Trying to squeeze some new life out of the tried-and-true clock paradigm can be a frustrating design challenge. Likewise, creating a clock from the absolute minimal number of parts (e.g., no more than 6 components) can lead to some sleepless nights. Finally, trying to shoehorn everything into an itty-bitty space (roughly 2-x3-inches) and making it a portable, battery-powered clock can make even a seasoned project builder scream "Uncle!" Getting everything to work like, err, clockwork, priceless.
The Dot • Watch is a new spin on the classic microcontroller clock project. It's small, portable, low cost, and sports a unique timekeeping function. If this method of timekeeping interests you, you can purchase a more "refined" watch with a similar time display function from Tokyo Flash.
Driven by an Arduino microcontroller clone, called Freeduino, Dot • Watch forces you to do some fast number cypherin' to tell the current time. Rather than displaying numbers on a screen, Dot • Watch uses an 8x8 LED matrix to depict the current time. In this context four columns of "dots" are used for displaying time in a 24-hour format. For example:
- Columns 1 & 3 are used for hours.
- Column 1 represents 5 hour increments
- Column 3 uses 1 hour increments
- Columns 6 & 7 are used for the minutes.
- Column 6 shows minutes in 10-minute increments
- Column 7 flashes the minutes in 2-minute increments
So how do you drive a 24-pin 8x8 LED matrix with just one Freeduino? Very carefully; seriously, there are more than enough I/O pins on the Freeduino for handling this unorthodox time display. On the next page, the point-to-point wiring schedule for Dot • Watch.
Nice toy...but no useful innovation. Why do we need to complicate the clock now?
a great project i would want to work on anyday. it might be clearly outdone by regular clocks, but it's still awsome!!!
Can't say much about it.
Anyone know how to power this from the wall? It'd be MUCH more practical.