I wanted a binary clock for the geek in myself but didn’t want it too look geeky! Something I could mount on the wall and provoke question, rather than distaste.
‘Wooden Bits’ is what I created. It’s a 4×4 matrix created from laser-cut plywood sections. To add interest to the shape and prevent it from being a boring square, I used ‘kerf bending’ (close slots created from the natural bur of the laser) to form organic curves; the LEDs snake through internals, following the plywood form.
How to Read the Clock:
The four columns represent binary nybbles (4 bits) vertically, with the least significant bit (LSB) at the bottom. Each nybble is a binary coded decimal of the time: tens of hours, ones of hours, tens of minutes and ones of minutes (HHMM). For example, in the main photo the clock reads: 0 (01+02+04+08), 6 (01+12+14+08), 5 (11+02+14+08), 2 (01+12+04+08) – 06:52!
Here’s a .gif of it in action: http://imgur.com/n8bL5TM
The cells are illuminated by RGB LEDs and by default, the time is shown in white (this can be changed with the ‘set’ button). To add interest, the clock has a quarter hour indicator: quarter time numerator number of rows become filled for 10s every quarter, with the colour dependant on the time of day. In the product photos, it’s showing blue 3/4 filled – 45min. At midday, a special rainbow effect displays for 1min (shown in the product photos too).
Inside is an Arduino with a real-time clock (RTC) to keep time. The clock has a coin cell so it won’t lose this time reference without power. The display requires a standard 5V 0.5A USB supply to function, such as a USB phone charger, via the included USB mini b cable. In order to set the time or display colour, one presses a small button near the power jack. The grid changes red to show setting mode; pressing the button increments the minutes.
Here is a time lapse of me making one: https://youtu.be/r3JkunO1b6o
I make these to order by hand so there is a lead time of up to 2 weeks. Generally it will be more like 1 week as I have one in stock. I am able to provide minor customisations for this reason however, such as LED colour, engraving or wood stain (natural is standard). Please ask if you have something else you think of.