Word clock of a different nature

This work clock functions in an unexpected way. With each passing second it displays a random four letter word on the right side of the display. Traditional word clocks tell the time in natural language, but this one is simply used as a learning opportunity.

[Iron Jungle] got his hands on the display for just five buck from Deal Extreme. Looks like the price has gone up two dollars but that’s still a bargain. He wanted to use all eight digits of the display, and was looking for an opportunity to control more than one i2c device at a time. He ended up rolling an EEPROM and DS1307 RTC into the design. He figured the could display 24-hour time on four of the digits, and pull a library of four-letter words off of the EEPROM to fill the rest. He grabbed a word list off of the Internet then used a Python script to remove words containing 7-segment unfriendly characters (K, M, V, W, X, Z). The final touch was to use a salvaged relay to give the clock a ticking sound. Hear it for yourself in the clip after the break.

8 thoughts on “Word clock of a different nature

  1. I don’t get why this exists, though I am a big fan of using those dealextreme displays and akways have a spare.
    the relay may wear out over time but that’s probably a long way away.
    Still it is fun.

    1. The relay is spec’d at 10,000,000 cycles under load; about 4 months or so. Something tells me it will last much much longer without a load. I will report back here when/if fails. Thanks for checking it out and thanks HAD!

    2. the relay would NEVER wear out, the output contacts are not connected to ANYTHING, and therefore do not arc, arcing is what (slowly) destroys the contacts, ive never seen a relay coil that failed from age… only the contacts

      PS: i HAVE seen a relay coil burned to scrap, but it was attached to exsessive voltage :P 120v vs 12v relay yeeeeh…

  2. Does it have a ‘parental filter’, or can some seconds be xxxx?
    I saw a four letter Nixie random word machine, tubes sticking up from a wood base in a shop in Chicago about 1978.

    1. One of the project objectives was two I2C devices being used on the same bus. Displaying the date on the right four digits would not have met that objective.

  3. @DarwinSurvivor, I think you missed the point.
    “…used as a learning opportunity…”
    “…looking for an opportunity to control more than one i2c device at a time…”

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