TIM 2015 Speaking Clock

The TIM 2015 is a self contained time of day announcement device that measures 5" x 2" x 7" (130 x 50 x 175mm). It answers a telephone line with the current time just as the telephone company's machines used to do. It has voices from the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia, with more on the way.

The TIM2015 is available from Andy Emmerson fully assembled and as a do-it-yourself kit. The device is featured in the Spring 2019 THG (Telecommunications Heritage Group) Journal 106.

Tony Roza's TIM 2015 Speaking Clock

TIM2015

Here is the TIM2015, the GPS, and a BT 8746G which serves as a monitor.

I purchased the bare-bones kit (case, pc board, and several modules) which Andy referred to as a "box of bits". His documentation is excellent and, for anyone with electronic skills, it is relatively easy to assemble ... once the parts arrive from the UK, US, China, and Korea. Warning: This is no Heathkit®! When ordering parts, it takes a week or less for the goods to arrive from the UK or US; and typically 3 weeks from China or Korea. One item ordered from China has not arrived after 6 weeks.

BPO Postage Box of Bits

Royal Mail - It took under 5 days to ship the 9" x 6¼" x 4½" "box of bits"
from England to California - 5,500 miles.


BPO Postage

The case - top, bottom, front and rear panels as prepared by Andy Emmerson.


CD

The CD containing the documentation.


Speaker grill and PAM8403 amplifier

Speaker grill and PAM8403 amplifier module.


LCD, Adrino and Mitel Modem in aluminum foil

LCD frame. The Adrino and Mitel modem are in the aluminum foil.


Micro SD cards

Micro SD cards containing the voice files.

Voices supplied with the kit:


Top of pc board

Top of pc board


Bottom of pc board

Bottom of pc board


Assembly

Assembly begins for the case.


Rear panel back Rear panel front

Rear panel


Front panel rear Front panel top Front panel face

Front panel


QC12864B2 blue 128x64 Graphic LCD face QC12864B2 blue 128x64 Graphic LCD underside

LCD1 - QC12864B2 blue 128x64 Graphic LCD


Assembling the modules.


D-Sun Switching Voltage Regulator

MOD1 - D-Sun Switching Voltage Regulator Module


DS3231 RTC

MOD3 - DS3231 RTC Module Clock Time Memory Board


YX5300 Audio Top YX5300 Audio Bottom

MOD4 - YX5300 Audio Player Module


PAM8403 3W Ampilfier Top PAM8403 3W Ampilfier Bottom

MOD6 - PAM8403 3W Amplifier Module


GPS

GPS

The unit's time can be synchronized with an external radio (0.1 second accuracy: MSF-- United Kingdom, DCF77-- Germany, WWVB-- United States), GPS (1 second accuracy), or internal Wi-Fi (⅓ - 1 second accuracy: Espressif Systems ESP8266-01). I am using a GPS receiver.

Assembly begins for the pc board.

PC Board Taped

PC board - components mounted and masking taped into position for soldering.


PC Board before soldering

PC board - underside of board before soldering


PC Board after soldering

PC board - component side after soldering. Work continued until most "passive" components (sockets, connectors, resistors, capacitors, and diodes) were installed.


PC Board Passive Testing

After the "passive" components were installed, the wiring was tested for continuity, open circuits, shorts to adjacent pins, etc. Then, the 3.3v regulator and transistors were soldered and tested. The LED resistors will not be installed until later since they will have to be chosen for consistent brightness.

Putting it all together.


Adjusting 5v power supply

Adjusting the 5v supply


First power up

The 5v supply was installed, power was applied, and the 5v supply to each module/socket was verified. The 3W Amp module was installed. The speaker and headphone/monitor outputs were testing using signal generator (set to a 33Hz of course) in place of the sound card. Then, the modules and chips were installed with the exception of the sound card (which had not arrived) and modem. The lights lit as they should. The hard reset worked - indicating the encoder et al are ok. After adjusting the contrast trim pot, the expected message "Error: 01 VoiceHW" appeared indicating the display works properly.


All components installed

The audio card arrived and was installed along with the modem. Shortly after, the TIM2015 spoke for the first time. In a few minutes, the time synchronized itself from the GPS. The telephone auto-answer was tested-- my line is connected to a VOIP Magicjack.


20/20 Hindsight

20/20 Hindsight. As the components were placed in the case, as shown above, I realized that it was not a good idea to use 22 guage stranded-wire and plenty of slack. Thinner wire with shorter leads would have been better. The wiring had to be neatly tucked-in before the case was closed.