Talking Clock Prototype

I am working on a talking clock with a remote IR control. The idea is that when I awake at night I don’t have my¬† glasses on, hence I cannot recognize digits on a clock display. So I figured out that what I need is a talking clock that could tell me the time aloud. The audible announcement is triggered by a button press on a standard infrared remote, normally used to control my hi-fi equipment.

So this is the current state of the prototype (turn volume up!):

As you can see in the video the display board (using six nixies, of course!) is finished but the ‘mainboard’ is still being in the works.

The specification is as follows:

  • Display: Six nixies
  • Time control: Radio DCF77 module (automatically synchronizes to the German time), backed up by a precision 32.768kHz crystal.
  • Remote control: infrared (IR) sensor, software decoder for the Sony remote I’ve got
  • Processor: AVR ATmega32 (8-bit, 32kB FLASH, 2kB RAM)
  • Voice samples storage: SD card (e.g. 1GB) with FAT16/32 filesystem
  • Sound converter: 12-bit DAC over SPI (MCP4921)
  • Amplifier: 1.5W (TDA7233)
  • Debug: UART/RS232, AVR ISP interface

The picture shows layout on my breadboard: rcclock-breadboard-marked