David jensen - Unfinished

Why finish stuff when you can forget about it, and start something new?

The clock

This is a work in progress. I got the idea from a "smart" clock I saw. It was quite nice. Looked like a brick with large colorful pixels. Can't find it anymore though. Anyway it could show the weather, mail etc. I liked it, but it was expensive (>€100) and closed to their app for control.

A bit later i saw this nice IKEA hack. Its a IKEA cloud lamp that changes color depending on the weather and even flashes for lightning storms! Very nice.

The plan

The plan is to build a smart clock for my sons room, it would be super cool if it could be the hub for some kind of voice control, but first off I want it to tell what the weather will be for the upcoming day. I asked my son, and he'd rather have an analog clock instead of a digital, so I bought a cheap ordinary wall clock. It had no numbering, I guess to look clean, so that is something I will need to fix in the future.

I wanted to line the clock with RGB leds so I could mark out the weather approximately where the hour mark is. This means the clock can tell the weather for the upcoming 12 hours.

I'm planning to use a Raspberry Pi Zero W for the brains of it.

The build so far

clock in my workspace

Any sane person would here go and buy a nice Adafruit led strip and just line the edge of the clock with it. But I like to use what I already have in my stash, and one of the things I have are several Flora Neopixels (I bought two 20 packs that where on a ridiculous sale).

I decided to use 8 of them, to make it a bit easier to solder and to not overwhelm the Raspberry Pi Zero.

The neopixel needs 3 wires, power and a signal, and that sinal needs to be chained to the next pixel. That means three wires between each of them.

Looking around my workspace for some wire I happened to see some copper tape that I bought to experiment with. The tape is supposed to be used in the garden to create a barrier for slugs. It has a copper foil over a paper/plastic back. So you can't tape a circuit together, but you can solder to it!

copper tape as wires

The middle lane of tape is the signal, and since it needs to chain the neopixels together I took a flat screwdriver and just scraped away a spot where the neopixel should be.

copper tape as wires

Works like a charm! I also soldered three wires to it. The plan is to drill a hole through the backplate and place the raspberry pi zero on the back.

So now it's time for the software... and that's where it's hanging in limbo right now.

copper tape as wires

Future plans involve speakers or buzzer for alarm, camera for keeping track of intruders (or waving to turn of alarm!)

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