Introduction: Giant VCR Clock

Ok, It’s stuck. It doesn’t work. But it makes a great nightlight or perfect gift for an insomniac.

The way this turned out is more of a prop but I am putting up this instructable to inspire others to make.

i don’t think in the contest rules say anything about it had to keep good time.


Nowadays it is so easy to get started with electronics projects and building a clock is a nice objective.

There are so many micro controller boards available and paired up with some kind of display, it could be a digital clock.

I am trying to use what I have on hand so I soldered a 8x32 neopixel matrix for the display to my board coded with circuitpython.

To house the electronics I made a cardboard cutout. You could scale up and fabricate an actual VCR case in wood, plastic or any other material.

Step 1: Embiggen

To make this a giant VCR, grab an image of a VCR.

Enlarge the image to size desired and print it out.

I used this online site to scale the image up to poster size. It also sectioned it off into printable pages.

Assemble the partitioned VCR image back into one by trimming and gluing the pages together as indicated.

Step 2: Bezel

Glue the giant image onto cardboard which forms a stiff back.

Cut out the display area for the neopixel matrix to shine through.

Over the opening I glued a piece of dark cloth to hide the neopixel matrix when not lit. This blackout effect seems to be a property of "scrim cloth" fabric/material.

Step 3: Lights

The neopixel matrix is mounted on the back of the display opening.

Right now, the microcontroller only displays the "LOAD TAPE" and flash "12:00".

An internal counter can be used to keep track of time.

To be more accurate, you may want to add a dedicated Real Time Clock module that has a battery. When powered off, a microcontroller board does not retain the time and will need to be reset every time it is loses power.

If the board has wireless capabilities to connect to the internet, it can sync with and pull the correct time from an internet source.

So, there you have it. Build your own.


Clocks Contest

Participated in the
Clocks Contest