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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First testing with led tube!

Step 8: Complete With Hard Drive

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



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    30 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    5 years ago on Introduction

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

    4 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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 ycchan51@gmail.com

    many thanks

    YC Chan


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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..!


    4 years ago on Step 8

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


    5 years ago on Step 2

    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

    My hand built Digital Clock.jpg
    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Step 2

    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..


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    5 years ago

    nice work


    5 years ago on Step 5

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


    1 reply

    5 years ago

    very impressive can. I have one


    5 years ago

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