The most complicated, and simplest binary clocks.

We were going to take a break from posting clocks. Really we were. This one came in the tip line today though, and we just couldn’t pass it up. [Alex] has built, what might be the most complicated clock we’ve seen. At least, it would appear that way initially. This Binary clock shows Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Days, and Months. He started with a picaxe, but eventually settled on an Mbed. Yes, he knows it is overkill, but it worked out pretty well.

As for the simplest, that came into our tip line as well. [Toby] sent this in, and agrees with us that it is hardly worthy of being called a hack. However, in light of the complicated one above, we didn’t see any harm in posting its opposite. Check it out after the break.

That’s right, he just printed a new face. Like we said, it doesn’t get much simpler.


  1. Drone says:

    What the heck is this. The target site is a bunch of pictures, motors and stuff. Am I missing something here?

  2. Erik says:

    I so want the simple one! Just for the geeky factor.

  3. me says:

    So… whats the gearbox and servo for? I prefer the simple binary clock.
    I’ve got a “Simon’s cat” cat. I don’t need a clock anyways.

  4. svofski says:

    @Drone: it’s “Made on a Mac” :)

  5. Addictronics says:

    @drone, This is a little bit better. Includes some text.!!.html

  6. Addictronics says:

    @me, its for the hour chime.
    And yes i agree with svofski, there lies the problem. hah jk.

  7. CircuitMage says:

    I like the simple one…can never get numbers drilled into your head too much. Sometimes simpler is better.

  8. HackerK says:

    Just make sure you don’t bring that on the plane…

  9. kshade says:

    An analogue binary clock? This is madness!

  10. chango says:

    Bonus points for the Cyclone cells. In this age of RoHS, lead-acid cells don’t get enough love.

  11. Ben Ryves says:

    Cheers for the second link, Addictronics. There’s a YouTube video hidden at the bottom of the page:

    That’s certainly an interesting design – looks more like a prop bomb from a spy film than a clock!

  12. says:

    The second one is a cool idea, i just builded one myself.

  13. cpmike says:

    a number of years ago i had cafepress make me a printed ‘binary’ analog clock such as that one. geeky, definitely not hacky thought.

  14. cde says:

    @ HackerK: Or within 50 miles of an airport or school.

  15. dot says:

    For those still trying to figure out how the read it…

    Per the YouTube video the format is:


    The LSB is on the right and high bits are strangely represented by UNLIT LEDs.

  16. Joe says:

    Another example of an analog (hand made on etsy) binary clock.

  17. blubb says:

    made on a mac.. really!

  18. Neolith100 says:

    Typical Mac made website… all pictures, no content.

  19. Cool post, I made another binary clock using some simple components and an arduino

    I also made a full tutorial on how to build your own :)

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