Kitchen timer project in a angled green 3d printed case with a 7 segment display and knob.

Printing A Brutalist Kitchen Timer

A kitchen timer is one of those projects that’s well defined enough to have a clear goal, but allows plenty of room for experimentation with functionality and aesthetics. [Hggh]’s exploration of the idea is a clean, Brutalist kitchen timer.

The case for [Hggh]’s kitchen timer is 3D printed with openings for a TM1637 four digit, seven segment display and for a KY-040 rotary encoder with knob attached. The internals are driven by an ATmega328P powered from a 18650 cell with a DW01-P battery protection chip and a TP4056 chip for charging. On the back of the case is a power switch and USB-C connector for power. It looks like the 3D printed case was sanded down to give it a smooth matte surface finish.

All the project files, including the STLs, OpenSCAD code, and KiCAD design, are available on GitHub. This Brutalist kitchen timer project is a nice addition to some of the kitchen timers we’ve featured in the past, including a minimalist LED matrix timer and a Nixie timer with keypad.

Triple Zone Clock Tells Time In Style

Although the cutoff for saying ‘Happy New Year’ is somewhere around today, there’s still plenty of time to reminisce about 2022 and all that we accomplished. Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook] spent much of last year designing and building a triple-zone PCB clock, dubbed the 742 clock. It is called so because of all the 7-segments, and then 42 from the height in millimeters of each PCB. Also because it’s 24 backwards, and if we may be so bold, because 42.

If this looks familiar, it’s because we covered the single-panel version a few months ago. Much like that one, the triple time zone clock is controlled by a single Wemos D1 mini, and the other two panels are chained to the primary board. This version has a frame made of 20/20 extrusion with nice 3D printed caps on the ends to finish off the look.

As with the single-panel clock, this one uses bared-FR4 PCBs to diffuse the LEDs, and the effect looks really nice. We particularly like the capacitive corners that control the clock and the colors, which change throughout the day when left to their own devices. Be sure to check out the build video after the break.

Are you really into LEDs? Consider building a Berlin clock.

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Simple Stopwatch with two buttons, an eight digit 7-segment display and ICSP programming cable going into the board

Add An OSHW Certified Stopwatch To Your Toolkit

[MakingDevices] has created a simple stopwatch that makes for a nice introduction to surface mount electronic design and assembly. The project is open source hardware (OSHW) certified, with Gerbers, KiCAD files, and software all available.

Conceptually the stopwatch is straight forward, with a row of two four digit seven-segment displays being driven by a PIC18LF14k50 microcontroller through multiple NPN transistors. The PIC doesn’t quite have enough data lines to drive the two displays at once so an inverter is used to toggle between the two seven-segment blocks.

The circuit is continuously powered from a CR2032 coin cell battery. For normal usage with display, [MakingDevices] estimates 30+ hours of operation and 140+ hours without display, but still counting time. When idle, the “Extreme Low-Power (XLP)” capabilities of the PIC put the operating window estimates well beyond the self discharge of the coin cell battery. There’s an in circuit serial programming (ICSP) footprint that accepts a pogo pin TC2030-MCP-NL adapter for flashing the PIC.

Don’t let the simplicity fool you, this is a well documented project with detailed posts about the design, simulation and battery consumption. Various videos and glamour shots give a whole picture of the process, from design, assembly, testing to final validation.

It’d be wonderful to see the project extended or hacked on further, perhaps with a cute enclosure or case.

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You Can Build A Giant 7-Segment Display Of Your Very Own

Sometimes you need to display a number nice and large, making it easily readable at a good distance. [Lewis] has just the thing for that: a big expandable 7-segment display.

The build is modular, allowing it to be extended from 2 to 10 digits and beyond. The digits themselves are made of 3D-printed parts assembled onto acrylic. These can then be ganged up in a wooden frame for displaying larger numbers with more digits. Individual elements are lit by addressable LEDs, and the project can be built using an Arduino Nano or an ESP8266 for control. The latter opens up possibilities for controlling the screen over WiFi, which could prove useful.

