Solr: Digital Wrist Watch Calculates time from Sun Position

Time can be calculated using the azimuth of the sun (aka solar time). Based on this idea, Tinkerman has built an unusual project called Solr. The concept is to translate the position of the sun into time presented on a vintage display. This new digital watch is freak enough to work only with a battery and the sun. The battery is needed to power the electronic parts and the sun is needed to calibrate the shadow of a screw with a reference line to calculate the time digitally using a digital compass.

Solr watch in action

The PCB has a white line and all you have to do is to align the shadow of the screw to it. The science behind this project rely on the fact that a change of 1 degree in longitude equals to 4 minutes. So, as the day is passing the orientation you need to follow to make the shadow align with the white line increases and therefore the time can be calculated. HMC5883L ( 3-axis digital magnetometer) is used to determine the orientation. This chunk of code in Solr’s repo makes the method used to calculate the time very clear.

The firmware (written in Arduino C) behind this project has three main tasks:

  1. Calibrating the HMC5883L, and the calibration procedure is explained in the HMC5883L datasheet.
  2. Calculate the time according to the bearing of the circuit.
  3. Display on HP QDSP-6064 display.

HP QDSP-6064 display

The PCB is assembled using the assembling service (PCBA) from Seeedstudio and designed using Eagle CAD. You can download the source files from here.

 

RELATED POSTS

XBEE X V2 FPV Racing Drone Kit

XBEE, the FPV racing drones manufacturer, had produced recently its new racing frame “XBEE X V2” for $75. It is a follow-up to the previous model “The XB-X Mk2” and it is a quad drone frame with a camera on its body. X V2 is designed with Wheelbase 220mm size guide.

First-person view (FPV) is also known as video piloting. Using this technique you can control a radio-controlled vehicle from the driver or pilot’s view point. The vehicle is either driven or piloted remotely from a first-person perspective via an onboard camera, fed wirelessly to video FPV goggles or a video monitor.

V2 Features:

  • Full Carbon Fiber.
  • 2mm Bottom Plate, 2mm Top Plate and 4mm arms
  • Matek PDB include(PDB-XPW W/ CURRENT SENSOR 140A & DUAL BEC)
  • Black steel screws(option titanium screws)
  • Transmitter mount include
  • weight : 79g

To build a full drone with the V2 frame you will need these parts with a total budget of about $450:

This video by X-FramesFPV will show you how to build XBEE X V2:

You can also follow this guide for detailed instructions of a full build of V2.

YouTube channel IoT view counter

Kenneth Finnegan built this YouTube channel IoT view counter. He writes:

I’ve wanted an Internet connected read-out for some time now, inspired by the awesome shadow box IoT projects Becky Stern has been doing (weather, YouTube subscribers). I’m certainly not to the same level of packaging as her yet, but I’ve got a functional display working with a Hazzah and an eBay seven segment display module.

YouTube channel IoT view counter – [Link]

20V, 4 MHz, synchronous 2x 6A step-down regulator in 20 sq mm

Graham Prophet @ eedesignnewseurope.com presents the LTC3636 and LTC3636-1 synchronous step-down regulator from Linear:
LTC3636 and LTC3636-1 are high efficiency, 4 MHz synchronous dual output buck regulators that incorporate a constant frequency/controlled on-time, current mode control scheme with phase lockable switching frequency. Their design architecture reduces conducted and radiated emissions.
20V, 4 MHz, synchronous 2x 6A step-down regulator in 20 sq mm – [Link]

Mokacam Alpha, The World’s Smallest 4K Camera

Have you ever imagined to record your life at high quality with a small and an affordable camera? Mokacam, the camera producer company is making this possible. After the success of the first version, Mokacam had launched its new 4K camera, Alpha. Initially, Alpha is a smaller and more powerful version featuring Ambarella processor for 4K video to 120 FPS super slow motion. In addition, Alpha weighs only 79g and is sized 45x45mm.

Alpha is attachable to a shutter wheel to enable you shoot long exposure night photos. In Manual mode, you can turn the shutter wheel to set the shutter speed freely from 1/2000″ up to 32″. Additionally, you will forget completely the need of charging it again. Thanks to the built-in-battery feature, you can expect 4 hours continuous 1080P@30FPS video recording. Otherwise, you can add snap-on batteries and record forever!

