Play "blitz chess" like a real hacker, with this modern-retro Arduino-compatible Game Clock!Designed by Omzlo in Greece
Overview If you play any game that requires accurate timekeeping, you will love the Game Clock. Designed with high quality snap action switches and a high-precision real-time clock, the Game Clock …Read More…
If you play any game that requires accurate timekeeping, you will love the Game Clock. Designed with high quality snap action switches and a high-precision real-time clock, the Game Clock will react to your touch within milliseconds. While similar devices typically come in a boring beige enclosure, the Game Clock is proudly exposing its internal circuitry and deep black PCB in a fully transparent 3mm acrylic laser-cut enclosure. It is primarily designed for chess games that are played in constrained times but offers plenty of configurability. The device can be powered by 2 AA batteries or a USB cable, so you can take it anywhere.
The Game Clock also comes as a truly hackable device. Open source and open hardware, it can be fully reprogrammed in the Arduino environment to suit the most exotic needs. The Game Clock features an XBee compatible socket for optional low power networking: imagine keeping track of all games in a chess tournament in real time!
The Game Clock features:
Most of all, it looks cool and it's open-source!
Note: The Game Clock comes without batteries or USB cable.
Check out the user manual and get ready to blitz through a chess game!
Power: The Game Clock can be powered with:
A boost regulator assures constant voltage to the device regardless of the power source used. USB power always takes priority over battery power.
A small switch allows to power the device on or off.
Microcontroller: At the heart of the Game Clock is an ATmega328PB microcontroller running at 8MHz and 4.9 volts. It features 32K flash, 2K SRAM and 1K EEPROM. This is the new and updated version of the classic microcontroller that you may find on the Arduino UNO boards. It comes preprogrammed with a serial bootloader that uses 8K of flash.
Buttons: The Game Clock features two high-quality snap action microswitches rated for 10 million cycles! In addition, a traditional tact switch is seated in the center top of the board, notably to access various configuration options.
Display: The device can display information to the user through 8 red LED digits, physically split in two 4-digit red LED displays, typically used during gameplay to show the time available to each player. The LED display is controlled by a MAX7219CWG IC through SPI, with software controlled brightness.
Sound: The Game Clock is fitted with a passive buzzer capable of playing tones of varying frequencies, providing audio feedback to users.
Real-time clock: The circuit features a DS3231M IC, a very accurate RTC with an integrated calibrated and temperature compensated oscillator. It communicates with the MCU using the I2C bus.
XBee headers: The Game Clock has a 20-pin header that allows it to be optionally connected to an XBee wireless communication module. An onboard 3.3 LDO and voltage shifting circuit assures compatibility between the MCU and the XBee logic levels. In order to conserve energy, the 3.3V LDO is disabled by default and can be enabled by software on the MCU when necessary.
Size: The Game Clock 122 x 76 mm (4.8 x 3 inches).
The Game Clock is built around an Atmel ATmega328PB, and can be programmed like a classic Arduino UNO R3, using the Arduino IDE without any additional software installation.
A USB to serial board is required (not included) to upload software from the Arduino IDE to the Game Clock using the 6-pin connector located at the back of the device. We use and recommend the SparkFun FTDI Basic Breakout. It's hassle-free and easy to plug into the Game Clock.
The Game Clock is the result of a cooperation between Zafar Iqbal and Omzlo. Zafar, a famous figure from the Athens Maker scene, brought the idea and initial design and we made it into a really nice black sexy PCB!
Check out the documentation to learn more.
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James | Nov. 21, 2018
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