Introduction: KlockFun: Cuckoo Alarm Clock From Hard Drive

Picture of KlockFun: Cuckoo Alarm Clock From Hard Drive

Hi All,
This is my first Instructable and it's a cuckoo alarm clock from hard drive: KlockFun.

I love clocks and I want to I started designing a best alarm clock from an old hard disk drive, the earliest LED displays and a cuckoo bird. I want to bring the world of LED to as many enthusiasts and hobbyists as possible. The added bonus of being able to connect this shield to Arduino compatible boards gives you the ability to easily create endless possibilities for this clock.

I liked the vintage displays, such as Nixie tube and Oscilloscope screen, they can make a beautiful clock,

Therefore, I decided to make a clock for myself.
Take a look on Ebay, OMG, I seen a LED character display very nice and cheap. I know I need it for my project, you can check it on Ebay.See more about the vintage display here, I choose HPDL 1414 display.
I found a very nice glass tubes at a local store and decided to buy it. Glass tube diamension 24mm and 2 feet long with $8.
With a 2.5" hard disk drive, I think the clock will be more amazing.

Welcome to my Instructable, I hope you enjoy.

Step 1: Remove a Hard Drive and RC Servo Testing

Picture of Remove a Hard Drive and RC Servo Testing

Remove Hard drive...
I use a hexagonal screwdriver to open the lid of the hard drive, this is fairly easily.
Next, disassemble all the components of the drive. Note: keep the surface of the disk is not scratched.

and RC servo testing...

I chose Tower Pro MG996R because it 's strong are all metal gears.
Next, connect three pins of the RC servo motor with the Arduino board respectively and open Arduino IDE.
Find an example RC servo test and upload it to the Arduino board
Power on and check your RC servo motor

Step 2: Assembled Circuit

Picture of Assembled Circuit

I design a power circuit  using LM2596 IC, it could 3A max load current and the output voltage stable at 5v.
I design PCB with Eagle software and send the file to a printed circuit machining company. Wait about 3 weeks to get the circuit back, looks really great quality. about $ 45 for this.
I choose atmega8 because it is compatible with the Arduino board
This is a SMD chip, require soldering skills

Step 3: Make Cuckoo Bird Module and Case

Picture of Make Cuckoo Bird Module and Case

Make Cuckoo bird module...

I used CorelDraw software to design  Cuckoo bird modules, as well as the cover for the hard drive. Then, I went to a local shop to cut acrylic laser cutting. About $40 for this.

Step 4: HPDL1414 LED Character Module Driver

Picture of HPDL1414 LED Character Module Driver

HPDL1414 driver
Download datashet of HPDL1414 here, very easy to control it.
HPDL1414 has 12 pinouts.
Pin 6 & 7 for power supply, pin 3 is WRITE, Digit select by pin 4 & 5 and 6 pins for data input.
Character set by Ascii code, from 20 to 5F. very simple and nice.

Glass tube cutting
This seems a bit difficult, I consulted on Youtube
It took me 5 hours to could complete the glass tube part [120mm]

Step 5: Add Voice Module

Picture of Add Voice Module

For cuckoo bird sound, I buy a sound module on Ebay, it's WT588D
32Mbit and programable, very cool
Then, I find a speaker, 0.5W 8Ω, it very thin, but hear great sound

Step 6: Aluminum Milling

Picture of Aluminum Milling

My friend helped me design for LED tube aluminum frame with AutoCad software, he's very professional work and I get very fast aluminum frame later. Look nice!!!
I use stainless steel hexagonal screws to connect the pieces of aluminum together, through two long copper tube, they fit together.

Step 7: Testing

Picture of Testing

First testing with led tube!

Step 8: Complete With Hard Drive

Picture of Complete With Hard Drive

And this is the results after 5 weeks of hard work!
Thank you very much!


