I decided to build a device to permanently display accurate time received from a cheap GPS module installed in my workshop.
Having obtained a PIC18F1320 microcontroller for experimentation, I wanted to learn about the new features of the PIC18F range using only minimal hardware to control the display.
I am currently using it with the on-chip 8Mhz oscillator only and driving a six digit led display, multiplexed with further saving of chip pins by a technique pioneered by Charlie Allen of Maxim-Dallas for their MAX6951 LED display drivers called “Charlieplexing” (see their application note AN1880).
I would have liked to have used a MAX6951 chip for better display brightness, but they appear to be only available in "Quarter Size Outline Packages" (QSOP) - the leads are very close together,not easy to experiment with.
Another alternative would be to use a MAX7219 display driver, this chip has a serial interface and an option to adjust the display brightness - something I may try later.
Build Accurate LC Meter and start making your own coils and inductors. This LC Meter allows to measure incredibly small inductances making it perfect tool for making all types of RF coils. LC Meter can measure inductances starting from 10nH - 1000nH, 1uH - 1000uH, 1mH - 100mH and capacitances from 0.1pF up to 900nF. The circuit includes an auto ranging and reset function to make sure the readings are as accurate as possible ... [more]