“Pingo is a clock that’s all about adding some fun and color to your day! Its name means “I paint” in Latin, and that’s exactly what it does - it paints the color of time. It’s a completely innovative and one-of-a-kind way to tell time. Plus, the colors it displays can actually influence your mood and emotions throughout the day, making it a unique addition to your space.
During the day, Pingo’s outer ring is a bright and inviting yellow, just like the sun. This color is known to be warm and friendly, making it a great choice for daylight hours. At sunrise or sunset, the color shifts to a comforting red, while at night it transforms into a peaceful and relaxing shade of purple. The changing colors add a touch of magic to your surroundings and help set the mood for each part of the day.
You could tell time by the changing colors, but actually, you don’t. It has an hour hand and a minute hand. A casual user just sees Pingo as some mesmerizing device with colors, but you know the trick to tell the time from it. It uses three rings of LEDs: the outer ring shows a solid color for the minute hand, the second ring shows a rainbow of colors, and the inner disk shows a solid color for the hour hand. Wherever the color of the inner disk matches the color of the rainbow, that is the location of the hour hand. In this picture, the magenta inner disk matches the rainbow color at the ten o’clock position. Similarly, the outer yellow ring matches the rainbow at ten minutes past the hour, so the time is 10:10. Note that it doesn’t matter how the rainbow is rotated as long as you change the colors of the rings to represent the time. You could, in fact, animate the orientation of the rainbow any way you like. For example, you could rotate it once a minute, or you could rotate it in such a way that the outer ring keeps your favorite color. The default setting is, as mentioned, to let the outer ring (with the most LEDs) slowly change its hue to set the mood of time. By default, the brightness reduces to 30% after sunset and goes back to 100% at sunrise.
If you prefer a more traditional clock, you can still use Pingo - it offers a clear indication of the hands of the clock as well. And if you need an alarm, Pingo has got you covered with a blinking red light that goes off for one minute at your desired time.
Pingo is also super easy to use - just connect it to the internet and it will automatically set the time and sunrise/sunset times. You can customize your clock’s settings through a simple interface, and your preferences will be saved in non-volatile memory.
Overall, Pingo is a cheerful and unique addition to any space. Its vibrant colors and innovative design will definitely brighten up your day and make telling time a lot more fun!
If you’re wondering what you’ll need to build your very own Pingo clock, don’t worry - it’s not as much as you might think. I’ve even included some links at the end of this section to help you out.
First off, you’ll need a set of rings with LEDs on them. While there are a variety of suppliers out there, the one I used for my Pingo clock came from aliexpress.
Next, you’ll need a micro-controller. Specifically, you’ll need an ESP8266 NodeMCU V3 with built-in WiFi. This version is ideal because it has a pin labeled VU that’s connected directly to the 5V from the USB port, and you can power the LEDs directly from it. Some jumper wires with female connectors will make your work easier, though you can solder the wires in place if you prefer.
To drive the LEDs, you’ll need a capacitor (between 500-1000 uF, 16V) and a resistor (between 250-500 Ohm). This instructable uses a 680 uF/16V capacitor and a 330 Ohm resistor (which has a color code of orange-orange-brown).
You’ll also need some extra wire and a soldering iron to connect everything together.
To power the clock, you’ll need a 5V USB power supply that can deliver at 1.0 - 1.5A. If you don’t have one lying around, you can easily find one on Amazon. And don’t forget the micro USB cable to connect the NodeMCU.
As for a diffuser, you’ll need a sheet of 3mm translucent white pmma (acrylic). While you can build the clock without a diffuser, it looks better with one. Get your sheet from a local shop, or find one on Amazon.
For the housing, 3dsmax was used to design a simple ring with a bevel and a little rectangle at the bottom to stand the clock on. If you have access to a 3D printer, you can print the included stl file. Once you’ve printed the housing, you should paint the interior black (or use black material).
Lastly, you’ll need a bit of plastic glue (or hot glue) to mount everything together, and a pair of pliers to bend the pins of the micro-controller. With these supplies, you’ll be well on your way to building your very own Pingo clock!
- leds rings
- jumper wires