I thought this was really cool:
I therefore needed to build my own, but wanted a more practical clock (you have to wait for the nixie to flash out all the numbers on this one). I’m therefore going for a VFD clock, much like adafruit’s famous ice tube clock:
I need to wait until I get home to start building it, but my basic design plan is:
- Flat piece of wood for the base, with bevelled edges (as cool as the totally freeform one is, my clock will be smaller, and very light, and I want it to stay put on my desk without breaking)
- Instead of using a RTC, I’m going for using a NRF24L01+ RF module, with my desktop pc pushing the time periodically to it. While a RTC would be fine, it means I’d have to program a time-setting interface, clutter it with buttons, and still have to deal with eventual time drift. The RF modules are cheap (about £1), and I’ll be using them around the house for wireless control anyway, so I want a bridge to my pc. I don’t know how much drift arduino internal clocks have, but as long as they can keep time for a few minutes, that’ll be good enough.
- I’m trying not to spend much money on this at all. I got the tube for £5 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150826784263), the MAX6921 VFD driver as a free sample, and I probably have enough stuff lying around to build it.
- + Never have to set the time, the pc is always correct.
- + I don’t need to program a time-setting interface.
- + Fewer parts, one RF module vs RTC chip, crystal, capacitors, battery backup
- - I need software running on the pc, on the arduino attached to my pc, as well as the clock.