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USB Clock With LCD Readout, Pt.2

Last month, we detailed the circuit of the USB Clock and showed you how to build it. This month, we detail the software installation and describe how it is used. We also describe how to synchronise your PC to an internet time server and how to synchronise the USB Clock to the PC each time the PC boots up.

By Mauro Grassi

Having built the hardware, the next step is to install the necessary driver. The following outlines the steps for Windows XP but other Windows versions, including Windows Vista, should work similarly.

The first step is to download the Microchip installer (MCHPFSUSB_Setup_v1.3.exe) from the SILICON CHIP website and run it (it’s in the November 2008 downloads section). Note that you must use version 1.3, as older or newer versions may not be compatible. When you run the installer, this will copy the driver to the C:\MCHPFUSB\PC\MCHPUSB Driver\Release folder.

Subsequently, when you first connect the USB Clock to your computer, Windows will recognise the device as a "Microchip Custom USB device". The "Found New Hardware" dialog will then appear (see Fig.7) and you should select the "No, not this time" option and click "Next".

At the following dialog, select "Install from a list or specific location" and click "Next" again to bring up the dialog shown in Fig.8. Select "Search for the best driver in these locations" and enable the "Include this location in the search" box.

Now click the "Browse" button. In the "Locate File" dialog that appears, navigate to where the MCHPUSB files were installed (normally it will be C:\MCHPFUSB\PC\MCHPUSB Driver\Release folder) and select "mchpusb.inf". Click "Next" and Windows will then install the driver.

If the driver is installed correctly, you should be able to see the "Microchip Custom USB Device" entry in Device Manager (provided the USB Clock is connected), as shown in Fig.9 (Control Panel -> System -> Hardware Tab -> Device Manager tab).

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