Arduino Chromatic Clock, with Steampunk  style

Reloj Cromático Steampunk con Arduino

Need a unique gift for Christmas? ...
This watch unlike normal, uses colors instead of numbers, yes! you read right ....
After maaany years of reading color codes of resistors and capacitors I believe that it could be used for something a little more original.

This watch uses a module RTC  DS3231  of high stability and accuracy, and a moisture module DTH22 . Includes a LDR light sensor to adjust the brightness of the LEDs WS2812 responsible for the 'digits'.
The digits are expressed by colors and most correspond to the colors used in electronics to indicate the values except 0, which goes from black to weak white, so that it can see in the dark, and 8 passes from gray to cyan because gray is not possible

    0-Weak white

NOTE: Although the photos and video seem that colors are a bit 'washed', it is a problem of the cameras, due to the difference in brightness between the digits and the environment. In reality the colors are saturated and perfectly distinguishable (well ...colorblind would have a little sketchy ...)

 - Time / minutes / seconds
 - Date / Month / Year
 - Tempreature/ RH / Heat index.

Make cycles, time - date - moisture, indicated by three bulbs, and 'sleep' after about 30 minutes.
He wakes up when 'detects' a IR of a command code: TV, radio, HI-FI ... or when there is a sudden change in brightness (in my case is ta in the lounge and is thought to be active when someone is watching TV, listening to music, or to switch on the light).
There is a LED under the plate that changes color producing a decorative effect ..

The structure is made of copper tube 12 mm, easy to find at any hardware / plumbing / DIY store, a few elbows and 'T's of the same caliber, some elbows from 1/2 "to 12 mm for welding and some junctions the same caliber. to cut the pipe I used a very cheap special tool that cuts the tube effortlessly (mini version).
The base is a pine wood, cut and milled varnished.
The digits are formed by LEDs WS2812 (of which are mounted on a small plate with capacitor), and XL marbles (20 mm). ..

WS2812 board
WS2812B mounted on a mini-plate

The circuit

Esquema reloj cromático Arduino

This is the BOM:
  1. Arduino (pro-mini, uno, nano, ...)
  2. 7 leds WS2812 (6 actually are sufficient, one is 'decorative')
  3. RTC board DS3231 (o DS1307)
  4. Moisture sensor DHT22 DHT11)
  5. IR sensor38Khz
  6.  LDR
  7. ULN2003
  8. 4 bulbs (6V)
  9. Some resistors and capacitors ...
  10. A USB charger (which I use as power supply)
Well this is the list of components, all easy to locate on the Internet.
I have not used PCB, but a breadboard:

Montaje Reloj Cromático Arduino

The code:

If you like, remember to share on your favorite social network. Thank you!


February 23, 2016 at 6:40 PM

hi what remote did you use?

March 1, 2016 at 9:39 AM

@Duncan Young
A standard remote for RGB led strips, RGB bulbs
See Arduino RGB led managed by remote control

August 16, 2016 at 12:31 PM

do you have the pcb layout that i can trace onto a copper board?

December 19, 2016 at 10:44 AM

we built a copy of your genius clock, working ok, but how to set the clock? Would be perfect if you could write an easy description, preferedly in English, but spanish would do either.
PS: we use the same remote control as you did.
Thanks in advance

December 20, 2016 at 8:57 AM

Well, this clock is a little geeky ...
1) Press 'Flash' - Enter adjustment mode (ajuste = true)
2) Press the colors to enter the digits, each press moves one digit to the right (see capturaAjuste())
3) To set the time press 'STROBE'
4) Repeat from 1, and press 'FLASH' to set the hour

May the luck be with you ...

February 6, 2017 at 10:37 PM

the copy of your clock is now ready. Have a look at it at
Thanks for your suggestion.

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