Sunday, August 29, 2010

DWex - an alternative to Makerbot watch

I always wanted to buy a Makerbot watch, but never had the chance. That's because they were (and still are, at the time of writing) always "out of stock" in the Makerbot store. Then I decided to make my own and better version, called DWex, an acronym for Duino Watch for experimenters (introduced here a while back). I actually borrowed some of the ideas from Makerbot watch, including the round shape :) and the LED arrangement, as two circles of 12 LEDs.

Here is a brief comparison between the two:
  • DWex is based on ATmega328 running at 8MHz (as opposed to 16MHz); that should make it take less juice out of the 3V coin battery;
  • DWex has only one button (as opposed to 3); and even that could be eliminated eventually (replaced with a tilt switch, for example);
  • DWex has 4 fewer LEDs; the way to show the time (software) does not require the extra 4 LEDs of Makerbot watch;
  • DWex spends most of its time in sleep mode (I don't know how Makerbot watch works though, to be honest, but I think time is kept by the ATmega chip itself; therefore, no sleep for it); it only wakes up when the button is pressed, to show the time;
  • DWex is thinner, and that may be due to the much bigger crystal used by Makerbot;
  • DWex does not have a buzzer;
  • Like Makerbot watch, DWex has both the ICSP and FTDI connectors on board, making it an "Arduino environment on your wrist" as well.
  • They both cost the same, US$30 (plus $3 regular shipping to North America). DWex is in stock though. It is real and working.

Some of the features of DWex are:
  • time is shown by lighting/flickering only two LEDs, for hours and minutes;
  • time can be set by the user through the button, without connecting the board to the PC;
  • consumption is 12mA when the time is shown, 120uA when asleep; the CR2032 coin battery should last at least a few months;
  • can be re-programmed to make use of the alarms of on-board DS1337 RTC (this functionality is not implemented, but the hardware capabilities are in place).

 US$33, including regular shipping to North America

 US$36, including regular shipping to anywhere in the world

Related posts:


  1. I want to make use of the alarms onboard the DS1337 RTC but I can't seem to work out how to set them! The following documentation shows how to set and get the time/date but not set/get alarms

    Any ideas?

  2. The alarm issue for DS1337 is on my Todo list.
    It was implemented by (and works for) others, I just need to find the time to do it myself.
    In the meantime, follow this thread:

  3. It's 2010-09-28. Have the DWexes with the ETA of 2010-09-20 shipped yet‽

    BTW, here's another printable case:

  4. Still in the mail (from Hong Kong). I expect to get them by the end of the week (2-3 more days). Then, I will ship immediately.
    Thanks again.

  5. It's 2010-10-06. Have the DWexes arrived with the ETA from HK of 2010-10-03 shipped yet‽



  6. I am ashamed to say that I am still waiting for them. It's been 17 days already. Never took so long. I will throw in a gift as a token of appreciation for your patience.

  7. I received my DWex on Friday 2010-10-15, and am busy making a case for it.

    I setup two resources for DWex owners:

    Google Map:

    Google Group:

    BTW, what are the two additional parts for?



  8. The 2 parts (DS1307 + crystal) were the gift I promised everyone who waited patiently for the DWex-es to arrive.

  9. Are these currently available?

  10. hello, are these in stock? Do you also sell cases?

  11. Yes, they are in stock.
    Working on a case (laser-cut acrylic), not finished yet.