Glow in the Dark RAM Clock




About: Electrical Engineer

This instructable will show how to make a glow in the dark clock out of old computer parts.

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Step 1: Tools Required

Tools Required:

1)  Hot glue gun
2)  Super Glue
3)  Drill or dremmel tool

Step 2: Materials

The following are the materials used:

1)  Hard Drive
2)  RAM
3)  CD/DVD
4)  Clock Mechanism
5)  Small SMD IC chips (Surface Mounted Device Integrated Circuit)
6)  Lots of Hot Glue

Step 3: Find Hard Drive Platter

The hard drive platters can be removed from any hard drive by removing the screws on the red dots in the image.  Drill out the middle of the spindle on the green dot big enough for the clock mechanism to fit though. 

Don't forget to erase any important data just in case an ID thief breaks into your office and steals the clock.

Step 4: Find RAM

Mix and match any RAM although I found the 300mhz to give the clock the best performance.   Depending on the size of RAM you may need to sand the corners at an angle to allow for a better fit when arranging them in a circle

Just in case anyone asks about the RAM you chose I've included a diagram to help your response sound smarter.  Or you could mumble something about Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory and wave your hand dismissively.

Step 5: Find Clock Mechanism

You can strip the clock mechanism from an old thrift store / yard sale clock like I did or you can buy just the mechanism You can buy them at any craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby or you can buy them online here:



Step 6: Small SMD IC Chips

1)  These are easy to de-solder from any PCB board by heating up the opposite side of the board as the chip.  I used a heat gun but you could use a lighter, torch or flame thrower.

2)  Super Glue them to the Hard Drive Platter at the respective time positions.  I used long IC's for 12,3,6,9 and short for the rest.  Hot glue will not stick to the HD platter.

Step 7: Finding Parts

Just in case here is a view looking into a computer and shows where you can find each part in red.

RAM (left)
Integrated onto the motherboard in slots of 2 or 4.  You can finally buy packs of old RAM cheap from ebay or a used computer store.  They might even give them to you since anything older than DDR1 is pretty much obsolete.

Hard Drive (bottom right)
Flat, rectangle looking thing usually placed on a shelf in the front of the computer.

CD (top right)
Shinny flat circle that kids love to throw around and stick places.

Step 8: Glue It Together

1) Cut out battery slot on CD
2) Hot glue Clock Mechanism onto CD.  Position battery slot over the cutout spot on the CD
3) Hot glue RAM around the clock mechanism.  Keep the gluing area limited to what will be covered by the hard driver platter.
4) Glue HD platter over clock mechanism and cover up all that glue.
5) Drill hole to hang on wall nail

Step 9: Final Assembly

1) Paint hands white or glow in the dark.
2) Place Glow in the Dark Binary Stickers.

Binary 1-12:

1 - 0001
2 - 0010
3 - 0011
4 - 0100
5 - 0101
6 - 0110
7 - 0111
8 - 1000
9 - 1001
10 - 1010
11 - 1011
12 - 1100



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    22 Discussions


    4 years ago

    It is symmetrical it's just the photo ill take a new one

    14, 11:25 PM.jpg14, 11:25 PM.jpg

    4 years ago

    I did it here is the photo I didn't use the hard drive platter because it was such a pain so I just cut a circuit board to size and I did go a bit ram crazy but it isn't that bad reply and tell me how it is

    14, 11:38 PM.jpg
    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    nice, but not original, i do those PC comp stylish clocks for 18 year now...
    here is a sample:
    there are many other things on my site, take a look !


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Augggggh! Binary! LOL Well, as the T-shirt says, there are only 11 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't. I'm lovin the clock, though! I've built a couple of hard-drive clocks in the past, may have to scrounge for old dimms and give a whack at this one!

    5 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah....that whistling sound you hear? That's my sense of humor (and memory skillz) bombing. Again. LOL

    This is one of those moments where my hording old electronics came in handy and then fed the bad habit. Its a vicious circle.


    7 years ago on Step 3

    I've taken apart many many hard drives and there is a lot of variance in how they are assembled. I will say I never seen one like that picture, where the 2 screws on the right-top release the disk platters and/or motor. Some motors are pressed in and nearly impossible to remove without breaking something, and most have screws but you have to remove the platters first.

    Also, some platters are metal, and some are glass with a magnetic coating. Be very careful drilling holes in glass, it can shatter into many tiny blood drawing shards.

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Forgot to add...when popping out the center spindle of the hard drive, a trick I found that works (demonstrated to me by my wife's handyman grandfather) is to take two sockets, one large and one small (say, 3/4" and 3/8" or so). Set the drive on top of the larger one, where the motor windings sit on top of the rim of the socket. Put the smaller one on top, and use a hammer to tap on the socket. With luck, everything should pop out into the interior of the larger socket on bottom (sorta like a hole-punch, but without such tight clearances. Or paper.).


    7 years ago on Introduction

    for a second you scared me, i thought you used good ram, i used the same type to make a splint one time. its pretty useless. Beautiful clock too