Category Archives: PCBs

Bright ideas: wifi-enabled, neopixel bedroom clock

Vance joined the Hackspace just before Christmas and has wasted no time in completing his first project. In that time he has mastered use of the laser-cutter, got to grips with programming wifi-enabled ESP8266 chips, designed his first printed circuit board, had it made by a board-house, and brought it all together in this ingenious bedroom clock.

Laser-cut, wifi-programmable, RGB-LED, light-sensitive clock

Laser-cut, wifi-programmable, RGB-LED, light-sensitive bedroom clock

The time is represented with twelve radial segments of frosted acrylic that are lit in red, green and blue according to the positions of the hour, minute and second hands. As the hands pass each other they combine to illuminate the room with an ever-changing pattern of coloured light (see video below). What’s more, he has made all the CAD design files for the parts, the code, and the PCB design in a repository and written a blog post to document how he did it.

A brilliant project Vance –  great idea, great design, great finish, brought together at great speed. You’re making the rest of us look like amateurs!

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First PCB Etching at RLab

Ryan and Richard had a go at putting the first PCBs together at RLab. We have all the kit, materials and a fume cupboard available to members to have a go at this themselves – just feel free to ask for more details.

Re-purposing a LED display board from an arcade machine

Andrew Jacobs has been re-purposing a LED display board from an arcade machine for the  hackspace. He built a new controller board for it late last year and spent sometime over Christmas writing some firmware to control it. This video shows the current state of play.

In the final version the small characters at the start will scroll in from the top and bottom of the display rather than sideways. He also need to make the characters proportional.