Color changing clock uses PCB digits

There’s an old saying, that you should do everything at least twice. Once to learn how to do it, and then a second time to do it right. Perhaps [Zweben] would agree, since he wasn’t satisfied with his first Neopixel clock and proceeded to build another one. One lesson learned: soldering 180 tiny solder joints isn’t much fun. This time, [Zweben] set out to make a printed circuit board and redesign the clock to make it easier to assemble.

The clock uses multiple copies of a single circuit board. The board holds Neopixel strips in a 7-segment arrangement. Each board can also hold all of the electronics needed to drive the clock. Only the first board gets the microcontroller and other circuits.

This allowed [Zweben] to design a single PCB which he did with EasyEDA. The hardware itself was similar enough to his original clock, that the software didn’t require changes.

Speaking of hardware, the clock is a pretty standard mashup of an Arduino Pro Mini clone and a DS3231 I2C clock. The Neopixel strips are 60-per-meter WS2812B LEDs with two LEDs per digit segment. That’s a total of 14 on each digit and 58 individually-addressable lights on the entire clock.

This reminded us of a similar clock from [decino] where he also got tired of soldering connections. We also liked the clock that used Neopixel rings instead of strips.

Filed under: clock hacks