Holy Hacked LEGO Clock, Batman!

Everyone loves LEGO, and everyone especially loves LEGO Batman. So, it’s no surprise that a plethora of LEGO Batman products have been produced, because both The Lego Group and Warner Bros. like money and want yours. Among those many, many licensed products is a LEGO Batman clock. When Carl Monk came across a broken one for sale, he decided to bring it back to life with some extra functionality.

The original LEGO Batman clock is basically a scaled-up minifig, with an LCD readout embedded in its chest that displays the time. But, that wasn’t functioning, so Monk set out to replace the electronics with something a little more interesting. For logic, he used a Raspberry Pi Zero, and the display is a yellow Pimoroni Scroll pHAT HD. The scroll pHAT is a 17×7 pixel LED matrix, with support for full PWM brightness control of each pixel. With that, Monk is able to show the time and messages.

In addition to the chest display, Monk embedded a pair of 5mm PL9823 LEDs — similar to NeoPixels — in Batman’s eyeballs. There is also a piezo buzzer, which Monk programmed to play the ’60s Batman theme and, as a special surprise for his son’s birthday, “Happy Birthday.” Now the upgraded LEGO Batman clock sits on Monk’s desk.

If you want to build your own, he has provided the code over on GitHub.

Holy Hacked LEGO Clock, Batman! was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.