HowTo: FibonacciClock – Assembly

In the article FibonacciClock – An unusual time indicator I presented the cool idea of Philippe Chrétien. As mentioned in the post, I think the idea is cool and then began to rebuild the whole thing. However, I’ve come up with an own “construction” that I want to make available here.

For this purpose, the structure of the whole is described in the following article.

Hints for our lovely english readers: Basically, many of the articles on Nerdiy.de are translations from the original german articles. Therefore, it may happen here and there that some illustrations are not available in english and that some translations are weird/strange/full of mistakes or generally totaly wrong. So if you find some obvious (or also not obvious) mistakes don't hesitate to leave us a hint about that in the comment section. 
Also please don't get confused, that instead of a "dot" often a "comma" is used as decimal separator. 🙂


Safety instructions

I know the following hints are always a bit annoying and seem unnecessary. But unfortunately, many people who knew it "better" from carelessness lost their eyes, fingers or other things or hurt themselves. In comparison, a loss of data is almost not worth mentioning, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Even the coolest project is worth no injury or other annoyance. https://www.nerdiy.de/sicherheitshinweise/


Requirements

In order to successfully complete the construction of the Fibonacci clock, you need tools and the necessary parts, as well as simple soldering skills. In the following list I list everything necessary.

Helpful Articles:
To build the Fibonacci clock, you have to master simple soldering tasks. For the basic construction of the clock only THT components and no SMD components are used. Only for the installation of an LDR’s two 0805 SMD resistors must be soldered. The following articles contain tips.
Electronics – My friend the soldering iron
Electronics – Solder THT components by hand
Electronics – Solder SMD parts by hand

Needed tools:

In the following list you will find all the tools you need to implement this article.

If you want to print the housing parts yourself, you also need a 3D printer (if you can not get the parts in the shop under www.nerdiy.de/produkt-kategorie/fibonacciuhr/)

Needed Material:

In the following list you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.

All required parts can also be found in the shop at: www.nerdiy.de/produkt-kategorie/fibonacciuhr/


Construction of the Fibonacci clock

To start building, you should now have all the components in front of you.

In this picture you can see all the required components (except for the back cover).

Print the required 3D parts

Download all required STL files: FibonacciUhr – Zusammenbau

Frame:

Ihr könnt die 3D-Ansicht der STL-Datei mit gedrückter Maustaste rotieren. Rein- und Raus-Zoomen könnt Ihr mit dem Mausrad.

Cover:

Ihr könnt die 3D-Ansicht der STL-Datei mit gedrückter Maustaste rotieren. Rein- und Raus-Zoomen könnt Ihr mit dem Mausrad.

Grid:

Ihr könnt die 3D-Ansicht der STL-Datei mit gedrückter Maustaste rotieren. Rein- und Raus-Zoomen könnt Ihr mit dem Mausrad.


Solder LED’s

The LED’s which become the display of the Clock later are available as a LED strip.
In order to be able to solder these individually, the LEDs must first be separated at the appropriate places.

Here you can see the LED strip with nine WS2812B LEDs. This can be separated after each LED.
Here is marked in red the place where you can split the strip into the individual LED’s. You have to cut exactly on the black line through the copper-colored solder pads.
Do you have all LED’s separated now nine individual LEDs are in front of you.

Now it’s time to solder the individual LEDs on the board.

There are nine positions on the front of the board where the LEDs must be soldered in the correct orientation. For this it is very helpful first to glue the LEDs on the board. For this purpose, the protective film on the back of the LED’s must be removed and stuck right in the middle between the respective solderpads. It must be paid attention to the correct orientation.
Correct alignment means that you have to glue the LEDs between the solder paste so that both the arrow on the board and the arrow on the LED point in the same direction. In this picture both arrows are circled in red.
Have you glued all the LED’s your board should look like this.
To solder the individual solder pads, it is recommended to apply some solder on the solder pad of the board and then on the solder pad of the LED. Then it is relatively easy to connect the two tinned solder pads together.
Once you’ve soldered all the LEDs and their solder pads correctly, the board should look something like this.

Installation of the buttons

Now it’s time to solder the buttons with which the clock will be operated and set later.

To do this you first have to push the six buttons through the board at the indicated positions. Make sure that the buttons are pushed through from the side on which the corresponding labels are
To solder the inserted buttons you have to turn the board over and solder the individual pins to the board.

Soldering the Arduino Nano

The Arduino Nano is the “brain” of the FibonacciClock. This gets programmed later so that it is responsible for the display of the time and all other functions. Before this happens, however, the Arduino Nano must first be soldered to the board.

