Unreadable Binary Epoch clock is unreadable

binary-epoch-clock

What time is it? For that matter, what is the date? This clock can tell you both of those things, if only you could read it. The inspiration for this Binary Epoch kit came after a friend of [Maniaclal Labs] built an eight-bit binary clock. That’s a pretty common project that gets riffed on for things like mains-timed logic-driven clocks. They figured why not make it bigger? But even then you can make some sense out of the display after studying it for just a bit, you won’t be much closer to answering those two questions.

The problem is that this is unreadable in a couple of different ways. First off, how long did it take you to figure out in your head the decimal equivalent of the binary number displayed above? We gave up. But pounding the number into Google (search for: 0b01010010000010000001001010010011 in decimal) gives us 1376260755. meaningful? Again, not to a human. This is Unix time, which is the number of seconds elapsed since the Epoch: 8/11/13-22:39:15.

Check out the video below that shows how to set the clock, which uses a menu system for human-friendly input. But since it’s Arduino compatible you can also connect an FTDI cable and program it from a computer. Oh, and since this is Open Source Hardware (note the icon in the lower right) you can get all the info to build (or breadboard) your own from their Github repo.

Here’s another complicated clock that uses Nixie tubes to display time and date info which is actually of use.

Comments

  1. a says:

    “since the Epoch: 8/22/13-22:39:15″

    Unix time, or POSIX time, is a system for describing instants in time, defined as the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Thursday, 1 January 1970, not counting leap seconds.

  2. Ran_D says:

    It looks like 5:20 on August 12, 2013

    8-bit chunks is groups of 4.
    0101 0010 0000 1000 0001 0010 1001 0011
    5 2 0 8 1 2 1 3

    That’s without Googling it. I might be wrong, but if it’s a clock and calendar, that’s what I get out of it.

  3. raster says:

    I get “Sun, 11 Aug 2013 22:39:15 GMT” not “8/22/13-22:39:15″

    How the heck did you get the year 13 instead of 2013 anyway!?

  4. RandyKC says:

    Ok, I’ll be the ass.
    Straight from wiki guys: Unix time, or POSIX time, is a system for describing instants in time, defined as the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Thursday, 1 January 1970, not counting leap seconds.
    Not 8/22/2013.

  5. vonskippy says:

    Sooooooooo very stupid. A clock by it’s very nature is to TELL THE TIME. If you can’t figure out what time the clock is displaying (and do so in a very short period – before the time has changed), then the clock has FAILED.

  6. Brian says:

    This must be art. Nobody really understands it or understands why it was made and it’s pretty useless.
    I don’t like art.

  7. Gdogg says:

    You spelled Epoch wrong in the link in the body.

  8. Ren says:

    And the title is brought to you by the “Department of Redundancy Department”

  9. Hirudinea says:

    Ok so it’s a kit for a useless clock that tells time in an arcane (to the average person) system and displays it in binary in such a way that by the time you figure out what the time actually is it won’t be that time any more? I have just one question, can the kit be converted into a watch?

  10. Evocube says:

    Taco time?

  11. John Doe says:

    The time now is @312.beats

  12. Ian says:

    Now we need a binary clock that counts in Planck time starting at the beginning of the universe.

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