The Chromatic Chronometer is a fun, modern clock with several colorful display modes. 11 display modes are available in total. Some are very similar, whereas others are strikingly different. The video shows a few of the modes in time lapse, where it's easier to see how the clock changes over time.
A built-in light sensor allows the clock to automatically dim as the room gets darker. When a room is completely dark, the clock's display turns off entirely. The clock continues to run in the background, automatically and instantaneously reactivating when it detects light. This is useful if you want to keep the clock in a bedroom where you don't want it keeping you awake at night.
The clock includes a calibration mode, which allows the user to precisely correct the crystal's clock rate. Properly calibrated, the clock's error is less than 3 seconds per month.
I originally designed and assembled the Chromatic Chronometer just as a fun side project. I've always had an interest in unique timepieces, and this idea had been rolling around my head for a number of years. When I finished the project and displayed it in my work cubicle, many fellow engineers expressed interest in acquiring a kit to make their own. At that point, it made more sense to do a group order than to try to source parts individually. This Kickstarter project is the result!
The Chromatic Chronometer kit includes almost everything needed for assembly. Also required are a soldering iron, solder, and a 5-volt A/C wall adapter. For the wall adapter, either make use an old phone charger (make sure it outputs 5 volts first) or search eBay for "power supply dc 5v 1a" where they sell for about $2.50 with free shipping.
All other components are included with the kit. This includes:
- (6) Circuit board segments
- (1) pre-programmed microcontroller
- (60) Multi-color LEDs
- (3) push-buttons
- (1) light sensor
- (1) Clock crystal
- (1) Voltage regulator
- (many) capacitors and resistors
I will include a couple extra LEDs and capacitors to help in case one is broken or misplaced during the assembly process (the capacitors are tiny!). PDF instructions will be made available for download to detail the soldering and assembly process. The kit uses surface mount components (size 0805 capacitors and resistors), except for the light sensor and crystal, which are through-hole for easier installation.
Risks and challenges
Because the clock is distributed as a kit, there is no manufacturing risk involved. The primary risk resides in supplier timeliness. I have verified that all parts are currently available and in stock, but supplier stocks fluctuate frequently. Worst case, I will select an alternate supplier. This has already been accounted for in the delivery timeline.
Your other main risk involves the actual assembly of the kit. Surface mount soldering requires some skill and a bit of practice. If you are new to soldering, I recommend you check out some YouTube videos, practice on scrap boards, and solicit advice from knowledgeable friends before you start soldering together the clock kit.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)