Metaclock

Some time ago I saw a Tweet from the arduino official account talking about an amazing project called “clockception!”, the project seems to be a digital clock created using 24 analog clocks! The video run for a few seconds and I did not have the tech details, but I was amazed! So, I decided to create a new project from scratch inspired in the same concept and visuals using processing and a Raspberry Pi.

At first, maybe it’s difficult to understand what is “a digital clock formed by 24 analog clocks”. A picture is worth a thousand words:

A digital clock formed by 24 analog clocks

Or a more colorful version of it:

I decided to replicate the project creating the software from scratch using Processing, a Raspberry Pi and a small screen panel. I used a 3.5” TFT screen hat, but maybe it’s easier to use a regular 7” HDMI frameless screen. The final size of the screen panel is up to you, but if you add a laser cutted frame over the screen the final project may look like:

Metaclock with a wood frame

A video of the metaclock project running, you can see the time update animation:

To create the metaclock project you will need:

  • Functional Raspberry Pi 3 or above
  • Screen panel, a 7” HDMI screen is the easiest option, but i’m using a 3’5” TFT Hat
  • Wood frame, created by a laser cutter machine

Steps:

  1. Install Raspberry Pi OS with updated packages on your Raspbery Pi
  2. Install the screen panel, if the panel has an HDMI connector, the installation is trivial, if you are using a GPIO screen panel, you will need to install the screen drivers on your Raspberry Pi system.
  3. Install processing on your Raspberry Pi (https://pi.processing.org/)
  4. Download the processing sketch from https://github.com/ferrithemaker/Jumble/blob/master/processing/metaClock/metaClock.pde
  5. You will need to change the sketch parameters (like the size of the circles, the width, the height, the distance between circles, …) to fit your screen size.
  6. Create a wood frame using a 3D printer, CNC or laser cutter machine, it will also depend on the size of your screen, but you have an example here.

Enjoy your metaclock! 🙂