RossM13 (author)2015-09-18

Great job on the nice looking clock. Is the analog clock controlled by the arduino also? Is the analog clock synchronized somehow to the digital clock? If so, could you explain how you connected the arduino to the clock mechanism? Thanks!

ritzanab (author)2014-01-19

hi great project! can you please make a list of all the materials needed and possibly a link to where I can buy them?

funelab (author)ritzanab2014-01-20

I just launched my projects on Indiegogo, check it out for a KIT and tell your friends!

iek (author)funelab2014-04-18

hi, im very interested in this HPDL1414 LED clock... is there any way for me to buy it now since the campagin on indiegogo has ended?
pls email me directly at

many thanks

YC Chan

ritzanab (author)iek2014-05-25

hi! I was wondering the same thing..I really would love to do this project over the summer! please let me know where I could find a kit..!

funelab (author)ritzanab2014-11-16

I just launched my HDD Clock project on Indiegogo, it is a Kit and Complete version. I really want to have a successful Indiegogo, so check it out and tell your friends!

And don't forget check out my Instructable

Thank you very much!

hnguyenec (author)2014-10-14

I want to have one. Can you make one for me pls ? Will pay for it

magiceye (author)2014-01-30

I recently found my first digital clock i had build in the 1970`s it was made on veroboard with 14 IC`1s with 4 x 7 segment display.

I would love to built this (maybe with a talking clock)

In live in London were time GMT /UTC) is were time begins and ends

legless (author)magiceye2014-02-06

Interesting you think that at UTC 0 that time starts there each day. Odd then that my day starts 10 hours before yours does and New Zealand is 2 hours ahead of that..

magiceye (author)legless2014-02-07

The Greenwich Meridian was chosen to be the Prime Meridian of the World in 1884. Forty-one delegates from 25 nations met in Washington DC for the International Meridian Conference. .

The decision, essentially, was based on the argument that by naming Greenwich as Longitude 0º, it would inconvenience the least number of people. Therefore, the Prime Meridian at Greenwich became the centre of world time, and the starting point of each new day, year and millennium.

As you can see these are the facts.

jkjax143 (author)2014-01-21

nice work

power000 (author)2014-01-20

Tht is veerryy nice!

Can you please tell me with program did you make the video?

funelab (author)power0002014-01-20

Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas

dregalia (author)2014-01-20

Are you sure on the Sound Module? I can't find it anywhere.


funelab (author)dregalia2014-01-20

I'm so sory. It is WT588D.

MuGuFuTsu (author)2014-01-20

shut up and
take my money!

marsdeng (author)2014-01-20

Looks AWESOME!!! Well done

pawprintsq (author)2014-01-20

very impressive can. I have one

jbreyes (author)2014-01-18

maybe u can post a video of it working. looks really nice.

haasjeover123 (author)2014-01-17

I'm flabbergasted ***** !

onedumbtrucker (author)2014-01-17

yes the glass tube with leds and metals ends is really a work of art. if it is something you think you would like to do I would try a kickstarter to manufacture them and see if people would want to buy them.

funelab (author)onedumbtrucker2014-01-17

Thank you! Good idea

abhishek7xavier (author)2014-01-17

awesome,but please try to post bigger resolution pics,your posted pics are very small

funelab (author)abhishek7xavier2014-01-17

Thank you! I'll fix it.

shizumadrive (author)2014-01-17

cool could use a list of all parts at beginning.

kamilamarynowska (author)2014-01-17

Good, rly good dude :D

onedumbtrucker (author)2014-01-17

I mean you should try a kickstarter.

abhishek7xavier (author)2014-01-17

this is awesome

audreyobscura (author)2014-01-16

What a cool project, and you did a great job with the your whole post! Thanks for sharing on Instructables.

funelab (author)audreyobscura2014-01-17

Thank you very much!

About This Instructable




More by funelab:UV Meter & Breathalyzer Keychain - 3D Printed - IoT BlynkIoT Jar Chandelier, Physical Gmail Twitter Facebook & Weather NotifierRecycled Hard Drive Clock - FuneLab
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