The Nerd Watch

Hello! Welcome to another Other Machine project tutorial! I’m Sam DeRose, a former Other Machine Co. Summer Intern. I created The Nerd Watch last summer while working at OMC.

The Nerd Watch

The Nerd Watch displays the time in binary when the button is pushed. The watch shows the hour and minutes by flashing two LEDs in sequence to represent two 4-bit binary numbers (in big-endian format). Here’s a great description of how to read binary numbers.

In this Instructable, I’ll show you how to build a Nerd Watch from scratch with a few electronics components, and an OMC Othermill.

This Instructable presumes you have previous experience working with surface mount electronic components, and that you are no stranger to a multimeter or soldering.

Step 1: A Few Notes Before We Get Started

How To Tell The Time:
The first number represents the hour and the second number represents the number the minute hand would be pointing to if it were an analog clock. For example, if the watch flashes 0010 – 0110, this corresponds to 2 – 6, which means the hour is ‘2’ and the minute hand points to the ‘6’. This means it is 2:30. (Check out the image above for a graphic description!) There is no indication of am or pm, but hopefully it’s clear whether it’s 2:30 in morning or not 🙂

The watch is based on a project my dad made for Maker Faire. It uses the same code and same schematic, but now the board is laid out to look more like a watch, and sleeker surface-mount (SMD) components are used to make it lower profile.

Note: I made many iterations of this watch – you’ll see version numbers on the in the photos. Because of this, the progress pictures in this post skip around between different versions pretty frequently. The general process for every version is exactly the same though, so don’t worry if your watch doesn’t look exactly like the picture.

Another Note: The main part of this post will cover how to build version 2.5, the most current version that uses a regular ATtiny chip. However, Step 7 provides the files and instructions for making version 3.1, which uses a surface-mount ATtiny and a mini-USB port to program it. This version is significantly more difficult to build and program, so I’d recommend starting with version 2.5 and only trying version 3.1 if you feel really ambitious (or have experience with soldering SMD components).


For more detail: The Nerd Watch

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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