The ultimate geek clock

Thread Starter

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,290
For a while now, I've been toying with the idea of building myself a wall clock that I can show off in my electronics workshop. Thing is, I haven't yet come up with a design that is at the same time ergonomic (not too hard, but also not too easy to read), aesthetically pleasing, and cool-looking.

I have the means and enough knowledge and skills to build such clock from scratch if I choose to. I'll be basing my design on a PIC MCU. No arduino nor raspberry crap, I want this project to be low level, but not so low so as to use only logic gates... that would take too much work and effort.

Anyway, I'm posting this so that others can share ideas for its visual and physical appearance. And maybe in time we can converge into something worthy of being called a work of art.

Here are my requirements:
  • Cool and geeky-looking at the same time
  • Mid to high level construction difficulty
  • Silent
  • Not too easy for a normal person to identify as a clock at first glance
  • Its components should be completely visible

My tools available are:
  • PCB making process
  • Filament 3D printer
  • Liquid resin 3D printer
  • Small and accurate CNC milling machine, capable of working with plastics and soft metals
  • Miniature CNC lathe capable of working with ferrous metals
  • Carpentry tools
  • Dremel tool
  • Lots and lots of hand tools, big and small.

Of course, when I'm finished, I intend to to share its plans and code, and all the info necessary so that any one else can build one if they want and this will hopefully go into AAC's completed projects collection.

Any ideas?
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,804
Did a search of old sitcom's but couldn't find this one. A home owner bought a new clock. It was a series of dots. I'm just guessing but I think the first column of dots represented the hour and the next two columns represented the minutes. A friend of the owner came in and asked what that was. "It's a clock!" said the owner. The friend said something like "How the hell are you supposed to tell time like that???" A few minutes later another friend came over. Ignoring the clock they went about their conversation. When the second friend was leaving she looked at this odd clock and said "My gaud! Look at the time! I gotta go."

I wish I could find it but I suppose nobody on YouTube remembers that far back. Had to be back in the 70's.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
1,529
But all of these clocks have already been done. :(

I have just become enamored with addressable LEDs so I would probably start there, maybe make the display cryptic and colorful.
 

AnalogKid

Joined Aug 1, 2013
9,040
Agree about Nixie's having a huge "geek factor". And the plexiglas update is both retro and futuristic. But consider -

1. a binary display. six columns that change from red to green to indicate 0's and 1's. Or off and lit. or or or. The one drawback is the learning curve to be able to read it quickly.

2. a meter clock. Four analog panel meters with faces scaled from 0-1, 0-9, 0-5, 0-9. Driven by analog outputs of four D/A converters. For less hardware, combine the two hours digits into a single 1-12 unit.

ak
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
15,464
Did a search of old sitcom's but couldn't find this one. A home owner bought a new clock. It was a series of dots. I'm just guessing but I think the first column of dots represented the hour and the next two columns represented the minutes. A friend of the owner came in and asked what that was. "It's a clock!" said the owner. The friend said something like "How the hell are you supposed to tell time like that???" A few minutes later another friend came over. Ignoring the clock they went about their conversation. When the second friend was leaving she looked at this odd clock and said "My gaud! Look at the time! I gotta go."

I wish I could find it but I suppose nobody on YouTube remembers that far back. Had to be back in the 70's.
Something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Powe...O28U?source=ps-sl-shoppingads-lpcontext&psc=1
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,804
OK, came up with this dot-matrix number set for a 12 hour clock: Note: The time displayed is 10:34. (without the numbers over the cubes) A "Zero" is a single dot jumping every half second from corner to corner until it becomes a "1".
1615740664178.png
 
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