What Is a Digital Clock?

What Is a Digital Clock?

Updated: November 9, 2020

A clock is a timekeeping device. It displays time in hours, minutes, and sometimes in seconds. There are two forms of clocks: analog and digital.

The analog clock is the conventional clock that indicates time by the positions of rotating hands. Using the analog clock to tell time involves careful study of the clock.

Unless you count and add the minutes well, you can get it wrong when telling time with analog clocks. All these limitations informed the decision for the invention of the first digital clock.

What Does Digital Clock Mean?

Have you seen clocks that display the time digitally? Those are digital clocks. The word digital describes how the clock displays the time. With digital clocks, if you know your numbers, telling time is easy.

The first digital clock displayed the hours, minutes, and seconds on a screen eliminating the need for hands. Who made the first digital clock?

Who Invented the Digital Clock?

We owe our thanks for the invention of the digital clocks to Josef Pallweber. He is the Austrian engineer that invented the "Jump-hour" mechanism. Instead of the usual dial, this machine comes with two windows. Through these windows, the hours and minutes are visible on rotating discs.

When Was the Digital Clock Invented?

Josef Pallweber achieved the remarkable feat of inventing the digital clock in 1883. By 1885 Cortebert and IWC started using the Pallweber mechanism for the production of pocket watches.

How Does a Digital Clock Work?

To know how a digital clock works, let us first examine its components.

  • Power source: This is what powers the clock. It can either be AC powered or battery-powered.
  • Counter: This is an electronic gear mechanism.
  • Timebase: A time-based generator is an electronic circuit that produces a varying voltage to generate a specific waveform.
  • Lights: Digital clocks use either light-emitting diodes (LED) or liquid crystal display (LCD) to display the lighted time.
  • Oscillator: Oscillator is an electronic circuit that produces oscillating electronic signals.

Having examined its parts, how does a digital clockwork? An oscillator is an essential component of the digital clock. In the digital clock, a crystal made from a glass serves as its oscillator.

As an electric charge from the power source passes through the crystal, it changes shape. With this change in shape comes a very faint sound. This sound produced at a regular frequency becomes an electronic signal.

Harmonization of this signal occurs when counters convert the 60 Hertz oscillator's vibration in the clock to One hertz/oscillation. One oscillation is equal to one second.

The first counter counts one for each set of ten oscillations. The second counter counts one after the first counter counts six times. This means the second counter counts one after sixty oscillations.

Each of the counters has an electronic chip. This chip signals to the display panel, which displays the time using light.

The digital clock displays time using LCD or LED light divided into seven segments. Only number eight uses all seven segments. Displaying numbers from zero to nine involves using less than the seven segments. Number one uses two of the seven segments.

How to Set a Digital Clock?

Setting up the digital clock is easy. While there are many manufacturers and many digital wall clock designs, the necessary process of setting it is quite similar.

Digital clocks usually come with buttons labeled; an hour, minutes, alarm, and mode. Some simpler models come with mode or settings, then buttons labeled + and -.

These buttons help set up the clock. Below are the necessary steps to follow in setting up the digital clock;

  • Connect the clock to a power source. This can be either an AC wall outlet or a battery
  • Look for a button with one of these labels "Clock," "Clock set," "Time," "Mode," or "Settings."
  • Press or press and hold the button until the hour or minute numbers on the clock start blinking. To set the hour
  • Press or press and hold the "hour," "+," or "-" button to adjust the hour until you get to the desired numerical value.
  • To set the minutes, press or press and hold the "minute," "+," or "-" button to adjust the hour until you get to the desired numerical value.

How to Fix Digital Clock Display?

Sometimes numbers are missing from the display on a digital clock. This can be because of a loose, improper, or defective connection. Follow these simple steps to fix this problem;

  • Disassemble the clock
  • Check if the LCD or LED connects to the board via a rubber band embedded with conductive carbon stripes.
  • If yes, check for proper rubber connection between the board and LCD or LED.
  • If the connection is loose, fix the connection.
  • If it is not a connection problem, clean LCD or LED, rubber and board with Isopropanol
  • Reassemble your clock

Why Do Digital Clocks Lose Time?

Digital clocks keep time based on the number of vibration or oscillation of its crystal oscillator. These crystals are not always 100% accurate. The inaccuracy of this crystal can be due to temperature or age.

Where to Buy a Digital Clock?

Buying a digital clock can be easy, as well as challenging. There are many kinds of digital wall clocks and digital desk clocks. This is due to the variety of manufacturers and designs available. Proper research before heading out would help you streamline your choices. You can buy a digital clock from Amazon, Walmart, other online stores or watch shops close to you.

How to Display a Digital Clock on Windows 10 Desktop?

Do you work with your Windows 10 computer? Do you get distracted or lose your train of thought when you take your eyes off the screen to check the time?

A digital clock on your desktop would save you time and make timekeeping easier for you. You can use an online digital clock for this purpose. They are very accurate. The only challenge with an online clock is the clock requires an initial network connection.

You can also download a digital clock for Windows 10 from the Microsoft store. They have a user-friendly interface and occupy little space.

What Is a Digital Alarm Clock?

Are you a heavy sleeper? Do you need an alarm to wake you up in the morning? A digital alarm clock is a device for you.

A digital alarm clock is a digital clock with an in-built alarm system. This form of an alarm clock is more precise than the conventional alarm clock.