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my Ice Tube Clock mod, using ardweeny + I2C RTC
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my Ice Tube Clock mod, using ardweeny + I2C RTC

by kero905 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:26 pm

Hi.. I took the software from Jason's VFD clock and ported it to the ice tube clock.
Not a strict port, because I am now using an atmega328 (Solarbotics Ardweeny) and an i2c RTC chip. For my application, I needed a clock that was very accurate and long backup battery life (because I turn off all power except refrigerator when leaving the house). Being able to control the display via serial is a plus because I have some hacked routers that speak serial and later I might want to use NTP to sync time.

Video demo:

- Didn't want to have to solder/de-solder anything from the stock ice tube clock board
- Made the ardweeny with just the FTDI headers.. tried to make it as low profile as possible using right angle headers
- Burnt Arduino Pro 3.3V 8mhz bootloader on ardweeny
- Set fuse to use 8Mhz internal OSC
- On ardweeny, Used pads for decoupling cap for power header for RTC
- got to i2c pins somehow.. they are actually broken out nicely on the ice tube clock PCB, but didn't want to touch them because I wanted a "drop in chip" solution
- Somehow the monstrosity fit under the tube nicely.

Additional notes:
4 pin headers easily pass through the battery cutout.
Most of the software is a merge between Jason's and Ladyada's code. Jason's being the base since it was already in arduino and used the same RTC chip. If something looks like awful code.. its probably mine, sorry.
The timer0 is used for the boost converter, so don't use the Arduino delay() function.. use delay2() instead.
Don't put a backup battery in the clock, the battery should backup the RTC chip.
Serial is 9200 buad, everything displayed is echoed via serial. Can be commented out.. but not really hurting system.
There are 2 analog pins not used (A1 + A2).. want use them for auto dimming later.

Now back to Final Fantasy XIII addiction.
Arduino code, very rough. no warranty, much of the code is not mine.
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Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:58 pm

Re: my Ice Tube Clock mod, using ardweeny + I2C RTC

by guillermo3r on Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:02 am

Your project is awesome. It would be great if you could make a more detailed guide to do the hack,
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:42 am

Re: my Ice Tube Clock mod, using ardweeny + I2C RTC

by kero905 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:18 pm

Maybe ill make a guide later. But for now I will post a better picture of the chip

side with labels:
top view:

I forgot to mention, The RTC used is the DS3231. macetech provides a breakout board called "ChronoDot"
The DS1307 should be compatible however the temperature registers will probably not be there. The ChronoDot package is too large to fit into the icetube clock unless parts of the pcb are cut off (which will prob void any warranty). I decided to keep it on the outside.

It was hard to get header connectors because I don't have a crimping tool or parts. I bought some cables from Seeed Studio depot .. a 6-pin to 6-pin one and a few 4-connector to 4x 1 connectors.

I was working on a PCB to use instead of Ardweeny that will breakout FTDI + i2c + light sensor for the Ice tube clock. I submitted it to batchpcb last week, I hope it works when I get it back. That design is on the top right:
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:58 pm

Re: my Ice Tube Clock mod, using ardweeny + I2C RTC

by ammas09 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:12 pm

Couldn't you just pull the sda and scl lines from R4, kluge on the vcc and pull ground from CT1. Use flying leads to connect to DS1307 Real Time Clock?

Just a thought, obviously code would need to be rewritten and programmed via isp connector
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:20 pm

Re: my Ice Tube Clock mod, using ardweeny + I2C RTC

by ukewarrior on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:07 pm

Has any more work been done or documented with this build?
Having an arduino based firmware is really neat.
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:38 am

Re: my Ice Tube Clock mod, using ardweeny + I2C RTC

by jarchie on Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:33 pm

Very nice work!

There are a couple of other related mods that might be of interest.

Another user incorporated ChronoDot/DS3231 support directly into the Adafruit firmware. And the TCXO mod provides an easy way to add temperature-compensated timekeeping with minimal changes to the source code. But that doesn't extend battery life. Finally, it is possible to extend sleep time on the clock from around one month to around two years with software changes and a minor hardware mod. But that's a far cry from the eight years of ChronoDot battery life, and the mod doesn't provide temperature-compensated timekeeping. Even so, the extended battery life mod does not require adding components--only cutting a trace and soldering a jumper wire to the underside of the board. And since the microcontroller is powered, clock alarms can still sound while the clock is sleeping.
--John <>
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