Craft & Design Technology
Bulbdial clock
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The folks at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories are at it again, this time (get it?) with a kit version of the Bulbdial clock. We first saw the concept for this device over a year ago, when it was proposed by David Friedman of Ironic Sans. EMSL decided to take on the challenge of constructing it, and built a prototype. Now, just in time for the holidays, they have released it as an open source kit.

I was fortunate to see an early version of it in person, and can attest that it is quite beautiful.

8 thoughts on “Bulbdial clock

  1. Why do I keep seeing EMSL touted as being open source?
    Don’t get me wrong, they’re a great family, with some great ideas — I love seeing their new stuff. But most of their kits and ideas, while well-photographed and documented, aren’t Open Source. No Schematics, no code…

    I don’t think they even refer to themselves as Open Source.

  2. While not everything that we do is open source, everything that we label as open source *is* open source. We have designed eleven kits, and (so far) ten of them are open source. I don’t think that it’s a bad ratio.

    We have also released schematics, code, and/or build instructions for literally hundreds of projects that aren’t ever going to be kits. We have also done a lot of demo projects that don’t have schematics or code because they aren’t at a point of sufficient refinement. If we release a bad schematic, people build it get angry with *us* when it doesn’t work. That’s not helpful to anyone.

    The Bulbdial clock kit schematics, BOM, circuit design files, build instructions, and source code will be posted next week when the first kits go out the door. That’s usually how we do things, and it fits the open source model: When the binary (a set of atoms, in this case) is released, so is the source.

    To label something an open-source project, we generally insist on a higher standard than most folks: all of our open source projects are strictly designed with free tools (gEDA, inkscape, Arduino, avr-ccc, Processing, etc).

    We’re less good at organizing data. If you need help locating schematics or code for one of our open-source projects, please contact us through our blog so that we can either point you in the right direction, or– if we have actually neglected it –post it or point to it in a more obvious location.

    -Windell
    Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

  3. Thanks for the reply, Windell. Quite gracious and not at all snippy or needlessly defensive. :) One more reason why I love EMSL!

    I must be missing something, then — I know I’ve read through several projects that have interested me, and I hadn’t seen any sources posted. Indeed, they might have been demos or stuff that you were just goofing around with. I’ll be the first to tell you that my reading comprehension is pretty crappy — not to mention that it’s even worse when I’m at work and can’t concentrate as well (which is when I do most of my make:blog skimming).

    So, I stand corrected, and will go forth and re-read stuff on your site to glean some schematics and sources!

    Cheers,
    Nate

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