DOTKLOK software 1.3

26 April 2011

New “big font” time display

If you haven’t already, it’s time to update your DOTKLOK!  When you plug your DOTKLOK in, the software version will briefly be displayed (if there is no display, you are running code version 1.0 or older).  The latest release is version 1.3, now available at the DOTKLOK project page in the Source section; you’ll also find the instructions for updating your DOTKLOK in the usage instructions document.

There’s been a lot changes, updates, and improvements made between version 1.0 and 1.3, so I thought I’d summarize them here.  In addition to a handful of behind-the-scenes improvements to the inner workings of the code, the total animation count has almost doubled from the original 8 animations to the current variety of 14!

As shown in the photo at the top of this article, I’ve created a new “big font” time display that replaces the original “basic time” display; this was done both to take more advantage of the total screen space, and to add more variety since the “basic time” and “game time” displays were very similar (aside from the occasional visit from Pacman and friends).

Here’s a rundown of the new animations:

Shown above is a shot of the “game time” animation.  Although not new to most, this animation was actually introduced in version 1.1 of the code, so some of you out there might be missing this fun one.  With each new minute, the old time is randomly cleared, either by a dissolve, getting eaten by Pacman or a Space Invader, or wiped away by falling Tetris blocks.  I think it’s best illustrated with a video:

The above photo shows “Morse time,” which, as I’m sure you can infer, shows the time in Morse code.  The hours, minutes, and seconds scroll across the screen at randomly changing rates, giving the feeling of trains passing in parallel at different speeds.

With all the abstract and digital time representations, I’d been wanting something a bit more “traditional” for a while, so I came up w/ this simple and minimal analog clock face; it’s only accurate to 5 minutes — due to the low resolution of the screen — but this fits in well since most DOTKLOK animations have some sort of twist when it comes to showing the time ;)

Version 1.2 of the code brought “accumulator time:”

Inspired by the analog clock face from version 1.1, but with a digital twist, I wanted an animation that both showed time accumulating over the day, and was easy to read.  Each full block represents an entire hour, and the individual dots of each block represent 5 minutes each; so the time shown above is 9:30.

And what “geeky” clock would be complete without a binary clock?!

But of course, rather than simply showing the hours, minutes, and seconds in an abstract/binary format (we have Morse time for that), this binary display represents the number of seconds passed in the current year (adjusted for leap-years, even).  The motivation behind this one was to have a pattern that takes much longer than 24 hours to repeat.

Which brings us to 1.3: an updated big font (shown at the top of this article), and brightness adjustment!  The usage instructions explain how to chose from the 5 brightness levels now available for the LED screen.

So . . . if your DOTKLOK is running code version 1.2 or earlier, I recommend you get yourself an FTDI cable or an Arduino and make use of that programming header; everything is covered in the usage instructions.


Other news

In other DOTKLOK news, we’re starting to get some community contributions.

Bryan added a photo-resistor to his DOTKLOK so the brightness adjusts automatically:


You can see his Instructable for all the how-to on that one.

Another hardware mod includes Daniel’s addition of a temperature sensor.  All the mods for DOTKLOK will be chronicled at the DOTKLOK Facebook page.

The abundant Tube Clock Database blog also favorably reviewed DOTKLOK; you can read the whole article here, or check out the accompanying video below:


Time will only tell what comes next ;)

Comments (2) | Tags: , , | More: Blog

2 Responses to “DOTKLOK software 1.3”

  1. Jagoba says:

    Hello is there a chance to get only the pcb??, or is it created with a legitimate licensed Eagle copy? to send it to manufacture? thanks for your reply.

  2. ao says:

    Hi, I will begin to officially offer just the PCBs in September! They will be listed in my Etsy shop:

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