Sunday, June 24, 2018

BinaryCrapClock by David Watts

I have assembled quite some of this soldering kits from China now. I also had a binary clock at my desk for several years ... but now, I got a self-assembled/-soldered binary clock.

How did I get to this?

When I started to look around for information about soldering, I found some interesting YouTube channels. One of them is by David Watts, a very nice guy who had a video series which title, "Lazy Sunday", which inspired me to set a blocker in my calendar called "DIY Projects" every Sunday. Often, David is assembling one of this China kits or tinkering with some ideas or even creating his own electronic boards. Lately, he finally released a binary clock kit created by himself, which was very interesting to follow along with him creating it.
He set up some at for sale so I grabbed one quickly. Unfortunately, the package never arrived at my place ... most likely because of a mistake by me because I did not double check the address transmitted by PayPal to Tindie. As it turned out, the house number was missing. I reached out to David and he was very kindly sending me another kit.

What did I get?

The second package arrived. Inside I found the board itself with all the parts and a schematic for the clock (with some instructions in Chinese) as well as some stickers.

The schematic and the parts

The board itself and all the small components where inside a plastic bag.

The board, components, and stickers

Assembling the clock

Finding the right spots for all the components isn't that hard as everything is labeled on the board itself and the schematic. In doubt, there is also David's video about the assembly to figure out what has to go where.

Soldering the components mostly with a magnifying glass

Step by step I added component after component and soldered them in place... Some of the components are really small like the resistors, so I had to use tweezers and the magnifying glass.

Resistors in front of my tweezers

But even more than the small resistors, the 4510 chips been a bit of a pain to solder in.
The last components to solder on the board been the LEDs for the clock numbers itself.

Adding the LEDs last

Done ... well

When I was done, I connected the clock to power and tested it out. It looked great ... until the minutes should reach 40 ... but the LED indicating the 4 in the 10-hour section did not lit up.
Everything else seemed to be fine so I checked if the LED was working first, which it was. Then I was inspecting all the other components again that are related to this specific row and found a solder connection at one of the legs of the 4510 chip that did not look like it was really connected.
After fixing this issue, all the LEDs worked perfectly.


A great kit with lots of "meditation" time by assembling it. The clock looks great in my opinion and I am having plans for it in a future project, but more on that at another time.
Also, David's videos been very inspiring to me and I started to do a lot more of this tinkering projects or even just learning how to solder this year was a great experience, which will help me in my upcoming projects.