First, the pin headers to which the Arduino nano is soldered on the board must be plugged in place over the buttons through the board. The shorter part of the pin headers is inserted through the board.
In order to solder the pin headers now, the board has to be turned over. Unfortunately, the pin headers fall out of the board very easily. Here is a small Tesafilm strip with which you can fix the pin headers in the board until the pin headers are soldered correctly. IMPORTANT: Do not solder in all pins of the pin headers yet!
After turning around each pin header can be soldered firmly. For this purpose, first only one pin of the respective pin header should be soldered. After that it must first be checked whether the pin headers are really right-angled and not crooked on the board.
On this picture you can see that the pin headers are not yet on the board. To correct this you have to heat the solder of the already soldered pin of a pin header again with the soldering iron. Then the respective pin header can be soldered straight.
In this picture you can see both pin headers what they should look like. They are now exactly at right angles to the board. That’s the only way to put the Arduino Nano on the pin headers.
Once the pin headers have been soldered in, the Arduino Nano can be plugged in. Make sure that the USB port points to the middle of the board. Before you can solder the Arduino Nano with the pin header, you have to note the following.
It is important that the Arduino Nano is not pushed “all the way” to the black spacers on the pin headers. It should sit slightly above the spacer, as this is the only way to keep space to plug in a cable into the USB port of the Arduino Nano.
Now the Arduino Nano can be soldered to the pin header. It is helpful to start again with one or two pins per pin header, then check again if the distance to the board is correct and the USB port also points into the middle of the board. If everything is correct, the remaining pins can also be soldered. This completes the installation of the Arduino Nano. 🙂

Installation of the DS3231 RTC module

The DS3231 RTC module is a battery backed real time clock. This has two functions, once the module ensures that the time is also stored (and counted further) when sometimes the power fails. Second, it can count the time very accurately. This has the advantage that the time always runs correctly even over a long period of time.

In order for the module to be installed, we first have to “pimp” the 5-pin header (to which the module will later be plugged).
The subsequent modification of the pin header is important so that the module does not later protrude too far from the board. For this purpose, the black spacer of the pin header (which holds the individual pins together) must be moved. This is easiest if you move the spacer with a pair of pliers. How the whole look should look like in the following picture
Ready “pimped” the pin header should now look like this.
Now the pin header can be inserted through the board.
Then the board can be turned over and the pin header soldered into it. If the pin header falls out when turning, a piece of Tesafilm helps again to fix the pin header until it is soldered.
When soldered in, the pin header should look like this.
Last but not least, the RTC module can now also be plugged into the pin header as shown

Installation of the I2C OLED display

(This step is optional. For the basic function of the clock no OLED display is necessary.)
The OLED display is not needed for the actual function of the clock. However, it helps to read the clock at the very beginning, as it allows you to quickly check the time read on the back of the watch. Apart from this, the OLED display also displays additional information such as the date, the set mode, the current brightness and more, without having to connect the clock to a computer and display this information.

To install the OLED display, this must be plugged into the board as shown. So that the OLED display does not fall out again when the circuit board is turned over, it can be fixed again with a Tesafilm strip.
Now the pins of the OLED display can be soldered to the board. The easiest way is when you first soldered a pin, then check whether the display is just sitting and then soldered all the other pins. The protruding pins can then be shortened slightly with the side cutter.

Installation of an LDR for automatic brightness control

(This step is optional. For the basic function of the clock no LDR is necessary)
An LDR is a light-dependent resistor that allows the watch to automatically adjust its brightness to the current brightness of the ambient light. This has the advantage that the clock is not too bright in a dark environment and not to dark in a bright environment as it often happens when you set a fixed brightness.

In order for the LDR to function correctly, two SMD resistors of size 0805 must be soldered. To do this, solder a 10kOhm resistor at position “R2” and a 1kOhm resistor at position “R3”. The installation of the actual LDR’s takes place after the board has been inserted into the housing. There are further information below.

Installation of the fully assembled circuit board in the watch case

After the board of the clock has been completely equipped with all components, it can be installed in the watch case. For this you need the case frame, the grid and a milky/satined Plexiglas plate with the dimensions 160x80x3mm. The housing parts you can either print yourself using a 3D printer or you get them from the shop.

First you have to remove the protective films on both sides of the Plexiglas plate. (If not already done.)
The prepared Plexiglas plate can then be inserted into the housing frame.
Here you can see the frame of the Fibonacci clock with inserted Plexiglas plate.
Now the light guide frame can be inserted into the rack as shown. You must make sure that both the plexiglass and the LichtLeitFrame is pushed through to the very bottom. Here you need a bit of tact to get everything right.
When assembled, the case should look like this.
The previously assembled board can now be inserted into the housing frame as shown.
If you have prepared the installation of a LDR’s can now be inserted from the outside through the housing of the LDR.
Then the LDR can be glued on the inside with glue (the easiest way is with hot glue).
If the LDR is correctly glued in, the connecting pins of the LDR can be soldered to the board as shown in the illustration.
The last step in assembling the clock is inserting the back-cover. Through this, the board is held in place and everything unused should be covered.
Your completed FibonacciClock now looks like this. The structure is completed. Now it just has to be programmed.

Before starting up, you should now follow the tips from the article Electronics – Commissioning a new circuit.


What you have to do to program your Fibonacci clock I described in this article:
FibonacciClock – Programming

For later operation you can also find a user manual here:
FibonacciClock – User Manual


I hope everything worked as described. If not or you have any other questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Also, ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

Fab

P.S. Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you appreciate it that I share these information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee box. 🙂

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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