Introduction: "Simple" Digilog Clock (Digital Analog) Using Recycled Material!

About: I love making something about electronics, making something awesome and cool that I've never make before!

Hi everyone!
So, on this Instructable, I'm gonna share how to make this Digital + Analog Clock using cheap material!
If you think this project "sucks", you can go away and don't continue reading this Instructable. Peace!

I'm really sorry if there is any of bad words or bad English, because I'm still practicing English to communicate with people around the world, so please don't complain if there is any of wrong words or something that makes you confused. Just remind me :)

Asking for the video? maybe it will coming soon.

Spoiler alert! : This project will looks a little bit bad because material that I used for the case.

Difficulty : Medium - Hard (medium or Hard? You decide it between it).
Make sure you had some time for it if you want to replicate this project.

Note : Before asking something and if you don't understand what I written about, please look at the images that I took for this tutorial and imagine about it then you might understand what I mean a little bit.

Requirements :

  • Understand about electronics (little bit is okay but I can't promise will always helping you guys)
  • Can read the circuit on the PCB

Enough intro! Just scroll down to begin!

Step 1: What You Need? Here Is..

Something you can't buy :

  • Knowledge about electronics.
  • Can read circuit on the PCB and thinking about it
  • Level 4 of 5 Patience (Important)
  • Level 5 of 5 Feelings (Important)
  • Concentration
  • a lot of coffee if you drink, don't drink Alcohol. Please.

Something that can you buy or find it somewhere :

  • Cardboard box (1 is enough for me)
  • LED or you can use 3v or 12v LED Strips (Use indoor model for easier modifying with no silicone on top), but you will need to modify the circuit on the LED Strip if you use the 12v one. (I use 12v LED Strips because I still have some from last project. If you ask me what project is, I'll post it later on)
  • Some HVS, A4, F4, or whatever paper size and type you want or you can use anything else for wrapping the case.
  • Paper glue
  • 1A Small Power Bank Kit with Charger built in and 18650 Lithium battery, or you can buy small power bank
  • a small Digital Clock that uses 7 Segment LED and can be powered with 5v DC (with temperature sensor are optional, If you want the best, find it with temp sensor)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Hot glue sticks (bigger one is recommended)
  • a Lot of wire (seriously).
  • Analog Clock Mechanism set (I use Quartz brand)
  • Something that I didn't mention about, maybe it shown on future steps.

Tools :

  • Soldering Iron
  • Scissors
  • Cutter
  • Screwdriver
  • Hot glue gun (I don't use this because my gun always blown, so I just using soldering iron)

If there is someone asking me like this :
"Hey man, why you use cardboard? why not use wood instead?"

Well, I have a lot of cardboard box laying around my room. Wood is too hard to make an shape that I want, and kinda hard to repair wrong cuts and lot more expensive rather than cardboard. And you will need a Power tools to cut wood efficiently, and consume a lot of electricity. Just save Electricity and save plants, although cardboard are made from wood too but why not to recycle if it's not used anymore?

Step 2: Making the Front Panel First

This is the trickiest step, you need to measure and calculate the height and weight to maintain the preciseness.
Patient are required on this steps, make sure you had more time for it.

I can't give you a detail information because every box has different dimensions, so I'll give you some.

  1. Cut the box connection so you can expand it.
  2. Find the wide side of the box.
  3. Find the center point of the box then mark it for the clock mechanism, and followed by marking double dot for the seconds LED of the digital clock. Don't forget some Dots on the bottom right like actual 7 Segment (just follow a 7 Segment and make some hole for segments and dots if you don't get it)
  4. Making a rectangles for the segments of the digital clock, for the dimensions of the rectangles, I use a piece of LED strip, it has 3 LED every one piece of strips and had around 5cm x 3.25cm dimensions (on my LED strip) and you should draw it from center to the right or left side, then replicate the dimensions, height, weight, length of the segments rectangles and dots on the other side.
  5. Cut everything that marked for it (Segments, Dots, etc.)
  6. Clean the excess of the rectangle on the cardboard with scissors. (optional).

Step 3: Making Divider for Each Segments

Patient are needed again for this steps

For what divider is? It used for preventing coming lights from other segments, and can act as LED holder/pole too.

Prepare the Popsicle sticks first, then continue reading this steps.

  1. Cut the Popsicle sticks with the same length with the rectangle segments.
  2. Glue it on the edge of the rectangle on each segments on the wide side so it can act as divider and holder or pole for the LED
  3. You doesn't need a lot of sticks that has been cut, you can add 1 sticks of each segments (except on the center, it requires 2 divider to prevent light that coming from other segments) like I do. So how? If you working from center to right first, Glue it on the left side of each segments. or from opposite direction, just do opposite way to put the divider.
  4. Cover up all dot holes with Hot glue, and let it cool for a while.
  5. out the LED on dot holes that has been cover up then add more hot glue to hold the LED in place.

I think that's enough.. Next!

Step 4: Change the LED Strip Circuit! Skip This If You Use LED or 3v Version of LED Strip

Patient and Feelings are needed for this step! if you don't have any feelings for me .. I mean when do soldering job, you might broke the LED when flipping those LEDs.

This might take some time to do this steps.

I warn you to be careful. Don't repeat this process again and again because you broke the LEDs. Do those steps carefully!