[Lewis] has built his own version for a local swim club, where it will be used as a laptimer. Other applications could be as a scoreboard in various sports, or to confuse your neighbours by displaying random numbers in your front yard.

We’ve seen a similar build from [Ivan Miranda] that served well as a workshop clock, too. Video after the break.

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RGB 7-Segment Display Module Glows In All The Colours

While 7-segment displays are all well and good, they’re considered a bit old hat these days. This project from [Matt Deeds] brings them screaming into the future, though, sporting every color under the rainbow.

[Matt’s] build consists of a PCB filled with SK6812 side-mount LEDs, laid out in a typical 7-segment pattern. Each PCB features two 7-segment digits. The SK6812 LEDs can be driven in the same way as the famous WS2812B addressable LEDs, though they have the benefit of being more stable in color and brightness over a range of supply voltages.

With the LEDs installed, and a second PCB used solely as a diffuser by leaving out sections of solder mask, it’s a compact 7-segment solution at just 2.7 mm thick. The bonus is that each segment can be set to a different color thanks to the nature of the addressable RGB LEDs. Going too ham in this regard will make the displays difficult to read, but it can be used to easily display green, red, or yellow numbers, for example, to create a visual guide to a numerical range.

It’s a great build, and we love to see 7-segment displays re-imagined in different ways – even mechanically! It also takes fewer pins to drive compared to the old way of doing things in the non-addressable LED era. If you’ve got your own neat 7-segment projects under development, please do let us know!

Building 7-Segment Displays With LEGO

Utter the words “7-segment display” amongst hackers and you’ll typically get people envisaging the usual LED and LCD versions that we all come across in our daily lives. However, mechanical versions do exist, and [ord] has assembled a couple of designs of their very own.

The first uses what appears to be two LEGO motors to drive individual segments of the display. Each segment consists of a pair of yellow axles thrust up through a black grid to represent parts of the number, as well as a minus sign as needed. [ord] demonstrates it by using it to display angle data from a tilt sensor inside a LEGO Powered Up controller brick. Further photos on Flickr show the drive system from underneath.

The second design relies upon a drum-like mechanism that seems to only be capable of displaying numbers sequentially. It works in a manner not dissimilar to that of a player piano. The required movements to display each number are programmed into sequences with Technic pins sticking out of beams in a drum assembly driven by either a hand crank or motor. It’s again demonstrated by [ord] using it to display angular data.

While it’s unlikely we’ll see LEGO displays used as angle of attack meters in light aircraft, you could do so if you wanted a cheap and unreliable device that is likely to fall to pieces if unduly jostled. In any case, it’s not the first time we’ve seen LEGO 7-segment displays, but it’s always great to see a new creative take on an existing concept. We’d love to see such a design implemented into a fancy clock, or perhaps even a news ticker running on a 16-segment version. Video after the break.

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Pomodoro timer helps you focus on tasks without burning out.

World’s Cutest Pomodoro Timer Is Also A Clock

Student and hacker [prusteen] recently fell in love with the Pomodoro method of time management. That’s where you concentrate on your task for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break, and repeat this four times with a longer break at the end. Initially, [prusteen] was keeping track on their phone, but hated having to change the timer value between Pomodoros and break times. In order to keep the flow mode engaged, [prusteen] came up with this darling little study buddy that does it all with the push of a button.

By default, this tomato shows the current time, which we think is a handy and often-overlooked feature of Pomodoro timer builds. Press that momentary switch on the front, and it starts counting upward to 25 minutes. Then it beeps in stereo through a pair of buzzers when the time is up, and automatically starts a five-minute break timer. Press it again and the display goes back to clock mode, although judging by the code, doing this will cancel the timer.

Inside the juicy enclosure is an Arduino Nano, an RTC, and a 7-segment display. We love the attention to detail here, from the little green leaves on top to the anatomically-correct dimple on the underside. And we always like to see lids that snap on with magnets. So satisfying. Check out the brief demo after the break, which unfortunately does not include any lid-snapping action.

Do you need more interaction with your Pomodoro timer? Build yourself a pomo-dachi instead.

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