I am currently enjoying building interesting electronic clocks. I’ve built a couple of nixie clocks from kits, but I came across an Arduino project on make magazine blog. It linked to Nick’s LED Pong clock so I ordered the bits and built it in a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. I bought a different real time clock module to the one that Nick used, mine came from Blue Smoke Labs and is a very neat little module.
So when I got it up and running I decided to put my own twist on it and started playing with the code a bit. First I added lowercase letters to the font and altered the character drawing routine to accommodate them. Next I added some space invader characters to the font and played around with adding a couple of animations to scroll them across the screen. Thirdly I thought that I’d try to replicate some of the functionality that I have on the nixie clocks and add a nighttime mode that allows the clock to dim between certain hours.
These changes took me a few hours, and tidying up the bits of code things stopped working – especially the button press routines, so I fiddled with the code for a while and before I knew it it was 3am, and I decided that I wasn’t going to fix it so went to bed.
Tonight I came in and methodically worked through my additions and within half an hour I had worked out what the problem was which had been staring me in the face for two hours the night before and had fixed it. Just goes to show what a night’s sleep can do.
Anyhow, a little video of it working showing the lowercase and space invaders follows, still more work to do on the invaders mode and I want to add a scrolling text mode and add some way of setting preferences and storing them in eeprom…lots of ideas.