Wooden Bits


Binary coded decimal wall clock

Only 1 left in stock (can be backordered)



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:

Each column is a 4-bit binary nyble (half a byte!). From the bottom up they represent 1-2-4-8. Add up the illuminated cells in each column to get the column total. Now reading from right to left is 10 multiple hour, hour, 10 multiple minute, minute – just like a standard digital clock. For example, in the main photo the clock reads: 0 (0*1+0*2+0*4+0*8), 6 (0*1+1*2+1*4+0*8), 5 (1*1+0*2+1*4+0*8), 2 (0*1+1*2+0*4+0*8) – 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. To add interest, the clock has a quarter hour indicator: quarter time numerator number of rows become blue filled for 10s on the quarter. In the product photos, it’s showing 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 5V 0.5A supply to function however – included. In order to set the time, 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. 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. You’re getting a unique hand-made item and the pricing isn’t a coincidence!

Additional information

Weight 550 g
Dimensions 50 x 280 x 230 mm