WordClock

An internet search by manufacturer provided information that I was upset about.

The cost of the watch is in the form factor 450 x 450 mm. started at $ 1,500 for the version with a plastic faceplate. The version with a satin-finished steel panel cost $ 2,000, which is what I first saw and liked.

It was not possible to pay such amounts and was fired up with the idea of ​​creating an analogue of these watches.

The preparation process was extremely slow, I was looking for information on how to provide the technical part, I was looking for a service provider who would make the front panel from metal.

I understood that I needed the services of milling or laser cutting, but the maximum they could offer me was laser cutting of acrylic, there was no question of any metal. The search expanded, saw the services of waterjet cutting, phoned and was extremely surprised to cut 3, 5 and 10 mm metal with water. no problem at all – “send a file for calculating the cost.”

Later, I came to the conclusion that it is convenient to highlight each letter with an addressable LED strip, and arduino will control it. By the way, the skills of writing code for arduino, connecting libraries, etc. I didn’t have it at all. Understood along the way of the project.

The LED strip is selected with a density of 30 LEDs per meter. Distance between LEDs 33.3 mm. The matrix of letters was 333.3 x 333.3 mm.

Empirically, I came to the conclusion that the case is 500 x 500 mm in size. will look concise.

Then I was faced with the choice of the font, it should be stencil so that the middle of the letters does not fall out during cutting. I didn’t like the stencil fonts I had access to. I decided to search for regular fonts, settled on ISOCTEUR, and then using a curve in Corel added connecting elements.

The project came to life, every day I scrolling the final picture of the clock in my head, imagined how the case should be assembled, what it would be like, how to place the LED strip, provide a place for all the components, including the power source, and even understood where the clock would be placed in my apartment under construction … I was inspired by the project. It’s a wonderful feeling, comparable to euphoria – you have to understand what I mean.

The file with the watch face was ready. Submitted it to production and a week later I received a lovely 3mm stainless steel faceplate. with a satin-finished structure.

By this time, I received all the necessary components for the project:

  • Arduino nano;

  • RTC DS3231 (real time clock);

  • SK6812 RGBW 30 IP20 Strip;

  • Mean Well PM-15 5V 15W power supply.

Now is the time to build the electronic part and write the code to manage the address tape.

The diagram is presented below:

A real time clock (RTC) is necessary to ensure that the time is accurate and can be kept even when the circuit is disconnected from the main power supply.

I also thought to make an automatic change in the brightness of the LEDs, so that the clock did not shine brightly at night, but unfortunately I could not implement the function.

In my version, I connected a z-wave relay, which is controlled by the smart home controller (Athom homey) and the clock is powered off when the scenario “Good night”, “No one is at home” is activated. The relay turns on according to the schedule and if one of the family members is present at home.

The case, which was originally planned, should be made of acrylic, but due to the too large weight of the front and middle parts, they had to abandon it and come up with something else.

The most obvious thing was to make a frame from a 30 x 30 mm corner, and insert the front and middle parts there, which are fastened together.

The frame was made literally on the day of the order, it took three more days for putty, painting and matte varnish coating.

Now I’ll tell you about the bolts, yes, my attentive reader. I could not find something suitable, beautiful and stainless steel in the city of residence and ordered bolts on eBay. As for me, the final visualization is hidden in the little things and I think the clock would look completely different if there were ordinary galvanized bolts for a wrench or a PH / PZ bit (in simple words – a Phillips screwdriver)

The total cost of the project is 10,000 rubles. The implementation time is 3-4 months.

I was pleased with the result. The clock has been working for more than 5 years, serves as a wonderful piece of furniture and attracts the attention of guests.

Time 5:08

Project materials are available at <a href="https://github.com/Vladislav-Popov/WordClock">GitHub</a>.

I am currently developing the second version. I plan to use ESP with Wi-Fi connection, implement time synchronization via the Internet, automatic brightness change and a web interface for color selection and initial settings.

Thanks to Habr users for pushing me to write this article.

Share your opinion, ideas, what needs to be added and taken into account in the new version. Criticism is welcome.

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