Monday, August 9, 2010

ardWINDo: Load the Code

In case you're interested here's the code. I'm still working on the schematic but it will be posted soon!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

ardWINDo: v1.0

The goal of ardWINDo was to create an inexpensive, compact, and elegant Arduino-driven watch winder. No in all seriousness this project just my excuse to get into microcontrollers. I mean, big deal I got a second watch it's not that hard to shake the old one a few times over the weekend. I'm happy I did it though and if you were to add up the time it would take me to wind my watch every week I doubt it would ever approach the amount of time it took to construct ardWINDo.

Shown with it's prey

In my last post I had the guts layed out. Arguably the final product still looks like the guts, only screwed to a bent and burnt piece of polycarbonate. There were some intermediate steps though. The main task was to transfer the electronics from a breadboard to a prototyping board. This was challenging given the spacial constraints but I hid the messy soldering on the back of the board. The result works quite well. My only self-criticism is not going all out and making a legit shield...maybe v1.2 or v2.0 (how does the nomenclature work?).

Clean enough

There was also the problem of scratch-protecting and constraining the watch. My solution involved felt, velcro, and a bit of sewing. Most commercially available watch-winders use a pillow and cup interface, displaying the face of the watch through a window. Personally though, I think it's more interesting to watch the gears and rotating mass on an automatic watch. That's what you see with the current interface but maybe I will make one that displays the face with the spare bracket.

The software only needed minor edits since my previous post. The winding is decently precise but I haven't given up making it a perfect match. I have been hinting considerably through this post at a revised version of ardWINDo and by then I will have a better handle on the coding. For now the code is simple, potentially inefficient, but functional. Also, I have yet to hear of a watch that explodes if it's wound 1.374 too many times.

This brings up an important point about watches though: there is such a thing as over-winding! The mainspring is designed to hold only so much potential energy and will break if too much force is applied. For Seiko Kinetic watches which store energy in a capacitor, this is not so much a concern. Still it's a good idea to consult the manufacturer's instructions to determine how many winds to order up. Anyways, without further digression, here is ardWINDo v1.0. Enjoy:

Wiring shematic and full code to come soon.