Overview of Kits

Introduction:

I've been selling Geiger counter kits for several years on my DIYGeigerCounter site. I really enjoy that project, but there are other projects I've also enjoyed. So I wanted to take some of them out of the 'project' sphere and into the 'product' sphere.

I forgot how much work is involved in that! If you look at the Geiger site you'll see I'm not hesitant to explain and document things. I like the idea that the site is a resource for those who visit, rather than it simply being a place to sell. The same goes here, however, this is a brand new site, so you'll have to excuse me for a bit.

At this point, I have two types of kits available, described in the overviews below.


the Life Clock ___________________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/kitronickits/home/Cased%20-%20Life.JPG?attredirects=0
More than just another clock. The Life Clock tells you about some celestial events around you (and it plays Conway's Game of Life).

I created the original Life Clock in 2008. (It's described here in Make.) 
I came up with a method of using 2 MAX72xx chips to drive a bi-colored (RG) LED matrix. (Details are in the Build and User Guide below.)

Recently I discovered a nice little matrix kit from JolliFactory on Tindie.  It uses the same technique to drive the 8x8 RG matrix. In addition, it allows several matrices to be chained together. That kit really simplified construction and cost of the Life Clock.  (The JolliFactory kits are currently only $11 with the led matrix.)

So I decided to revamp the Life Clock sw, and make a hardware kit that is compatible with that matrix. Only one Life Clock board is needed to drive up to 4 matrices.
The Life Clock in a simple case - case not included.

https://sites.google.com/site/kitronickits/home/Life%20Clock%20Board.JPG?attredirects=0

So what is it?

Hardware-wise, it's a Arduino compatible board that attaches to one or more JolliFactory matrices. The board provides the MCU, battery backed time clock, external EEPROM (to hold the font and text), speaker, and IR receiver for the included remote. 

Software-wise it supports a chain of up to 4 matrices using SPI, a time setting menu controlled by the remote, and an optional GPS. These are some of the clock features it has:
  • Displays the time, hourly chime, alarm, and auto DST set.
  • Plays Conway's Game of Life in 3 colors.
  • Shows the phase of the moon, days to next full moon, and name of full moon.
  • Displays the time of sunrise and sunset.
  • Displays reminders for birthdays, etc.
Many of these functions can be seen in the video below.


                The Life Clock kit built out.



https://sites.google.com/site/kitronickits/home/NEC%20Remote%20%28xpar%29.png?attredirects=0

included remote

Build Instructions and User Guide:

You can get a much better idea about this kit in the Life Clock Build and User Guide.

To Purchase:

The Life Clock kit sells for $24 here on Tindie.


Alternately, you can purchase the Life Clock kit here - using dropdown and Paypal button below. 
(Sorry, if the button does not show completely!)
I also have a limited supply of JolliFactory Matrix kits that you can purchase along with the kit.
The matrix kits are carried for convenience. The price is a bit higher than JolliFactory's to cover my postage. 
Limit 2 with LifeClock order only.








The kit includes all parts to build out the board, along with the remote. The software is preloaded, however the ability to load the Arduino sketch after customizing is required. 

Not included are the JolliFactory matrices, power source, GPS module, and case.


the Life Clock Mini _____________________________

The Life Clock Mini is a miniature version of the Life Clock described above. 
Features and and functionality are pretty much the same. Where it differs is in the matrices supported. The mini uses two small low cost single color displays which are included with the kit. Another hardware difference is that it uses an Arduino compatible Pro Mini as its processor. 

This makes the Life Clock Mini  very compact. It's about 2.5x1.25x1.25". Considering that the 2 matrix displays are included it is also less expensive.

The only notable difference in functionality is that the display is a single color (orange-red).  So Conway's Game of Life displays in a single color.  Otherwise , the features describe for the Life Clock above are the same.



                                         Life Clock Mini (moon phase and Life game)

                 Life Clock Mini built out


Build Instructions and User Guide:
You can get a much better idea about this kit in the Life Clock Mini Build and User Guide.

To Purchase:

The Life Clock Mini kit includes 2 matrix displays.

The Life Clock Mini kit sells for $29 here on Tindie.

It can be also purchased by using the Paypal button below.
(Sorry, if the button does not show completely!)










The kit includes all parts to build out the board, along with the remote. The software is preloaded, however the ability to load the Arduino sketch after customizing is required.  Please note: due to its small size, the Life Clock Mini requires some close work. It's not something you can slap together!

Not included are the power source (cell phone charger with mini USB plug), GPS module, and case.