Created by Ladyada
Last updated on 2014-03-16 12:15:15 AM EDT
Guide Contents
Guide Contents
Tools List
Parts List
Kit Assembly
Setting the Time
Tap ®
← tap
Hold ®
← 2 sec
Tap ®
= Next digit
Tap ®
= Y®Y®M®M®D®D®H®H®M®M®12/24
Hold ®
← 2 sec
← Tap = Current digit +1
Time Display Modes
Tap ®
Hold ®
← tap
2 sec or
← hold 2 sec
Marquee«Binary«Moon Phase«Battery Gauge
Marquee mode
Binary mode
Moon Phase mode
Battery Gauge
Uploading New Firmware
© Adafruit
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Show up stylish AND on time to any event with this awesome looking DIY watch. We have a few
watch kits here at Adafruit but we finally have one that looks good and fits well, even for ladies
and kids and others with smaller wrists and hands. Its got a 8x8 bit matrix display and a
repurposed silicone watch band for a professional look.
64 LEDs light up to tell you the time in a variety of ways. Built into the kit are 3 different watch
'faces' - a scrolling marquee with time and date, a binary watch display (for geeks, robots and
binary fans), and a moon phase display (for beach-combers, werewolves). There's also a built
in battery meter so you can check your battery life. Want to make your own watch? Easy! The
© Adafruit
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microcontroller is an Arduino-compatible, all you need is an FTDI Friend and the Arduino IDE and
you can design your own watch faces and upload them to the
TIMESQUARE. (http://adafru.it/aT9)
Engineered for greatness by PaintYourDragon, this watch squeezes over 1000 full time displays
out of a coin battery, and a 1+ year 'resting' lifetime, so you can use this as a day-to-day time
This watch comes with a ultra bright red LED matrix and a black silicone watch band that fits all
wrists from children to adult.
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This is a DIY kit, and requires some basic soldering/assembly to put together. It is a beginner
kit, so this is a fine project to use in learning how to solder. Tools are not included, you'll need a
soldering iron, solder and diagonal cutters as a minimum. Check the tutorial page for details on
what tools and steps are required to assemble. (http://adafru.it/aTa) Take about 1-2 hours to
put together. Build it in the afternoon and you'll be done in time to hit the clubs in the evening.
© Adafruit
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Tools List
Learn how to solder with tons of tutorials! (http://adafru.it/aTk)
Don't forget to learn how to use your multimeter too! (http://adafru.it/aOy)
There are a few tools that are required for assembly. None of these tools are included. If you
don't have them, now would be a good time to borrow or purchase them. They are very very
handy whenever assembling/fixing/modifying electronic devices! I provide links to buy them,
but of course, you should get them where ever is most convenient/inexpensive. Many of these
parts are available in a place like Radio Shack or other (higher quality) DIY electronics stores.
So ldering iro n
Any entry level 'all-in-one' soldering iron
that you might find at your local hardware
store should work. As with most things in
life, you get what you pay for.
Upgrading to a higher end soldering iron
setup, like the Hakko FX-888 that we
stock in our store (http://adafru.it/180),
will make soldering fun and easy.
Do not use a "ColdHeat" soldering iron!
They are not suitable for delicate
electronics work and can damage the kit
(see here (http://adafru.it/aOo)).
Click here to buy our entry
level adjustable 30W 110V soldering
iron. (http://adafru.it/180)
Click here to upgrade to a Genuine
Hakko FX-888 adjustable temperature
soldering iron. (http://adafru.it/303)
© Adafruit
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So lder
You will want rosin core, 60/40 solder.
Good solder is a good thing. Bad solder
leads to bridging and cold solder joints
which can be tough to find.
Click here to buy a spool of leaded
solder (recommended for
beginners). (http://adafru.it/145)
Click here to buy a spool of lead-free
solder. (http://adafru.it/734)
You will need a good quality basic
multimeter that can measure voltage and
Click here to buy a basic
multimeter. (http://adafru.it/71)
Click here to buy a top of the line
multimeter. (http://adafru.it/308)
Click here to buy a pocket
multimeter. (http://adafru.it/850)
Flush Diago nal Cutters
You will need flush diagonal cutters to
trim the wires and leads off of
components once you have soldered
them in place.
