Last chance to enter The Hackaday Prize.

How Much Can You Cram Into a Wristwatch

DIGITAL CAMERA

Creating wearable electronics that are functional and not overly bulky is very, very hard. [Zak], though, makes it look easy. He started his DIY digital wrist watch to see how much he could cram into a watch-sized device. The finished product is really incredible, and one of the most amazing DIY watches we’ve ever seen.

The electronics for the watch include an ATMega328p, a DS3231M Real Time Clock, a Microchip battery charger, and a few resistors and caps. The display is an OLED, 1.3″ wide and only 1.5 mm thick, contributing to the crazy 10mm overall thickness of the watch.

The software is where this watch really shines. Along with the standard time and date functions, [Zak] included everything and more a wrist watch should have. There is an interface to set up to ten alarms on different days of the week, a Breakout and ‘Car Dodge’ game, a flashlight with integrated ‘rave’ mode, and a stopwatch. On top of this, [Zak] included some great animations very similar to the CRT-like animations found in Android.

It’s a fabulous piece of kit, and if any project were deserving of being made into an actual product, this is it.

You can check out [Zak]‘s demo of all the functions of his watch below.

[Read more...]

Retrotechtacular: Singing bird automata

retrotechtacular-birdsong-automata

Our cats were both sleeping near the computer and these videos were driving them nuts. To our ears these birdsongs sound pretty good. They didn’t trick the cats into stalking mode, but they did spark an audible complaint. So the predators aren’t drooling but the mechanical engineers reading this should be. These automata combine the precision of a mechanical clock with a bellows and specialized whistle to recreate birdsong.

You’ve got to hear it for yourself to appreciate the variety produced by the mechanisms. The first video shows off the device seen on the left. This particular model is from the 1890’s and the demo gives a good look at the arms that open and block a passageway to alter the sound. After seeing that link — which was sent in by [Stefan] — we started searching around for more info on the devices. The one pictured to the right turned up. It’s from YouTube user [Singing Bird Boxes] who has many videos showcasing these types of devices. We picked this one because he tried to explain how each part of the mechanism works. These are still being made today, but there’s something magical about seeing one built during the steam age.

We’d like to make Retrotechtacular a weekly feature every Tuesday. Help us out by sending in links to projects that highlight old technology, instructional videos of yore, tours of museums or similar relics.

[Read more...]

Dermal implants means strapless watch

dermal

Google Glass is a year or so out, and even after that we’re still looking at about five years until we’re all upgraded at the behest of our robotic overlords. [justurn] simply can’t wait, so he decided to submit to the cybermen early with his Android-controlled wristwatch attached with dermal implants.

[justurn]‘s got the inspiration for his project from this earlier Hackaday post involving dermal implants and an iPod nano. The iPod nano doesn’t have a whole lot of functionality, though, but the Sony SmartWatch does, and without the inevitable accusations of fanboyism.

To prep his arm for the hardware upgrade, [justurn] had four titanium dermal anchors placed in his wrist. After letting his anchors heal for a few months, [justurn] installed very strong neo magnets in the bases for his anchors and the clip for the SmartWatch’s strap.

The result is a magnetically mounted, Android-controlled watch semi-permanently attached to [justurn] at the wrist. We love it too.

A homebrew binary wristwatch

watch

There are 2 types of people in the world; those who know binary, those who don’t, and those who know ternary. [Emanuele] thought a binary wristwatch is the pinnacle of nerd and set out to build his own. The resulting binary clock not only screams nerd as intended, but is also a functional time piece, as well.

The idea of a binary wristwatch came to [Emanuele] while he was working with PICs at school. Not wanting to let that knowledge go to waste, he used a PIC16F628 microcontroller for this build. There are four LEDs for the hours and six LEDs for the minutes, each attached to a separate microcontroller pin for easy programming.

To keep time, [Emanuele] kept the PIC in sleep mode most of the time, only waking it up when a an internal timer’s register overflows. The watch spends most of its time sleeping, sipping power from a coin cell battery with a battery life that should last weeks, at least.

The entire circuit is tucked away in a PVC enclosure with a wonderful rainbow ribbon cable band. We’re not so sure about how that feels against the skin all day, but it does exude the nerd cred [Emanuele] was looking for.

Retrotechtacular: How a watch works

how-a-mechanical-watch-works

Anyone who has ever tried to keep time with an electronic project will have respect for a timepiece that stays accurate over the span of months or more. We think it’s even more respectable when it comes to mechanical watches. This video was made by the Hamilton watch company back in 1949 to explain the basic processes behind a precision mechanical timepiece.

It takes several minutes to get to the meat of the presentation, but we think you’ll find the introduction just as entertaining as the explanation itself. When it does come time to look inside the watch a set of large pieces is used to help illustrate the workings of each part. The clip (which is also embedded after the break) does a great job with these demonstrations, but almost immediately you’ll come to realize the complexity wrapped up in an incredibly tiny package. It goes on to explain the low-friction properties that are brought to the table by the jewel bearings. Enjoy!

[Read more...]

Watch hacking, one day at a time

watch_a_day

If there is one thing hackers return to time and time again, it is clock/watch hacking. There are always creative ways to tell time, and with several “hackable” wristwatches on the market, there is bound to be no shortage of neat timepiece hacks.

[hudson] from NYC Resistor has decided to take on a fun challenge for the next month revolving around his programmable inPulse watch. Over the upcoming 30 27 days, he will design, program, and publish a watch face for the timepiece. He already has 3 days behind him, and the results are pretty interesting. The concepts are creative and functional, though due to time constraints they sometimes end up a little less polished than he would like.

All of the code is available on his Bitbucket page if you have an inPulse watch and would like to play along or improve on his work.

We think it’s a pretty cool project, and we are eager to see what he produces each day. Stick around to see a quick video showing off one of his 3D watch faces.

[Read more...]

DWex watch looks for future development

[FlorinC] sent in his DWex Arduino watch, with intentions for it double as an experimenting base. Inspired by the MakerBotWatch, it runs an ATmega328P, DS1337 RTC,and 24 LEDs to display the time. [FlorinC] tells us the (yet to come) case and strap will be similar to Woz’s watch to ensure airport security tackles him. As for experimenting, the PCB contains an ICSP6 and also an FTDI connector for those “other-than-watch purposes”. We’re not all sure what else could be done with a watch; we racked our brains and came up with a compass, but with the source code and Eagle files available maybe you have a better idea?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91,175 other followers