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Topic: Life Clock (Read 7 times) previous topic - next topic


Thanks for the X10 link. Total news to me. (I already have an X10 receiver that I use, so I am half way there already :)

That's right, a screw-in light fixture, like a light bulb. I think the glass dome I mentioned earlier will fit well in here, but used upside down (with the wooden base part on top, and a light bulb screw attached to it). We would need to find a way to secure the dome to the wooden base. A small power adapter (the "USB wall wart") should fit in the dome as well. I am thinking that even a glass jar can be adapted for the job, and it would be easier to attach the screw to the metal lid.
A servo will be required to rotate the display (to position it for the best viewing).
Also, a set of high intensity LEDs could be installed opposite to the display matrix, and used as directed, remote-controlable, light source. (now that this Arduino contraption is screwed where the old light fixture was).

I see a few challenges that need to be resolved:
- mic and buzzer are inside the jar/dome/bulb now;
- IR receiver should be reachable by remote even when the whole thing is rotated 180 degrees and not facing the remote (can you have 2 IR receivers in parallel?);

And, listen to this: if an accelerometer is included (or some positioning sensor), then the contraption can be screwed up in the ceiling (hanging down) or screwed down in a desk lamp, and the display will still show the text in the correct stance.

What do you think?


A bit of an update on the slow progress of my version of "Life Clock" (I could not resist  :-[):

- I switched to atmega 328, $2 more expensive, but lots of memory for future expansions;

- I was able to store my character set definition (8 bytes per character x 96 characters) in the local eprom (1K now); so now the 24LC256 eprom has only messages (32K, aprox 16 book pages);

- implemented "sleep mode", through remote control; in sleep mode, the whole thing is taking now 3.5 mA (an off-the-shelf arduino takes at least 15 mA in sleep mode). For this purpose, I had to build a custom arduino board, basically a protoshield (the small/short version) with only the processor on it. I eliminated the power LED (20 mA wasted right there), the FTDI chip, and the voltage regulator and the reset button (I always use a shield that has a reset button).

- I am still waiting for the LED matrix shields from seeedstudio; they should be available for everyone soon;

I think there would be a need for yet another arduino-compatible board, one similar to Arduino Pro from sparkfun, but with an atmega 328 on it and no LEDs, plus some other provisions for sleep mode.



Could you send me a copy of the schematics and code? I'm really interested in the code for loading and reading the eeprom for font data. I'm looking at making a sign, but the main part i'm hung up on is the way to take a message and lookup the font data in eeprom. Nice project!  :)


Feb 20, 2009, 03:24 am Last Edit: Feb 20, 2009, 01:38 pm by florinc Reason: 1
More progress! Today I received the shields from seeedstudio. Everything worked like a charm, no glitches, no surprises, almost unbelievable!

This is how it looks like:

More photos here:

I added a (poor quality unedited) video as well:


That looks amazing. Great work. I just posted the other day asking for an update on the RainbowDuino http://www.seeedstudio.com/blog/?page_id=187

Can I assume that you are using what will be that product?

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