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Charlie Sheen "Helps" Design a Seven-Segment Mechanical Clock

Charlie Sheen "Helps" Design a Seven-Segment Mechanical Clock


John Burd decided to build a clock. But rather than the conventional rotating mechanical face, or even a light-up seven-segment unit, he chose to create a servo-driven device where each of the digit’s segments twist fully into view when needed.

It’s an interesting concept, that may be familiar if you’ve been following along here for long enough. However, the really unique thing about this project is that it was "designed with the help" of Charlie Sheen. (Courtesy of Cameo, of course.)

The star of both Hot Shots and Hot Shots Part Deux chimes in with his input at around 1:00 in the build video, including such tidbits as how he likes 28BJY-48 motors for their quiet operation, and that he would recommend using an ESP32 for control, rather than a Raspberry "P.I." in this application. He’s also not a big fan of shift registers, so there’s that to consider.

Despite this "feedback," Burd selected an ESP8266 and not an ESP32 for overall control. This sends signals to four ATmega328P processors via the RS4885 protocol. 74CH595 shift registers and ULN2003 drivers are then used to actuate the 28 stepper motors that move each segment.

The final device is integrated into a series of PCBs in beautiful enclosures, on the back of the wooden clock face. The end result looks like an amazing timepiece and a great room accent.

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