Click here to buy our favorite
© Adafruit
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cutters. (http://adafru.it/152)
So lder Sucker
Strangely enough, that's the technical
term for this desoldering vacuum tool.
Useful in cleaning up mistakes, every
electrical engineer has one of these on
their desk.
Click here to buy a
one. (http://adafru.it/148)
Helping Third Hand With Magnifier
Not absolutely necessary but will make
things go much much faster, and it will
make soldering much easier.
Pick one up here. (http://adafru.it/291)
© Adafruit
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Parts List
TIMESQUARE PCB - half thickness black PCB
ATMEGA328P - preprogrammed microcontroller
DS1337 - 8 pin real time clock chip
32.768KHz Crystal - thin silver cylinder
Right angle buttons - two for either side
20mm coin battery holder
0.1uF ceramic capacitor - yellow blobby
1 x 10K resistor - brown black orange gold
8 x 47 ohm resistor - yellow violet black gold
1.5" 8x8 matrix (not shown)
© Adafruit
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Silicone rubber watch band
Clear plastic cutout back
CR2032 Coin cell battery
© Adafruit
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Kit Assembly
First up, check that you have all the
electronic parts laid out on your table and
ready for soldering!
Start by placing the PCB in a vise to keep
it steady. We'll be soldering parts on
TOP, where the silkscreen shows the
component placing. The first part we'll
place is the 10K resistor. This resistor is
marked bro wn black o range go ld.
(It's also the only single resistor of that
Bend the resistor into a staple and slip
the wire leads into the two holes so that
the resistor covers the outline labeled
R10 in the bottom right corner shown
Bend the wire leads out so the resistor
sits flat against the PCB. Then you can flip
it over and it wont fall out!
© Adafruit
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With your soldering iron heated up and
ready, solder in both leads of the
resistor. To do this, heat up the round
ring pad and the wire lead at the same
time for 2 or 3 seconds, then dip the end
of the solder into the heated joint to melt
it in.
Then remove the solder and the
soldering iron.
Once the soldering is complete, we can
clean up by clipping the leads of the
resistor. This keeps them from shorting
to something else. Use diagonal or flush
cutters to clip the wires right above
where the solder joint ends.
© Adafruit
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Next we'll solder in the yellow blobby
0.1uF capacitor. This capacitor is part of
the reset circuitry as well, and is used to
help reset the chip when we want to
reprogram it.
Ceramic capacitors, like resistors, are not
directional. So put it in any way it fits,
next to the R10 resistor, so its
surrounded by the C1 outline
Then bend the leads and flip over the
Solder in the capacitor's two legs just like
you did with the resistor
© Adafruit
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You did great with the first two parts, now
we will solder in the remaining resistors
R1-R8 . These resistors are the LED
'choke' resistors - they keep the LED
matrix's light even and avoids having too
much current draw that would kill the
battery off!
All the resistors are the same 47 ohm
value - Yello w Vio let Black Go ld
Here we placed and soldered all 8 at
once but you can go one at a time if you
want to take it a little slower!
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Solder in all the resistors, either one at a
time or all 8 at once! Make sure you don't
forget any solder points, though.
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Next clip all the leads!
Next up we will put in the first chip. This
chip has 8 legs and has the label
DS1337 on top. Make sure you've got
the right label on the chip.
This chip is the "real time clock" - the
timekeeper. It is a ultra-lo-power circuit,
whose only task is to keep track of the
time, so its pretty good at it. It's possible
to have the main microcontroller chip (the
next one we'll do) keep track of the time,
but its not as good at it (both in terms of
power and precision) so we splurged on
having a seperate RTC
The important thing about chips is that
they are not like resistors and capacitors
in that they can't be placed 'either way'.
It must be placed the right way or the
chip wont work. Look for the end of the
chip with a notch and a dot. These must
match up the silkscreened image on the
PCB so make sure the notches line up.
© Adafruit
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Solder all eight pins of the RTC
No need to clip them after they're done
Next we'll do the big microcontroller chip.
This chip is the brains, it does all of the
displaying and button handling. Most of
the time its 'sleeping' and when you
press a button it wakes up and shows
the time. It has a lot of pins because the
matrix requires 16 pins to draw, and then
you need some more pins for buttons,
the RTC chip, reprogramming, etc.
