Re: Bulbdial clock – Thoughts on build and question on shadows

Home Evil Mad Scientist Forums Clock Kits Bulbdial clock – Thoughts on build and question on shadows Re: Bulbdial clock – Thoughts on build and question on shadows

Windell Oskay

Originally, we had planned to use wide viewing angle (40-degree) LEDs in the kit, but we were unable to get the right ones in time for the initial launch of the Bulbdial, so we used standard narrow-angle (~20-degree) instead.  A year or so later, when we were finally able to get the wide-angle LEDs in the right quality, we began shipping those in the kits.  These are pretty neat because they light up nearly the whole face, making neat cyan, magenta, and yellow shadows with a white background.  However, even though it was a better set of LEDs in certain ways, most people turned out to prefer the look of the narrower LEDs, and (for better or worse) we were somewhat forced to switch back to the original (narrow-angle) LEDs.  

My expectation, since you got your kit recently, is that you *do not* have the wide angle LEDs that you were reading about in the forums– we haven’t shipped any kits like that in a very long time, and we’ve exchanged most of those for narrow LED sets.  It is true that there is a bit more variation and width in the blue and green LEDs than we might like, but we’ve generally found it to be within what we expect from them.  However, thanks to this feedback, we’re starting to look at a few other LED suppliers that might (hopefully) be able to give us a little better consistency in that regard. (BTW, the red LEDs in current-generation Bulbdial kits are actually Cree C503B-RANs, so you might want to skip swapping those, wbp.)
I’m not sure of the best way to ensure that the seconds/minutes hands are always distinguishable and readable.  (It’s sometimes even a challenge with analog clocks!)   You might try playing with the relative intensities of the LEDs; that can help to bring up the contrast.  You might also consider aiming them a little bit differently.  If the blue (seconds) are aimed further out, you’ll get a different character of shadow that doesn’t overlap as much.