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Author Topic: Totally and utterly new to this  (Read 4556 times)
His Divine Shadow
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« on: September 28, 2009, 05:20:13 AM »

Hi! I saw nonentity post pictures of his clock in another forum and it just gave this urgent desire to build my own clock. This working with soldering business seems fun too.

I've never ever done anything like it before so right now it all seems like voodoo to me. But if I get this right I would need an arduino board which I must buy separately, and if I look at the arduino site, ArduiNIX works with an earlier revision, not the latest. correct?

I assume that a driver shield is like an add-on board that can be connected to the Arduino board and that is what ArduiNIX is. 

Also I don't want to make it too easy for me so I am thinking of buying just the board and installing components myself, or is that too much you think for a noob?

My plan is to make myself an alarm clock, I just haven't found a good alarm clock in stores. Something I saw came close, namely this:

So the idea so far is to buy some cheap twin-bell clock like that and take out the innards and place a nixie clock inside, maybe replace the front glass with smoked glass and have the tubes behind that. Is the arduino and arduinix small enough you think to fit inside such a housing? I think they are usually 7-8 inches in diameter.

Co-Owner, Robotpirate
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 03:11:15 PM »

Howdy, Shadow.. Welcome to the forum...

Yeah, I think it would fit, you just have to make sure your clock is large enough, obviously.  The measurements of the arduino are readily available online, and if you need me to, I'll measure the arduino/ArduiNIX combo for you.

Also, if you are starting out, I'd order the whole kit, so that all the proper parts are there for you when you start.  I know I tend to let a project sit too long if the parts aren't ready to go when I begin.

Also, we sell completed kits, if you're interested (I save out a few just in case)

Side view tubes sound proper for this project, you'll have to dig around and find out what tubes will fit.  I am thinking russian IN-8, but not quite sure yet.

Do you want the bell and such to be still functioning? Cause it seems like it'd be tough to do that with original guts, though you could splice a solenoid clapper into the project off one of the arduino digital outs, and fire it that way, just a thought.


Robotpirate Founder

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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 09:09:36 AM »

Hi Shadow

The tubes I'm using are IN-8s. They might work quite well in this sort of role, although a slightly smaller size would be less deep and hence leave much more case room. Pic:

The Arduino+Arduinix combination is not very big, but has no single particularly small dimension - the way the shield board plugs in leads to quite a thick slab of circuitry, which is harder to tuck away in a tight space than a flatter design might be. The tubes are quite bulky and they require quite a lot of wiring. Finally, fitting things into round cases can also be tricky. I'm concentrating on getting my tubes all working first and worrying about enclosures later when I know how bulky the whole setup is. (I'm not really trying to minimise the size of mine, though)

Arduinix works fine with the current-generation Arduino Duemilanove.

The Arduinix board is very nicely made and easy to solder, but I'm glad I had a bit of experience before I did mine. I can very strongly recommend using chip sockets rather than trying to solder the ICs directly. By the way, definitely buy the whole kit. Finding all the parts separately could be a real pain. The crazy Russian 200 volt chips are probably not available in your local electronics store, unless you live somewhere way more awesome than I do. (Disclaimer: I have no connection with RobotPirate other than liking their kit and incredibly helpful attitude). You will still have plenty to do for yourself to turn the Arduino+Arduinix into a working clock, such as figuring out a good way to set the time, giving it a bell, sorting out the software, deciding whether or not to use a realtime clock chip, any further complications. Sky's the limit really.

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