27 April, 2020

GPS Clock with Binary Display

Some years ago I started making a GPS Clock with a 20 by 4 LCD, Yet another Arduino clock. It has been running since then as my shack clock. Now was the time for some additional functions, in the form of fancy variations of how to show time. I wanted a display coded in 0's and 1's, but I found that there were more than one way to do that.

The simplest one to read may be BCD (binary-coded-decimal) displays. They can be horizontally oriented like here:

or vertically oriented:

Then there is a pure binary display, to be read horizontally like here:

As a vertical binary display takes five lines, it cannot be shown on this display.

It is not trivial to read these display, so every now and then the display will show the time and some additional help information, like here for the BCD horizontal display:

or here for the binary display:

Finally, here is a display in the form of horizontal bars:

It shows hours in a 12-hour format, so the time shown is really 04:33:38. The horizontal bars are grouped in four times three squares, corresponding to the four quarters of a round clock face. Then I use symbols with 1 stroke, 2, 3, and 4 strokes to denote intermediate values. Thus the lower line shows (3+3+1) * 5 + 3 = 38 seconds.

Finally a "normal" display showing UTC in addition to local time, date and day of the week (in Norwegian):

Neither of the digital displays are really very straight-forward to read. Which one do you like? and are there other variants of similar displays that could have been included?

This post first appeared on the LA3ZA blog.

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