What was one of the first things you were taught, when learning to program?  “Comment Your Code!”  And of course, like all programming students, you ignored that advice.  Or, if you are like me, you made vague comments as the lines of “variable called var.”

Tonight I opened up some code I haven’t touched in two years.  Code that when I wrote it, made perfect sense to me… at the time.

The code was for my binary clock project, BinBoo.  So I need your help, check out the code below and see if you can help me remember what it does!

Short build-lapse video of building up the front panel “matrix” used in BinBoo.  This isn’t a true LED matrix.  Instead it combining all of the LEDs into a common Anode, since the Cathodes are all controlled by individual outputs of the TLC5940.

I decided to wire up 16 LEDs, even though a binary clock only needs 11 or 12.  This gives some flexibility to other uses for the box, like a random sci-fi computer pattern.

Project Page:  BinBoo = Binary clock + Bamboo

Several months ago I started a project to build a Binary Clock, using a Laser Cut enclosure.  The plan was to use Ponoko’s laser cutting service.  Looking through the materials available, I decided to use Bamboo.  Knowing I was going to build a Bamboo enclosure for a Binary clock, helped me come to the name BinBoo.  Even though I call it a Binary Clock, it is actually a BCD clock

There are still a few issues to work out, but I am very happy with v1.

Status:  Completed Project Page:
Github Code:

BinBoo Binary Clock made out of Bamboo
Binary + Bamboo = BinBoo



Binary + Bamboo = BinBoo.  This project is my first attempt at making a laser-cut enclosure.  Ponoko was used to cut the project which holds itself together.  The LEDs are driven by an Arduino-based clock that incorporates a RTC1307, FTDI chip, ATmega328, and TLC5940.

Control Board with LEDs by JamesC4S

The control board is up and running, with some re-work. Shown next to the working LEDs is my original inspiration.  Last Christmas my brother gave me the ThinkGeek Binary watch.  Since then I’ve been fascinated with binary clocks.  Finally I had an idea that can help with other projects.