Timer displaying months

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Samuel Peck, May 21, 2013.

  1. Samuel Peck

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2013
    I am looking to get a timer to display hours, days, and months. A single year and minutes might be nice. I'm hoping to involve it in a pretty small device, maybe stopwatch size.

    My Background knowledge:
    I have taken 2 electronics classes, but haven't actually made much at all. I have been researching how to multiplex, and get the idea, so I might see if I can do that.

    Advice on how to decide what parts to buy, or an part suggestions?
    Any resources come to mind that would be particularly helpful to my understanding of what I'm trying to do?
    Would programing be a reasonable option to keep it fairly simple? I took one semester of college C++, and did well, so I know a little about programming.

    Any other helpful hints for this project would be appreciated.
    Thank you
  2. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    You will need a microcontroller like a PIC or AVR.

    And a display that can show as much information as you need. You can get 8x2 text LCDs for under $6 on ebay.

    Then you need to program the micro to be a clock/calendar (google will find you lots of code examples) and some more code to drive the text LCD (again google).

    It's not such a hard thing to make, but if you have no microcontroller experience there will be a lot of work from the learning curve. :)
    Samuel Peck likes this.
  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    Ditto to RB. Just to add the Phillips PCF2129A is a great real time clock that can run off a coin cell for backup for nearly a decade. It has a built in crystal to boot! And it's a third the price of the competition, 3 bucks or so.

    I built a digital clock once, but I didn't bother with the date:


    With an on board SD card, stereo audio, and the AM/FM radio hip I added it would make a great clock alarm.
  4. Samuel Peck

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2013
    I might have enough to go on for now. If anyone else has ideas or advice they want to share, I should clarify: I want to make a count-up timer, or whatever you would call that.
    Thanks for the help, and sorry Ernie, but your post still might be helpful.
  5. Samuel Peck

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2013
    could I use that clock for a stopwatch instead? (Phillips PCF2129A) wasn't as clear about what I wanted as I could have been.
  6. LDC3

    Active Member

    Apr 27, 2013
    The PCF2129A has a resolution of 1 sec. If you want to use it in a stopwatch, you can only have seconds resolution. You cannot have 10th or 100th seconds with this chip.

    I was looking at making a stopwatch with 100th second resolution, but have only started it. I am going to use a 4 digit display, so it will be able to time to 99.99 seconds, or 99 minutes, 59 seconds. If you would like, I can send you what I have.