Saturday, January 18, 2014

Eclipse Clock

I was initially impressed by a clock I saw called the "Equinox Clock" posted here. The author went into some detail on the construction, but it wasn't a full how-to. I thought about doing my own, but all of the work he did with the separate driver chips and LEDs kept me from getting started. Mostly because of the time investment required. When I saw that Adafruit Industries started selling 1M strips of their "NeoPixels", I thought that would be a great alternative and most of the work spent on the clock would go into other things besides custom circuit boards and interconnects.

I plan on posting all of my plans and code on-line with instructions to help you build your own. I'm calling it "Eclipse Clock" because I think it looks more like a solar eclipse (and I didn't want to steal the name). Here's the part list I'm using;

  • 1M Neo-Pixel strip
  • Arduino Micro
  • DS1307 RTC chip
  • 32.786 KHz crystal
  • CR2032 lithium battery (and holder)
  • push-button switch (N.O.)
  • small Cds cell
  • 4 10K Ohm resistors
  • 1 1000 uF capacitor
  • 5v power supply (4 amps ideally, more on that later)

The clock will consist of an strip of LEDs shining sideways out of a round case. They radiate outwards and end up reflecting off the wall. There is a single pushbutton for setting the clock and changing color scheme between some presets. A real-time clock chip keeps accurate time. Hours are represented by 3 lit pixels, minutes by 1 lit pixel and seconds by another lit pixel. Themes can change color values of these as well as use a separate background color (which could let you have a fully lit ring with dark values for hours/minutes/seconds).

Source code will be on github.

More in a future post, but that's where I'm starting!

No comments: