Man, you people are very harsh. I know for a fact that the button can be switched at 30Hz. I have both tested by: a) changing the timing in the program until I saw failures and b) reading the clock inputs on an oscilloscope(17mS on then 17mS was the shortest switching time that registered completely). I thought that the switch-debouncing measures taken by the manufacturer would have been the limiting factor, but it appears--because of the convenient number of 30Hz--that it is the clock frequency of the IC.
Modify your schematic...
That would make it impossible for the pin to ever go HIGH... As soon as there is current on the base, the +12V would be shorted to ground through the transistor(poof & magical smoke)... And if my Arduino is connected through USB to my computer, that could be damaged too.
and to the arduino ground.
To humor your suggestion, I have modified my schematic to the setup you have described:
Explain to me how the clock pin can ever reach +12V in this configuration..
The [working] configuration in my previously posted schematic can be seen in this photo. I know my resistor values are random, but they work. I had no idea what amount of current was needed to switch the buttons for the calculations. I tried this and it worked:
Furthermore you can't see the display changing that fast, so it seems of no practical purpose.
I don't need to see it changing to know it works. I tell it to set the clock to XX:XX, the display flashes through the numbers quickly, and then the clock is set to exactly the time I requested. The point is to set the clock quickly. There is no practical purpose of this exercise other than the learning experience. Also, I have checked to make sure that the transformer is isolated since you mentioned it--it is. I always treat appliances that are plugged into mains with extreme caution (not worth my life to be lazy, but thank you for the advice. I didn't consider the significance of an 'isolated' transformer).