June 18, 2014

Build a neat LED clock with Arduino

As an exercise to learn more about the world of Arduino, Chris Gunawardena has come up with a simple yet useful project in his desktop LED clock. Instead of using LED or LCD displays, his clock uses individual LEDs in a ring formation - one for each hour and another for each five minute interval. This offers a readable yet classy level of minimalism that is often lacking these days. 

To control all those LEDs Chris has used 74HC595 shift registers which are easy to control and can deal with the required current. And as the display isn't down to the minute, by using the Arduino time library the expense of a real-time clock IC isn't justified. Furthermore, to reduce hardware complexity the final clock is using a smaller ATtiiny microcontroller. Finally Chris has made a simple folded enclosure for his clock which is neat and tidy, for example:

Another great project that anyone can recreate - so to get started visit Chris' interesting website. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well

To make inserting a 74HC595 shift register into your prototypes easy and fast, use our EXPAND: shift register module:

It makes adding more outputs to your microcontroller simple - with a labelled breakout board and blue power LED, you can't go wrong. And if you're not sure how they work, our Quickstart guide will have you up and running in no time. For more information and to order, click here

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