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2016-03-22 11:47:25

NeoClock

This is an older project which i never really got around to writing about. Better late than never i guess.

So what is this "NeoClock"?
NeoClock is an Arduino based clock using three Neopixels for displaying the time. Each led represents hours in half a day, minutes in the hour and seconds in the minute. For each cycle of time the led completes a cycle in the color wheel, starting and ending in red. It's sorta similar to an analogue clock, just with colors.
So if the time is 13:45:35 the clock would display vaguely yellowish red : deep blue : light blue.

Sounds easy to read and totally practical right?
Any kind of precision is impossible. Having no color reference means the same time looks very different in different lighting conditions. Even worse, accuracy is incredibly important for reading the time correctly. I have personally managed to read it to five minutes accuracy, but other times missed by hours.

For anyone interested, the body of the clock consists of two metal plates bolted together with vanilla pod bottle caps covering the lights. As the Arduino itself is not capable of keeping time, a DS3231 timer module is also used.

As the clock is supposed to be on 24/7 and neopixels are quite bright, it is not too pleasant trying to go to bed in a strangely lit room, some brightness adjustment is done based on a list of monthly sunrise and sundown.

Repository can be found here. Tread carefully though. There may be dragons as it was never intended to be published.


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