Tag Archives: clock

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Slices of a clock

There are so many ways to tell the time. DIYers have been doing clocks since the Ancient Egypt (obelisks lacked portability, thou). Every modern maker has a clock amongst her first projects. I have done some myself, including a fibonacci clock, a wordclock with a fancy green matrix effect and an unreleased project that hopefully will see the light someday soon.

But recently I came back to the idea behind the wordclock before, to extend it in different ways:

  • Replace the ATMega328P with an ESP8266 (NTP support and user interaction)
  • Smaller sizes (8×8 LED matrices)
  • Smaller PCB, less buttons
  • Add buzzer for alarms
  • Replace the 3D printed part with a wooden grid cut in laser
  • Completely closed enclosure, better presentation
  • Fix some issues with the original board (like the lack of a beefy capacitor across the LED matrix power lines).

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Wordclock with Green Matrix effect

Clocks are top projects for the maker community. There are tons of different ways to show or tell time. Or write time. Wordclocks are a subset of them by its own. You can find other wordclocks at instructables, for instance, or buy one from thinkgeek or from a local jewelry for just 450€. Mmm… well maybe that’s a little bit on the expensive side…

Recently I’ve been doing things with clocks and WS2812 LEDs (a.k.a. NeoPixels). My interest started with Philippe Chrétien’s Fibonacci Clock campaign at Kickstarter. I thought: “Wow! That’s cool AND freaking freak! I want one”. But the $100 and the instructable he himself had done before about building your own made me decide to try it. Anyway, that’s a different story.

That project led to this one. Because suddenly I happened to have 9 spare boards with an atmega328, an RTC, an SDCard slot, some nice buttons and the circuitry to drive a bunch of NeoPixels. I also happened to have a couple of LED matrices (you know, the kind of stuff you have in your bedroom drawer). So first I built a clone of the The Game Frame Pixel Art Project. It was great and my kids loved the pixelart. But I’m not going to talk about that project either.

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