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Lunar clock

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:30 am
by pythoncoder
I have built a clock which shows the phases of the moon; it also displays the dates of forthcoming lunar quarters along with sun and moon rise and set times. There is a picture of the clock on and one of its internal construction on

The pointer indicates the current phase of the moon. By default the Text LCD shows the time and date along with the exact time and date of the next lunar quarter. By pressing the leftmost button subsequent quarters can be displayed. The second button causes the display to show sun and moon rise and set times for the current day, whereupon pressing the first button will predict rise and set times for subsequent days. The leftmost LED lights at times when the moon is up, and the rightmost LED indicates wireless network connectivity.

The clock runs a C program on the SBC, and it runs entirely independently of the network. However the network allows the SBC to re-initialise its clock after a power outage. It also keeps the time accurate to within a second or two by virtue of the SBC's periodic checks on internet timeservers. However even with the network down the SBC keeps remarkably good time: mine gains a few seconds per day.

Woodwork, metalwork and software by me, hippy artwork courtesy of my wife Sue, who christened the device "The Lunartick".


Re: Lunar clock

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:40 am
by Patrick
Very cool, it's always great to see what customers are doing. Any plans for that second SBC?


Re: Lunar clock

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:23 pm
by fraser
I love neat little projects like these. I also like the name it was given. Adversely you should make one that shows the current position of the sun in the sky.

Re: Lunar clock

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:24 pm
by Robert
Functional art!

Re: Lunar clock

Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:34 am
by pythoncoder
Thanks for all your comments. As for future projects I usually have a few ideas floating around, although few make it as far as being permanent fixtures like Lunartick.

A current favourite is something which shows the position in the sky of various objects such as the moon and planets. You'd select the object, and the time and date of interest, with conventional controls and a Text LCD. The interesting bit would be the way in which the position would be displayed. I have in mind something using a pair of servos but I haven't yet figured out the form it should take.

The scope for building wacky machines using the SBC seems unlimited :)

Regards, Pete