The FlipClock – An accelerometer controlled Digital Clock

One of those things you dread about morning is waking up to a blaring alarm, and fumbling sleepily around for the off switch. Don’t you wish your clock would get the hint when you’re knocking it on the floor trying to press that blasted button? Well, no more of that! This clock doesn’t have an off button at all! In fact, it doesn’t have any buttons! The only thing you need to do to turn it off is knock it over!
Introducing the FlipClock!!




The FlipClock is controlled by a Propeller Chip and uses a GPS module for timekeeping and a 3AD module by Rayslogic.com as the accelerometer. When building this project, the biggest concern was the power and sound, which should have been the least of my worries. I ended up using a power source ripped off of a Propeller protoboard, however, I originally used a PowerTwig. The problem with the PowerTwig was the low current handling, which although good for the Propeller setup, couldn’t drive the speaker circuit without resetting the Propeller Chip. I experimented with different setups, including attaching a heatsink, using an external 5V regulator, and using a potentiometer to lower the speaker input current. The external regulator was temporarily successful, but when I added the accelerometer it stopped working correctly and the Propeller started resetting again. Eventually I ended up replacing the PowerTwig with the salvaged power source. The speaker is the only disappointing part of this system, as it is as audible as a watch alarm, which is OK, unless you are trying to wake someone up, which is the whole purpose of an alarm! Lucky for me I’m a light sleeper and it does work.

Operation is very simple. To disable the alarm, simply flip the clock over. The digits automatically invert and the indicator light shows the status of the alarm. As previously stated, to turn off the alarm when it is going off, just knock it over. This clock is so simple to use I don’t really need to explain how to operate it. The time is taken from the GPS so it never needs set, and the alarm is at an unchangeable time (still working on this, but I promise I won’t add any buttons to set the alarm, I’ll just have to think of something creative).

And now for the most important part: Even upon close inspection, this looks like something you would buy! I’ve learned that a project that looks good is usually more accepted by those who are not into electronics, even if it is not as functional as others that look like a mess of wires [this is]. Another very important feature: This project is salvage-proof! I know that in a few months I’ll be wanting that GPS module back for another project, so I’ve built in a DS1302 RTC (Real Time Clock) that will take over as soon as the GPS module is removed. I guess the thing this project needed protected most from was myself.

Click here to download the Propeller Source Code

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2 Responses to The FlipClock – An accelerometer controlled Digital Clock

  1. Stan says:

    Will you be providing a KIT for the FlipClock?
    If so, please, let me know!

    Very COOL!

  2. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

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