I started making my first word clock a few years ago, inspired by the fine instructions available. Now, I made a clock of eight words and tried to improve every time, I think it\'s time to share my experience! One advantage of my experience is that the latest version of my Word Clock is actually very simple: if you have all the components you should be able to build it in a day. First, the interior of the word clock. My current version uses RGB led light strips: this is an led light strip where each \"light strip\" consists of red, green and blue led. Through the combination of three colors ,(almost) Each color can be created. The RGB led light bar is input by one ( Still a little magic for me). So by connecting a wire, you can control all the LEDs in the bar! Behind each letter on the surface of the word Clock ( Please look at this step later) Hide one led of RGB led strips. So it should light up a letter when an led is on. To do this, I cut the mesh of the board with a laser cutter. In other structures, this grid is made using foam bars placed in the grid. I \'ve tried this too, but it doesn\'t work for me. However, in my first version, I made the mesh with the fine wood strips that I glued together. It\'s fine, but it takes a lot of time to build! The brain of the word clock is Arduino Nano. This microcomputer is able to control RGB led light strips. You can find unlimited number of programs on the Internet, very interesting! Avoid a lot of welding ( It takes time, it\'s also a process) , I use Terminal Adapter for Arduino Nano. All the terminal adapters do is enable us to connect the wires to the Arduino using screws. Of course, the purpose of any clock, other than beautiful, is to display the time. In my Word clock, a real-time clock module (RTC) Record the time. The idea for this module is that once you set the right time, it keeps ticking ( Until the battery is dead). I work with DS3231 RTC which is cheap and there is a lot of support on the Internet. Now, the inside of the word clock is clear, and we continue to move to the outside. From experience, I know it is important to start your project on a convenient basis. That\'s why I built almost all the text clocks with Ikea\'s RIBBA framework. The benefit of this is that you start with a frame where all angles are 90 degrees and the finish of the outside is seamless. Of course, you can build your own framework if you want, but I will stick to the RIBBA framework. The surface of the word clock is determined by the letter of the light indicating the time. I found two ways to create this face: what does the word clock do? Of course, the word clock should tell you the time. In addition, since we are using RGB led light strips, you can (almost) Any color you want! You can set the color of a single RGB led by programming the Arduino Nano. If you want to change the color of the LEDs in real time, you can add a button to do it for you. However, since I want to keep it simple now, this is not included in this structure. Recently, I developed a Word clock that sets the color and time using Bluetooth. I will post an update on this if I find the time! Required materials :-RGB- Led light strips, 5 volts per meter, 60 LEDs, can be adjusted separately. You need an led light strip of about 3 m. This will do, for example: RGB led strips. \"Ip\" represents the degree of resistance to water. Since none of the components we use are waterproof, the ip30 version is fine. Price: 4 euros per meter, so 12 euros. - Arduino Nano: Arduino Nano. Note that in addition to the Arduino, it is convenient, where the pins have been welded to the Arduino. Price: 3 euro. - Terminal Adapter for Arduino Nano. It will save a lot of time using the terminal adapter! Terminal Adapter Price: 1 euro, very cheap. - RTC DS3231: RTC DS3231. You can use another RTC, but it turns out that this RTC works well! Price: 1 euro. -RIBBA- Framework: RIBBA framework (23x23cm) Black or White. Price: 6 euro. - For the face you need: Price: 5 euro. - Jumper to connect the component. I really don\'t know how much we need, but they are both cheap and extensive: jumpers. It\'s convenient to have men-male, male- Women and Women However, female wire male Male wires will do the same ( Have some extra welding). Price: 3 euro. -Power supply. RGB led light strips use 5 v. It is important not to exceed this voltage because the RGB led light strip is easily damaged. 20 per led-60mA. Because we use 169 LEDs, the current needed to power the led is very large. So I would suggest using at least 2000 mA power, for example: power supply. Price: 5 euro. -One 400- 500 ohm resistance. Price: negligible. - A 1000 uF capacitor. Price: negligible. - A prototype board like this: a prototype board. Price: 1 euro. - A piece of wood (board) Form the back of the clock. Price: 2 euro. - About 3x 2 cm wooden strips for connecting the back of the text clock to the frame. Price: 1 euro. -Two wire nuts ( Connect to times 5 line) It is available in local DIY shops. Price: 2 euro. Total price: about 40 euros. Equipment Required :-Pencil- Welding station-Stripping tool-Screwdrivers-Scissors-Double-sided tape ( Fix components)-Saw ( See the board behind the word clock)- A piece of cloth ( To prevent scratches on the RIBBA frame while working) Now that we have all the material, it\'s good to have an overview of the general concept of the word clock. The surface of the word clock consists of letters ( Printing with transparent foil or cutting from cardboard with laser). An led with an RGB led strip is hidden behind each letter. Since the RIBBA frame measures 23x23 cm, we use RGB led strips consisting of 60 LEDs per meter ( So 100 cm/60 led = 1. 