USB bronze bell striking clock (with Arduino)

Picture of USB bronze bell striking clock (with Arduino)
Annoy your co-workers : lead them into begging you to turn off your special PC clock !
This little rig infact interfaces via USB to your PC clock and generates hours and half hours dings on a real bronze bell. Great stuff to bring into your office and surprise then amuse then annoy your helpless friends.
From these pages I already showed something similar where a serial port was used instead of USB. Today most PCs lack of a serial port and with this design USB serves also as power source.
Arduino is at its core and interfaces to the PC clock with a simple Processing sketch, its natural counterpart by design.

Step 1: Please, a video !

Here it is.
For some reasons I couldn't merge it here directly.
The audio is awful because of the camera's poor microphone. It should give a good idea though.

Step 2: Forewords

I decided to go with Arduino for a few things:
1: it is made in Italy.
2: in case of troubles tha community is there: for sure someone else has had my same
     problem already.
3: anyone with little or no software and hardware background can have a project running.
4: gives instant gratification : upon receiving the kit anyone can have a blinking LED driven
     by  a RISC processor, not bad.
5: the credits.
6: in case of serious problems I can blame someone else.
7: it is made in Italy.

Done with with the Ad, after years of working around the problem of not having a real Arduino board and wiring fake-ups, I finally bought one.
This contest is a great way of putting my 35 euros at work.

The picture shows Arduino along with a same sized breadboard to host the veeery simple hardware needed to complete the project.
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ChrysN4 years ago
That would be really cool (rather than annoying) if you used a Tibetan singing bowl and use it as a mindfulness clock.
5Volt (author)  ChrysN4 years ago

Yes, there's a bunch of better thing to strike! : see for example
Best regards Alessandro
asp554 years ago
Since you're using a 5v relay is there a reason you used a transistor rather than just driving it straight off the arduino digital pin?
5Volt (author)  asp554 years ago
I used a transistor essentially for the power needed by the coil as micro's driving current is limited to 20mA. Even very small relays require something more than that, so a transistor is actually necessary. One transitor is not much a deal probably and might save the micro. Also, in case a larger relay is desired (for larger bells), the transistor is there to help. Best regards Alessandro
920334 years ago
It sounds like fun but all Greek to me with a dash of Polish thrown-in for good measure. :-) . I'd make one if I knew what you were talking about.