Arduino Technology

Here’s a super-nerdy timepiece created using Arduino, a DS1307 real-time clock chip, four 74HC595 shift registers, and an 8×8 RGB dot matrix display. How does it tell time?

The time is indicated using blocks of colour. The central 6×6 grid is split into 4 x (3×3) grids and each 3×3 block is a different colour. The number of LEDs per 3×3 grid indicate the digit. i.e. if the first 3×3 grid has 1 LED lit then the first digit is 1, the second has 7 then the 2nd digit is 7, etc. The top two grids are the hour digits and the bottom 2 the minutes. Around the edge the unused LED’s have a moving light that shows the approximate position of the seconds.

Got that?

The BlokClok Project


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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