This site follows the design, construction and testing of an accurate radio controlled desk clock that you never need to set, this kind of thing. The clock will receive the MSF signal that is transmitted from Rugby on 60kHz. This 60kHz signal will be demodulated, decoded and fed into a PIC microcontroller. This microcontroller will drive an LED display that will display the exact time.

I will try to make everything from scratch, including the PIC programmer. The design will be built on stripboard, simply because I don’t have any PCB production facilities!

It’s certainly an ambitious project, and a good one in that it combines analogue RF design in the receiver, and digital design in the PIC controller.

I plan to proceed as follows:

  • Build and test a PIC programmer (involves making a quick PIC test board, to check it’s being programmed correctly)
  • Come up with a design for a 60kHz receiver/demodulator
  • Test the receiver, and make changes to the design as necessary
  • Get the PIC to decode the time code signal received
  • Develop code (firmware) for the PIC to interface with an LED display to show the time

Possible extensions:

  • Add a button to the clock that when pressed shows the date

Simple as that!