Instructables

Vibrating Timekeeper

Picture of Vibrating Timekeeper
I made a watch without a face. Instead, the time is given every quarter hour through a series of pulses on a vibration motor, in the same format as a grandfather clock. So, if it is 3:15, then the motor will make three long vibrations followed by one short one. Pretty cool, right? You will never have to look down at your phone or watch again.

The watch is centered around the attiny85, a really small eight pin micro controller (just like the arduino, only tiny-er). The attiny keeps the time, and drives the vibration motor. A transistor is used as a motor driver to current-protect the attiny. Even though the vibration motor is small, it needs more current the the attiny can handle. Finally, there is a button to manually request the time. The entire setup is mounted on protoboard and powered by a coin cell.

This project is not only a cool watch, but a really small arduino board! That's right, the attiny85 is programmed through the arduino IDE. More on that later.

 
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Step 1: Gather/buy materials

Picture of Gather/buy materials
AT watch_schem.jpg
To build this project, you will need the following

Tools(not pictured)
-Hot glue gun
-Rotary tool or hacksaw
-Soldering iron w/solder and damp sponge
-Arduino uno or similar to program attiny. 
-Jumper wires
-10uf capacitor
-Computer with latest arduino IDE
-USB cable for uno

Parts:
I chose not to link to distributors like digikey or sparkfun because everybody seems to have their own preference on where to buy parts, and you can buy these at almost any good online store. However, I recommend jameco. Some stuff can be salvaged easily. All are thru-hole.

-Through hole stripboard. (Look for the epoxy stuff, fiberglass is dangerous to cut)
It will be easier to follow this instructable if you use the same board then I did, you can find it at
https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2125042_-1
-CR2302 coin cell battery holder.
-Small push button.
-10k resistor
-220 ohm resistor
-3300 ohm resistor
-2n3094 transistor
-Diode
-8 pin DIP socket
-Attiny85
-Vibration motor (I salvaged this from an old cellphone, or you can buy one)
-Scrap hookup wire (not much is needed)
-Watch battery

For reference throughout the build, refer to the (sloppy) attached schematic
qquuiinn (author) 1 month ago
The battery lasts for about 11 hours, but with some new code I made it should last for a few years
julio0041 month ago

Wowwww this is amazing, thanks for sharing. In the market exist a watch doing exactly the same and cost more than 100 bucks. this is so sellable, how can I change the frequency of vibration ? an aprox which is the battery duration?

joeforker3 months ago

You just need to add a 32kHz watch crystal. See AVR4100, the '85 datasheet or any of the "How to add a watch crystal to the ATtiny85" tutorials. As a side effect running it slower will make the battery last longer.

Agreed. The internal resonators on these MCUs are not reliable enough to give you an accurate time after 12 to 24 hours. It's a fun project though!

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