Mokacam Alpha captures brighter image with more details under low light environment. The Ambrella image processor and the 1.55μm Sony image sensor provides features of 4K Ultra-HD or Full-HD 1/5 Speed Slow Motion video with incredible image quality.

Mokacam Alpha Features

Check this video to know the full features of Mokacam Alpha.

In this video you can find Mokacam Alpha compared to GoPro Hero 5 Black. Also, you can find below its competitive advantages.

Amazingly, Alpha was live on a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo and it reached 1200% of its goal! You can check the official website and the product page for more details. Finally, you can pre-order Alpha now for $215 as a limited edition.

Keysight Technologies’ E36300 series bench power supplies

Martin Rowe @ edn.com presents the new Keysight E36300 bench power supply with triple output and some great features.

Keysight Technologies’ E36300 series of bench power supplies provide three outputs with power of 80 W or 160 W with line/load regulation of 0.01%. Front-panel buttons let you turn any output on or off and you can configure each output with 2-wire local sensing or 4-wire remote sensing. The 4-wire sensing removes losses caused by IR drops in your power-delivery wires.

Keysight Technologies’ E36300 series bench power supplies – [Link]

Tri-axis sensor embeds pedometer

Susan Nordyk @ edn.com discuss about the Kionix’s accelerometer with integrated pedometer.

The K126 16-bit tri-axis digital accelerometer from Kionix integrates a step detector and step counter, yet minimizes power consumption. Housed in a tiny 2×2×0.9-mm LGA package, the K126 offers user-selectable g ranges of ±2 g, ±4 g, and ±8 g and output data rates of up to 25.6 kHz.

Tri-axis sensor embeds pedometer – [Link]

Breadboard Friendly ATTiny85

Chris @ chris3d.com build his own Attiny85 board:

 The modularity of Arduinos is great, but after playing with them for a year or so, I wanted to start building things that needed a little more integration. I also wanted to design the components and programming around the actual controller I’d be using. So, I decided to start by building a small breadboard friendly ATTiny85.

Breadboard Friendly ATTiny85  – [Link]

PowerPlant, A Personal Power Assistant

Imagine you won’t need electricity mains wherever you are outside! PowerPlant by Nuuq is trying to solve this issue by providing its charging mains-alike power bank. PowerPlant is light enough to be convenient to carry, suitable for you backpack and is TSA approved. Also, it is powerful enough to charge loads of device with its 95 Watts power output.

Check this video to know more about PowerPlant:

Power on the go!

Fortunately, PowerPlant includes a universal plug input, a replaceable battery, plus an inner temperature protection. In addition, it will provide you with easy read via its LCD plus fast charging. Furthermore, it has many competitive advantages compared to similar products.

To summarize, below are the full specifications of PowerPlant:

  • Universal plug for 2 & 3 pin plugs (ideal for USA, UK, Europe and Australia)
  • Output 19v/1.58A 5v 2.4A
  • Output: AC 100 – 240v/95W (max)
  • Modified Sine Wave Inverter
  • Replaceable 20100mAh lithium-Ion battery
  • 2 x 2.4A 5v fastcharge USB ports
  • 1 x USB-C
  • 1 x 19 Volt fast charge charging port
  • LCD display with battery charge, temperature, AC, DC and In/Out display
  • IP4 Splash-proof water resistance

PowerPlant is now live on a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Amazingly, it has achieved 500% of its goal and still has 11 days to go. Finally, PowePlant is available for $150, you can check the campaign for more details.

Inteligent Power Module (IPM) Board for Brushless Motors

Intelligent Power Module (IPM) board has been designed using FSBS5CH60 IC from Fairchild, which provides a fully-featured, high-performance inverter output stage for AC Induction, BLDC, and PMSM motors. These modules integrate optimized gate drive of the built-in IGBTs to minimize EMI and losses, while also providing multiple on-module protection features including under-voltage lockouts, over-current shutdown, and fault reporting. The built-in, high-speed HVIC requires only a single supply voltage and translates the incoming logic-level gate inputs to the high-voltage, high-current drive signals required to properly drive the module’s internal IGBTs. Separate negative IGBT terminals are connected to shunt resistor to provide the current feedback to the micro-controller. This IPM module helps to develop lots of power applications and also can be used as H-Bridge for brushed DC motor. The module is manly helps to drive Hall sensor based or encoder based motors, it doesn’t support FOC algorithm, FOC based IPM board is under development and will be publish soon.

Inteligent Power Module (IPM) Board for Brushless Motors – [Link]