Take an old yard sale-bound clock (or, in my case, an alarm clock I abused one too many times) and make it look...neat. It's also a good way to learn about digital electronics, and it gives people the impression you understand complex digital logic (when really all you have to do for this project is unscrew and glue things).

Step 1: Find Stuff

Gather together your junk.

- You'll definitely want a clock of some sort to start with. Building a digital clock from scratch is a bit complicated for this instructable. I used a standard, 4-button alarm clock. The red LED displays look the coolest. Liquid-crystal just doesn't cut it for me.

- Find some other junk to embellish your clock, such as springs, cogs/gears, potentiometers, resistors, capacitors, transformers, LEDs, brass pipes, etc.

- Additionally, you may want to add extra functionality (or change the way it functions). Get some switches and buttons that work. I re-routed the wires for my "alarm-on" switch to a really nifty lever.

Step 2: Dissasemble

Take apart your clock. The screws are usually on the bottom. Some of them may be hidden underneath the rubber "feet," or behind the battery case. If you can't get the thing apart, just break it open. This thing is going to look crazy anyways.

Rip open any other circuit-things you'll be using. I took a keyboard apart at this point. I used the clear plastic contact-layer (circuit board-looking thing) and used it to make my mounting plate look cooler. I also used the integrated-circuit board from the keyboard to make the clock look a bit more complex.

I mounted everything on the metal I found inside my keyboard, and some spare Plexiglas I had. I used tin-snips to cut up the metal. I can't offer any advice on cutting Plexiglas, though. Man, that was a nightmare....

Step 3: Assemble

Gather everything together, and place the components so they'll look purdy. This took the longest time for me. I knew I wanted the display to face outwards, and "float" on the support of its thick wires. But where should all the circuitry go? I tried to give the maximum visibility to the coolest-looking parts, while still being able to press the buttons easily.

Because I'm insanely lazy, I primarily used hot-glue. It's so quick! You place something where you want it, apply the glue, and you're done! The problem is, hot-glue is generally not meant for industrial-grade projects. Heavy things, (like my transformer) pull right off. And I had problems with my switch, because hot glue doesn't support jerky pulling motions. My advice: use hot glue where you can get away with it. Use superglue for everything else.

A really interesting advantage of hot glue is its spider-web appearance. Dab the end of your gun from one component to another, over and over again, and it'll have a creepy cobweb appearance.

Step 4: Hack

If you're modifying the electronics (adding switches and so-forth) then heed this advice: use a soldering iron. I know, it's all the way across the room, or in the basement, or whatever. It took me 45 minutes of trying to twist and glue wires down until I gave up and plugged in my iron. It's well-worth the effort.

If you have a multimeter, use it. I use the sound-activated continuity feature the most often.

If your clock plugs into an outlet, MAKE SURE that the high-voltage portion of the circuit is isolated somehow! In my clock, a transformer steps the voltage down from 120v to something like 9v. Luckily, the leads of the transformer are shielded with rubber. If this had not been the case, I would have taken my time coating them in electrical tape and glue. The beauty of the steam-punk clock comes from its exposed electronics. 120v running through exposed wires can be deadly.

Step 5: Mount

Screw that thing right into the wall! (That's what I did).

