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Topic: Word Clock with minute resolution of time in words and linear display of seconds (Read 834 times) previous topic - next topic


I have just completed a Arduino NANO word clock with minute resolution of time in words and linear display of seconds.

Word Clock Page

A video showing the various modes is available here Word Clock on YouTube

There are also modes for digital clock, analogue clock, temperature & humidity, & also three games, Game of Life, Simon & Tetris.

The clock can be stand alone or run as a slave off a Master Clock if required.

In stand alone mode the clock runs off it's built in temperature compensated real time clock with an accuracy of ±2ppm from 0°C to +40°C

When running as a slave off a Master Clock time is synchronised on every 30seconds past the minute.

Summer/Winter time is also automatically adjusted by one of my Pragotron Master Clocks on the BSTin (D7 Nano) pin.

A manual switch can be added instead if quick summer/winter time change is required.

There is an option for PIR control so the clock automatically turns off when no one is in the room.

The Clock measures 500mm x 500mm weighs 12lb (5.5Kg) and is designed to be wall mounted.

There are touch pads in each corner to setup and control the clock.

A mini USB socket provides brightness information over the serial port and also allows software programming insitue.

This clock is based on the original Word Clock by Wouter Devinck.

No custom PCBs are used in this version of the clock just cheap easy to come by prebuilt modules a couple of small Veroboards.

Construction time around 40 hours.


That looks very nice. I've been thinking about building a word clock to add to my collection of NTP clocks. I already have a Nixie, A VFD, a large LED and an LCD all using more or less the same software base with a special module for handling the display variants.
I was interested to see how you made the screen with a custom designed sticker on glass. I see that some commercial ones are laser cut steel. I'd be happy if I found someone selling just the screen (for a reasonable price) so I could do the rest.
To make the clocks compensate for DST, you can use the time zone library.


Thanks 6v6gt. I have always wanted a Nixie clock there are some amazing designs out there. Any pics of your clocks?

You can probably get laser cutting online. You would need to change the font or bits will fall out!


  ... with a transistor and a large sum of money to spend ...
Please don't PM me with technical questions. Post them in the forum.


I'd be happy if I found someone selling just the screen (for a reasonable price) so I could do the rest.
I've built a word clock before, and if I ever build another one, I'll use ws2812b strips.
Not only will that make the wiring and circuitry much simpler but it also gives you individual led control including color.
But to make it really easy, the spacing of the letters needs to match the spacing on the ws2812b strips.
Which is typically 30/60/144 leds per meter. which 30 or 60 being the two choices depending on the size desired.

To make the clocks compensate for DST, you can use the time zone library.
Even better is to use an esp8266 which can do a query over the network.
You can get the current local date/time and timezone (if you want/need it) for your location from your IP address.
There are many ways to do it, for example: https://timezoneapi.io/developers/ip-address

A small esp8266 module would be all you need and you could configure it from a web browser.

--- bill


Hi bperrybap.
I have had a quick measure up and the 30 LED per meter strip would give you a clock around my size 500mm x 500mm. You would need approx an 8m length to get the 256 LEDs.

How many LEDs can you control at once?  There would be around 768 LEDs as each LED contains a Red, Green and Blue LED.

Is there a white only version available as I am not a fan of multicoloured word clocks?

I presume if you wanted a huge 1000mm x 1000mm clock you could switch off every other LED and still use a 30 LED per meter strip?

Building the LED matrixes took the biggest chunk of time constructing my clock. Of the approx 40 hour build time I spent 13 1/2 hour constructing the Matrixes. Using LED strips would knock this down to an hour.


The leds are intelligent. Each LED is addressable through a serial series bus.
You tell it the intensity for each color and it maintains it until you change it.
Power can be huge if you turn them all on at maximum brightness.
I think there is a white only, there is also a version that has RGB + white.

I spent too many hours on building the matrix and the wiring for it and mine was a much smaller matrix than yours. I ended up using a HT16K33 16x8 controller as my matrix was only 8x13 and it was much easier than dealing with two 8x8 matrix chips.

--- bill

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