Having seen my friend with one of these as a sexy wrist watch I thought the next best thing was to make a desk and wall version. After several versions and upgrades I am proud to now share this: WORD CLOCK - Do It Yourself Guide.
Why use THIS guide?
What you get at the end?
Lets Start by... COLLECTING ALL THE THINGS! >>
Step 1: Collect All The Things!
All The Files
I have split the design files into Mechanical and Electrical which are available here.
Now lets use those files to get the physical things.
You will need to collect the below items. To make things easy and save time, I provide a kit: tinkerelectric.com
Electrical (shiny lights)
Mechanical (hard housing)
Now you have the parts, lets build the matrix >>
Step 2: Build Word Clock LED Matrix (Back)
The core of the clock is an LED matrix. The LEDs currently function as a strip but we need to make them more square.
Congrats, you have completed the LED Matrix! Now lets sort the controller! >>
Step 3: The Electronics (The Smarts)
Now we create the brains of this operation!
The controller has three main jobs.
I have designed the below circuit and code to achieve these objectives. If you want to manufacture the PCB yourself simply download the design. Alternatively I also sell these PCBs and parts.
If you are using the raw chip you will need to program it using an FTDI programmer
Upload the program given here: Code
You will know it works when you can see the matrix light up. If this is successful we can move onto the Mechanical section! >>
Things that can go wrong:
>>Lets make the face!
Step 4: Make the Face (Front)
The Face is designed to block the light and only show the letters. Simply have the file (face.pdf) plotted on a vinyl cutter using adhesive opaque vinyl. Local print stores will be able to provide this service. If this can not be found then you can print onto a Transparency which can also achieve this effect. Note: I used this method in one of my original versions, you will need 2x densely printed Transparencies to achieve an opaque effect.
Place the vinyl on the glass. You can use soapy water to allow you to reset the position until it dries. Use a firm object to press out any bubbles that may occur.
Now onto the Baffle which isolates each letter >>
Step 5: Make The Baffle (Meat in the Middle)
The degree to which you isolate each letter is the degree of awesomeness you end up with at the end! The baffle achieves this easily. Have the file laser cut out of 3mm opaque acrylic. There are 10 with a small cut, 8 without and 2 short. See the image for where each cut goes.
You will notice they slot into each other as shown:
Note that there are two types, one with side slots and ones without. The side slots are for the wires we had to add when making the LED matrix. Place them appropriately.
A drop of glue is useful to ensure the baffle stays square and together as we bring it together with the LED Matrix in the next part>>
Step 6: Put It Together (Sandwich Time)
This is an easy step;
Step 7: Congratulations & Conclusion!
Congratulations, you have yourself a Unique and personally made Word Clock!
I would love to see your version, please post it and say hi! TinkerElectric.com
Hope you have enjoyed and look forward to hearing your feedback.
-John Missikos, Australia