[Voja Antonic] has built a clock that tells the time in binary with square waves, and trolls the uninitiated in electronics.
The clock itself is very attractive. If you look closely you can see the circuitry backlit behind the dot LED matrix display. The whole thing is housed in a nicely folded steel case. RGB LEDs are used to good effect to highlight some additionally obfuscating circuit schematics. The workmanship is very top notch, and we would gladly host such an object on our desks.
The clock’s standard time telling mode is three sets of square waves showing the binary values for the hours, minutes, and seconds. Every now and then the clock will glitch out. The waves will distort. The colors will change. And every now and then, tantalizingly, the alpha-numeric time will show up for just a split second, before returning to those weird squiggles again.
We’ve seen a whole slew of binary clocks before. This one, for instance. But the waveform display makes us feel just that little bit more at home — it’s just like we’re sitting in front of our oscilloscope.
25 thoughts on “Glitching Square Wave Clock Is Designed To Confuse”
that is really, really nice. Love the glitchiness.!
I don’t understand this whole crypto-chronometer thing. I can see it as an accomplishment from an engineering and art perspective. Awesome.
But as ElectroBoom’s Mehdi Sadaghdar said of the TokyoFlash watch he received, “The quality is very good and it looks very professional… There is only one problem, and it’s really nothing. The problem is you cannot tell time with it.”
Pretty much sums it up.
It’s art and/or novelty. We already have a zillion devices that easily tell us the time. So there’s room for some devices that obfuscate the time. Put another way, neither this or the TokyoFlash watch is /supposed/ to tell time. Not really. It’s sculpture, most of which don’t have any practical functions either.
I don’t see the point of these either other than as dynamic art and as such could be counting through some famous sequence just as well as the passage of time.
Well here is my useless clock. First prototype, almost time to fire up the laser cutter. ESP8266 based.
Thanks Yourstick; after being awake for 50h straight, you, taking the words straight outta ma mouth, is one of the best bed-time stories I’ve ever had. +1UP
Somehow true. But there are countless analog clocks without numbers on the clock face. For me this is much less readable.
It’s fairly simple, and thankfully doesn’t use more than 4 bits at a time for binary numbers. Given maybe a 5 minute tutorial on binary, it would be legible to anybody because it has no encoding.
I think what would irritate me most is the flashing; that would keep me awake.
Would be distracting on the desk, but would be nice as a piece in the living room or something.
Is the time 12:21:52?
Beautiful! Just not a fan of the glitches – awfully distracting
I’m a bit disappointed that the time is displayed in BCD, that is somehow un-nerdy. A true binary clock uses 4 bits for the hours and 6 bits each for minutes and seconds.
But it is possible to read BCD easily, not so for the 5 bits hours and 6 bits M&S
which defeats the purpose of a show off clock like this
really it should just be 64 bits of unix time if you want to practice your binary/decimal conversions
I was just thinking the same thing. I literally said “oh it’s BCD, that’s cheating”.
A “true” binary clock shows seconds since Jan 1, 1970. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_time) Anything else is user-friendly, readable, and totally cheating. :)
Unix time is cheating also. The time started 15 bn years ago.
Quite creative, and beautifully executed! I predict that he’ll eventually get tired of the glitchy mode, though, and keep it on the very attractive blue-and-yellow waveform mode.
I think it’s awesome. It looks like a prop out of a sci-fi movie. I’ve always wanted to do something like this but I lack the creative/artistic ability.
P.S. Since everyone is nitpicking; I’m surprised no one pointed out that “Parallel” is misspelled as “Paralel”. It’s etched in the top right corner of the clock. Specifically, it says “Paralel Clock”. Unless I’m mistaken.
[Voja Antonic], will you share the details of this project (schematics, program …) ?
Sure, Pinhead, it will soon be on my project page
can such a device be bought?
Sorry, Michel, it was just made for fun :(
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