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The Voltmeter Clock uses dual analog meters to tell time - one for hours and and one for minutes. It's both stylish and functional!
The Voltmeter Clock uses dual analog meters to tell time - one for hours and and one for minutes. It's both stylish and functional!
The Voltmeter Clock uses dual analog meters to tell time - one for hours and and one for minutes. It's both stylish and functional!
392 backers pledged $36,685 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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AWK-105 Analog Voltmeter Clock

$36,685

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Where We've Been Featured

How to Read the Clock

Think of the Clock as replacing digital LCD's with analog readouts. Instead of seeing 04:57, the hours meter will point almost to the 5 (like the hours hand on an analog clock face), and the minutes meter will point to 57. Just like a clock rolls over at midnight and noon, the time meters rolls back to zero.

How to read the Clock
How to read the Clock

About The Clock

The look and feel of the Model AWK-105 Voltmeter Clock is heavily inspired by my grandfather's WWII era telegraph keyer. The sheet metal construction and the instrumentation knobs were so solid and substantive, it left no doubt as to the durability and quality of construction. To me, old analog equipment like that has a functional beauty and aesthetic quality that I really tried to capture with my Clock design.

This is my take on what a desk clock would be in a world that isn't overrun by flashing LCD screens.

  • Dual analog meters - one "meter" for hours and another for minutes.
  • Powder coated sheet metal construction. Tough and durable.
  • Highly tactile knob selector switches to set and adjust the time.

Multiple Colors Now Available!

We have enough backers that it makes sense to offer multiple colors now! When we send out our backer survey, we'll have a choice of colors - Industrial Gray and Olive Drab.

A Great Conversation Piece

The fully functioning clock makes a wonderful display piece for your desk or for your workshop.

Voltmeter Desk Clock
Voltmeter Desk Clock

Gorgeous, Analog Meters

One meter displays the hours, one meter displays the minutes. A moving coil / permanent magnet mechanism smoothly drives the needles.

Analog Dials
Analog Dials

Dual Control Knobs

Retro control knobs select operational modes. One mode is for setting the time, the other is for calibrating the meters. (We even have a mode to make the needles jump around and look cool.)

Dual Control Knobs
Dual Control Knobs

The Technical Stuff

At Awkward Engineer, we love geeking out over the technical stuff. Here's some of the details of what the Clock is made of.

Quick Specs

  • approx 6" x 4" x 2"
  • powered by one AA battery
  • ATtiny44 main CPU
  • dual analog meters
  • mode select knob - modes include: time set, calibrate meter 1, calibrate meter 2, and "twitchy needle" display mode
  • time set / adjustment knob

Initial Prototypes

The intitial prototype was hacked together with an Arduino compatible Digispark and gave us confidence that we could make this work. Then we moved to bread boarding our own circuit designs.

early prototypes
early prototypes

Mechanical Case Assembly

Of course, a messy tangle of wires like the stuff shown above wouldn't do! We worked on simplifying the number of pieces and steps required for assembly. The case is powder coated sheet metal... we love the look and feel.

Mechanical Assembly
Mechanical Assembly

Custom Circuit Boards

We had prototype circuit boards made to check out our electrical designs! We've built around an ATtiny44, added battery clips, some power management, and last, but not least, the control knobs.

working prototype circuit boards!
working prototype circuit boards!

Firmware

To get our clock to run off one AA battery, we had to be incredibly power efficient. We used every trick we could. The main CPU is in sleep mode most of the time, the chip is running at the lowest possible voltage, any peripherals not in use are turned off, and we tried to be really careful with our code.

Firmware
Firmware

 The Really Technical Stuff

The circuit board has unpopulated features for the adventurous who want to turn their Clock into an Alarm Clock. Pins are available for an AM/PM light, an alarm status light, and and an alarm on/off switch. If you have an AVR programmer, we left some pads for an ISP header you can hook into so you can reprogram the chip. The alarm clock features are too power heavy and will kill the battery, so you'll have to find another power source, but if you've gotten that far, we think you'll be up for the challenge :-). Our design files are available on Github, check them out!

Risks and challenges

All projects are subject to some degree of risk as to schedule performance and successful execution. We've brought products to market before and I'm familiar with the background, legwork, attention to detail, and effort it takes to make good on a delivery.

We have sources and quotes in hand for all components, we've vetted our manufacturers, we have an established relationship with an assembly house and with a logistics/mailing house, and we're confident we can execute on this.

We've cleared all technical milestones, we've demonstrated working prototypes, and we're ready to go!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Don't want a Clock, but want to help us out? THANK YOU! You rock!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The EARLY BIRD SPECIAL - You'll get the Model AWK-105 Analog Voltmeter Clock first. Thanks for jumping on it!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    The Model AWK-105 Analog Voltmeter Clock!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $159 or more About $159

    Two AWK-105 Clocks. Should we call it the AWK-210? One for you and one for a friend. Or two for you. We won't stop you.

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    Pledge $399 or more About $399

    The bulk pack. You probably know a lot of engineery types. Five, count them, five AWK-105 Clocks!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The CUSTOM - An AWK-105 Clock, customized in a color of your choosing.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The PATRON - An AWK-105 Clock, laser etched and customized in a color of your choosing.

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Funding period

- (30 days)