Things that go bang!

I’ve been very very busy working on a project that is due very soon. In fact, it’s taking up almost all of my free time so I’m very sorry if I am unavaliable at times. Anyways, here’s a little on what I’ve been up to:

Progress as of yesterday.

This is a clock running on a PIC 16F84, and multiplexing 7 displays. The transistors are to drive the display. There’s a 1Hz clock generator from a cheap alarm clock to keep the clock on time, a 555 to feed the clock signal to the PIC, a CD4017 decade counter for the display, and another PIC to coordinate everything. The 300+ lines of code for the PIC was written from scratch using mikroBasic.

The 1Hz clock generator is “floating” on the 555.

I’ve been working on this for 2 weeks already. Most of the trouble was in the coding of the PIC itself. Making an accurate clock is not as easy as it seems. And trying to juggle between updating the multiplexing displays and making time calculation makes the code harder to write.

And while building the final version here, I accidentally left out 2 tracks that I should have cut. When I applied voltage, two transistors went to the Great Spare Parts Bin in the sky with a loud bang.

The final version will be squeezed into a small circuit board and mounted somewhere. The exact location cannot be revealed yet. So stay tuned!

The 2nd transistor. Imagine the force needed to break the plastic! Continue reading