Bulbdial clock – alternative fade modes & more

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    I love the Bulbdial clock. Like some other folks, I was interested in having the hour (and minute) hands display differently.  When I looked at the clock at 1:55, I always read it as 12:55.  I decided to see what I could do, and I ended up with a couple of different approaches.

    One idea was to just advance the hour hand at 31 minutes past the hour (or some other time, but that was what made the most sense to me).  I got that working, then decided to see if I could make it fade between the hours.  Once I had that going I realized I wanted the second hand to stop jumping so much, so I had it fade slowly between the LED’s as well.  Might as well do the same for minutes too.  That was all working nicely, but it was still a bit jumpy, so I decided to make the fade logarithmic to see if that would make it move more smoothly, and to my eyes, it does.  Making it logarithmic had a challenge – doing the calculations on the fly took enough time that I was getting some flicker, so I figured out a way around that.
    Rather than hard wire any of these I put them all in as options.  Hold down the + and Z buttons as usual to go into “Options” mode, then push the Z button 4 times to get to the Fade Mode setting.  There are 5 levels:
    0 – no fading
    1 – original fading
    2 – move hour ahead at minute 31
    3 – continuous fading (linear)
    4 – continuous logarithmic fading – very smooth!
    Don’t expect miracles, there’s only so much one can do with the available # of LED’s in this clock.  You may not like any of the new modes.  At least this way you can try them out and if you don’t like them, switch back.
    If you want to play with it, it’s up on GitHub at
    I will be adding 2 more features as I get time – GPS support and automatic dimming at a preset hour.
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