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Kevin's Projects

Sunrise Alarm Clock

LED Array

An alarm clock that wakes you up by simulating sunrise, instead of jolting you awake with sound. The clock consists of 285 RGB LEDs, mounted in a hollowed out LCD monitor case, controlled with an Arduino and a ChronoDot real-time clock, and run from a beefy 12 Volt, 7.5 Amp laptop power supply. The LEDs are not individually addressed, but the Arduino can control the R, G, and B channels separately to create a range of colors. The intention is to simulate the various reds, pinks, oranges, yellows, and eventually white light seen during a sunrise. The slow fade-in starts about 20 minutes before the specified alarm time. Other features include an alarm on/off switch, a light on/off switch, a DST on/off switch, and eventually, setting the alarm time via Android device.

Project(s): Sunrise Alarm Clock

Quiz Game System

A quiz show buzzer and timer system for three players. It consists of three lighted buzzer buttons (old arcade buttons) in separate enclosures connected to a central unit with a countdown display and a speaker. Pushing one of the buzzers lights an indicator specifying which buzzer was pushed (as well as the buzzer button itself) and starts a user-adjustable timer on the 7-segment display. When time is out, a different buzzer sounds and all the buzzer buttons are enabled again. The system is run by an Arduino Uno driving a MAX7219 and dual 7-segment display, connected to the buzzer boxes via 4-wire telephone cords. It’s all situated in an old Panasonic Easa-Phone Speakerphone chassis, which allowed me to reuse some switches, LEDs, RJ11 jacks, and a nice big speaker.

Project(s): Quiz Game System

Time Circuits Clock

Time Circuits

A digital clock designed to look like the time circuits display in Back to the Future. The clock will have displays for Destination Time, Present Time, and Last Time Departed, just like the movie, and hopefully the whole thing will sit in a stylish aluminum case. The Present Time display will show the current date and time, fed by a battery-powered Real Time Clock (RTC) chip, and the other two displays will be user settable. The whole thing is run by an Arduino Uno, which is sending data out to 13 display driver ICs and reading in data from the RTC. This is my first Arduino project, and it’s basically a giant blinkenlights device (366 LEDs!). It is introducing me to Arduino programming, PCB layout, PCB etching, soldering, data channels, and working with 7-/16-segment displays and their associated driver ICs. Since it draws a lot of power (almost 4 Amps when everything is turned on), it’s also teaching me about power supply circuits. It has turned out to be much more complex and ambitious than I thought it would be at first, but I’m learning a lot.

Project(s): Time Circuits Clock


Mazda 6

My project to install a working x86 computer with a touchscreen interface in my 2006 Mazda6 sedan. The project is in a sort of hiatus, as I reassess my hardware and OS choices.

Project(s): Carputer

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