Yearly Archives: 2015


Real Time Clock Chip upgrade/hack

Xronos Clock has been using DS1307 time chip from very beginning. It’s an OK chip, and it’s biggest advantage is that it comes in DIP package to easy soldering which is great for DIY kit. However it’s not the best and most accurate RTC chip.  It can loose or gain few seconds per day, which can turns into a minute or two in a month.  There’s a much better chip out there called DS3231. It’s super accurate and stable under wide temperature range and has built in Oscillator, while DS1307 needs a separate one soldered to the PCB. It has only two drawbacks. Chip comes in only SMD (not thru the hole) packages and it costs a little more thatn DS1307. I’ve been thinking how to replace DS1307 with DS3231 on existing clocks and found relatively simple solution. Solution is small adapter PCB which has DS3131 chip soldered to it and it plugs into space meant for DS1307 IC. […]

2019-02-15T11:46:29+00:00December 29th, 2015|AlarmClockUpdates, DIY/Tutorials, work in progress|0 Comments

New firmware w/ Arduino IDE 1.6.x Compatability

There were some big changes in Arduino IDE 1.5.x and later, which made parts of the Xronos Clock code incompatible. Fortunately it wasn't to difficult to port firmware to new IDE and I'm happy to announce that version that works with latest Arduino IDE (currently 1.6.5) is here. There are few important things you need to be aware if you plan to use source code. Some old libraries (Time) as well as Mightly1284p hardware definitions became incompatible with IDE 1.6.x so you'll need to update those as well. Mightly 1284p platform can be downloaded here. Just remove old folder form our [SketchFolder]\hardware and replace with new one. Additionally grab a new version of Time library here. As for the code itself, there were really minor changes. Namely all PROGMEM variables in Font definitions had to be changed to "const unsinigned". Grab source code here. Update: If you got version 2.14 please upgrade to 2.15 ASAP. There's a serious bug in 2.14 that prevents you from going to User Talk Items menu. 2.15 fixed it.

2015-09-04T01:53:11+00:00August 27th, 2015|AlarmClockUpdates|0 Comments

Prototype of new 32×16 LED display

Just wanted share this. I finished assembly my first prototype of the display for future Xronos 3 clocks :)  It's almost half the size of the one I was using before. Here's a video of display in action. More information on

2019-02-15T11:46:30+00:00August 12th, 2015|AlarmClockUpdates, Design, work in progress|0 Comments

Beginning of Xronos 3.0 and new LED Matrix display

This is just a quick preview on what’s “cooking” at LensDigital lab. About a 2-3 weeks ago I started working on new Xronos Clock (ver 3.0). Xronos 2.0 has been out more than two years, and for a long time I’ve wanted to update this platform. Things like better Real Time chip, smaller enclosure, less expensive design.  New clock will have a modular design with slim board to board connectors that will allow to add sound module, RFM, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, etc.  Audio board will also be a separate add-on. But above all I wanted to start making my own LED displays. Sure Electronic’s 32×16 bicolor displays are nice and very affordable, however I had some serious issues with the company. […]

2019-02-15T11:46:30+00:00July 24th, 2015|work in progress|0 Comments

Xronos clock customer mods

Xronos Clock platform is extremely hackable, and not just when it comes to software.  Recently my good customer William P. designed several versions of enclosure modifications. In this one, he added GPS receiver to get precise time from GPS satellite. Here's a version of acrylic case that also uses different buttons. And finally check out this funky bamboo case! William is also a very good programmer, and he helped me fixing some bugs in the firmware and also he's the person responsible for several improvements.   In fact he branched out his own version of Xronos firmware, which you can find here. If any of you made some mods of the clock, drop me a line, I would love to write about it!

2019-02-15T11:46:30+00:00June 23rd, 2015|AlarmClockUpdates, Design|0 Comments

New Firmware is here

I know has been a very long time since last firmware update but rest assured, I haven't stopped squashing bugs and adding features :) Very important note! If you are using Arduino IDE to upload code, it only works with version 1.0.5. I've yet to port it to latest (1.6.x). You might notice that I jumped few sub-versions, that's because I've been updating firmware but not releasing it to public due to some lingering bugs. I wanted to iron out the kinks first. Most of changes are backend improvements to the code, and a lot of changes to the radio code. I've been working hard getting weather sensor to work, unfortunately it's still not ready for prime time. Anyway here's list of changes in V2.13: Rewrote most of the Radio/RFM code (parse sensor battery values, etc.) New Menu option to Reset firmware to factory default. Make sure you cold boot clock after using it (unplug/plug back power). Faster Autobrigtness changes. Fixed bug in sayTemp function Added integer handling for EEPROM data Re-organized code to make it more readable. New Firmeware is available at usual place, under Techincal Data.

2015-06-22T20:34:12+00:00June 16th, 2015|AlarmClockUpdates|0 Comments