[time-nuts] Solstice Puzzle

Bill Hawkins bill at iaxs.net
Sat Dec 17 13:41:33 EST 2011

"Just read decimal seconds..."

Now that's interesting. It would be like visiting another country that
uses a different temperature scale. After a while you'd be able to
relate the numbers to your own sense of temperature. Similarly, you'd
be able to relate the count of seconds to your sense of time of day.

You'd be the only one on the block (and maybe in your house) that
could look at the seconds count and know the time of day.

There would have to be a reset message from the lowest order block
when the seconds roll over at midnight. Ah, and a pushbutton to tell
the low order block to add a leap second at midnight.

Neat puzzle. Has anyone come up with an arrangement that would make it
useful to separate the blocks? If they are separate, each has to have
its own power supply. Or you could use RF to supply enough power to
a nanoprocessor and a liquid crystal digit. Modulate the RF with 1 PPS
and you can clock the simultaneous change of the digits. Although,
there is a certain charm to watching the change propagate at some low
serial message baud rate.

"Head or tail deletion" is a pretty good idea, too.

Bill Hawkins

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Lux
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2011 10:54 AM
To: time-nuts at febo.com
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Solstice Puzzle

On 12/16/11 10:04 PM, Neville Michie wrote:
> At this time of the year many people look for frivolous puzzles to solve.

If you impose the minor requirement that you cast off the shackles of 
Babylon and sexigesimality.. and just read decimal seconds.  Each block 
has a divide by 10 driving the display. it has a LED on the left side, 
and a photosensor on the right side.  If the box detects pulses coming 
in from the sensor it uses those to drive the counter, if it detects 
nothing, it uses an internal 1 pps source.

In any event sensor on the right, emitter on the left, is the basic 
strategy.  The one widget detecting nothing uses an internal oscillator. 
You could have it send an entire timecode (in HH:MM:SS form), and 
"receiver blocks" just have to count where they are in the chain to know 
which digits to display.  A simple way would be to do "head or tail 
deletion" [where the] right hand unit sends out SMMHH.  Each block
displays the first byte, sends the remaining ones on.

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