Binary Clock

Time Flashes By

Put on a light show, confuse your friends, and exercise your binary-code reading skills with an alarm clock that doesn’t have any numbers on its display.

Lyle Morris, an electrical engineer, is the creator of the Anelace Powers of 2 clock. It uses LEDs to display the time in binary code, which is a method of representing computer instructions using 0s and 1s. The columns on the display correspond to hours, minutes and seconds,
and each row is assigned a value. To calculate the time, you add up the values of the LEDs that are lit up in each column. (Instructions are included, and it's surprisingly easy to understand, once you learn the code.)

The display changes constantly as time passes, and it’s mesmerizing to watch. Lyle’s timepiece is elegant, a great conversation starter, and also educational. Using binary code to represent a familiar value, like time, makes it a little easier to comprehend how the coding system could be used to represent text and other characters within computers. It just might spawn a new hobby or jumpstart a young coder’s imagination.
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Lyle

    Hi, Daily Grommet! I'm Lyle Morris. I'm really happy to be able to share our Powers of 2® clock with you today, and to answer any questions you might have. Do you understand binary?

  •  Brian
    3/28/2013 12:37 PM

    What time does the clock in the image show?

  • Kate
    Kate – Grommet Team
    3/28/2013 12:51 PM

    @ Brian -- The clock in the biggest photo reads 17:24:14. It's a 24 hour clock. But the clock in the smaller sku image reads 10:48:36.

  • Lyle
    Lyle – Special Guest
    3/28/2013 1:32 PM

    @Kate McLeod...


    May I clarify that the 24 hour display mode is an _option_?

    Normally, the clock starts up in "12 hour" (normal clock) mode.

    The clock also has a 3-level brightness setting and - for an extra challenge - an _option_ that displays time in "True Binary"

  •  billabott
    3/28/2013 2:28 PM

    @Lyle Morris

    nice looking product!

    I would call the display BCD or binary coded decimal.

    What is the true binary mode you mentioned? Can you explain or give an example?

  • Lyle
    Lyle – Special Guest
    3/28/2013 2:53 PM

    @ billabott

    You are right - the normal display is BCD (binary-coded decimal).

    The highest value in BCD is "9"

    The True Binary _option_ displays 'seconds' on the bottom row, 'minutes' on the row above that, and 'hours' in the third row up.

    The 6 LEDs have these values: 32/16/8/4/2/1, so, for example, if a light ON is '1', then "59" is shown as 111011 =32+16+8+2+1.

    [And for the true tech'y, you can use the 24 hour mode _option_ simultaneously!]

  • Lisa
    3/28/2013 1:01 PM

    This is very cool. Still can't figure out how to read it but love it for my kids and my brother a computer programmer!

  • Susan
    3/28/2013 1:44 PM

    @Lisa DiScala if you look under the "Details" tab, at the bottom is a link explaining how to read the clock.

  • Barbara
    3/28/2013 3:19 PM

    Im an 82 year old great gramma, and I "hate" this site!!! Not realy!

    Every time I log on there's something that I can't do without. I've bought such fun stuff for a 5 and 7 year old and can't wait to see what comes u pnext. I need the binary clock in order to keep up with the other grand & gr. grandkids. They think I'm "cool" 'cause I come up with all these fun things. And that's the way I like it!

  • Amy
    Amy – Grommet Team
    3/28/2013 3:30 PM

    @Barbara Couch

    Hi Barbara,

    So great to hear how much you love all of our Grommets! Which other's have you purchased?

  • Tori
    Tori – Grommet Team
    3/28/2013 3:30 PM

    We're having a little fun today keeping folks on Facebook guessing what this Grommet is. Some got it right away...other's not so much. See their guesses on our Facebook page.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

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