-for-Display-12-hour-Clock-amp-Temperature
Digital Clocks have been a fascination for many electronic enthusiasts for over 50 years. My first homemade digital clock used a clock chip from Radio Shack (Archer brand) and some old fluorescent digital displays (tubes!) intended as replacement parts for calculators. I built many of these in my college days because they made really nice gifts and were relatively inexpensive; my wife purchased arts-and-craft wooden boxes and painted and decorated them for the display case. One still survives at her mother's house after 40 years and still works. Of course, I'm still the only one that can set it after a power failure.
Technology has made digital clocks with "atomic" auto-setting widely available in both digital and analog forms, often for prices under $10. With prices so cheap, it is difficult to justify building a home-brew clock these days. But something interesting has become available in the past 12 months at an affordable price and it is again fun to build your own digital clock and you can program and customize the software in many ways: for example, perhaps a Valentine present that says "I Love You" instead of "Current Time:" on every hour! Endless possibilities. The newly affordable technology is OLED and it glows! No backlight required... the pixels produce their own light when energized. These new displays are fantastic and affordable at under $23 U.S. dollars which includes a very powerful PICAXE microcontroller, uC.
The project being presented here requires more than novice skill to assemble, at least average soldering skills will be required and you will need a fine-point soldering iron - so put away that brazing torch and get out the pencil soldering iron and small diameter rosin core solder. You will also need a PC (Windows/Linux) and a homemade serial download cable: DB9 to stereo 3mm jack. The programming software is free and is downloadable from a reputable site in the UK. All will be detailed in the following sections.
Step 1: Step 1 - Parts are Parts
2) The next item that must be ordered unless you are just fortunate to have a few in your parts box, is the InfraRed, IR, detector. There are many of these available to the electronic hobbyist and I purchased mine from here:
3) The last critical item for ordering is the AXE133Y OLED display with the PICAXE 18M2 uC chip. These are available from:
Full BOM with approximate price as of 12/26/2011:
** The PICAXE firmware recognizes "Sony" compatible signaling. I am using a "dollar store" universal remote that has the "Sony" mode selected per the in-box instructions.