BlokClok Project

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

2 thoughts on “BlokClok Project

  1. Jim says:

    I like the general concept, but the implementation seems to be more art than function. The random colors and patterns force you to concentration more to tell the time. If the patterns were chosen for their uniqueness and fixed, one could tell time at just a glance.

    Of course I’m more of a techie than an artist, so maybe I missed the point. In any case, cool idea.

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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. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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