Another project I'm working on required a good timer, but the more I read about Arduino, I realized that I couldn't make an accurate timer using an Arduino that was already devoted to other tasks. The Arduino will always lose time if you perform other tasks. The solution was a Real Time Clock module that keeps perfect time and has a battery backup so it won't reset if the Arduino loses power.

I like to make things modular, so I decided to combine the Real Time Clock module, an LCD screen, and a few thermistors together on one shield to make a sort of all in one "Atomic clock"/Weather station shield.

Step 1: Parts & Materials

I started with an official Arduino protoboard as a base. On other projects, I have tried to use the perf boards you find at Radio Shack and other electronics stores to make shields, but its nearly impossible to solder on the back side of those boards. For some reason, its very expensive to get protoboards that are through-hole plated unless they are about an inch across. These blank protoshields are the easiest way to make a shield if you need to solder on both sides. They also have bus lines for 5v and ground built right in that are already tied to the correct header pins. There is also a spot for a tactile switch that is tied to the reset pin and there is a spot for a surface mount chip.

Arduino Protoshield or Mega Protoshield
RTC module
Right angle headers
Straight headers
Female headers
Epoxy Covered Thermistor
10k Ω Resistors
Speaker or Buzzer (I grabbed this one out of an old PC)
Wire (I use single stranded cat5 cable that I untwist and separate)
Sugru or hot glue
Most likely I'll use both, wifi and blue tooth shields are plentiful and cheap. but I foresee the need for making most of the setup from scratch, just so it all fits into the available space in a way I'm happy with.
<p>I have a project this would be perfect for, if you're interested in doing a collaboration via email, pm or whatever means of communication you like. The idea is for a wedding gift, two matching lamps with displays in both bases showing time and date on one. temperature and humidity on the other, an alarm/reminder function connected for sync and update via Wi-Fi or bluetooth to smatphone, tablet/ipad, or pc. All housed within two large blue Riesling wine bottles built using arduino. </p>
<p>Sounds awesome. Will you use pre-made shields or make something from scratch?</p>

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