Transistor Clock

So, if you have been following me on twitter, you might have noticed this tweet where I raved about a `Transistor Clock` kit that lets you build a wall clock using 194 discrete transistors and hundreds of other components. I`ve since purchased the kit and decided to blog my assembly of it. As electronics kits like Arduino become more and more popu

lar, the relevance of old-fashioned analog electronics is waning. There are still a lot of common problems that can be solved simply with a few capacitors, resistors, and transistors, but many people opt to use more complex (and expensive) digital systems instead. I too have fallen victim to this trend and I feel like my analog prowess is not what it could be. I`ve had a lot of difficulty over the years understanding complex analog systems and even more difficulty trying to design them. That`s why I was excited when I saw this ad in the back of Nuts and Volts magazine: As an engineer, I have sort of a thing for clocks. See, a clock is one of the few engineering problems that has been COMPLETELY SOLVED. Seriously. You can go to Wal-mart and buy a digital wristwatch that will last for years off its internal battery, travel 100 meters underwater, keep time to the millisecond, and cost less than a night at the movies. Clocks are done. Because of this, any newly designed clock is going to be more of an artistic expression or a self-imposed engineering challenge (can we make a clock that runs off of a potato! ). The transistor clock is both. This clock is presents a statement that in the era of integrated circuits, it`s still possible to make a clock using parts from the 1950s. Every digital circuit you build with today is abstracted out of analog components, so there is a lot to learn from working with these components directly....

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