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Binary Epoch Clock Kit Assembled
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Binary Epoch Clock Kit

5.00 out of 5
(1 customer review)

$32.00 $19.99

Telling time in the “simplest” way possible

Now with free toy inside!

In stock

Category: .

Product Description

Now with alternative Persistence of Vision firmware available for download!

The Binary Epoch Clock is a new twist on the old binary clock idea. Instead of just showing the individual digits as binary values, it show Unix Epoch time as a full 32-bit binary value. This unique timepiece will make a great addition to the desk of any computer, electronics, time, or binary geek.

It runs off of an ATMega328P which makes is both fully compatible with the Arduino IDE and easily hackable. Also built in is a DS1307 Real Time Clock chip and battery backup allowing the clock to keep accurate time even in the event of a power loss. The board includes both FTDI and ICSP headers to allow easy upload of new or modified firmware. It can be powered from any USB port or USB power adapter using the included Mini-USB cable. Note: The USB port cannot be used for flashing new firmware and is only for powering the clock. An FTDI cable or ICSP programmer is required for firmware modifications.

The clock can bet set manually or via any 5V FTDI cable (not included) and our handy ‘sync_time’ script which is included in the code repository. See the assembly and usage guide for instructions and a handy video detailing the manual setting procedure for the clock.

All firmware source code and PCB design files are made available under the MIT License. See the GitHub repository below for more details.

Important Links:

Additional Information

Weight 5.5 oz
Dimensions 7 x 3 x 2 in

Documentation

View the assembly and usage instructions on the guide page.

1 review for Binary Epoch Clock Kit

  1. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    This was my first soldering project in at least a decade, and I have to say, I was impressed with how easy everything came together! When the box came in the mail, it was very solidly protected. The PCB was wrapped in bubble wrap, all of the components were in an anti-static bag, the two chips had their pins buried in foam, and the battery was still in its blister pack. The folks at Maniacal Labs took no chances that any damage could occur during transit!
    After printing out the instructions and taking everything out to the garage, I was able to get the whole kit, including all 32 LEDs, assembled in about a half hour or so. The only really tricky part was the tiny tiny pins on the mini-USB connector. The pads that they get soldered to are very small, and very close together. It takes a steady hand to be sure you don’t bridge those connections. The instructions say to test them with a multimeter after that component… do it! You don’t want to get everything together and fry your computer’s USB port because of a tiny short.
    After that, all of the components go in pretty quickly. The two chips (an ATMega328 and DS1307) come with sockets so they can be removed and replaced if needed, and also cuts down on the chances of a novice solderer (like me!) applying too much heat and frying them during the build. The LEDs (32 of them!) all line up the same direction, and the screen printing on the board is pretty clear about this. If you mess one up, the kit comes with an extra. The biggest difficulty is getting all of them aligned properly in a nice even line. In hindsight, it’s best to solder just one leg on each LED, use that as a pivot to wiggle them around until they’re perfect, and then solder the other leg to lock in in place. They’ve designed a 3D printed guide tool thing to align them all perfectly… maybe they should include one in each kit for a small up-charge? http://maniacallabs.com/2013/09/07/getting-all-your-leds-in-a-row/ If you have access to a 3D printer, make it yourself!
    Once everything is installed, plug it in to a computer or USB adapter, and watch all the lights come on! If you hold down both buttons at once for a few seconds, it turns into a Larson scanner (think Knight Rider or Cylons) That’s an easy way to see if all of the LEDs are a: aligned properly, and b: soldered correctly! As it happens, one of my LEDs wasn’t fully soldered, so there was a blank spot in the scanner, until I touched it up.
    Programming the clock is easy with the help of the simulator they’ve made, at http://maniacallabs.com/guides/binary-epoch-clock/binary-epoch-clock-simulator/ There is extra firmware that you can add in too, that’s all available on their GitHub page. The guys at Maniacal Labs have really put the open into “open source hardware!” You can even download their circuit board designs and modify it to do your own thing. Need something that uses the ATmega chip and the real time clock bits? No problem, get rid of the extra things, and start building! Need to design your own custom firmware to light up the LEDs in a different format? The code is freely available to modify as you desire, and all of the multiplexing work is already done, so it’s a simple frame buffer to interact with.
    Overall, this kit is a great starting point for soldering, it’s really hard to get wrong, and there is a lot of extra customization you can do, whether you’re more of a software person or hardware person. I recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about microcontrollers than they can get out of an Arduino, and also wants to practice soldering… (32 LEDs!) It would be great for kids, too!

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