LED Clock Project Intro

This is a bit of a round up of a completed project rather than a live diary. The project is an LED clock powered by a PIC. Here’s a shot of an early prototype and the almost finished v2.

Prototype LED clock Almost finished

First a bit of history.

It all started about a year ago when we visited the science museum in London. This is where I apologize to Ruth the things I make her do when we are on holiday. Walking for an hour in the freezing rain to the Berlin Technikmuseum would be another on the list… Anyway the museum was great, just like I remembered it from childhood but with even more buttons to press and some really cool exhibits on computing history. I loved the place… But something that really stood out in my mind was huge LED installation in the energy hall there’s a bit of a video of it here. I’d been playing around with PICs and LEDs for a while but not really gotten round to actually making anything useful. But seeing this really spurred me to do something. The hard part was to decide what. Picking a single thing and actually finishing it off properly whilst reigning in all the what if’s if pretty tough. I like to try things out with no particular end point in mind.


I decided to make an LED pseudo analog clock. I thought I was being so original, but actually I’m not there are others that have been out there for a while, but hey, that’s life.

Here’s one, and Here’s another

What follows is a series of posts dealing with each section of the device.
This is mostly for my reference so I can actually remember what I did and why…

On to the project overview

13 thoughts on “LED Clock Project Intro

  1. Hello!

    Nice job! 🙂

    I am sitting here with my own MAX6956 trying to communicate with it from a PIC18 with the PIC’s built-in I2C hardware interface. I just don’t get it to work, could you please send me your code? I am going to build a home cockpit for a flight simulator, so I need to be able to control LOTS of LED’s via USB 🙂

    Best regards,

  2. Hi Matt,

    It is one of the nicest clock projects I have ever come across. Always I do conceptualize different “circular LED clock” designs as my hobby/passion, hopefully I shall make them into real sometime in near future. Really, your explanation of clock software logic fed my thoughts further.

    I highly appreciate, if you would be able to share the schematic and source code (w/ comments) of ‘LED Clock’ project to understand the logic deeply, and I promise it will just for my personal usage.

    Thanks in advance!

    • I’m really glad you liked the project.
      It’s been a long time since I worked on it but I’ll have a dig around and try and find the Eagle CAD Schematic and Layout files as well as the source code. Once I have them I’ll post them up on Github.


      • I am glad to see your prompt, and positive response to my request!
        I wish you would find out all your project files soon, and will eagerly wait on your post on Github.

  3. An humble follow up to know if there is any luck in your try dig around find the Eagle CAD Schematic and Layout files as well as the source code, please?

    • I’ve published the Eagle files for the two boards on Github. It’s been about 7 years since I worked on this project so I cannot say for certain that I didn’t make some small changes to the schematics after I built the one I made. So make sure you check and test everything before you build yours.


      Anyway. Have fun with and if you do build one I’d really appreciate some feedback and maybe a photo or two. It’s always interesting to have someone else build one of my projects and I really enjoy hearing how they get on.

      Best regards

      Matt Casey

  4. Hi Matt,

    At last, I am so glad that I got the uploaded Eagle files…somehow I did miss the source files of this project on Github, I’d really appreciate if you could send me the commented code files to better understand innards of the functional logic of the project and for any future customizations.

    Best regards,


    • Source is up there too now. I didn’t have it at work.
      I’m afraid you’re going to have to use it as is. It’s been so long since I worked on it that if I didn’t comment it then I doubt I’ll remember then details now.

  5. Hi Matt,

    Thanks a bunch for all your project files’ upload!!

    In fact, for so long I had had a very raw concept of a LED analog clock project idea in my mind (this is one of the reasons I attracted so much, to your project!), not with only 60 but 72 LEDs, now with your source files as a reference I would like to start working for driving the 72 LEDs.

    Do you mind if I reach you out for any future guidance or technical clarifications, while I work on the project, please?

    Best regards,


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