Ridiculous laser wall clock

servo controller

[nickjohnson] has produced an incredibly silly laser wall clock. It was built to test out his PWM servo controller board. He created a wall poster featuring numbers 0-9, hour, minute, AM, PM. The controller points at each symbol in sequence to spell out the time. It changes position every second which creates a nice ticking sound. The clock may be goofy, but you should have a look at his parallel port controller since it’s designed to be simple and uses common components.


  1. timmeh says:

    haha. i like how it spells out the time

  2. nguyen_van_thoc says:

    Not ridiculous at all, it’s a stepping stone for his sentry gun project, you don’t get much more practical than that. personally, i’m more of a cloak pack & shocklance kind of guy…

  3. Site Bandwith Exceeded. Sounds like this is popular!

  4. Any mirrors?

  5. mg says:

    This is cool. But then perhaps, there is no need to do a dot pointing. You can make use of the temporal summation property of human eye (1ms) to generate string of timing. I tried this in the early 90s. But then the servo has to be replaced by steppers.

  6. giskard says:

    the site’s gone over it’s bandwidth limit and none of the pics or movies are viewable. miror any1?

  7. Get me the files and i will get them on my site as quick as posiable.

    Google must not be so forgiving on the ammount of transfer. Guess we will have to add them to the list of people to mirror through CorellCND

  8. Kevinin says:

    might be a little hard to find someone who has these files, though

  9. Quigley says:

    That’s cool and all, but inertia is going to be a problem when you mount a heavy gun to it and try to sling it around that fast. Plus I wouldn’t trust any robot (or many people for that matter) with a loaded weapon. Still an awesome project though.

  10. freiheit says:

    “Any mirrors?”

    No just a laser and some robotics.

  11. Ward says:

    “any mirrors?”

    Yes, two of them. And they move! ;)

  12. Fuzzy says:

    looks like you need a new place to host images and whatnot for this. Please feel free to email me as I can provide you with some fast hosting for your images that relate to this story, with no cost to you!
    Neat concept for the clock, I might build one of these for my office, just because……

  13. craig says:

    cool! i want one, or maybe two, oh alright – make it three!!!

  14. nickjohnson says:

    Wow, I can’t believe the positive feedback I’ve recieved. Thanks all.

    I’d love to give someone the files to be mirrored. If you are, I’ve put my email address up on that page temporarily, so drop me a line!

  15. nickjohnson says:

    I’ve posted mirror links now.

  16. adaminc says:

    to quigley

    i dont think he’s going to mount a real gun, but something like an Airsoft Gun that shoots 6mm plastic bb’s

  17. chris26 says:

    If you use 24 hour ‘military’ time then you wont have to do the whole pm/minute thing…
    nice project!

  18. nickjohnson says:

    to quigley,

    I agree that inertia could be a problem. My only solution to that would be to “gear down” (or, more likely, use a lever) to reduce the range of the servo from 180 degrees to something more like 45 degrees. I think that would improve response, but I’ve not tried it yet.

  19. earl says:

    Have you thought of using SCRs to drive the steppers?

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