February 16, 2015

Make an Arduino-powered Binary Ice Clock

We love clock projects and the following version of a binary clock by Dennis on his projectlocker website is a great example of making a large clock without any cumbersome or expensive enclosure. In this version Dennis has frozen tubs of water, drilled them to insert LEDs and wiring - and then arrange the frozen lumps in vertical columns which can then be illuminated by the internal LEDs.

Living in areas that have a "proper" winter makes this project a success, and those living in the northern hemisphere such as Dennis can have a lot of fun with their own ice clock or othter display. The circuitry takes advantage of a TI TLC59282 LED driver IC which simplifies the required wiring, and accurate time is kept with the temperature-compensated DS3234. A quick demonstration of the clock is shown in the following video:

For more information about this clock and some other interesting projects, visit Dennis' website. And for more, we're on facebooktwitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

The most important part of any clock or timer-based project is the inclusion of an accurate real-time clock IC. Here at Freetronics we have the Maxim DS3232 real-time clock IC module:

Apart from keeping accurate time for years due to the temperature-controlled oscillator and having a tiny coin-cell for backup, it is very simple to connect to your Arduino project. A driver library allows your program to easily set or read the time and date. Perfect for clock projects, dataloggers or anything that needs to know the date and time. Furthermore it contains a digital thermometer and 236 bytes of non-volatile memory to store user settings and other data. For more information, check out the module page here.

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