Better if you read the circuit on the strips. On my strip the schematic is like this :
12V > LED1 > Resistor > LED2 > LED3 > Gnd (Series connection)

It should be changed to :
3V > LED > Gnd (or you can call it parallel circuit)

  1. To begin this steps, you need to cut 28 Strips of the LED strip. Because it has 4 Digits (7x4=28 is that true?)
  2. Easy step first, Remove the resistor on each strips (you can do one by one strip like I do) then short or connect 2 pad that used for resistor last time with lead, tin, solder or whatever you call it
  3. If you have hot air soldering, you can use it if you can and make sure the LEDs is not melted then flip the LEDs that on the center of each strips.
  4. For Soldering iron steps you really need feelings and patient. Okay, solder at 1 pin on the LED then lift carefully on the side that you soldering on, after lifted a little bit, solder the other pin and repeat the process until it can be removed.
  5. Flip the LED then solder it again one by one pin, don't add too much lead/tin if you want to add some, or you will ruin the LED pad on the strip. Just add very small amount of tin because SMD components doesn't need much tin.
  6. Repeat process 27 more times. lol I told you be patient

Step 5: What 7 Segment Common Pin Type Do You Have? Anode or Cathode?

This is important steps before you soldering all of the LEDs into matrix connection!

You need 3v Power supply with constant current or you can use 2 1.5v Batteries to powering up the 7 Segment..

To do this, you need a 3v Constant Current power supply or 2 1.5v Batteries and some cable.

DON'T put current over 3v or you will blown the 7 Segment!

  1. Connect positive wire from the power supply into Common pin on the 7 Segment, if you asking me where is the pinouts, you can google it with example keyword : "4 digit 12 pin 7 segment pinout" (if you had 12 pin 7 Segment like me) or maybe it printed on the PCB like I had
  2. connect Negative wire into whatever pins do you want except common pin (because it has 4 digits, so it has 4 common pins)
  3. Does it light up? If it not lights up, connect it opposite way

So, if your 7 Seg lights up when Common pin is Positive, you have Common Anode type. If lights up when it's connect to negative, it means Common Cathode.

Common = Master / Main power source

Step 6: Wiring Up the LEDs First!

Patient are needed for this step!

Prepare bunch of wires, LEDs that has been modified before or 3v LEDs, Popsicle sticks and Scissors. Make sure you have enough tin for it.
We gonna make Matrix connection with 4 Common (because it has 4 digits)
Make sure you understand what Matrix connection is, maybe those imege will help you a lot :)

Short explanations : We have 7 segment, one dot and 4 digits, every segments are connected to other segments on different digits, but every digit are not connected each others, so we have 8 pin for each segment (with dots) because it's connected all together, and 4 Pin for each digits (we have 4 digits).

  1. To make it fast, solder common wire first on negative or positive pin (depends on what common type do you have) to all LEDs, and leave the other pin alone (sad)
  2. Put the strips on the popsicle sticks first, so ypu can easily wire matrix connection. You can add additional strength by adding hot glue behind the LED strip.
  3. Solder every Segment to other digits one by one
  4. connect common pin on dot LED to each digit, if the dot at row 1 (digit 1) connect the common pin into digit 1 common pin. and connect other pin of the dot LED to all of dots LED
  5. so it should have 4 Commons and 8 Segment Pins (12 Pin 7 Seg) or 5-6 Commons and 8 Segment pins (14 Pin 7 Seg)
  6. After all LEDs soldered together, You need to find where the pins are, On my digital clock, it uses separate PCB for the 7 Segment display, so it has jumper wire and I'll connect all LEDs into the jumper soldering pad that used for 7 Segment last time, and You should know the pinouts.
  7. If you don't get any matching pinouts on google, so you need to test it using 3v power supply. Test it every one pin and if there is no one lights up, try to flip the polarity. After that, write the pinouts on the paper.

On my clock, it has 12 Pin connection so here is the pinout that I get on the board (Note : This is for example, All clock has different pinouts so don't follow this pinouts. You should find it by yourself.)
Pin 1-12 : E, C, D, B, A, DP, F, G, D4, D3, D2, D1
D1-D4 = Common pins

If you confused where is A, B, C, etc. You can google it or look at my picts.


Step 7: Solder Everything!

Concentration are required on this steps. Make sure you're not confused where the wire is.
Make sure you have take a rest for a while, don't force yourself if get tired.

Make voltage divider using 100 ohm and 330 ohm Resistor, so the connection looks like this :
5V > 100 ohm > 330 ohm > Gnd
connection between 100 ohm and 330 ohm > Analog clock mechanism Positive
Look at the image if you confused. (to be honest, I'm confused too).
5v is from Power bank board.

Remove the USB Socket from Power Bank PCB using soldering iron, and solder 2 cable to the Power bank PCB solder it into the USB soldering pad (pin 1 Positive, Pin 4 Negative) then solder that cable into Digital clock logic board. Don't get flipped!

Solder segment wires and button wires into the Digital clock Logic board, make sure there is no wrong connection. If it so, it might looks weird when turned on. So keep the concentration and keep focus while soldering something, don't short anything or it might ruin your work.

The logic board kinda sensitive, so you should be careful with it.

Step 8: Finnish It Up!

For the case, I leave it to you. Make it whatever do you want. You can make it circle or something, but I'll make it rectangle.

After you almost finishing the case, Don't glue the back lid now. Find the balance point for the nail hole, so it won't be tilted
Mark the balance point then make a hole for the on the back pane at the balance point that has been marked last time.
Then you can glue the back panel off. After you glued the back panel, you might want to wrap it with paper or anything else to make it looks better.

It's done! Just keep plugged with 5v USB adapter, if blackout happens, the clock still turned on.
If you asking me "How long the clock alive when using battery?"
The answer is, it depends how much your battery capacity is.

"How to adjust the analog mechanism?"
Just adjust it by rotating the Minute pointer or nail.

That's it, For this project. If you like this projeck make sure you check out my YouTube Channel and follow my Instructables! And support me by voting this instructables on Clock Contest!

Thanks for reading this Instructable!

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