MatrixClock: an 8x8 LED matrix and no buttons

This is a clock I made as a gift for my sister.

Matrix Clock - 3:50 by funnypolynomial, on Flickr

Matrix Clock - Side by funnypolynomial, on Flickr

The main challenge was to create a practical time display on the 8x8 LED matrix. The outer LEDs are used to show the minutes (to the nearest 5) and I designed a 4x4 pixel "font" to show the hour on the inner LEDs. Here's the time display in demo (sped up) mode:

The unit has additional display modes: the time in words, the temperature, a "Matrix" style animation and random pseudo-words (taken from my Loquino project Loquino | Flickr). The display mode is selected by changing the orientation of the unit, determined by an accelerometer. From the standard position (displaying the time as above) tipping the unit over to the left shows the Matrix animation, to the right shows the temperature. Turning it upside down shows the time in words.
Modes - YouTube

The unit has no buttons. The time is set by changing the orientation. For example tipping the unit face up, rotating it anti-clockwise and then lying it flat puts it into hour setting mode. The hour automatically increments. The current hour is set by rotating the unit back to the standard position. Repeating the process sets the minutes.

The unit includes a light sensor to dim the LEDs when the ambient light dips below a threshold. The alternate brightness and ambient threshold are set as above, but with a clockwise rotation.

I also spent a fair bit of time creating a semi-cryptic wordless instruction sheet. Just diagrams and icons, drawn using PostScript code in an isometric projection:

Matrix Clock - Instructions by funnypolynomial, on Flickr

There are more photos, videos and details on flickr:Matrix Clock | Flickr
The sketch is available from my site:Mark Wilson's Home Page - Software/Arduino/MatrixClock

Nice work! That's pretty clever all around.

Very Cool! Thanks for sharing.

Way cool, very clever! Is the box bamboo?

Well done!

You Kiwi's are way too clever, no wonder us Aussies want to claim all the good stuff you blokes come up with 8) Very well done.

@Jack: yeah bamboo - a toothbrush holder :slight_smile:

@Jack: yeah bamboo - a toothbrush holder :slight_smile:

Haha, another clever point for you. Bamboo is cool.

As always - well done. Your projects are an inspiration!

Oké, this is cool, real cool. It even has less buttons than an iPhone :smiley:

Fantastic job on the clock. You had to do quite a bit of engineering on the display and the interface. Your sister had to be stunned by this clock. I really like the IDE cable!

Verry Verry Cool !!!!

I have added a link to this project here -

I will of course remove it, if you prefer

Duane B

That's fine. Link away!