The chip is an ATMEGA328P that has
been pre-programmed at the Adafruit
factory to have an Arduino-compatible
bootloader and our default watch display
To begin, flatten the pins to make them
more parallel || shaped intsead of A
shaped. Hold the chip in your hand and
press all the pins one side at a time
against a flat table.
Then when you press it into the holes,
make sure each pin has made it into a
matching hole, and its sitting flat against
the PCB
Like the RTC, this chip must be put in
the right way. The notch on the chip must
go on the left side as in these photos.
Check twice to make sure you have the
chip in right!
© Adafruit
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Solder all 28 pins!
No need to clip them after they're done
Next we'll place both the battery holder,
and the timing crystal. The battery of
course is how we power the watch, and
this holder keeps it in place. The timing
crystal is the "Quartz Crystal" in watches,
that keeps time by resonating
The battery holder does have a special
way it must go, make sure you can slide
the battery in by having the open side
facing out
The crystal can go in either way, its
symmetric, like the resistors
© Adafruit
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The battery holder will slip out if you flip
over the board, so before flipping the
board, solder one leg side from the top.
The holder is a great heatsink so it may
take a little longer than usual to solder in
Flip it over and solder in the other battery
pin, then go back and do the first one.
Also, solder and clip the two crystal pins
© Adafruit
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Lastly, place the two interface buttons.
You'll use these to set the time, display
the time, and change watch faces.
Both go on either side of the board, and
they'll snap in.
Then flip the board over and solder in all
4 pins of each
Finally, the fun part! The matrix!
The LED matrix is what you'll be looking at
- 64 individual LEDs in a plastic case.
The Matrix is not symetric, it must go in
the right way on the right side.
Look for the writing on the side of the
matrix, this side must go on the side of
the PCB with a dot as you see here. Also
the matrix goes on the OPPOSITE side of
the other parts!
Check that the 28-pin microcontroller
pins aren't in the way of the matrix, it
should sit nice and flat
© Adafruit
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Now solder in all the pins of the matrix,
you may have to angle the iron tip a bit to
avoid burning other parts
You can clip the leads but you don't have
to (they're less long than the height of all
the other parts!
Get the remaining parts out of the kit - a
20mm coin battery, silicone band and
optional clear plastic back
© Adafruit
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Insert a 20mm (CR2032) coin cell battery
so that the flat + side is facing up and
the bumpy side is facing down into the
Place the clear back first into the band so
it's at the bottom. Then stretch the band
and scootch the assembly in, pulling the
rubber to fit around!
When you've got it all in, you may need
to pull/press the band around the PCB to
have the 'nubs' fit into the notches that
are molded into the band
© Adafruit
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That's it! You can now continue on to set
the time and/or adjust your fit
After you've assembled your watch there
are a few ways to change the fit of the
band around the PCB. First is trimming
down the nubs on the PCB. These are
there to help keep the board inside the
rubber band. However, they may be long
depending on your wrist size, and band
(all the bands are slightly different)
Simply trim them down a millimeter at a
time to help avoid them from sticking out
too much
Another easy way to adjust the fit is to
remove the plastic back - its not
essential and for smaller wrists it may
make the watch a little bulkier than
© Adafruit
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Kapton tape is a heat-resistant and
electrically insulative tape that's used a
lot in electronics. This isn’t included with
the watch, but if you’ve been in this
hobby for a while there’s a good chance
you already have a roll handy. Wonderful
One or two layers of Kapton tape applied
to the watch face make it less prone to
washing out under bright light. The tape’s
color is similar enough to the red LEDs
that they shine through with little
difficulty, while most ambient light is
Rubylith film (from a decent old-school
art supply store) would probably work as
well, if not better.
© Adafruit
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Setting the Time
First wake the watch by tapping either side button. With the time display active, you can enter
time-setting mode by ho lding down bo th side buttons for about two seconds. If using the
watch for the first time, or after swapping batteries, it may wake in time-setting mode
Tap ®
← tap
® ←
2 sec
© Adafruit
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Date and time are set by cycling through each digit. The currently-active digit is shown with a
blinking underline cursor. Tap the left button to advance to the next digit, or tap the right
button to increment the current digit (it will “roll over” to 0 or 1 as needed).