Actually, there are a multitude of ways to set this thing up. A desk version would be nice, with some brass pipes and such...
If the transformer steps down the voltage to 9VDC, can't you just use a battery?
<p>it gets the timebase frequency off the 60hz that comes from the transformer before its converted to DC. also the display is multiplexed using the 60hz as well. </p>
Damn there Ahmed don't go bringing THIS one to school now or else you're gonna be in trouble
This instructable makes me really want to disassemble a clock and put it on some fake sticks of dynamite, or make it look like the C4 from Counter-Strike.
I am literally going to do that tomorrow.
Would look veeery suspicious in an airport... Nuff said<br><br>
whats the 9 volt battery for?<br />
Good question. In my opinion, it looks cool. Or, it could be part of a super-secret prototype nuclear fusion reactor that powers his house (hidden as a clock) Eather way, Wallice the Sane, it is something I want to try. Mabe I out to sacrifice those 5 alarm clocks to make a 5-clock display or something like this....
IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!
&nbsp;random components=lol
strap one of these to ur chest, and make it count down..... then go to the airport....
And make it beep! At every second interval :P
yeah and power the thing from big red d-cell batteries taped together ina battery pack
LOL! <sup>Nah, I an not going to do that... :-)</sup><br/>
Ha yeah all you need a big red switch attached to your hand and a big backpack full of fire extinguishers! that will really get someones attention!
Power it with the battery from <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-Alarm-Game--Very-Easy/?comments=all#C6QBQHKFB7FC30R">this instructable</a><br/><br/><sub>(The battery looks like a bomb!)</sub><br/>
&nbsp;I couldn't agree more with isolating the high voltage part of the clock, as there is nothing worse than fiddling around half asleep trying to find the snooze button on your cyber clock and being electrocuted!
if you have a tech class at school use their bansaw<br />
i was thinking of making a clock for haloween that goes to 13:00 but i have to clue as how to program a clock.....
if your normal clock (digital) has a 24 hr setting you can get to 13:00 but other than that i dont know how you would make a clock that only goes to 13
have to reprogram it....but how is the question...
You can't reprogram the clock chips, its like trying to program a 555 chip to do something an arduino does, Also most clock chips are capable of going 24 hour, i read on the datasheet of my alarm clock's chip that you have to jump a leg of the chip to ground to get it to go in 24 hour mode...
But you can replace the clock chip with a similar IC...
Which would have a different pin-out causing it to fry instantly...
i guess you would have to get something like an arduino or w/e and make a program/script/whateevr its called that cycles through 1-13...something WAYY over my head...i don't even know what language arduino uses...nor 555 chips......
Arduino uses a c like language, supposedly it has its own I think it is very simple, And nice, That's why i am getting myself one, You should go to arduino.cc to the examples or tutorials area, I am getting myself an arduino duemilanove ...Did i spell that right?, I don't think 555 chips are programmable, they are IC's integrated Circuit i think you know what that means ;)
ahhh i see
im sure its possible
yes, just a question of how and what tools
I like it. Are you familiar with R. Talisorian games Cyberpunk? I wish someone would come out with a truly decent computer based version. Also, this reminds me of a clock my cousin made one halloween. He hollowed out five old road flares, stuck wire in the ends of them, taped them together and added colored telephone wires then stuck a clock on top. looked pretty much like an b0mb. wouldn't build one now though, probably have the NSA knocking on your door. It was a blast then though. >_<
haha aha. a blast. XD im so immature.
Just hit an alarm clock with a bat, not so hard it breaks, but it screws up the digital display, looks really cool and you can make up your own time.
This is really cool. I just received an electronic component surplus box in the mail yesterday with tons of useless parts!
awesome! (How'd you come across that?)
Go to goldmine-elec.com and type in the search, "surprise box", and there are two sizes of boxes.
ha cool i might order that one day
The electronic gold-mine? That's an great site for electronics. Many of those parts you got in the box probably aren't useless, they can be used in circuits.
Yea I know, I love the site. I called them useless because I have no idea how to use some of them. Some don't even have serial numbers so I can look them up on the internet.
I totally need to do this I'm getting bored of my regular, put together alarm clock. great Instructable!
LOL*nifty* nice one mate<br/>
I like the idea of this, it hints at an exploded diagram concept...yet it is still in functioning state.
This isn't steampunk. Steampunk means that it looks like it was used when steam engines were used. This is just a disassembled clock.
walk around a hotel with one of these. people will FREAK!
wouldn't want to take that through airport security!
good idea
haha connect this with a doorbell<br/><br/><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Alarm-Clock-Loudener/">https://www.instructables.com/id/Alarm-Clock-Loudener/</a><br/>

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