ClamClock is a high quality binary clock designed as a do-it-yourself project. You can get it fully assembled, case and all, or as a kit, which you can use to stretch your maker muscle.
Funding GoalsThe funds from this Kickstarter will be going to finance the first bulk order of clock components needed for us to produce ClamClock. Ordering in bulk allows us to keep the cost of the components and custom circuit boards down, allowing us to keep ClamClock affordable for everyone. We have a several stretch goals that we are excited to share as we begin to approach or initial funding goal.
**UPDATE**: Reach Goals
Now that we're close to reaching our funding goal, we have reach goals we would like to share with everyone:
- $4,000: Integrating an FTDI USB interface to streamline on-board programming - no third party programmer needed!
- $7,000: Injection moulded cases for a more professional look
- $10,000: Adding RGB LEDs to make ClamClock more customizable
Our hope in designing ClamClock is to put a new and interesting twist on the binary clock by making one that is both technically interesting and visually appealing. We also want to create a kit that allows makers young and old to learn and get creative. And, above all, we want ClamClock to help inspire others to become as excited about engineering as we are.
What is Binary?
As ten fingered creatures, we humans tend to use base ten numbers when counting. Binary numbers are in base two, a number system used by computers, which can only recognize two states - on and off. This may seem very complicated, but it's actually quite simple to get the hang of. Check out the links below for some of our favorite videos on binary or check out the next section for a detailed description of how to read the clock.
How to Read & Use ClamClock
Even with just the basics of binary under your belt, ClamClock is easy to read. Each column of LEDs on the clock can be read as a binary number, with each LED representing a different power of two - just like each digit in a regular base ten number represents a power of 10.
As the graphic below shows, this makes reading the clock a matter of simple arithmetic; adding the value of each illuminated LED gives a number corresponding to either hours, minutes, or seconds.
The clock is usually in 24 hour time, but can be switched into a 12 hour mode. Below, you will find a basic summary of the features that we have included in ClamClock.
With the standard software, the clock’s four button interface will allow you to set the time, set the alarm, toggle the alarm, and toggle between 12 and 24 hour time. However, as mentioned above, we have designed ClamClock to support custom code.
We designed four cases for ClamClock. Three of them are designed to sit on a desk and one is made for hanging on a wall. That said, any purchase of a ClamClock will come with a dimensioned drawing of our custom circuit board, allowing anyone to make their own case for the clock.
The Wooden Case comes with red hour LEDs, green minutes LEDs, and blue seconds LEDs; the Wall Hanging Case comes with all green LEDs; the Industrial Case comes with all red LEDs; and the Clam Case comes with all white LEDs. For any clocks purchased without a case, we will provide a stand to display the clock sans case - a look that we really like.
You can also choose your preferred LED color scheme: RGB, just Red (above), just Blue, just Green, or just White. This photo shows all the components that go into a prototype version of ClamClock.
ClamClock is designed by Limbeck Engineering, a company based in Freeport, Maine. Limbeck Engineering was created in 2013 by four high school friends. Today each of the founding partners are engineering students up and down the east coast; with (from left to right) Liam Wade attending University of Maine, Nick Nelsonwood attending Princeton University, and Josef Biberstein and Travis Libsack attending MIT. As one of their first commercially branded products, the Limbeck Team hopes ClamClock will be as fun and interesting to others as it is to them.
Limbeck Engineering LLC, 2013
We want to give a quick thank you to all those who helped us with this project.
- Alec Salisbury of Alec Salisbury Photography for our video and photos
- Kris Jennings of Downeast Woodwork for using his shop as a backdrop
- Cyrus Fenderson for designing our landing page
- Friends and Family who gave advice along the way
**All images seen in this Kickstarter are of prototypes.**
Risks and challenges
ClamClock is the first project we've brought from ideation to production. One of the greatest challenges we faced was preserving the original spirit of the project throughout this process: to create a maker friendly product.
The purpose of this Kickstarter is to get ClamClock started. We need enough money to make bulk purchases of parts and boards in order to make ClamClock affordable for our backers. That being said, if we far surpass our goal, we anticipate the necessary soldering and quality control for the boards and cases to strain our capabilities as a group of four. Should we have such a large quantity of orders that we cannot make all the clocks ourselves, we will explore options to make this easier. For instance, we will have some circuit boards made with the parts already attached for those who want the clock as a complete package rather than a kit.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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