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Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by 1chicagodave on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:34 pm

Components —
• ChronoDot RTC (from Adafruit)
Arduino Pro Mini ('ATMega328', 3.3V)
Adafruit NeoPixel Ring
• 5x7 Bi-Color LED Matrix
Adafruit 16x8 LED Matrix Driver Backpack - HT16K33 Breakout -
• Cheep 'RS' Proto-Board
• LOTS of Tiny Solder Connections....

** Short on time?
** Watch the VIDEO! — http://youtube.com/watch?v=LtxX98v_IC8

image.jpg
Just the clock
image.jpg (73.86 KiB) Viewed 1674 times

Time & date shown — "8:25" on the third Tuesday in September.

This is my NeoPixel Clock with perpetual calendar.
A video (hopefully coming soon!) would show more.
The clockface -
The yellow dots at top just represent the "XII" (12 o'clock position) on a normal clock face. To translate 16 pixels to 12 positions, I doubled up the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions with two pixels for each. The blue pixel is hours. The green pixel, minutes. Each pixel position represents a five minute chunk. The minutes pixel flashes up to four times for each minute 'after the five' (i.e. flashes twice for 27 or 42 minutes, flashes four times for 19 or 14 minutes), and remains solid 'on the fives'. You can't see it in the photo, but there is also a seconds indicator. A red dot starts at 12 o'clock position and quickly 'sweeps' clockwise to the appropriate position each second (think one-way Knight Rider). So, at ten seconds after the minute, it sweeps from 12 to 2 o'clock. At 50 seconds after the minute, it sweeps around the ring from 12 to 10 o'clock.

The calendar-
Inspired by those whiteboard calendars on which you just write in the new dates every month. Sunday is yellow column on left. Saturday is yellow column on right. Weekdays are green. "Today" is always marked with a red dot. I wrote code to use the date from the ChronoDot RTC, figure out which day of the week the current month begins on, how many days are in this month, and display the proper "calendar" for those variables. (I "cheated" just a bit on this, but will improve it later on so that it will run autonomously forever.)
I used the compile time of the sketch to program the RTC, and I hard coded the timezone. I hope to add GPS connectivity option later, so that it can auto-magically update it's time, date, and timezone from the GPS. Convenient so I can take it anywhere without ever having to reprogram it.
It's currently being run off of any USB source (5V), but I plan to add LiPo connections & battery charger soon. Also, need to "paint" (Sharpie) the protoboard black, and find a case/frame to mount it. — I used headers for everything, so I can remove/replace/borrow any of the components if I want/need to.

image.jpg
Annotated. Correct Roman Numerals!
image.jpg (85.15 KiB) Viewed 1598 times


In some far off, future version....
I want to add ability to set alarms in the calendar. On the day, or time, of the alarm it will sound an alert and scroll text across the matrix. However, I'm still working on a 5 pixel tall font which will work with the matrix library I'm using.

Thank you for your time! 8)
Last edited by 1chicagodave on Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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And, yes... there's always a better way to 'do that'.
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by EternalCore on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:03 pm

Nice, Got a video of it working yet?
Things I've Made Here:
1.[101-Help]~12v -> 5v 1.5A Regulated Power For NeoPixels.: http://goo.gl/uMXuk7
2.[Example]NeoPixel Strip Scrolling Cylon Eye!: http://goo.gl/4RzWQQ
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by 1chicagodave on Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:05 am

No video yet. Spent all evening soldering up the backpack to the matrix....and these things are hard to light well. Actually photoshopped the pixels a little just to better show the colors. I'll try to get a video up in the next 24 hrs.

Thanks!

...just noticed I put an extra "X" in the "XXII". My Roman numerals suck. :roll:

(**EDIT — I just replaced the photo. Correct Roman numerals now!)
Last edited by 1chicagodave on Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Please forgive my hyperanthropomorphization.
Every answer reveals new questions.
And, yes... there's always a better way to 'do that'.
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by EternalCore on Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:27 am

1chicagodave wrote:No video yet. Spent all evening soldering up the backpack to the matrix....and these things are hard to light well. Actually photoshopped the pixels a little just to better show the colors. I'll try to get a video up in the next 24 hrs.

Thanks!

...just noticed I put an extra "X" in the "XXII". My Roman numerals suck. :roll:

Lol, ya because "XXII" is 22; as where "XII" is 12. :P
Things I've Made Here:
1.[101-Help]~12v -> 5v 1.5A Regulated Power For NeoPixels.: http://goo.gl/uMXuk7
2.[Example]NeoPixel Strip Scrolling Cylon Eye!: http://goo.gl/4RzWQQ
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:28 am

Nice clock! I like the perpetual calander concept. Thanks for posting! :)
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by 1chicagodave on Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:51 pm

Ok, video's up!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=LtxX98v_IC8

I can tend to be a bit 'theatrical'.... :)
Please forgive my hyperanthropomorphization.
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And, yes... there's always a better way to 'do that'.
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by EternalCore on Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:47 pm

