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Hmm, they seem to say you just fill solder jumper j5. But you would need to check what their code is doing to see if it's the same. To be certain of it working buy the displays i mention in the instructable.
Yeah those look like they would work. You will need a battery for the clock. The pin numbers may be different to what I have in the instructable though so you would need to figure out what is what in them
Shouldn't be! Maybe a bad crystal? I have heard a few people had issues and replaced them. Just a guess. Nick