New pet project

Most people aren’t familiar with it, since it was pretty much a one-time thing, but there once was this thing called MakerBot Watch

It was a rather huge (47mm diameter, if memory serves) watch-shaped Arduino board with some buttons, a buzzer and a bunch of LEDs arranged in two 12 segment circles (one for hours, one for minutes) and 4 additional LEDs for the individual minutes (so, for example, at 12:53, the 12 o’clock outer segment would light up, the 10 o’clock inner segment and the all of the 4 additional LEDs – see pic below, it will make more sense).

The project, sadly, petered out and died fairly quickly, only to recently be picked up by Bazile Romain, who designed a rev 3 of MakerBot Watch PCB, with some nice upgrades, like reducing the clock to 8 MHz, switching to ATmega 168, adding an I2C bus RTC IC (DS1337) and adding Li-Ion battery charging via micro USB.

Anyways, to cut things short, while i liked the MakerBot Watch project and, especially, mr. Romain’s updates, i’m still dissatisfied with the whole concept. I’m convinced more can be done, things can be made more compact, more usable in some future watch-like and watch-sized (not pancake-sized) case, more expandable and more… well, in the spirit of Arduino.

So, while i’m waiting to find out if i’ve managed to get squeezed into the rev 3 MakerBot Watch beta order, i’ve started designing my own thing – an expandable, compact, streamlined, yet more powerful concept currently dubbed Chronoduino. Some more details will follow soon. You will find the teaser above ;)

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2 Responses to “New pet project”

  1. a.d 14/07/2011 at 00:00 #

    For compactness, how about MLF package ICs? The ATMEGA328 one I have here is about 5mm square.

    It would make kit form a bit more, er, interesting, but I’ve had some success reflow soldering them using a syringe with a needle and a frying pan on a gas hob.

    Perhaps ship them out with the MLF pre-soldered?

    • orcinus 14/07/2011 at 16:30 #

      Hmmm. That would definitely save up quite a bit of space. Maybe leave room for the magnetometer on the main board itself (alongside the BMP085). BMP085 and the HMC5883L magneto already are QFN anyway, so i doubt the MLF ATmega would make things any more complicated than they already are :)

      Got some TQFP ATmega168s coming my way, so i’ll definitely use that for the prototype. If everything works out, i’ll redesign the board for the MLF.

      Thanks for the heads up!

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