Ever since my Remote Context Communicator project I’d been walking around with the idea to make a clock in the same style. I just never had the time. Last summer I did and designed and built the thing. And this is the result!
Today I made some initial progress on one of my summer projects here at NYC Resistor – a rudimentary mock-up of the DOTKLOK hardware.
DOTKLOK will be an open source clock kit with multiple time-telling animations, some literal like the simple display above, and others showing the passage of time through abstract patterns, following on from my Electric Window 3 series.
The inspiration for this clock is to combine a bunch of cool ways to show time — such as in a sentence, with words, or retro game displays — along with my own original animations, while providing a platform on which others can further develop cool timepieces.
Thanks to a great RTC1307 tutorial and library by Adafruit, I was interfacing with the clock chip faster than expected, and soon had a rudimentary sketch up and running.
The Bulbdial clock from Evil Mad Scientist is probably the coolest clock idea I’ve ever seen. Even cooler are my parents, who got the kit for my birthday. The basic idea is that three rings of LEDs cast shadows onto a clock face to form H/M/S hands, somewhat like a sundial, with the hands slowly animating around. A lot of thought clearly went into making this kit, and it’s very nicely done, but there’s a major drawback: I want to use it on my bed side table, where I usually keep a clock, but it’s too bright for me to fall asleep! Of course, that’s been thought of too: in the normal view mode, the three buttons at the bottom of the clock are brightness up, down, and “mute,” which turns off the LEDs entirely. But they’re hard to get to buried underneath the frame of the clock, and it makes muting the display cumbersome in the dark. Let’s fix that!
The Bulbdial Clock kit is based on an original design concept from IronicSans.com and developed at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. It works like an indoor sundial, but with three shadows of different length. You tell the time just like you do on a normal clock, by reading the positions of the hour, minute, and second hands.
The Bulbdial we are carrying comes with red, green and blue LEDs for the ‘hands’, a black/smoke laser-cut enclosure and a wall adapter. When finished, it looks like the picture shown above!
The Bulbdial Clock is sold as a soldering kit [?]. Basic electronic soldering skill is required, and you provide basic soldering tools: a soldering iron + solder and small wire clippers. You will also need internet access to read or download our detailed assembly guide. No additional knowledge of electronics is presumed or required. Easy “through-hole” construction and clear, photo-heavy instructions are provided. Assembly time: 1-3 hours, depending on your level of experience with soldering.
MonoChron-Beta-0-6. That was only yesterday at 3:30, And we’re already a couple more revs down the road. The code is stable, We’re just bug hunting. MonoChron is an OpenSource Hardware solution from LadyAda of AdaFruit.Com. I created the IntruderChron variant of the clock, and LadyAda has created 3 additional variants. The firmware is difficult to load, and only one could be loaded at a time. The MultiChron solution is to combine all 4 variants into one firmware load, and allow the user to select, randomize, or rotate through the variants. This project is documented on the Clock forum at Adafruit.Com with the full knowledge of LadyAda and AdaFruit. This software is distributed under Creative Commons, and extended as such. My involvement has been to design and implement the software effort. I have been aided by CaithSith2 and have credited such in the About screen. Music is Tropic of Capri by Vladimir Jan Rebek (BMI) of freeroyaltyfreemusic.net. Thank you for the use of your music.
Phillip and Limor of Adafruit and MAKE were kind enough to send me one of their Monochron clock kits, because they ported Dali Clock to it! I just finished building it, so now I have a hardware Dali Clock. It is sweet.
Fun hack for the Ice Tube clock! Who doesn’t want satellite-precise timing? This firmware mod allows you to add any 4800 TTL NMEA GPS module. Check that the module can run from 5V power, and has a wire that outputs NMEA 4800 baud at TTL levels. Do NOT use any RS-232 level outputs, they can easily damage your clock!
Our favorite Soviet-Era display that found its way into a present-day kit now displays time from orbiting satellites. A GPS module patched into an Ice Tube Clock with modified firmware will be able to provide a satellite-synced time. The firmware, modified by yours truly, parses the GPS module’s NMEA RMC sentences for the time and date information and then updates the clock’s time and date. Fun was had making sure the alarm went off at the correct times when the time was updated by the GPS. Overall, it was a fun project and we look forward to seeing additional Ice Tube Clock hacks.
We picked up a few of these now-discontinued GPS modules specifically for those that want to use them for time-keeping purposes. They use an older chipset and our testing determined that while they function perfectly fine as a GPS, they are not as accurate as the EM-406 modules we carry for location applications. For that reason, we don’t suggest them for location logging.
This is a great battery-backed real time clock (RTC) that allows your microcontroller project to keep track of time even if it is reprogrammed, or if the power is lost. Perfect for datalogging, clock-building, time stamping, timers and alarms, etc. The DS1307 is the most popular RTC, and works best with 5V-based chips such as the Arduino.
All parts including PCB, header and battery are included
Quick to assemble and use
Plugs into any breadboard, or you can use wires
We have example code and library for Arduino with a walkthrough on our documentation page
The DS1307 is simple and inexpensive but not a high precision device. It may lose or gain up to 2 seconds a day. For a high-precision, temperature compensated alternative, please check out the ChronoDot.
Dekatron clock with IN-18 nixies. No logic and No Microcontroller. John found a great dekatron based Nixie clock on YouTube that I wanted to re-post here. All of the timing is derived from the mains line at 50Hz. The dekatrons divide the time base in to seconds, minutes, and hours. I’ve contacted owner and others have as well to see how he performs the “divide by 5″ function to get 1pps and the “divide by 6″ to convert 60 seconds in to a minute. You can see the jump/division happen at 1:20 seconds in the video. I am not sure if this is simply a matter of wiring the dekatrons differently or there are other components in use that are not visible.
Reader Albert Y. from Seattle, Washington sent in his latest creation. It is a scope clock based off of the Thiem-Work components. He was helped by Eric C. both in vision and execution. It has a similar styling with the exposed CRT and the (what appears to be) aluminum base. Nice work!