Valentine’s gift counts the days spent together

[Vegard Paulsen] dug deep down to the romantic geek at his core and built this box that counts the days he’s spent together with his Valentine. As you can see, it uses a four-digit seven segment display installed in the lid of a wooden box. An Arduino mini is responsible for driving the display, but as you might already know, to keep accurate time you’re going to need a reliable clock source. Instead of using a temperature compensated crystal oscillator like the ChronoDot he decided to pull time data from the Internet via a pair of RF modules.

His closing comments mention that this display will only work for around 27 years but he figures he can always build a bigger display. We’d keep this around, physically unaltered for sentimental value, but switch to a hexadecimal readout to track just over 179 years. Maybe that’s a bit too geeky.


  1. nedFlanders says:

    27 years countdown to midlife crisis and picking up a hot new 22 year old!

  2. zeb says:

    27 year countdown to midlife crisis and trading in the current model for a hot young 22 year old!

  3. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    It should go to 9999 then switch over to years in the first 2 digits then days in the last two?

  4. 1337 says:

    no, he knew there wasn’t a chance in hell of 25 more years with her.

  5. dmcbeing says:

    Hmm i think the battery will run out long before that,among other things….

  6. dmcbeing says:

    Oh no battery,still 27 years is way too long…
    But a well thought present none the less.

  7. Bill says:

    Just draw a ‘1’ left of the screen when it rolls over.

    Isn’t that what the EEPROM killer guy did?

  8. Poopdeedoo says:

    If I built one for my wife, I’d add a pause button. History doomed to repeat itself and all that. Nothing says “I love you” like giving it another shot, am I right?

  9. therian says:

    there is another wooden box that make a great addition to the day MFLB ;)

  10. Gdogg says:

    I can’t BELIEVE you forgot our 0x100 anniversary!

  11. biozz says:

    you should make it count down just to fuck with them XD

  12. =[Shinigami]= says:

    This looks cool but it would look better with a mechanical display. Maybe from an odometer?

  13. Jarrod says:

    I’d have made it a five digit display, using the first 2 as year, and the last 3 as day. That way it would max out at ~100 year, which would be more than enough I think.

  14. Hirudinea says:

    In a few years he can build a box to tote up his alimony, but he’ll have to add more numbers.

  15. vespine says:

    @Gdogg do you mean 0b100 ?
    0x100 is 256:)
    I like it..

    i think it’s cuter with just days rather then “years and days”..

  16. Jack says:

    Why is the latch upside down?

  17. Nomad says:

    @Jack: Because right side up was too mainstream.

  18. Alex says:

    Arduino and RF modules for a day counter? This guy wins the overkill award….

  19. Max says:

    The RF module is what I’d use too – it’s foolproof one it picks up the Frankfurt long wave signal, no matter how many days the battery may have been out – and this is the kind of application where you do NOT want mistakes.

    But I would have made it a bit more private – display embedded INTO the box, so you see it when you lift the lid (sensed with a magnet embedded in the lid, hall sensor in the box itself). The battery would last way longer, and you could have that extra bit of “fridge magic” never quite knowing what the display does with the lid closed.

  20. Danman1453 says:


    I too vote for the elusive “fridge magic!”

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