Introduction: Victorian Inspired Binary Clock

Picture of Victorian Inspired Binary Clock

This is my first attempt at a vaguely Steampunk make. I've always been impressed by the way Steampunk blends function and aesthetics. Just a little background about myself: I have been a garage woodworker for about 15 years (since before I had a garage), and an electronics dabbler for about a year now, ever since I started working for one of the Instructables affiliate companies (I won't say which, but it's not that hard to figure out).

Please forgive the quality of these photos. 

For the electronics of this project I referenced fellow Instructable author iideetee
Various free programs used were Eagle, and Google SketchUp.

I should warn now that I'm not big on measurements. I use them when I'm working, but you shouldn't expect to see any. This 'ible is for inspiration not mass production.

Parts list:
Clock workings
1x 4060IC 14 bit ripple counter
3x 4024ICs 7 bit ripple counter
2x 4082ICs dual input AND gates
1x 32.768 quartz crystal (salvage this from an old clock or watch. it looks like a small silver cylinder with two wires sticking out)
1x 10Mohm resistor
1x 220kohm resistor
1x 15pF capacitor
1x 2-22pF trimmer
1x "M" sized (2.1mm) DC panel mount jack
3x N.O. momentary push buttons
1x N.C. momentary push button
3x 14.7ohm resistors
17x 470ohm resistors
17x leds in whatever colors you like (Radio Shack offers a value pack of led's that are way cheaper than buying individually, but the colors are limited to red, yellow, green and amber)
I used 5x 14 pin IC sockets and one 16 pin socket because I was afraid of ruining my IC's when I soldered them
plenty of wire (I used 22 gauge)
1x printed circuit board.

Clock housing
thin brass stock (i believe mine was 0.032")
thin aluminum or stainless steel (again around 0.032")
I used maple for the columns because I wanted to turn them myself, and I had some left over from another project, but you can get 1" dowels made from birch at the hardware store or lumber yard.
The main housing was made mostly of yellow pine and 1/4" birch plywood. I don't have an amount because it all came from scrap I had laying around my workshop.
lots of glue and various hardware

Step 1: Preliminary Design

Picture of Preliminary Design

Design and redesign. 
Both the seconds and minutes use six led's, the hours use five. I wanted the clock to have a Victorian feel to it so I decided on a neo-classical housing using a lot of brass. I integrated various classical themes like the columns and architrave (well, it's a bastardized architrave with a bastardized triglyph... and a bastardized column as well)

After I got the rough idea I used Google SketchUp to clean up and refine the design. This program is incredibly powerful for a free version. Fair warning though, there is a steep learning curve.

Again, I want to give credit where it's due to iideetee for his phenomenal 'ible that I used for the guts of this clock.

One thing that I did change from his design however:
I changed the capacitors on the 4060 circuit based on this data sheet for crystal oscillator.

Step 2: Breadboard

Picture of Breadboard

Always breadboard your electronics first.

Did I say always?

That's right, always.

Breadboarding lets you understand your circuit and provides the first defense against broken components or shorts.

Step 3: Clock Face

Picture of Clock Face

The clock face was created over a core of 1/4" plywood. Two sheets of brass were epoxied to the core and the edges folded over and epoxied to the back. 

I originally attempted to epoxy the stainless steel to the brass, but after a messy failure with that redesigned the face so that the steel could be held down with small machine bolts. Using a drill press and lots of clamps the steel was centered and fastened to the core.

The drill press was used again to drill out the holes for the leds, which were then hot glued to the core.