Tap ® = Next digit
← Tap = Current digit +1
There are two digits each for the year, month, day, hour and minute, and the watch will briefly
display the symbols Y, M, D, etc. when moving from one pair of digits to the next. The high and
low digits are set individually…this is different from most digital clocks, we find it faster and less
troublesome. The range for each digit varies, and the watch will keep the values in check.
There is no seconds adjustment. Seconds will be reset to zero when exiting time-setting
© Adafruit
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The last “digit” is a 12- or 24-hour display mode selection. 12/24 currently only affects the
marquee mode; the binary display is limited to 12-hour time. Advancing past the 12/24 item will
scroll back to the first digit of the year. So if you overshoot a digit you wanted to set, just
repeatedly tap the left button until you roll around to it again.
Tap ®
= Y® Y® M® M® D® D® H® H® M® M® 12/24
To exit time-setting mode and return to the last time display mode, ho ld down bo th buttons
for two seconds again.
® ←
2 sec
© Adafruit
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Time Display Modes
Tap the right or left side buttons to wake the watch and show the time in the current display
Tap ®
← tap
Ho ld the left o r right buttons (not both) for 2 seconds to move back or forward through
Hold ®
2 sec or
← hold 2 sec
The sequence of modes is:
Marquee« Binary« Moon Phase« Battery Gauge
Marquee mode
Inspired by the famous Dow Jones news
ticker, this scrolls the current time from
right to left.
Tap either side button while active to
switch the display from time to date. Tap
again to show the time.
© Adafruit
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Binary mode
Bright dots represent a binary “1,”
dimmer dots are “0.” “Off” dots
separate the digits.
The hour (1 to 12) is shown as four 2x2
pixel blocks across the top.
Minutes and seconds are 1-pixel blocks,
with the high and low digits separated for
easier reading (3 bits and 4 bits,
The display at left shows 4:09 and 12
Moon Phase mode
Displays the current phase of the moon.
The resolution is limited somewhat by
the screen. It’s generally accurate, but
this is not a medical device — do not rely
on this data if you are prone to
Battery Gauge
This displays the approximate battery level.
Frequent button presses may temporarily lower the battery voltage more than this display
indicates. After assembling your watch, you might run through the first battery pretty quickly in
your enthusiasm to show everyone. If it seems to have suffered a premature demise, allow the
watch to rest for a few hours, or try a fresh battery.
So metimes the watch display may appear dim o r flickery, regardless o f the
display mo de. This happens when the battery vo ltage runs lo w. It’s no rmal
behavio r, an attempt by the watch to preserve battery life. Allo w it to rest o r
replace the battery so o n.
© Adafruit
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Uploading New Firmware
Now you've had your watch for a few days/weeks/months and you want to come up with your
own watch designs. Lucky for you, this watch is designed specifically to be super easy to hack!
If you know how to program Arduino, you're basically already there.
You'll need the Arduino IDE, and also some knowledge of how to read and write Arduino code.
To program the watch itself, you'll need an FTDI cable (http://adafru.it/70) or FTDI
Friend (http://adafru.it/284). This will connect your computer to the watch. If you're using an FTDI
cable or anything other than the Friend, you'll also need some extra long
header (http://adafru.it/400) to press-fit.
Simply place a 6-pin extra long header into the FTDI connector and slip the other end into the
top of the watch PCB, to match this photo. Be sure to have a battery in the watch, as it does
need to be powered while programming!
Next, download the TIMESQUARE watch codebase from github. Visit the github page and click
on (http://adafru.it/aT8)DOWNLOAD (http: //adafru.it/aT8) (http://adafru.it/aT8)
(http: //adafru.it/aT8)to download the ZIP file (http://adafru.it/aT8) and uncompress the
Rename the folder to Watch (check that the renamed folder contains the Watch.cpp and
Watch.h files) and install into the arduino sketches/libraries folder. For information how to
use and install libraries, see our tutorial (http://adafru.it/aYG)!
Restart the IDE
When programming, select Lilypad Arduino w/ ATmega328 as the "board" type
© Adafruit
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© Adafruit
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© Adafruit Industries
Last Updated: 2014-03-16 12:15:17 AM EDT
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