PCB Makes 7 Segment Displays

Of course, there’s nothing unusual about using 7-segment displays, especially in a clock. However, [Edison Science Corner] didn’t buy displays. Instead, he fabricated them from a PCB using 0805 LEDs for the segments. You can see the resulting clock project in the video below.

While the idea is good, we might have been tempted to use a pair of LEDs for each segment or used a diffuser to blur the LEDs. The bare look is nice, but it can make reading some numerals slightly confusing.

The remainder of the project is what you’d expect, a 3D-printed case and an Arduino Nano coupled with a DS1307 make the clock part work.

Honestly, with a few changes, we’d like to make up some of these boards for other kinds of custom displays. We can imagine a PCB where the bottoms of the display elements are right at the edge of the board instead of on stalks. You could even create a 14-segment display (we used to call these British flag displays) to make custom text messages. Of course, you can also make custom electroluminescent displays on a PCB reasonably easily, too.

9 thoughts on “PCB Makes 7 Segment Displays

    1. The design presented here is clearly based on the Boboxie clock. When basing a design on a previous design, you’d expect some improvements over the original design. Unfortunately that is not the case here.

  1. Sooooo close. The idea is great. The execution sucks. Those digits with only one LED per segment look terrible. Use 0605 LEDs and you can get two per segment. Then you may be able to actually tell what the numbers are.

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