Network Time Clock For A Home Media Center

[Derek] wanted a clock for his media center. A simple wish, but he had a few requirements: he didn’t need an alarm, wanted it to automatically set its time after a power outage, needed a big display, and also wanted it to look good. After shopping around [Derek] couldn’t find a clock that would fit his requirements so he decided to build one.

[Derek]’s project is called the SNTP clock. As you might expect, it gets its name from the protocol used to automatically synchronize the clock in your computer with other network time servers. The clock itself is built around an ATMega168 gathering time data from the Internet with the help of a Lantronics XPort. One inch seven segment LEDs serve as the display for the clock, and everything, from the time offset from UTC, the brightness of the display, and whether the clock displays 12 or 24-hour time is controlled by an infrared Apple remote.

A bare PCB or bundle of wires would look out of place in [Derek]’s media shelf, so he used a metal picture frame and smoked acrylic to dress up his clock. Now he’s got a beautiful and elegant clock that fits right in to his media servers and receiver.