[Andrew] is showing off his latest creation, an LED matrix clock, which he is calling “DOTKLOK”. The clock is powered by an atmega328 micro controller with a real time clock module keeping the time. The display is made out of a grid of 8×8 LED matrices giving it a resolution of 24×16, and is all housed in an attractive acrylic housing.

The clock animations are inspired by classic video games such as Pong, Tetris, Pacman, and Space Invaders. Since the software is open, it is easy to jump into the Arduino source and add or modify animations to suit your taste, or even use the clock as a custom display for non clock related applications.

Available as a kit or fully assembled if youre needing a gift for that special nerdy someone. If you would like to go it alone, source, schematics, pcb, and enclosure files are available along with a bill of materials.

Join us after the break to see a short video of this fun clock in action

[vimeo w=450]

27 thoughts on “DOTKLOK

  1. Animations, aaddadhd inducing nonsense. A clock that could display minutes after the current hour and minutes till next hour at the same time would be cool. Seconds too, possibly with animated dot rotating around edge. Gibberish on the digits run together. Was the time set with a lot of ones to hide the unreadability of this failpoint. As usual medieval Roman time ambiguous notation sans latin descriptor. The other models on the site come closer. Minutes and seconds within the hour is more useful than what is shown.

  2. I really like it!
    I was just thinking about changing the clock from my sunrise simulator for one that could display more info. Oleds were my last choice, but this can do all i need and it looks just great!


  3. Thanks for featuring this HaD!

    @echodelta The pic featured for the article is one of twelve possible screens for the time — that particular one exists mostly so users can set the date. There are others w/ larger, easier-to-read fonts.

    Thanks for checkin’ it and out posting your thoughts,

  4. Although the animations in the embedded video here all look a bit overkill, i actually did like the pong-animation that you can see on his website, where the ball drops in order to increase the minute/hour value.

    May be an idea what to use my DS1307 for.
    Great job.

  5. $150 for the parts, time and enclosure – that’s pretty reasonable. I know you’re thinking, “I could build that for X!” But the point is, you didn’t. You didn’t write the code, design the board, and solder everything together. Sure, now that there’s code and a schematic you could probably hack something together, but this dude already did.

    $30 – Arduino
    $30-50 for board and acrylic
    $10 (at least) for the displays
    $5 for the RTC
    $45 – 3 hours of assembly at $15.00 an hour

    We’re only talking about a small margin of profit – and that’s if these things were PRODUCTION.

  6. The kit is 150, assembled it’s 200. While there is a lot to be said for the time spent to design it, I think $150 for a kit is a bit much. Assembly is definitely worth $50 in any case, because anyone who would buy it assembled probably doesn’t have the tools or skills to put it together.

    What would be awesome is if he sold the PCB kit, minus the actual IC’s, display, and other parts, because I have all those things, and I imagine plenty of others do too. I would gladly pay $15 or $20 for the board and parts to populate it.

  7. @peter
    You are way over estimating the cost of everything. To start with, it doesn’t use a whole Arduino, but just an Atmega328, which costs a fraction of the $30 you state.
    Still a nice build, thumbs up for sharing the source, but at $150-200 it’s a no brainer: I’ll pass.

  8. Hey everyone, I wish I could offer this version of DOTKLOK for less, but Peter is on the right track: pricing reflects much more than the raw component costs, it has to factor in time to design ccts and code, assemble and pack kits, manage suppliers, write documentation, support, etc. etc. This falls well w/in the margins in the retail kit biz.

    That said, interesting to hear Andy mention he’d be interested in just a PCB. This is def. something I’d consider if the demand is there. Feel free to comment if this is something anyone’s interested in.

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone,

  9. As someone who has done open source kits before I too find $150 a bit expensive. I do Retro Adapter kits for £15 which includes:

    1x ATmega168
    1x PCB
    1x case
    1x USB cable
    3x resistors, 4x capacitors, 2x diodes
    1x xtal
    2x connectors

    Peter, your component costs are nuts. If you were going to do a PCB you wouldn’t need an Arduino, just build the damn thing in. Your PCB and plastics costs are about ridiculous too. Try somewhere like Seeed Studio for PCBs and Ponoko for the plastic. I just bought 5x DS1307 RTCs off eBay for £2.50.

    100% profit margin is fairly normal. Having build an LED matrix clock myself, as well as various other clocks, if I were setting out to produce a kit like this I would aim for £29.95 and include a radio time module.

  10. Mr O’Malley, thanks for taking a break from your beer to come here and provide feedback. I’d be interested in the code without any of the associated hardware. I believe this should be posted to thepiratebay for free since all the other major software providers (even Microsoft) are posting their software there for free download.

  11. Sorry to be a device support snob, but for some reason the embedded video on this article doesnt show on the iPad.
    I wouldnt normally mind, but a lot of other HaD videos DO show up on the iPad safari browser okay.
    So just an innocent suggestion to ensure all the article authors go about putting embedded vids in the same way for consistency.
    Thanks muchly.

  12. I’d be down for a PCB or else a guide for rolling your own with an Arduino you already have. Although there’s no way to really get any $ for design on the latter, which makes me understand why it’s probably not going to happen.

  13. Andrew, thanks for releasing the code and materials, I got a few of the LED displays from sureelectronics and after a bit of research for pinouts, got it wired up to my arduino.
    I noticed that the disaply specified in the materials is EOL, so I ordered the newer de-dp1112. it uses a ht1632c controller and requires 2 mods to the code.
    1. set the color to RED, the green workaround is no longer needed
    2. inthe void ht1632_setup() add and modify as:
    ht1632_sendcmd(chip[c], HT1632_CMD_COMS01); // 16*32, NMOS drivers
    //ht1632_sendcmd(chip[c], HT1632_CMD_MSTMD); /* Master Mode */
    ht1632_sendcmd(chip[c], HT1632_CMD_RCCLK); /*ht1632C master mode &18 */

    hope this helps anyone else out there struggling with the new LED panel like I was.

  14. @ John S: I may order extra pcb’s for individual sale next time I reorder :)

    @ Rodger: thanks for the info about the newer panels, I have migrated to them and updated the code accordingly, there will be a 1.2 version of this code (and updated documentation) posted to the Dotklok site soon.

  15. @Roger:

    Thnx for the hint. I ordered my (big 5mm) LED Matrix last Week. I’m planning of getting a “big dotklok Wall Clock”. I’ll report when i get my LED Matrix.

    1st: I LOVE the dotklok Game mode 8-bit gaming rulez :-)

    I’m looking forward of code version 1.2 and send you any addinions I’m currently planning. Unfortunately getting all the parts together in Germany isn’t that easy as I had to order stuff from 2 stores and ebay. Also I’m struggeling with Eagle CAD as i never used it before (Im planning some additions/ changes to the PCB. But i would definitely be interested in getting an original PCB from you.

    Did you ever check how much power dotklok draws? Would it be possibel to make it work with batteries?

    1. Hey Harald – did you get your big dotklok wall clock running? I’ve tried attaching a 5mm board, but it seems like the matrix is somehow flipped or shifted incorrectly.

  16. @Harald — lookin’ forward to seein’ a big Dotklok!

    1.2 of the code should be posted at my site in the next week.

    As for a PCB, I’ll make some available shortly and will report back here when I have them; right now they’re all spoken for in complete kits but I’ll get a new batch to sell individually soon.

    I believe Dotklok draws a max of 300mA (when all the LEDs are on), but I haven’t looked much into battery power — could be a cool mod!

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