I am a huge fan of the DIY/maker movement that has come up recently. Every year since 2010, my significant other and I enjoy going to Maker Faire in Queens, NY. It sparks my interest in what people create and hack, and gives me ideas of my own. There are many vendors that show off DIY kits of various kinds, and one of them was from Spikenzie Labs. At Maker Faire I learned how to solder with their Solder: Time Watch kit, so when I had a chance to assemble the Solder: Time Desk Clock, I grabbed the opportunity!
Note: Images can be clicked on to view a larger size.
I received the kit in the mail, along with some stickers from Spikenzie Labs.
All the pieces needed to build the clock were included, along with a card giving a link to the instruction manual. The clock is hackable, with features listed as:
- Re-program with the Arduino IDE
- Free Digital I/O Pins 4 (of which 2 are used for Serial)
- Free Analog Input Pins 2
- I2C Port
- All pins broken in a convenient header
- Built in proto-area
- Two Sets of PCB mounting holes
- Optional “break-off” mounting holes
I got out my soldering iron, solder, wire snippers, googles and clock. Time to assemble!
I found the instructions to build the Solder: Time Desk Clock to be very clear and easy to follow along with photos provided. I’m not a hardware expert by any means, but anyone can follow along to build this even if you haven’t really soldered too much before. If you know the basics in soldering, you can build it!
I took my time to solder throughout the week after my day job, and some weekends. I finally was ready to test my clock. I hooked up just the LED modules and tada; it lit up! Seeing the LED display turn on was really rewarding, as there are many points of failure when soldering so many tiny components.
I then adjusted the time before continuing, to ensure it was keeping time.
Moving on to assembling the casing of the clock, there were many laser cut acrylic parts.
I pressed them together with as much ease as I could, but alas, the back face did crack from the pressure – I needed to sand the plastic a bit more. I was bummed, but not too worried since I still had another acrylic face to attach.
A couple of hours later, I was completely done!
Here’s the front of the clock, completely assembled with red acrylic cover.
I like that you can see your work in the back through the clear acrylic cover.
I had lots of fun assembling this Solder: Time Desk Clock. The kit comes pre-programmed, or you can customize it with your own code. The Spikenzie Labs website includes some Arudino sketches for you to work with, along with schematics and the interface menu diagram. The Solder: Time Desk Clock is available online for about $89.95 via their website spikenzielabs.com, makershed.com or adafruit.com.