I like! :D
Things I've Made Here:
1.[101-Help]~12v -> 5v 1.5A Regulated Power For NeoPixels.: http://goo.gl/uMXuk7
2.[Example]NeoPixel Strip Scrolling Cylon Eye!: http://goo.gl/4RzWQQ
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by EternalCore on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:15 pm

You should add another led matrix and a sound module to make it into a digital Cuckoo Clock. ;P
Things I've Made Here:
1.[101-Help]~12v -> 5v 1.5A Regulated Power For NeoPixels.: http://goo.gl/uMXuk7
2.[Example]NeoPixel Strip Scrolling Cylon Eye!: http://goo.gl/4RzWQQ
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by 1chicagodave on Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:30 am

EternalCore wrote:You should add another led matrix and a sound module to make it into a digital Cuckoo Clock. ;P


Hehe...
How about a tiny servo swinging the 8-pixel NeoPixel strip (like a pendulum)??

I had been considering a sound module.

I think a larger version may be a good project to try with the Yun! Have it automatically sync with my calendars & appointments. Maybe build the calendar with a large 5 x 7 grid of pixels behind a sheet of frosted acrylic, so I could use dry-erase markers to write on it too.
THAT actually might be a marketable idea... A backlit, automatic, internet-connected "whiteboard calendar" that updates itself, has alert functions, and you can write on it? Hmmm....

**Edit -
Next time I run a 5x7 matrix, I'm either getting one with backpack already connected...or making a custom PCB. I'll post a photo of my wiring job soldering the matrix to the LED backpack. That alone was about 25 tiny wires!

image.jpg
image.jpg (148.99 KiB) Viewed 1520 times
Please forgive my hyperanthropomorphization.
Every answer reveals new questions.
And, yes... there's always a better way to 'do that'.
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by EternalCore on Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:34 am

1chicagodave wrote:
EternalCore wrote:You should add another led matrix and a sound module to make it into a digital Cuckoo Clock. ;P


Hehe...
How about a tiny servo swinging the 8-pixel NeoPixel strip (like a pendulum)??

I had been considering a sound module.

I think a larger version may be a good project to try with the Yun! Have it automatically sync with my calendars & appointments. Maybe build the calendar with a large 5 x 7 grid of pixels behind a sheet of frosted acrylic, so I could use dry-erase markers to write on it too.
THAT actually might be a marketable idea... A backlit, automatic, internet-connected "whiteboard calendar" that updates itself, has alert functions, and you can write on it? Hmmm....

**Edit -
Next time I run a 5x7 matrix, I'm either getting one with backpack already connected...or making a custom PCB. I'll post a photo of my wiring job soldering the matrix to the LED backpack. That alone was about 25 tiny wires!

image.jpg

Ya that's another idea or 2. :P "SSHHHH!!!" I'll keep it on the down-low for ya.

The big calendar would be cool, since paper calendars are being replaced by phones now a days, And digital is the way to go. :D

Ya I'm trying to avoid proto-boards for my projects by printing my projects out onto PCB's especially for power devices; Because proto-boards are a mess to work with and you can easily get shorts with them...
And Using backpacks are the best thing since the Arduino to keep it small yet powerful. :D
Things I've Made Here:
1.[101-Help]~12v -> 5v 1.5A Regulated Power For NeoPixels.: http://goo.gl/uMXuk7
2.[Example]NeoPixel Strip Scrolling Cylon Eye!: http://goo.gl/4RzWQQ
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by 1chicagodave on Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:08 pm

On the plus side, I did teach myself how to wire-wrap. :D I ended up wire wrapping all the connections, then securing them with a touch of solder. So much easier/faster than other methods I've used.

But, yes... Nothing beats having your own printed PCB! I was doing that for all my projects.
Actually made them myself, on my stove, using Vinegar & H2O2 after toner-transfer onto the copper-clad. It works amazingly well.

image.jpg
Stovetop Etching
image.jpg (79.08 KiB) Viewed 1490 times


The hardest part for me is drilling the holes. It was nice when I was using that thin/flexible, scissor-cut copper-clad.
image.jpg
Clean PCB
image.jpg (90.21 KiB) Viewed 1490 times


I could "drill" out the holes with a thumbtack. :shock:

image.jpg
Holes "Poked"
image.jpg (66.85 KiB) Viewed 1490 times


But the flexibility gave rise to issues with larger circuits. Too much stress would cause board to crack/tear or pop solder joints loose.

When I made my tiny LED cube (4x4x4 and only 1 inch cubed!) I ordered a few PCBs from OSHPark. I waited about 3-4 weeks. Delivery confirmation showed that they were finally delivered.... But, I never got them. :(
So....I'm a little weary to try that again. And, I'm just generally impatient anyway.

I need to buy myself a tiny Dremel drill-press (to drill holes), build a CNC router (to make the entire board), or find a decent hacker-space around here (one which already has those things).
Please forgive my hyperanthropomorphization.
Every answer reveals new questions.
And, yes... there's always a better way to 'do that'.
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by EternalCore on Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:23 pm

1chicagodave wrote:On the plus side, I did teach myself how to wire-wrap. :D I ended up wire wrapping all the connections, then securing them with a touch of solder. So much easier/faster than other methods I've used.

