Doomsday Atomic "Alpha Clock Five" Project using the Teensy 3
I wanted a clock that would display precision time and date in "all" worst case scenarios.
If this clock does not show the precise time then its time to gather up food, water, ammunition,
and the family and head for the underground bunker!
This could happen - imagine this scenario ....
The World Wide Web (Internet) goes down.
All the US Military global positioning satellites (GPS) stops working.
The 60Khz WWVB pulse radio towers (Atomic clock) at Fort Collins, Colorado cease operation.
The electrical power grid cease to function.
All cellphone towers are in-operational.
All POS telephone land lines stop functioning.
All TV and cable systems are in-operational.
It's the end of civilization ... Doomsday! Do you have the precision time and date?
I may be dead and long gone but my Doomsday Atomic Alpha Clock Five would be still functional, working and indicating the precision time!
In this project, we used a GPS, a WiFi Electric IMP (network time), a custom built WWVB Atomic radio receiver, two precision TXCO real time clocks (+- 2 PPM SPI DS3234 and I2C DS3232) and two micro controllers - (Teensy 3 ARM stamp & Arduino 328P clone). We then use the three precision clock sources (UNIX seconds) to drive or sync to the Evil Mad Scientist huge, very bright, "Alpha Clock Five" 2.5" clock display.
Note: Three clock sources we refused to even consider but can be easily added later:
The AC mains 120 VAC 60 Hz power. <---- No accurate enough for this Atomic clock project.
The POTS - plain old telephone service (land line) (using Caller-ID). <-- Serial caller-id boxes are very hard to find.
The Cell Phone / GSM. <---- Very costly.
A bit of humor ... Our Doomsday Atomic Alpha Clock Five is driven by two vendor's who's name or logo is the devil. The Electric IMP Wifi SD card shows the devil on it and the Arduino pre-processor compatible "red board" Arduino 328P clone (Evil Mad Scientist) is named Diavolino or "little devil". If the end of the world or Doomsday ever does comes, our clock would probably not work because we have little two devils installed in it!
Alpha Clock Five "KIT" Features
Standard Features of Alpha Clock Five:
•Extremely wide display brightness range. All the way from surprisingly dim (for dark bedrooms) all the way up to surprisingly bright (for brightly-lit offices).
•Huge 2.3" (5.8 cm) tall digits are easy to see, even if you normally wear glasses
•Alarm on-off indicator
•Six standard alarm tones
•12-hour (AM/PM) and 24-hour clock modes
•Rear-panel white LED nightlight; can be turned on or off from the options menu
•Built-in calendar. Month and day display can be interleaved with time display
•Beautiful, sturdy acrylic case features subtle, laser-engraved button labels
•Transparent rear panel lets you show off your handiwork
•Comes complete with plug-in power supply and backup battery
•Micro controller comes pre-programmed with Alpha Clock Five firmware v. 2.0; no programming is required
•Open source hardware design-- easy to hack!
•Open source software design-- easy to reprogram (if you want to)!
•Based on the ATmega644A micro controller with 64 kB of flash, with plenty of room to grow.
•Comes pre-flashed with Sanguino bootloader; can be programmed through Arduino IDE (with extensions).
•6-pin TTL-serial connector, can be used to display data or time sent from computer
•Unused I/O pins are broken out from the micro controller, including one ADC and 5+ GPIO
•Open-frame case design gives easy access to serial connector and reset button
Alpha Clock Five "kit" comes complete with a Chronodot real-time clock module. It provides your clock kit with (1) a higher accuracy quartz crystal oscillator, (2) a backup battery, and (3) extra geek cred for
having a TCXO-based RTC. The included battery is estimated to last for 7 years.
Alpha Clock Five includes a "TTL serial" port that can be used for communication between your computer and the clock. This serial port can be used to sync the clock's time to the time on your PC.
Note: We use this TTL port to sync to our micro controller precision clock sources.
The Alpha Clock Five is a fine standalone precision clock which will display the time and date and has numerous other functions. We added the Arduino compatible Teensy 3 ARM stamp to enhance this clock with "Atomic" precision by using a custom built Atomic 60Khz radio receiver, a GPS and Wifi (network time - Electric IMP). Also, we added algorithms that will automatically set the clock for ten years during DST. (Daylight savings time) (For hands free operation)