Step 4: Housing

Picture of Housing

The housing was built using basic woodworking principles. The entire build can be separated into 4 parts:  bottom, top, inner housing and columns.
Bottom:
This was built with mitered corners and a floating bottom held with a groove. The sides were chamfered at a 45degree angle. Small wooden blocks were glued to the inside of the box to form a ledge that the upper parts of the clock would rest on. Two of the box sides were drilled to accept the power jack and the set buttons. Lastly, the front face of the box was cut with a shallow decoration to ultimately accept a decorative brass piece.
Top:
The top was made in three parts stacked atop each other and glued together. The two decorative flat pieces are strips of three boards glued side by side. I used a 1/2" cove routing bit on my ghetto routing table for the bigger top piece, and a round over bit on the  thinner section. My bastardized architrave was built in much the same manner as the bottom box, however instead of a groove to accept a floating bottom, I rabbeted the bottom to accept the 1/4 plywood for a flush face. The sides were again mitered, but this time I cut a decorative "triglyph" pattern using the table saw. Glue and pressure and done.
Columns:
Probably the hardest and the most fun part of this build. The columns were hand turn on a mini lathe to about 1" diameter. The part that I regret the most not having a picture of is the round headers and footers. Those were made again by turning a dowel, this time about 1 1/2" diameter. I marked out the width of the pieces and separated them by the width of my chop saw blade 1/8".  The dowel then was cut into roughly this shape:
--------^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-------
--------v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-------
and then chopped separate. The square supports, round headers and footers and the columns were then brought to the drill press. Everything except the columns was drilled to fit loosely. Benefit of lathe vs. store bought dowels: the lathed cylinders already have centered impressions from the lathe heads to drill into, no math for me!
Before the architrave is glued to the other top pieces, the columns are fastened to the architrave bottom with heavy duty screws. The top of the column is permanently attached as soon as the other pieces are glued. But since the bottom box is separate from the inner housing the bottom column can be disassembled (and often was before I could figure everything out). This is important so that the wooden frame can be stained and varnished without the clock inside it to prevent the decorative brass from being ruined.
Inner Housing:
Again not too hard, but perhaps yellow pine isn't the best choice here. I wanted to keep everything light, but the cuts required for the inner housing are pretty drastic and a harder wood would have handled it better. But, I'm cheap and used all my maple scraps on the columns and didn't feel like going to the lumber yard. Make do with what you have and fake the rest. The sides were two pieces glued side by side the top and bottom are the 1/4" plywood of the architrave and bottom box, so all I really need are the decorative top and bottom for the clock face, and a back. I wanted an access door on the back, so I decided to make the back piece really simple with two stiles and two rails. Using a chisel I cut a 1/4" channel in one of the stiles for a door stop. The front faces were again mitered and also chamfered with a 30 degree angle. Finally using the table saw I cut a groove through the face pieces to accept the brass face piece. Everything gets glued together EXCEPT the top face piece. We keep this clear until the clock is placed. The inner housing gets glued and nailed to the1/4" plywood board that rests on the bottom box support blocks.

Step 5: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Once the board is assembled and soldered we can fit the pieces inside the clock housing. My board fit perfectly against the inner wall, so using some 15mm standoffs I fastened the board the inside wall. The wires for the power jack and the set buttons gets threaded down the interior hole to the bottom box.

Step 6: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

The buttons were fastened to a decorative brass piece and screwed to the bottom box. Again, I used the quick disconnects to keep everything separate for as long as possible.
I figured a nice dark walnut stain would look the best and also contrast the brass better. I used one coat of stain and two of varnish to give it a nice shine.
The door was attached. I later added a small silver knob to better open the door.

Final assembly went like this: 
Clock face slid into channel on inner housing. 
Decorative top face piece glued and nailed to inner housing to secure the brass face in the clock.
Top of project containing the architrave and columns is slid over the inner housing and screwed to bottom plywood of inner housing.
Now the quick disconnects for the power and buttons can be connected and the top sits on the supports on the bottom box.

In the future I may:
add decorative lettering to the clock, numbering the led's and labeling the buttons.
redo the decoration on the face using a stencil
add finials to the top as per my original design.



Comments

Mpire (author)2012-08-10

Great idea and guide! I voted for this guide in the LED!

I am a complete noob to this, but fell in love with the idea of this build and decided I would give it a try using your guide. The clock works perfectly...with no SET buttons. It actually works fine with the SET and SET_SEC. However, when I wire in the SET_MIN and SET_HR the LED's freeze for the minute and hour. The seconds continue without problem. Any idea what I am doing wrong? Thanks!

dsmith84 (author)Mpire2012-08-11

Thanks for the compliment, and the vote!

The way the set buttons are added to the schematic makes them pretty optional. I actually have a problem with my buttons where they set 2 steps ahead instead of just one for some reason, so setting the clock after a storm is a little pain (of course waiting until midnight to plug it in without the buttons might be worse).

What are the normal positions of the buttons you are using? The SET ought to be Normally Closed, whereas the SET_SEC, SET_MIN and SET_HR buttons are all Normally Open. If you used N.C. buttons on those two sets by accident it would throw open the clock input of the 4024's to constant 9v power and make them freeze.

Let me know what happens!

Mpire (author)dsmith842012-08-12

I increased the resistors for the buttons and now the clock runs fine with the buttons in place!

Similar to you, occasionally when using the set buttons the clock it will jump 2-3 steps instead of 1. I might try some different button styles to see if this helps.

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Bio: Hello, I enjoy building just about anything, whether it's prop replicas or cabinetry, electronics or book binding. I am just as comfortable knitting a ... More »
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