Now We've Seen Everything: Indoor LED Sundial

Now We've Seen Everything: Indoor LED Sundial

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Taryn Williford
Apr 14, 2009

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Leave it to a geek to take something that is, by definition, a completely analog concept and—without changing the way it operates at all—infuse it with tech know-how. We've been using sundials, a "clock" which tells the time of day by the position of the sun and the shadow it casts, since before there was electrical power. But now, we have LEDs changing up the sundial game and bringing it indoors.

The Bulbdial Clock is a project from Evil Mad Scientist that replicates the idea behind a sundial using colored LEDs to cast shadows instead of the sun. As a result of there being multiple "suns" at different heights in this version, we can easily read hours, minutes and seconds from its face.

On three layered rings of laser-cut plywood, 36 LEDs (12 on each ring) take turns firing up to cast shadows. The LEDs on the highest-up ring cast the shortest shadow to resembles the short hour hand on a traditional clock face, the middle ring LEDs cast a longer shadow for minutes, and the lowest ring casts a long second-ticker shadow.

It's also pretty cool to see how the red, green and blue LEDs cast cyan, yellow, magenta or white shadows based on mixing colors of light.

If you're into AVR microcontrollers, you can check out the article here to try and make your own. Evil Mad Scientist says they're trying to make a Bulbdial clock hit for the rest of us.


[ Via Geekologie ]

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