But, yes... Nothing beats having your own printed PCB! I was doing that for all my projects.
Actually made them myself, on my stove, using Vinegar & H2O2 after toner-transfer onto the copper-clad. It works amazingly well.

image.jpg


The hardest part for me is drilling the holes. It was nice when I was using that thin/flexible, scissor-cut copper-clad.
image.jpg


I could "drill" out the holes with a thumbtack. :shock:

image.jpg


But the flexibility gave rise to issues with larger circuits. Too much stress would cause board to crack/tear or pop solder joints loose.

When I made my tiny LED cube (4x4x4 and only 1 inch cubed!) I ordered a few PCBs from OSHPark. I waited about 3-4 weeks. Delivery confirmation showed that they were finally delivered.... But, I never got them. :(
So....I'm a little weary to try that again. And, I'm just generally impatient anyway.

I need to buy myself a tiny Dremel drill-press (to drill holes), build a CNC router (to make the entire board), or find a decent hacker-space around here (one which already has those things).

Yea, you should of called them for a refund...

I'm not one for using chemicals to make things such as PCB's, So I get mine printed locally and at a good price.
Here's the ones I recently got printed for this project:
Image

Also I got and recommend getting this Dremel 7300 MiniMite Cordless for working with electronics
It's the one I have which works wonders, with lots of power, for electronics(PCB's, etc) and altering project boxes with these accessories:
Dremel 1/8 in. Shank High Speed Multipurpose Cutting Bit
Dremel 4 in. Mandrel for Discs and Sanding With Dremel Heavy Duty Cut-Off Wheels (.040 in. thick, 20 per pkg.)
Dremel 628-01 Persicion Steel Drill Bit Set 7-Piece

And I'll be getting more things for it as needed.
Things I've Made Here:
1.[101-Help]~12v -> 5v 1.5A Regulated Power For NeoPixels.: http://goo.gl/uMXuk7
2.[Example]NeoPixel Strip Scrolling Cylon Eye!: http://goo.gl/4RzWQQ
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by 1chicagodave on Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:51 pm

Those boards look nice. How much $$ each did you pay? (If you don't mind me askin'. )
Great job keeping it local! I just refuse to order custom PCBs from China...no matter how much cheaper it might be.

I was disappointed about my boards. I designed hem to fit my UNO as a shield as everything. A real bummer.

This is what I'm looking at Dremel-wise -
http://www.dremel.com/en-us/attachments/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=220-01

image.jpg
Dremel Workstation
image.jpg (21.44 KiB) Viewed 1461 times


It's ridiculously difficult to drill hole-to-hole through a two sided PCB when the board is thicker than the drill it is wide. (Especially when using a full-size DeWalt drill.) Need something to keep it all straight and steady.
Please forgive my hyperanthropomorphization.
Every answer reveals new questions.
And, yes... there's always a better way to 'do that'.
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by EternalCore on Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:14 pm

1chicagodave wrote:Those boards look nice. How much $$ each did you pay? (If you don't mind me askin'. )
Great job keeping it local! I just refuse to order custom PCBs from China...no matter how much cheaper it might be.

I was disappointed about my boards. I designed hem to fit my UNO as a shield as everything. A real bummer.

This is what I'm looking at Dremel-wise -
http://www.dremel.com/en-us/attachments/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=220-01

image.jpg


It's ridiculously difficult to drill hole-to-hole through a two sided PCB when the board is thicker than the drill it is wide. (Especially when using a full-size DeWalt drill.) Need something to keep it all straight and steady.

No I don't mind, For those 4 boards which includes on each: 1/4 oz copper, fused tin+lead over the copper, drilled holes with Soldermask + legend on the top, cut-out; was about $50 for all 4 together. :D

Haha I'm buying that stand/workstation here on my next pay for my battery operated Dremel(the one I linked you). And those Drill-bits I linked you are the perfect size for PCB work.
Things I've Made Here:
1.[101-Help]~12v -> 5v 1.5A Regulated Power For NeoPixels.: http://goo.gl/uMXuk7
2.[Example]NeoPixel Strip Scrolling Cylon Eye!: http://goo.gl/4RzWQQ
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Re: Sharing: NeoPixel Ring Clock w/ LED Matrix "Perpetual Calendar"

by 1chicagodave on Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:45 pm

Haha I'm buying that stand/workstation here on my next pay for my battery operated Dremel(the one I linked you). And those Drill-bits I linked you are the perfect size for PCB work.


Great! I couldn't believe how small the bits needed to be...or how hard they were for me to find — (without using/thinking of Dremel). I had to hack together something just make them fit my drill. Not pretty at all.

Let me know how the press works out...if I don't have one by then too. :)

That's a good price for boards too!
Please forgive my hyperanthropomorphization.
Every answer reveals new questions.
And, yes... there's always a better way to 'do that'.
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