Electromechanical Flip Display Clock


I used vintage electromechanical Vane Displays or Flip Displays to create this clock. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing one. They will be a bit expense due to the high cost of the displays.

The Design: My goal was to create a display driver that uses minimal circuitry. Each of these Signalex vane displays contains 14 coils. There are 56 coils on this entire clock. I designed a 4x14 matrix driver to control the coils. With this matrix, I can flip just one segment or all the segments of one display together. The driver matrix requires 112 diodes! The rest of the circuitry is pretty basic: 1 CPU, 6 ICs, 4 transistors, and a bunch of resistors and capacitors. The board uses a 12v 2amp power supply. It converts the voltage to 5 volts for the CPU and some of the ICs.

Features: The Flip Clock is designed with a minimal wood base to show off the circuitry. The clock contains 7 push buttons, the four most used ones at the front. I've used through-hole DIP packaged ICs in a row to deflect the light from RGB lights which both light the front of the displays as well as the coils. Many of the buttons will show the setting in words right on the display
1. HOUR button to set the hour.
2. MINUTE button to set the minutes.
3. COLOR mode button; Muli-color, a different color each minute, slow color cycle, set colors. (rAnd, Chng, cycL, rEd, grEn, bLUE, Lt bL, yELO, oran, PurP, PinK, Whit)
4. BRIGHTNESS mode button. 5 settings; HI 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, OFF, Auto
5. 12/14hr button
6. Stopwatch button to the right and back behind the display. Press once to zero display, second to start stopwatch, third to stop, fourth to go back to time.
7. Temperature button to the right and front behind the display. Press to get Celsius then Fahrenheit.

Other features include a battery backup. The battery does not power the clock, it just keeps the time and settings when the power is removed. The clock also has "chimes" in the form of flip animations at the top of the hour and each half hour.

It is an exposed electronics design. The wooden base only frames the lower printed circuit board. The boards have been carefully layed out to be shown off. There are no voltages above 12v on the board.

Videos:
Signalex Flip Displays #8 - Black Clock Boards
Signalex Flip Displays #7 - More Mature Code
Signalex Flip Dipslay #6 - Clock First Look
Signalex Flip Dipslay #5 - Quick Flip Option
Signalex Flip Dipslay #4 - Clock First Look
Signalex Flip Dipslay #3 - Drive Six Displays
Signalex Flip Dipslay #2 - New Diode PCB
Signalex Flip Dipslay #1 - Functional Test

What's next?:
Design a new version using displays that are still in production. These are smaller displays and they are driven differently. I have the displays. I'm starting to design the circuitry.