67cm per led) We can pack 23 cm/1. 67=13. 8 LEDs in a row. Since 0. 8 LEDs may be a bit inconvenient and we insist on 13 LEDs per row. Since the RIBBA frame is square, we will (later) Build a \"led- Matrix of 13x13 LEDs. To put it simply, the word clock consists of a small clock (the RTC DS3231) Once set up, it will always tick. This small clock conveys the time to the small computer ( Arduino Nano). The microcomputer knows which LEDs should be turned on at a specific time. Therefore, the microcomputer sends a signal to the RGB led light bar through the data line and turns on the led. It sounds simple, doesn\'t it? ! :) How is the face constructed? As mentioned earlier, I found two ways to create a word clock: What words are used? Since we will use 13 LEDs per row and 13 LEDs per row will light up one letter, we have room for 13x13 = 169 letters. In Dutch, these 169 letters are enough to describe the time per minute. You can reuse some words, such as the only difference between \"19 minutes to 4 Minutes (15:41) 19 minutes in the last 4 minutes16:19) Just past and past words. It\'s fun to think about how to show time in your language: creative, you\'ll find a way to best use 169 letters! Of course, add your signature and you are proud of your work and you should be recognized! I added my name (Bas) As famous painters do on their masterpieces, in the lower right corner of the face. Design the surface of my text clock using Adobe Illustrator. First, I created a square of 230x230mm on the first floor. Second, I built a 14x14 grid on the second floor. By placing letters (on layer 1)on the grid- At the intersection, you are sure that the letters are aligned. You can find my Dutch template at this step. If you choose to laser cut the letters, remember to use the \"template\" font! Why do we use the grid? As mentioned earlier, each led of the RGB led light strip should light up a letter. To avoid the light \"leaking\" to another letter, I used a grid. The easiest way to create a mesh with a laser cutting mesh is to use a laser cutting machine to cut the mesh from the board (thickness 3-6mm). The template (. ai format) Attach to this step. Please note that there are some letters ( For example, \"m\" takes up more space than other letters (Like \'I \'). Therefore, you may need to make some grid cells a little larger than others. Glue gridIf you don\'t have a laser cutter that you can use, and another way to create the mesh is to use the wooden strips and glue them together. One drawback of doing this is that it takes a lot of time and it\'s hard to get the grid right. However, I did this in the first version of Word Clock and it worked very well. We will use 13 LEDs in one and 13 rows, which is equivalent to a 13x13 led matrix. Cut RGB led strips with 13 LEDs in length. You have to cut RGB led strips in the middle of three copper Oval. Assemble 13 RGB led stripes we stick 13 led stripes to the boards included in the RIBBA frame. There is a hook attached to the board, which can be easily removed using a screwdriver. Using a grid ( The first step. , You can easily mark the position of each led on the board. Most RGB led light strips have stickiness on the back so you can easily stick them to the board. It is important to pay attention to the direction of the RGB led light strip. The arrow on the RGB led light strip indicates the direction in which the current flows. Since we want to connect 13 RGB led light strips, we have to create a continuous path for current flow. Recently, IKEA cut off the corner of the board so that it can be easier to take the board out of the frame. Use this cutting angle to easily connect the wire from one side of the board to the other. In other words, make sure the first led is at the cutting angle. Welded 13 RGB led strips are stuck on the board and we can connect them using soldering iron. First, assign a little welding on each half of the copper ellipse. Second, cut off one end of the jumper strip. Similarly, assign a little solder at the stripping end of the wire. Now, the peeling end of the led line comes into contact with the copper Oval and uses the soldering iron to melt the soldering iron and connect them. Connect the GND of an RGB led strip to the GND of the next RGB led strip. Do the same for 5 v and data lines. Complete the led matrix x weld the jumper to each of the three copper oval of the first led of the RGB led matrix. As mentioned above, it is convenient to find the first led at the cutting angle of the board, so that you can easily connect the three wires to the other side of the board. Now that we have finished our led matrix, we can start connecting the components. We will take the components ( Arduino Nano, RTC DS3231, wire nut in terminal adapter) We make the back of the board of the led matrix. You can use double Double sided tape for fixing assembly. First, put the Arduino Nano into the terminal adapter. It is convenient to place the terminal adapter in the middle of the board, as there are quite a few wires that need to be connected to the terminal adapter. Data cable connecting RGB led light strips (Wire in the middle) A digital port of Arduino Nano ( Usually I use port 6). In order to protect the RGB led light strip from voltage spikes, you can put 400- 500 ohm resistance between the data line and Arduino. RTC DS3231 seconds, glue the RTC DS3231 somewhere on the motherboard. The module requires four connections: one ground, one 5 v, one SCL, and one SDA. We do not use SQW and 32 k ports. You can use the bus to connect to the pins of the RTC ds3231. Connect the scp to the fifth similar port (A5) Arduino Nano. Connect the SDA to the fourth similar port (A4) Arduino Nano. What