ClockTHREE Operation

An introduction to ClockTHREE

If you have just received or assembled a ClockTHREE, we'd like to thank you for your interest and support. We are very pleased with how ClockTHREE turned out and we hope that you are too.

Looking around the clock, you will notice most obviously, the front “faceplate”. This refers to the lettered display in your selected font. Take care not to scratch the acrylic surface. On the back, you will notice some engraved text, the ClockTHREE logo and two keyhole hangers.

On the left side of the clock, there are two hidden thumb-wheels used for dimming the clock, one for the upper half of the clock and one for the lower half of the clock.

The bottom of the ClockTHREE contains the serial interface, buttons and power jack.  Angle brackets are used to denote the buttons.  So for instance <mode> reffers to the "mode" button.  Starting from the left: <reset>, USB/FTDI interface, <mode>, <dec>, <inc>, <enter>, and the power Jack.


The reset button is used primarily to re-program the clock. It can also be used to restore function if the clock should become unresponsive.


This interface allows you to connect ClockTHREE to a computer for either reporgramming or setting persistent, calendar type alarms or any other future uses (google calendar is one that comes to mind) through a comprehensive interfacfe. This is actually a lowly serial interface, but FTDI makes a chip that converts USB to serial. This chip is present in the included FTDI cable so you can connect your computer to ClockTHREE without a serial interface on your computer. Although other products may work, we recommended that you only use the included FTDI.


The mode button is usually the initial button you will press to interact with the clock. ClockTHREE is based on several “modes”. The function of each button changes depending on the current mode.


The decrement and increment buttons are used to navigate back and forth through the current menu.


The enter button is use to lock in your selection.

Power Jack

ClockTHREE requires a 5-volt power supply with least 1 amp current capability. We recommend powering ClockTHREE only with the included power supply as your ClockTHREE can be damaged by using an inappropriate supply.

Modus Opperendi


This is natural mode for ClockTHEE. The time is displayed in words in the choosen color. There are two sub-modes of Normal-Mode. From Normal-Mode, start the Seconds-Mode by hitting <inc> and seconds will be displayed in large characters. Exit Seconds-Mode by hitting any button. Temperature-Mode is entered when <dec> is hit in Normal-Mode. Once in Temperature-Mode, the temperature unit can be changed using <dec> or <inc>. Hit either <mode> or <enter> to resume Normal-Mode.

Setting the time

The first time ClockTHREE is turned on, the time may be incorrect. To set the time, hit <mode> (furthest to the left). This puts the clock into “Mode-Mode”, the mode that allows you to change modes. Use the decrement button (<dec> middle left button) and increment (“inc”, middle right button) to select the Time-Change-Mode, which is indicated with a large “T” on the right side of the display. Large characters are displayed using and 8x8 grid of faceplate letters as pixels.

The 2-digit year is displayed in large characters and is indeicated with a “Y” in the lower left hand corner of the display. Use <inc> and <dec> to select the year, then hit  <mode> again. Similarly, select the month, day, hour, and minute. Press <enter>, to set the new time, press <mode> to make any further changes. You may hit <enter> at any time, to lock in the changes and return to Normal-Mode.  To sync the time with a computer see <XXXX>

Setting the daily alarm

ClockTHREE has 30 calendar alarms, that must be set with a computer, and one daily alarm.  The daily alarm, when set, will go off every day at the same time.

The daily alarm, can be set without a computer. From Normal-Mode, hit <mode>. Now ClockTHREE is in Mode-Mode. Use <dec> and <inc> to select Alarm-Mode indicated by a diagram of sound waves (series of 3 arcs) emanating from the upper right hand corner. Upon entering the Alarm-Mode, you will notice the word “ALARM” light up at the bottom of the screen. Relax, this is just ClockTHREE's way of telling you that you it is ready for you to set the daily alarm time. Except for displaying the alarm time in words, the alarm is set like setting the time using <dec>, <inc>. After the minutes are set (in five minute steps), the alarm can be turned on or off, indicated by the icons in the lower right hand corner of the display. Finally hit <enter> to return to Normal-Mode. If the alarm is set, the alarm icon will remain on.

Setting the color

The display can set to several colors.

From Normal-Mode, hit <mode> to initiate Mode-Mode. Use <dec> and <inc> on ClockTHREE to select Color-Mode indicated by a large “C”. Hit <enter> to go to Color-Mode. Use the <dec> and <inc> buttons to select the desired color. There are two colors that need further discussion. Color 0 is no color, that is essensially off. Color 8, is temperature selected color, which chooses the color dynamically based on the current temperature reported by the temperature compensated real time clock from blue=cold, to white=hot.

Subpages (1): ClockTHREE Alarms