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NuVu 1-2-3 | Projects

  • At nuvu, projects often attempt to use knowlege that was learned the week before, and that knowledge tends to be close to the cutting-edge. But sometimes that leaves gaps in human knowledge. This studio attempted to fill in the gaps, by making something mundane with a nuvu spin: an alarm clock.

    The alarm clock was comprised of a few parts, cheif among them a LCD screen. This was commanded by an Arduino microcontroller, and a breadboard held them both in place. The first few days were spent wiring the components all up together. Then, the troubles began.

    The LCD screen in use could display alphanumeric characters, but not make then more then one line wide as I wanted. That would be fine, as the LCD could display custom characters, except the LCD screen could only display 8 of them. Which wouldn't work for 3x3 numbers, which needed 9 custom characters.

    Thannkfully, then internet came to the rescue in the form of 7 reusable characters that when combined, made all 10 numbers, as well as forming a colon to connect the minute and second parts of the clock. The arduino had a timer, so that was used to measure the clock accurately. Everything was fine until problem #2 surfaced.

    After a bit of coding, the numbers sucessfully displayed on the clock, rolling over, and connecting to thearduino's clock, and it was all working just well. Except the arduino's clock was running fast, and the clock, meant to be a 12-hour clock, was displaying 19:63.

    The faults were traced to the arduino's timer, which was runing way faster then intended, and to the code, which didn't handle the timer value resetting properly. More coding ensued, and soon everything was working. But it was reading the wrong time, and had no alarm! 3 buttons were added, two to set the time, and one to set the alarm. A buzzer would ring whenever the time was right, and you could set the alarm when necessary. Finally, to add a nuvu twist, the alarm would roll back a little. If you set it for 7:30, it might wake you up at 7:15, to help you get up earlier. A few more bug fixes, andd it was done.

    Given more time, I would make a case and add a wall outlet, so it could be used as a nactual alarm clock. But in doing this, while it may not be perfect, it helped fill in those holes in my knowledge, and also helped wake you up when you fell in them.