Or you can simply order clock from Heathkit!*
Fran demonstrates how it (sort of) worked.
*No you can't simply order one of these from Heathkit
I think he offered a kit but provided the schematic for free on the website.
If you want to drive the displays manually, you put in a bunch of shift registers and bit-bang the segments. The other way, which is much simpler, is to use a driver chip like a MAX7219 which handles the multiplexing of up to 8 digits x 8 segments on its own, and you just send serial data/clock to it from your microcontroller's GPIO pins.
I have a four-digit display (with huge 1.2" LED digits) and a driver chip.
At this stage of the build it's displaying a free-running software clock.
The accuracy is terrible, but since I will be picking up WWVB all day long it's not an issue. I could always toss in an RTC if I wanted to, or even go back to my original idea of using the 60 Hz AC power as a timing source.
In the future I want to build a GPS driven clock as well, but that one will have a 16x2 LCD display.
Surprisingly, nearly all LCD text displays use the exact same interface, based on the Hitachi HD44780 controller. I'm thinking that one will probably be built on a Raspberry Pi instead of an Arduino, so it can be attached to Ethernet and used as an NTP server.
There was some chat yesterday about that Fediverse in the i2p network. It looks like it is becoming a censorship fest. I did some research and found this blog entry:
The TL;DR is that some administrators in that network will kick you out of their node if you publish something they dislike in your personal, external, conventional blog. Those administrators that don't partake in cancel culture will get harassed in order to be turned out of the network.
It looks like the behavior is so prevalent that you have to pledge alliance to their political causes in order to join or else they wil screw you big time.
Honestly, things like DoveNet feel more sane. But Dovenet cheats because, at its core, it is a network created for administrators, for administrators.
Now if some site operator decided to deplatform Alex Gleason because of something he posted on another site ... that site operator is an asshole and will hopefully fail. But the idea that a few people are saying "you can't connect with us if you also connect with Gab" is a completely bonehead idea, because it doesn't expose anyone to Gab (or whatever) if they've already blocked them.
I'm not going to participate in their cancel culture. If that means Uncensored can't be listed in their directory, I don't particularly care. If there are enough people like us (and I suspect there are ... or will be) then eventually there will be multiple directories of Mastodon servers, just like there are multiple IRC networks.
Perhaps they will then say "we will block any server that is listed on Freeiverse" or whatever. Who knows. I'm going to develop the technology and then see what happens.
This doesn't mean we can't *also* participate in DoveNet. I'm currently building the underpinnings to make these things easier.
This doesn't mean we can't *also* participate in DoveNet. I'm
currently building the underpinnings to make these things easier.
Hey, that would rock!