Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

While I am waiting to put together all the work on my upcoming clock project, I decided to get something simple to assemble. I ordered one of these DIY 7-segment display clock kits on eBay, it is also available on sites like banggood.com. The kit took under an hour to make and overall I was very impressed with the quality and would recommend it to anyone from beginner to advanced as it is a fun and useful little project.

This is the end result for the clock that I've put together. Stay on for step-by-step instructions further down.
IMG_1247.jpg


Can't wait to see all the photos?
Open image gallery
for this post.



I ordered two kits, one red and one blue. They came nicely packaged in soft foam wrapping.
Unfortunately I received only one case (I ordered two). The missing case is being sent to me however.

IMG_1223.jpg IMG_1225.jpg


So lets see what's in the kit. There are instructions (in Chinese I presume - not a word of English), circuit boards, all the electronic components, ICs, the LED displays and the USB cable for power. This is put together quite nicely. The circuit board is of great quality too.

IMG_1226.jpg IMG_1227.jpg


Since the instructions were more or less useless to me, I just followed some common sense when soldering everything in place. This is the order of components that I soldered on (these are numbered in the instruction drawing)...
 Soldering order
4.7k - R1, R2, R3, R12, R14, R15, R16, R17,
510 - R4 - R11
D0
Q5, Q4, Q3, Q2, Q1
C1, C2, C3, C4
P1
U1, U2
LS1, JK1, S1, S2, BT1
Y1
DS1 - DS4



So lets see these in pictures...the resistors and the diode were in first.
IMG_1230.jpg


Transistors and capacitors were in next.
IMG_1232.jpg


After this the switches, battery holder, IC sockets, pin header, speaker and power socket went in.
IMG_1235.jpg


The crystal went in last, though I should have probably soldered it in while doing the resistors. With the battery holder in place at this point, it was a bit difficult to get it in place.
IMG_1236.jpg



I was a little worried about the LED displays fitting properly so I made sure to cut down the legs of all the components as close to the board as I could. This is needed because the LED displays are soldered over the top of the legs of other components, on the opposite side of the board.
IMG_1238.jpg


Then, making sure that the displays fitted flat and were aligned, I soldered each one in. I soldered pins on a diagonal of each display first, then soldered the rest of the pins. This made it easier to keep the displays aligned while soldering and gave some room for adjustments.

IMG_1239.jpg IMG_1240.jpg


Now it was time to fit the ICs. The pins on one of mine were quite bent out of shape, but nothing a pair of pliers couldn't fix.

IMG_1241.jpg IMG_1242.jpg


Finally it was the moment of truth! Plugging it in. All the displays lit up first time! At this point, I put the battery in too. The display didn't show anything resembling time however, I had to fumble with the buttons to work out how to set the time, this wasn't hard, one button selects the fragment to change (minutes/hours/alarm state) and the other button adjusts it.

IMG_1243.jpg IMG_1244.jpg



Once the time was all set, I've started to put the case together. The assembly is more or less obvious. I really like how the nuts fit into the grooves and the bolts come down through perpendicular acrylic sheets to secure in place. Nice design.

IMG_1245.jpg IMG_1246.jpg


That's all there is to it!

Oh I did have some left-over components...

IMG_1248.jpg

I was wondering what that pin header was for so looked this up. One of the ICs is a STC15F204EA microprocessor, so it's actually programmable and that's what the pins do, you can write your own code and upload it to the clock. Unfortunately the kit doesn't come with the code that's there out of the box.

Open image gallery
for this post.

Good luck putting together your own!

-i

Please leave your comments or feedback below!
comments powered by Disqus
Other posts you may like...
Hi! You can search my blog here ⤵
Or browse the recent top tags...

Recent Blog Posts

Tiny Arcade revision 6 kit assembly and decal application

Jersey JAX-RS filters and interceptors execution order for a simple GET request

How to stop macOS adding shadows to window screenshots

How to run Atari Lynx games on the SNES Classic Mini

Maven dependency scopes with relation to WAR file packaging and the WEB-INF/lib directory

Hacking the Sonoff B1 WiFi LED bulb to run custom firmware

What does an idle WebLogic server run on the hour to cause a CPU spike

How to open the Sonoff B1 wifi LED bulb to access its internal circuitry

Australian release SNES mini classic unboxing and a quick play through

Troubleshooting high CPU usage for JVM threads

Recent Galleries

Atari Lynx repair - Part 5 - McWill LED screen mod installation

Atari Lynx repair - Part 4 - screen cover replacement

Atari Lynx repair - Part 2 - re-capping the motherboard

Atari Lynx repair - Part 3 - broken speaker replacement

Atari Lynx repair - Part 1 - introduction and case disassembly

Building a custom Atari Lynx game box storage shelf unit in a day

Protecting old Atari Lynx game boxes with snug fit plastic sleeves

Monument Valley 2 is released and does not disappoint

Space Food - Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Legeod Star Wars AT-DP kit

Blogs and Friends

Matt Moores Blog
Georgi's FlatPress Guide
Perplexing Permutations
The Security Sleuth
Ilia Rogatchevski
Travelling Fairy

Blog Activity

Blog Activity