1Hz Timebase

Check out this nice simple method of achieving a 1Hz timebase. This is basically a lesson in dividing crystal frequencies in circuits to get the desired result. In this case, they are starting with a 32.768KHz crystal and dividing it down. Instead of using an NE555 like many projects, he chose to go a direction that would yield results less prone to drifting with temperature variation. The method chosen was a CD4060 frequency divider, basically just a chain of flipflops. The divider is one step short of getting to the desired result so an additional flipflop has to be added. This is pretty basic stuff, but a great read. They go into detail as to how it all works and why you would use this method.

Pssst, hey, remember that time I told you to just use a 1Hz crystal? yeah, we can laugh at that again.

[via HackedGadgets]

16 thoughts on “1Hz Timebase

  1. If you need 1Hz from 32,768kHz, why not hack the board out of a $2 “analog” clock and pick-off the pulses going to the stepper.

    Yeah, the $2 hacked clock may have a resonator instead of a crystal, but venture to guess what the Author has is really a resonator anyway. A “Real 1Hz” reference has to take into account a LOT of things, accuracy, resolution (jitter >< phase-noise) etc. etc.

    But anyway… nice to see HaD posting something like this instead of a deluge of Apple iPhone crap.

  2. Hi Guys, I wrote the 1Hz project.

    It was targeted at beginners just starting to move on from simple 555 circuits. It’s the timebase for a non-microcontroller freq counter. Interestingly, the freq counter tracks within 1 or 2 counts with my H/P bench counter from 1hz to 4MHz over a range of 50F to 100F. It’s actually more accurate than I expected, but I refuse to publish any great accuracy given the variability of clock crystals, and the lack of basic clock stabilization.


  3. While I always appreciate analog circuits, This almost seems like “overkill” when you could program a small PIC with an internal oscillator to do it for a total parts count of 1.

    Then again, some may argue that using a processor to make a 1hz clock is “overkill”. Those people don’t have boxes of free samples.

  4. @Tim: The internal oscillators in the PIC and AVR chips I’ve used have been RC affairs, so not very accurate and sensitive to temperature variations, though I suppose an external crystal wouldn’t increase the part count too significantly.

  5. If you really need an accurate, temperature-compensated 1pps timebase, the DS3231 can be configured to output a 1Hz clock and stays accurate to a minute per year under varying temperature conditions.

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