After decades of seeing projects and circuits using ever increasingly complex integrated circuits, I yearn for simpler times. As a teenager, I built fascinating and wondrous circuits using just a few transistors. My flashlight controlled relay could control a buzzer; music from my cassette tape player played on my radio with a two-transistor circuit; my amplifier could drive a speaker. These circuits were from dusty hobby books found at my local library with names like "29 transistor circuits" or "electronic hobby circuits."
To return to those glory days, I decided to build a digital clock using only transistors as the active elements. After a few years of “work” (it felt more like play), the final parts count is 194 transistors, 566 diodes, 400 resistors, and 87 capacitors.
This is an electronic kit for the experienced hobbyist. The result is a wall hanging clock that shows 1,250+ parts in all their glory. There are no integrated circuits; all functionality is achieved using discrete transistor-diode logic. The included assembly manual has a logic tutorial and circuit descriptions that attempt to explain how the clock works.
The kit comes with all parts and the printed circuit board (PCB) with the part symbols showing the values of the components for easy assembly. Solder and solder-wick are included, along with spare parts for most items (we all make mistakes). All you need is a soldering iron, some basic soldering skills, and a few tools.