Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 23, 2010

Multimeter Clock – Styled after the Simpson 260 Multimeter

at 12:17 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Vintage Electronics


I had great fun working on a cool Multimeter Clock project which got picked up by Design News for their Gadget Freak series. I thought it would be cool to have a clock that looks like an old Simpson 260 multimeter. The clock consists of three multimeters, the first meter displays hours, the second displays minutes and the last displays seconds. A 16F628A PIC microcontroller keeps track of time and outputs a calculated current to each meter to display the current time. The process to get it published took a bit of time and one of the most interesting aspects was going for the project photo shoot, the picture above is one of the outtakes.

I will be publishing tons of build details on my project site shortly, sign up for the mailing list to be alerted when the full project is up.

UPDATE: The full project page is now complete. The kit is also now available.




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18 Responses to “Multimeter Clock – Styled after the Simpson 260 Multimeter”

  1. Hans Says:

    Excellent project Alan. Working with phone companies, I used to use the Simpson meter to test phone lines. This would be a nice bench top clock and reminder of days gone by.

  2. Wacky multimeter clock | Daring Minds.Com Says:

    […] Multimeter Clock – Styled after the Simpson 260 Multimeter […]

  3. John Says:

    Very nice project! Love the classic Simpson meter look.

  4. DIY : Fabriquer une horloge qui affiche l’heure avec 3 multimètres | Semageek Says:

    […] pouvez retrouver toutes les indications pour réaliser ce montage sur le site d’Alan Parekh : hackedgadgets.com […]

  5. Harry Says:

    Love your Clock. You may be interested in this group I belong to. Its a professional site but We do weird projects like this too.

  6. DaveJ Says:

    Awesome work, love it!

  7. NatureTM Says:

    Very, very, very cool. It looks great, and such a creative idea.

    It reminds me that I don’t need a lot of money to do something cool, just a good idea.

  8. SparkS Says:

    Nice!!! As a retired USN radioman I am very familiar with the Simpson 260. I think your clock would be
    even better if you used actual Simpson 260s for the H:M:S displays. I think the ones used really take away from the whole idea. Yeah, I know, picky picky picky. GGGG

  9. Electronics-Lab.com Blog » Blog Archive » Multimeter-clock Says:

    […] This clock consists of three multimeters, the first meter displays hours, the second displays minutes and the last displays seconds. A 16F628A PIC microcontroller keeps track of time and outputs a calculated current to each meter to display the current time. [via] […]

  10. Meter Clock - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] Meter Clock which is based on the Atmel AT89C2051 microcontroller. The design is similar to the Multimeter Clock that I created.  Len provides the code and schematic on his site so you can make your […]

  11. Rick Crammond Says:

    Congratulations, Alan, on being accepted as Gadget Freak for Design News Magazine!

    For those who don’t know, Design News has been the premier engineering news magazine of this planet for over half a century.
    Gadget Freak is a part of Design News where folks submit interesting, and often humorous, inventions to be published.

  12. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey Rick,

    Good to hear from you and thanks. Your feature picture for the magazine looked way cooler than mine did though. :)

  13. Rick Crammond Says:

    Hehe, which one? I’ve had more Gadget Freak projects published than anyone else, and I lose track! Each one has been a total blast doing the photo shoot…although I scared a photographer or two with my inventions, haha! (See GF case # 122 for example, where the photo guy was lying on the ground taking the picture with legs apart, and I accidentally hit the air valve and revved up my magnetic turbine skil-saw blade…um, twice!! oops 😉

    Your video was first-rate quality and very detailed, and I notice your project site has great pictures and text. Since you already have the hard work done, I thought you might like to publish at Instructables.com, and leave an even more permanent record for the world to see. (www.Instructables.com is the world’s biggest online how-to, and they reach a quarter million folks in their weekly newsletters that feature fun new Instructables.)

    I highly recommend that folks who like to tinker also consider submitting a Gadget Freak idea and/or writing an Instructable.

  14. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Rick,

    I didn’t realize that you had more than one done. Congrats! I will be doing an Instructable and also getting it up on my project site soon.

    There are just not enough hours in the day…

  15. John Park Says:

    This is a beauty, Alan! Great work, very inspiring.

  16. Alan Parekh Says:

    Thanks John!

  17. Multimeter Clock Build Log - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] the Multimeter Clock article last month? I just got the full build log up. Lots of people wanted the CNC files so that they […]

  18. Wolfgang Guenther Says:

    Hi Alan,
    great project! We tried to create a new hex file from your sources. After downloading the file, we could calibrate the multimeters but the normal time software didn’t start to run. Any ideas? Do we have to set some more fuses for the interrupt? We are no experts in PIC programming. Any comments are welcome.

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