October 29th, 2014Last night, I was trying to rapidly prototype my clock and I screwed up.In my rush, I didn’t add resistors, and I used to much voltage. I’d previously learned that you need 5v (No less) to read the RTC. I also knew that if I powered the Pro Mini with 4.5V, it may not function correctly. I decided to wire 4 AA Batteries (6V) to power the Pro Mini.I did not know that the Pro Mini does not have the same circuitry for power that the Uno does. By this I mean that you can supply an Uno with 5-12V, and it will only output 5V from the pins. The Pro Mini will push whatever voltage you put into it out of the pins.Where I powered it on, it work briefly. I then heard a hissing, and then a POP and the project turned off. The Pro Mini is cooked, and the LEDs are burnt out. I’m lucky I didn’t blow the RTC.For this reason, I’ll be using a Arduino Nano instead. I will use the USB port for power supply. I’ve also found the serial port is important for setting up the clock and verifying the time, so that will be nice. Next, a few people told me that the way I had the clock set up was interesting, because binary is read the other way
Frank explained to me that binary is read the opposite way. Much like Hex-decimal, the lease significant digit is on the right. For example, 37 is actually 100101. Above I have it backwards. I am planning on altering the design. Instead of altering my code, I’ll just wire it in reverse.The LEDs I use will be blue. I prototyped with 270 ohm resistors, but I think I will use 560 ohm to make them a bit dimmer. I may also experiment with charlieplexing or multiplexing to save more power.Lastly, the website menus and pages will be changed. I would like to do more articles, and maybe even revisit the penny drop.
October 28th, 2014
Even I surprised myself in how quickly I turned this project around…
I’ve been looking at different concepts for weeks now, and even made a few designs. At no point did I sit down and try a code it, or try and work on it. The coding didn’t take long at all, I’ll upload it to the page when the project is finish. Here it is:
It’s hard to tell what you’re looking at, but first make it work and then make it pretty. When I have this moved into a permanent enclosure with all the soldering done, I’ll make a page with the entire process, parts list, code, and loads of photos.
For now these posts will float around in the updates and LED Matrix clock list because I don’t have the time right now to redesign my site.
October 27th, 2014
Between school and delays in the KSP Controller project, I decided to challenge myself and see how quickly I could finish a project I started forever ago. This project is the binary clock.
The clock will receive the time from a DS1307 (A realtime clock powered by it’s own battery) and then turn that time into binary shown by LEDs. The idea is to have it small and compact, while running off of 3( or 4) AA batteries. The Arduino Pro Mini will work nicely.
Onto the clock itself. It will feature two rows: one for the hour (4 LEDs) and one for the minutes (6 LEDs). This will use ten pins. I considered adding seconds to the clock, but I think it would change to fast and wouldn’t give you time to read it. I think it would be neat if I could engrave the face of the clock as well with a laser cutter. I have not decided what colour the LEDs will be either.
I’ve begun prototyping already along with a bit of coding as well. The hours works on the initial test, and the next step is to have to our update with the data from the RTC. The code I found has minutes and hours as callable variables, so I should be able to use if, else if, and else to get data and then write it to the LEDs. Another thing to consider is that RTC uses 24 Hour time. I will have to find a work around for that, but it should be quite simple.
I would love to see it laid out on a breadboard by the end of the week.