Please see the article - Simple PIC Moon Clock, J. P. Hare, April 2004, Everyday Practical Electronics

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A simple device that shows the progress of the phase of the Moon on its 29 1/2 day orbit around the Earth. The circuit has 12 LED's only one of which lights at any time. Each LED is on for just over 2 days providing the viewer with a real time indication of the phase of the Moon. The pre-programmed chips for the circuit can be purchased by e-mailing me at the address below. This project was part of my NESTA fellowship work.

The device uses a simple resistor-capacitor clock to time the circuit. Usually crystal clocks are required for stability but as each LED only changes every two days or so, daily variations due to temperature etc. tend to get averaged out. As the power consumption of the circuit is dependant on the clock speed the RC oscillator also means a very low current consumption for the Moon Clock, ca. 80 μA with the LED's off (ca. 4mA when LED's ON). So this simple Moon clock provides several years 'clocking' of the Moon when run from 3 x AA batteries (i.e. briefly turning ON the LED's when required) with the odd 'phase' setting required now and again.

Phases of
the Moon
The Moon Moon

E-mail order to (please mark as a PIC request): J.P.Hare@Sussex.ac.uk

click here for Everyday Practical Electronics (EPE) online


Dr Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex. BN1 9QJ

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