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Hackaday: the innovative tell time contest winners @Hackaday #ItsyBitsy #CircuitPython

Hackaday has posted the winners of their Tell Time Contest and there are some really great clock projects!

The one that’s going to steal your heart is Fetch: A Ferrofluid Display. Pitting the force of gravity against electromagnetism, this project manages to wrangle a liquid into the segments of a display and the animations used to change between numbers are fascinating. It’s a wickedly complicated system and the gang over at Applied Procrastination did a great job of documenting the research and development that went into building this open source marvel.

There are some really novel designs like the movie Alien face hugger clock (click this link, a bit scary for Valentine’s Day).

This 7 segment clock, a runner-up by Alex Padilla, is really neat, programmed in CircuitPython.

I was inspired by Mohit Bhoite’s electronic sculpture projects, particularly this one featuring a 7-segment display.  I don’t have that caliber of soldering or programming skills, but Adafruit’s CircuitPython looked like a good way to quickly program a small project and the ItsyBitsy M0 Express had capacitive touch capability to easily provide inputs.  I used the RTC+SD Featherwing as the middle layer between the ItsyBitsy and the 7-segment display because it has a double row of headers and the inner set of headers just happened to match the width of the headers on the ItsyBitsy M0.  I made 1:1 scale drawings of the boards to plan the bends in the brass rods, and actually used the lines on the page to get the bends to the correct angle to hold up the 7-segment display.  The build came together almost exactly how I envisioned it.  After I started testing the display I found that the LED segments were hard to see, so I put a sheet of dark acrylic in front to cut the glare.

See all the contestants and winners on Hackaday.


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