Let's Make Robots!

Binary Clock Parts

Hey guys, I was thinking of making a binary clock. I don't want this to end up being the typical Dent work- I want this to be good looking and long lasting. It's going to be hung up on one of our walls, so I must be very precise.

Right now, I'm trying to find the right parts. I'll be spending my parent's money after all, so I want this to stay cheap (but still look good!) and I wanna get all the right parts the first time around. 

The enclosure is going to be an aluminum one from Halted. The LED's are probably going to be the 10mm blue ones from SFE. I'll also be getting a 5v Arduino Pro OR build my own from various parts to save money. A 3.3v regulator for the LEDs, plus a bunch of resistors to dim them slightly so they're not overwhelmingly bright. To drill the perfect circles that I'll need for the LEDs in the aluminum, I'm going to try a method that I was though of the other day. Since I don't have a drill press, I'm going to trace on the circles, punch out the center with a Dremel, and use those holes as guides for a larger (hopefully 10mm) drill bit that I'm going to have to use on my larger, albeit slower-spinning drill. 

If anyone has advice or suggestions, please let me know!

 UPDATE: I'm having extreme difficulty choosing between a pre-built arduino or one that I build on my own. What do you think I should do? Making one seems easy enough, but I'm worried that my absymal soldering skills will destroy it before I can even start this project...

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I see now. I remember when I was 9 years old, fiddling around with a bunch of LED's robbed from my toys and a coin cell. When I wired them in series, only the two ones directly attached to the battery lit up and the ones in the middle of the circuit didn't. So to prevent this from happening, I'm guessing I'd use a resistor for each LED and connect them to the ground of the power supply? I don't really want to do PWM, but I could if all else fails, I guess.
Well if you using an NPN darlington array, you'll need to go [V+] -> [LED] -> [Resistor] -> [Darlington] -> [Gnd], or the same thing but with resistor and LED swapped.
Interesting. Also, I just remembered the Arduino only has a few PWM pins. D:
Meh, should be fairly trivial to implement software PWM in this case. It doesn't have to be very precise or anything.