How to Build Your Own DIY Word Clock

There is something incredibly beautiful about the QLOCKTWO, but we just can't justify spending over $1,500 to get a simple clock, even if it is a piece of art. Luckily DIY-enthusiasts have been working hard on a homemade version of such a word clock.
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Yes, we've said it before, the QLOCKTWO word clock is amazing, but frightfully expensive. Instead of paying for it, why not try to make your own? It sounds complicated, but the steps are very well documented over at Instructables. This build involves creating your own circuit boards by using you laser printer. We thought that this would be hard, but it turns out that it's just a matter of being meticulous. This build involves soldering and manipulating electronics, so if this isn't your cup of tea, then skip it.
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This version is by drj113, from Canberra, Australia, who has got a background in digital electronics. The printed circuit boards (PCBs) are printed out on a printer then the layouts are photocopied on Press-n-Peel Blue film, which is a type of circuit board. This is the easiest and fastest way of creating these types of circuit boards. Once the boards are etched and drilled, you'll have to fill them in with the components, which include a micro-controller, a header for a custom programmer (which will program the clock via a computer), time button input, and AC input.
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Then you have to make the stencil. This is the interesting part. You can pretty much do whatever you want here. The finishing result is up to you, so you can use pretty much any font you like (Helvetica?). Next, you'll have to program the micro-controller via your computer. You'll need the necessary cable and software do to so. The program is available here. Finally, you'll make a case for your clock.

There are a bunch of different ways of making your clock unique. For most builds, we recommend sticking with the provided circuit boards and programming. However, if this is something you are familiar with, then you can experiment. Otherwise, this is a nice, clean build that someone with a knowledge of electronics can quickly assemble. The end result will mostly depend on your stencil and case. Drj113 is planning on making an acrylic case so that the innards of his clock can be seen.

[via Make, photos by drj113]

MORE WORD CLOCKS
The QlockTwo, A Word Clock

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