Tick tock goes the clock

Design, ideas, progress, challenges, and workarounds for my semester project. Part 3 of 5.

Part 1: Time for a semester project?

Part 2: Progress through time

Part 3: Tick tock goes the clock (this post)

Part 4: What’s in a face?

Part 5: Closing Time


Prototype 2.

Simplifying circuits is how I’m going to fix things. Prototype 1 tried to incorporate 2 colours of LEDs, with only 12 IO points. Simplifying the design, I’m reverting to a single colour of LED, which does not call for the circuitry to be as complicated.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 09.45.41

circuitry works! Just the code to rewrite now then.

The LEDs can light much brighter in this configuration, so i can have greater spacing in my clock face and go for a bigger frame.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.20.01

working on framework of prototype 2

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.20.17

Detail of LED positioning

A little spanner in the works at this point: the time code stopped running on the device. With a lot of help and troubleshooting, the problem was located as a dodgy connection in the hardware, not a code issue as originally expected.

Coding shenanigans

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 16.41.21

Editing code

My code has also been through a series of iterations. It requires 3 files to be run:

  • setting the time on the time device to sync with my laptop
  • reading and checking the time on the time device
  • running the LED commands based on the time on the time device


Since I couldn’t utilise 2 colours of LEDs, I’ve opted to include a proximity sensor to detect when the time is being checked. The design is now that it only becomes a clock when the sensor is triggered. For the rest of the time, its a light installation.

Heres the testing of the proximity sensor:

Note how the shadow cast by the pencil makes the hands of the clock and tells the time


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