pic heaven

While in Tokyo, I shopped at the world famous Akizuki Denshi, a small electronics shop that sells, amongst other things, fabulous kits. On the chart for this weekend: a PIC chip programmer (photo of my kit, assembled, including the 4.0 upgrade) that I’ve been needing for a while, and a JJY clock receiver (Peter Evans’ assembly, photos and translation). There’s one modification to the kit I made: rather than directly choose the polarity of the DC jack via hard-wiring the jumpers on the lower left, I used a bit of a pin header I had left over from the JJY clock receiver kit and some leftover 2-pin jumper blocks from my PC. (It’s unfortunate they didn’t do what Tristate did with their JJY receiver, where a rectifier is used to accept either polarity of DC voltage input. Ah well, it keeps the component count and cost down, I guess.)

Now, I’d wanted the JJY clock receiver to run off of WWVB, the similar station broadcasting out of Colorado, and to set up an NTP stratum 1 server for my house. So I bought a 60kHz ferrite antenna and 2 60kHz crystals to run the thing. I built it up yesterday, and powered it up, only to realize that the signals have some differences in both their encoding and their bit patterns.

So, sooner than I’d been expecting, I built up the PIC programmer so I can reprogram the JJY clock receiver to understand WWVB. Rewriting the code will be my project for this week; it’s reasonably straightforward, but this is my first taste of PIC code. At a glance it looks very 6800-esque, with some reminiscence of 6502 (naturally). I think I’ll enjoy PIC assembly. ^_^

I’ll post a photo of the JJY … er, WWVB receiver once it’s working.

6 thoughts on “pic heaven

  1. Awesome picture! And a neat hack in progress.

    I’m lazy, I just ‘rdate time.nrc.ca’. I know they serve from an atomic clock…

  2. It’s all about authority man. I doubt someone’s gonna fake 60kHz to me, and I have a far better precision in my measurement of the actual time from those radio transmissions vs. the uncertainty of the net.

    That said I am an ubergeek for thinking I need my own stratum 1 server. :P Wait till you see what else I drive from this thing!

  3. Whoa! That’s so amazingly cool! I’m tempted to order one of those kits (or use the schematic that the goatia website has) to just build/write my own WWV thinger – or better yet, make it work with the evil nixiesque-via-ELwire clock I’m buliding.

  4. hi moof, glad to see you here — Remember, the schematic is copyrighted. It’s a fun build to be sure, though.

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