I recall the little LED bubble displays were at one time in all sorts of handheld electronics and, in a slightly different form, watches. By the time LCDs became cheap in the late 1970's, the more power-hungry LED display was on its way out.
I was pleasantly surprised back in 2011 to find on ebay a seller with numerous rails of HP 5082-7433 LED displays. These are three-digit displays in a 12-pin standard DIP format. I bought a few rails since the price was good. I've a tendency to get "stuff" and then never get around to using it so I decided this time there would be a project to make use of all the displays.
The "Tnychron" clock was born!
Step 1: Design
- 1970s-looking retro case
- Arduino IDE environment project
- use the HP displays effectively
- make it play music
- make it easy to use
Step 2: The Case
The only downside to this case (and probably most cases) is the choice of pre-made front windows - clear or black/IR transparent. I wanted red, so I found an online supplier of 1/16" acrylic sheet and ordered some. I used a small table saw with a fine pitch blade to cut the plastic.
Measurements were obtained from the Serpac spec sheet and the PCB size was confirmed by exporting an image of the .brd file, punching the mounting holes out and making sure the holes matched the mounting posts and everything fit they way it should.