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Topic: Equinox Clock (Read 4483 times) previous topic - next topic

florinc

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Well if anyone gets the electronics sorted

The electronics shouldn't be more complicated than the bi-color dual matrix LED shields I make (and sell), essentially 180 LEDs driven by 4 shift registers plus a darlington array. Arranging them in a circle would be some challenge. Arranging them NICELLY would be even a bigger challenge.


Chronoless

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What PCBs do you have left over? Anything that might be useful in another project?


I've got about 20 TLC boards and 100 LED boards that haven't found their way into a project yet. A few weeks ago I started with another clock. A very different one. But haven't had time to finish it.

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The electronics shouldn't be more complicated than the bi-color dual matrix LED shields I make (and sell), essentially 180 LEDs driven by 4 shift registers plus a darlington array. Arranging them in a circle would be some challenge. Arranging them NICELLY would be even a bigger challenge.


That is exactly the reason why I didn't use a matrix. I've used TLC5940s. They can be daisy-chained so I figured I could also chain them with pcb's and cables. It's just a long string of tlc's going round.
It also gave me a nice resolution on the LEDs (4096).
Unfortunately the LED were of poor quality and there was some color difference between them.


florinc

#17
Sep 07, 2010, 09:33 pm Last Edit: Sep 07, 2010, 09:40 pm by florinc Reason: 1
The more I think about it, the more I realize that this is not about the electronics, but about the design and realization, which I will never be able to accomplish with my skills (and tools). Somehow similar to the QlockTwo idea. Back to electronics: I think one can also daisychain 8-bit shift registers, one for every 2 RGB LEDs, for a total of 30 pieces, no PWM though, if that is indeed needed.

mowcius

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Somehow similar to the QlockTwo idea.

I have finished my acrylic design for this and I am going to do some tests tomorrow...
I am currently downloading EAGLE again so I can sort out a board for it although it will probably be done on stripboard cos shift registers are pretty simple like that.

Mowcius

nickvd

#19
Sep 08, 2010, 04:02 am Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 04:03 am by nickvd Reason: 1
Your clock just got picked up by Gizmodo! :)

http://gizmodo.com/5632029/equinox-clock-looks-like-a-colorful-dyson-air-multiplier

And since they don't really create their own content, you were also mentioned at

http://thedailywh.at/post/1081900747/kickass-clock-of-the-day-bram-knaapens

and

http://tv.gawker.com/5631991/arduino+powered-equinox-clock-will-shock-awe-tell-time

and

http://hackaday.com/2010/09/07/equinox-clock/

Congrats!

mowcius

#20
Sep 08, 2010, 09:40 am Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 09:42 am by mowcius Reason: 1
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http://hackaday.com/2010/09/07/equinox-clock/

Well that was me and the others seem to have got it from hackaday  so I'll say they were me too  ;D

Chronoless

The QlockTwo is also a very cool clock.
I've been thinking about building one myself. But never had the time. First I have to build the rest of the ideas before building stuff designed by others :).

Thanks for all the tips to blogs! I've seen a lot more traffic to my website after it had been posted at hack-a-day and makezine.

mowcius

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I've been thinking about building one myself. But never had the time. First I have to build the rest of the ideas before building stuff designed by others

Just laser cut my front and the first coat of spray is currently drying.
I did it in MDF for the letters as a test, I might do an acrylic one soon to save the paint :D

I'm too impatiant to wait for paint to dry...

Mowcius

Chronoless

#23
Sep 08, 2010, 06:22 pm Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 06:22 pm by Chronoless Reason: 1
I would use acrylic. You can get some really nice finishes so you don't have to spray paint.
I'm going to have to look for a new lasercutter. I just graduated and got a job, so no uni laser cutter for me anymore :) . Maybe I'll check out a fablab.

florinc

Did you guys see the method described in this instructable?
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sleek-word-clock/
It seems to be the simplest and cheapest (although not the (world) sleekest, as claimed).

mowcius

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Did you guys see the method described in this instructable?
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sleek-word-clock/
It seems to be the simplest and cheapest (although not the (world) sleekest, as claimed).

That's pretty cool. I am considering trying etching through paint as I have tried before, maybe a with a few coats of black it willl block all the light and then with the paint inside (reversed text) it will be thinner than doing all acrylic layers. It would also allow you to do non-stencil lettering. I just need to find some ultra-black quick drying spray or even coat stuff to paint on.

If I get this sorted, anyone interested in one? At the moment I will just be making a case but I might get a pcb done depending on interest.

Pic of first test coming soon...

Mowcius

mowcius

Here's a pic of my first test, MDF sprayed green (yeah it was what was hanging around, you can get the Qlocktwo in green  ;D) with a sheet clear acrylic over the top to make it nice.



I now know what improvements to make before I cut another one in acrylic.

Mowcius

florinc

Did a bit more "research" on the subject of electronics involved.
A somehow cheaper solution could use 60 shiftbrites (macetech), for a cost of $240. Then, headers need to be added, 10 (40-pin) male, 10 (40 pin) female; that adds about $10. This way, the shiftbrites could plug into each other in a circle with a radius of 19cm. Connect everything to an arduino with RTC (like Wiseduino :) (add $34 more), program it (sample code is available at macetech) and there you have it, "almost" done for a grand total of under $300.
As I said before, the challenge is in making the enclosure. Without it, there is no "Equinox Clock" :)

mowcius

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As I said before, the challenge is in making the enclosure.

The challenge is in designing the clock. As one has already been made, it'd be pretty easy to make another one.

Mowcius

florinc

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As one has already been made, it'd be pretty easy to make another one

Easy for Chronoless, I assume it will.

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