Chess Timer

Wireless chess clock, Who needs buttons when you can shake a ball :)

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Wirelessly controlled chess clock, to save the motion of pressing a button: you save time, you save energy, and it looks cool... Just kidding.

Recently i have joined a chess club at the google campus meetups, and as fitting for a meetup at the google campus you need to make something different. So figuring that i have already made a cool setup with my "Smart Juggling Balls": (, and using the concept of interactive games such as in my other project, "ShakeIt" ( I have ended up with my current design of a chess clock.

As you can guess already, you shake the ball instead pressing the regular buttons on the clock. And because buying a chess clock just to hack it, is a little expensive i have decided to make my own design of a chess clock. (actually i think hacking a standard chess clock would have been a cheaper setup, but definitely much less cool).

So for my own design i have decided to go for a different time indication by using two digitally addressable LED rings (each ring with 16 pixels). and to wrap it all up, resulting in a Lizard`s \ Robot`s Head for the clock, as you can see in the images :).

So basically i have ended up with 2 juggling balls and a lizard`s head. when you shake a ball the opponents time is starting to get down, The amount of LED`s on, indicates how much time is left. and while it is your turn the ball is also colored, RED and Blue for each opponent, and Green for when it`s not your turn. (The video demonstrates it better).

(Sasha on the left, Founder of IoT Hub In Tel Aviv Israel, And me on the right, a resident in the hub : ) )

For setting the time, displaying the exact time left, and other settings i am using a bluetooth module in the lizard`s head to communicate with a standard smartphone app which streams data over bluetooth.

All of the sources (Codes, PCB, STL`s) are available on Github and on Thingiverse. You are welcome to make your own wireless chess clock.


  • 1 × Arduino (Compatible) Nano
  • 1 × NRF24L01
  • 2 × Digitaly Addresable LED`s Rings (16 LEDS) Available on Adafruit / Sparkfun
  • 1 × DC DC Converter, Step Down to 5V
  • 1 × Bluetooth HC-05

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  • 1
    Step 1

    Assemble the circuit, using the prototype PCB from my files or just a standard PCB.

    The connections are as follows:


    Arduino nano

    Bluetooth HC-05

    Addressable 16 LED`s two rings

    NRF Module


    Arduino Nano 5V:

    D9-->CE NRF

    D10-->CSN NRF

    D13 (SCK)-->SCK NRF

    D11 (MOSI)-->MOSI NRF

    D12 (MISO)-->MISO NRF


    D6-->NeoPIxel DataIn 1

    D7-->NeoPIxel DataIn 2

    For power source, i am using a 12V power adapter, connected through a schottky diode to the arduino nano board, in addition to a 5V Step down for the LED rings. With addition of 470 uF for the LED`s 5V.

    3D print the STL files and you have a timer clock.

    For building the Smart juggling balls look here:

View all instructions

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