Beeping clock

Tell the time with your eyes closed.
Beep a sequence of morse code like tones.
Flash the time on a bright LED.

The Beeping Clock here is a remake of an old project, one of the first things I made with a microcontroller that I programmed myself. It tells the time by sounding a series of beep tones to announce the tens of hours, followed by the hour units then the tens of minutes followed by the minute units.

If the time was twelve thirty five this would be:

               Short pause
      Beep, beep
               Long pause
      Beep, beep, beep
               Short pause
      Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep

If the LED was asked to flash the time, the LED would illuminate the same sequence.

The software enables either beep only, flash only or beeping and flashing together. It is possible to have the clock automatically announce the time every 5, 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

The original was written for the PicAxe microcontroller when I was using macOS both at work and at home. The cross platform compatibility of the PicAxe tools was a major attraction to me, sadly Revolution Education seem to have abandoned macOS. Around the time that PicAxe for macOS began to wither, I had started to use Great Cow Basic more frequently. Great Cow Basic harnesses the full power of the PIC microcontrollers as it is compiled into the native language of the microcontroller before being programmed into it. I now use Great Cow Basic exclusively. This was the last remaining project I had which still used PicAxe code, I had been trying to make the original clock run from a lithium battery. It failed to work as it used a DS1307 time keeping chip which only works with a voltage higher than that held by the lithium cells. I took the opportunity to totally re-write the program and to design a proper printed circuit board which had a DS3231 time keeping device as these can work at a much lower voltage than the DS1307 can. The DS3231 is also much more accurate, meaning it requires far less adjustment throughout the year. The result is a neat little clock that looks much better than the old one using a PCB I etched myself, lasts for two months on a charge, with no more AA batteries to dispose of.

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