Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde is a hand-built nixie tube alarm clock that is controlled, set and manipulated using a 3-axis accelerometer. The clock is an exploration of the role of intentionality in everyday objects, as well as an experiment in resistentialist behavior. In order to function correctly, it demands physical attention. Ignore it for too long and it begins to rebel, intentionally slowing its internal oscillations and waking its owner at inconvenient hours of the night.

Originally a first-year master’s degree project for UCI’s ACE program, the clock now sits, faithfully ticking the seconds away, on my father’s desk.

Features include: Backup power supply, alarm functionality with programmable melodies, audible alerts during mode changes, and setting of clock/alarm through simple shake and rotate gestures. Case is constructed of plexiglass, red oak and walnut.

Code and Schematics

Microcontroller code and schematics for the clock are available on Github.

Video

Photos

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