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 Wall Bulbdial clock
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By: fdastoor (offline) on Sunday, August 15 2010 @ 02:13 PM PDT (Read 5875 times)  
fdastoor

I think this clock concept can make a great wall unit. Can you imagine a larger kit with 60 LED's on the Blue and Green rings and maybe 24 if not 60 also on the red ring. AN OPTION FOR battery operation would be nice. It would make a wonderful display. i would be one of the first to snap up a few when available for myself and as gifts.


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By: Windell (offline) on Sunday, August 15 2010 @ 03:53 PM PDT  
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LEDs are not like LCDs or mechanical clock mechanisms; they require considerable power, continuously, to operate. If using a larger kit, presumably you'd want to run the LEDs at higher power-- maybe 25 mA per LED, so 75 mA total, plus the power consumption of the microcontroller. At 100 mA and 4.5 V, you'd burn through three alkaline AA cells in about 25-30 hours. So... a battery option isn't really practical.


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By: fdastoor (offline) on Tuesday, August 17 2010 @ 09:56 AM PDT  
fdastoor

Thanks for the input. But, a wall powered unit would be dooable? would it be cost prohibitive?


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By: Windell (offline) on Tuesday, August 17 2010 @ 10:16 AM PDT  
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>But, a wall powered unit would be dooable? would it be cost prohibitive?

Doable, definitely yes. Cost prohibitive, probably not. But it could be considerably more expensive. We might need higher power LEDs to make it bright enough with the larger diameter, plus the LED driver hardware...


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By: GoatRider (offline) on Sunday, September 05 2010 @ 06:04 AM PDT  
GoatRider

I would probably be interested in something like that.

Another feature that I would like to see is a light sensor, so it auto-dimmed at night when you turn the lights off.


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By: Anonymous: Gregly () on Monday, October 11 2010 @ 08:27 AM PDT  
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Chalk me up as another one who would love to see a Bulbdial wall clock, especially with a light sensor to auto-dim the LEDs.





       
   
By: Anonymous: Pramanicin () on Wednesday, February 23 2011 @ 09:33 PM PST  
Anonymous: Pramanicin

I'd love to see a Bulbdial clock V.2. with 60 LED's per second and minute ring so it shows 'proper' analog time...more LED's for the hour hand would also lend itself to being read as a normal clock too. It kind of struck me as odd to include a Chronodot module when the accuracy readable is only plus/minus 1 minute or so...;-) It's just such a great idea and my Bulbdial had pride of place on my desk next to my other nixie tube clocks etc..





       
   
By: squall_line (offline) on Thursday, February 24 2011 @ 07:37 AM PST  
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Quote by: Pramanicin

I'd love to see a Bulbdial clock V.2. with 60 LED's per second and minute ring so it shows 'proper' analog time...more LED's for the hour hand would also lend itself to being read as a normal clock too.


The project IS Open Source, of course, and all of the schematics and designs and code are available for download if one would like to work on their own version. A 60 LED version would most have twice the diameter of the current version, since you would be doubling the circumference of the most tightly-packed ring. At twice the distance from the gnomon, you would need to use ultra-bright and super-narrow-beam LEDs to be able to get enough light output to read the clock accurately; look at how much the beam is spread out by the time it gets to the other side of the current clock.

It seems to me that the "digital" design of the current version is a compromise between readability and complexity/parts cost -- if you went to a 60 LED count on all three rings, you're increasing your LED count two-and-a-half-fold, which means driver chips and/or additional ATMegas. Add superbright and super-narrow beam LEDs into the mix, and you're looking at a significant increase in parts cost.

Quote by: Pramanicin

It kind of struck me as odd to include a Chronodot module when the accuracy readable is only plus/minus 1 minute or so...;-)


I'd rather have a mostly-accurate clock that I only have to reset the time on every few months than a readable clock that I have to re-set every week or two. I've rarely found myself in a situation where I actually care about what time it is down to the very minute, personally, and in those cases, I have a watch or I'm using a timer or some sort.


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By: Windell (offline) on Thursday, February 24 2011 @ 09:39 AM PST  
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It seems to me that the "digital" design of the current version is a compromise between readability and complexity/parts cost -- if you went to a 60 LED count on all three rings, you're increasing your LED count two-and-a-half-fold, which means driver chips and/or additional ATMegas.



Exactly. 180 LEDs is a lot to solder. As we've said, we may make a larger version to complement the existing unit, but we definitely won't *replace* it with a "v 2" that costs twice as much and takes more than twice as long to put together. That does not sound like an upgrade to me.


>It kind of struck me as odd to include a Chronodot module when the accuracy readable is only plus/minus 1 minute or so...

It's because of the chronodot that the time will be within plus/minus 1 minute or so. Smile


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By: Anonymous: Pramanicin () on Saturday, February 26 2011 @ 07:33 PM PST  
Anonymous: Pramanicin

I fully understand the points you've both made and I appreciate the complexity involved in 'upgrading' to a full 60 LED's per ring. I think the circumference could be designed to use ultra bright 3mm LED's so the Gnomon distance could be handled, but I'm no expert. That would also require a lot more patience at aligning the all correctly! ;-) At 85 bucks the kit is an absolute steal in my opinion, especially considering the quality of the instructions, which are some of the best I have ever seen for a DIY electronics kit (and I've been building various kits for over 20 years...). A larger clock kit that sold for say 150 bucks I would purchase in a heartbeat, it's just such an exquisite way of using LED's to tell the time! If you do indeed plan on offering such an item, any idea on timeline?

Cheers,

Nick





       
   
By: Windell (offline) on Saturday, February 26 2011 @ 08:15 PM PST  
Windell

A larger clock kit that sold for say 150 bucks I would purchase in a heartbeat, it's just such an exquisite way of using LED's to tell the time! If you do indeed plan on offering such an item, any idea on timeline?


We do plan on a larger version, but exactly what scale (and when) haven't been determined yet. Certainly, not within the next couple of months.

We're getting a CNC router at our shop soon, and one of our planned projects for that is making the housing for a larger-scale bulbdial, but again, it's not something we plan to finish in the next couple of months.


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By: Anonymous: Pramanicin () on Sunday, February 27 2011 @ 05:15 PM PST  
Anonymous: Pramanicin

Sounds good! I'll keep my eye out for upcoming news...

Cheers,

Nick





       
   



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