power is used? VoltageYou can use a wide range of voltages to power the Arduino Nano. Port \'Vin\' can handle 7- 12 v, 5 v port can handle 5 v (It was a surprise) You can use the usb mini cable to power the Arduino Nano. However, RGB led light strips are more picky on demand. Most manufacturers specify 5 V /- RGB led light bar input of 5% ( For more information, see powering Neopixels). So we will use the 5 v power supply. The Current one RGB led actually contains three separate LEDs ( Red, green and blue) Form the desired color together. One of the three LEDs uses about 20 mA. Therefore, the white RGB led is emitted by installing red, green and blue led at the same time using 3*20 mA = 60 mA. If you light all 169 RGB LEDs in white at a time, you need 169*60 mA = 10140 mA = 10A *. The most common power supply is about 2000 mA. So in other words, lighting all RGB LEDs at once with white is not a very smart idea **. I recommend using 5 V 2000 mA power supplies as they are common and cheap. * Please note that high current (above 5mA)are dangerous! So, be very careful when powering the word clock! ** There are tips for lighting all RGB led at the same time, such as connecting the power supply to both ends of the RGB led strip or using RGB led at a lower brightness. We will connect the power supply to the components. We will connect the 1000 uF capacitor on the positive and negative poles of the power supply. You can use the prototype board to protect the connection (see picture). Since we have quite a few parts that require power supply, we connect each of the two wires of the 5 v power supply to one wire nut: we call them positive wire nuts ( It is connected to the front line of the power supply) And negative line nut ( It is connected to the negative pole of the power supply). Now, connect the 5 v wire of the RGB led light strip and RTC DS3231 to the straight line nut. Similarly, the ground wire is connected (GND) Connect the RGB led light strip and RTC DS3231 to the negative wire nut. We will power the Arduino Nano through its 5 v port and one of its ground ports. To do this, connect the 5 v port of the Arduino to the positive line nut and connect one of the GND ports to the negative line nut. To ensure the safety of the power supply to avoid taking apart all the well wired electronic equipment, it is recommended to fix the power cord of the power supply to the inside of the RIBBA frame. You can simply make a knot on the power cord and leave on the back of the word it goes through the clock. However, a more elegant method is to fix the wire by clamping the wire to the inside of the RIBBA frame. You can do this easily by using a small piece of wood and screwing it to the inside of the RIBBA frame with two screws. Clip the power cord of the power supply between the wood and the RIBBA frame. In my latest version of the word Clock, I used a small hinge (about 3cm) To secure the power cord. One advantage of doing this is that you don\'t have to cut a small piece of wood. Now that we print or cut the surface of the text clock, complete the led matrix and connect the electronic elements, it\'s time to put all the layers of the text clock together. The back of the clock can be simply made of wooden boards. The best way to do this is to see a board in the same size (about 22. 5x22. 5 cm) As a board provided in the RIBBA frame. Drill two holes on the back of Word Clock: one for connecting it to the Wall (if you want to) There is also the word to get the power cord off the clock. See two pieces of wood about 20 cm long. These two come with two features: Now, screw these bands to the inside of the RIBBA frame and make sure you press them tightly on the board that supports the electric components. Next, you can put the newly sawed board on the wooden strip and fix it with screws. If you want to hang the word clock on the wall, make sure the back of the word clock is firmly connected. If you are new to Arduino programming, I suggest you do some tutorials first (such as Blink) This information is very rich (and fun! ). Since I am only a student in mechanical engineering, programming is not my favorite project. Fortunately, my brother-in-law is a master\'s degree in computer science, so Arduino programming is an easy thing for him. So, all the credits for programming are given to him (thanks Laurens)! The basic idea is that you point out which LEDs are part of which word. Please note that the first led is displayed as led number 0. So we have 0-168 leds. Next, you tell Arduino what words need to be lit at a specific time. You set the time on RTC DS3231 so the Arduino knows what the current time is. The led color of the RGB led bar is determined by the value 0- Red, green and blue each 255. Therefore, the red led is expressed ( Red, green, blue)= (255, 0, 0) And a purple led ( Reg, green, blue)= (255, 0, 255). The unused led has color ( Red, green, blue)= (0, 0, 0). You can Group words according to their purpose: for each word group, you can set a color ( This is easier than defining colors separately for each word or even Letter). You can upload programs by connecting the Arduino Nano to your computer using a usb mini cable. UPDATE (January 2019) : I added Arduino- File to structure. This document was written by my brother-in-law, so all the credit belongs to him! The file is based on the word clock and switches between specific colors using buttons- Mode and digital mode. Of course, you can program buttons the way you like. If everything goes as planned, you just make your own text clock! Please do not doubt the comments if you have any suggestions! I will try to answer them, but it may take a while due to my limited time.