LED Filaments Make A Retro Clock With out Any Retro Components

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We love clock initiatives right here at Hackaday, and we’ve seen many lovely designs based mostly on all kinds of show applied sciences. There are numerous sorts of glass tubes like Nixies, Numitrons and traditional VFD shows, all of which have that heat “retro” glow to them. Then there’s LEDs, that are helpful for making cool pixel-based timepieces and straightforward to drive with low-voltage electronics. So how about combining the very best of each worlds, by utilizing LEDs to make a Numitron-like show? That’s precisely what [Jay Hamlin] did when he constructed a digital clock based mostly on LED filaments.

The guts of the mission consists of orange LED filaments just like those utilized in vintage-style LED gentle bulbs. [Jay] purchased a bunch of them on-line and tried numerous methods of mixing them into seven-segment shows, ultimately deciding on a small PCB with a black end to present good distinction between the LEDs and the background. To make the shows seem like they’re encased in glass, [Jay] purchased a set of plastic take a look at tubes and lower them to dimension.

The bottom of the clock is fashioned by a slick black PCB that holds an ESP32. The segments are pushed by way of a set of 74LV595 shift registers to maintain the required variety of GPIOs to a minimal. There are not any buttons: because of a WiFi connection and the Community Time Protocol the ESP32 mechanically retains the right time.

The top outcome appears to be like remarkably like a Numitron show at first look, and stays a beautifully-made clock even should you discover that there’s no glass to be discovered. In case you’re into LED filament clocks (and who isn’t?), take a look at this analog wall clock, or this spiderweb-like digital clock.

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