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LCD clock with 4″ display




The time keeping is provided by DS3231 RTC chip with an integrated high accuracy (± 5ppm) MEMS crystal. This makes PCB design very simple, as one does not need to take care on special traces design around the crystal. The chip is powered via the VBAT pin with VCC pin being grounded. This way its drawn current is minimum. The RTC chip is equipped with a temperature sensor, which is not used in the current design. However, the 1st, 3rd, and 4th digits are mounted with the decimal point on top, which allows, in particular, to display the degree symbol in the last digit. The blinking decimal dots in the 2nd and 3rd digits separate hours and minutes.

lcd-clock-with-4-display

The LCD is controlled by the PCF8562 driver IC with the I2C interface. Its digital part is powered directly from batteries, whereas the LCD segment buffers are connected to a DC-DC converter IC4. The converter boosts the battery voltage up to 5V, which is needed for achieving high LCD contrast and its wide viewing angle. The converter has a very low (1.5 μA) quiescent supply current and a high efficiency at low load currents. When connected to mains, the contacts of J1 jack disconnect the battery and the circuit is powered from the 3.3V voltage regulator IC5. Capacitor C6 prevents short power disconnects caused by switching between batteries and mains.

The clock chassis is formed by ¾” aluminum profiles. To prevent the background light from being visible on front, the LCD edges are covered with aluminum strips from behind. The PCB is mounted on one of those strips, and the battery holder is mounted on another one. The board is designed with Eagle software, the corresponding files are available for download. Note that the voltage regulator and its related components are missing on the PCB because they were added to the unit later.

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