Clocks built from old aircraft surplus parts


A few years ago, Tube Clock forum member[Sine1040] bought a set of four brand new aircraft indicator units that were built some time in the early 70’s. He had no idea what the units were actually used for, but he did know that he could repurpose them into some pretty slick looking clocks.

He disassembled all four boxes and between them, scrounged enough parts to build three clocks. After gutting the clocks and rearranging the digits, he built a timekeeping circuit using an ATMega8 which is clocked by a DS32 oscillator.

While the time is displayed using the large projection-style digit displays, the seconds are ticked off in the left-most analog meter. Minutes are also represented in the clock’s right-most analog window, swinging the needle from top to bottom as each one passes.

[Sine1040] paid special attention to keeping the boxes looking as stock as possible, with the only external modification being a power plug installed in place of an old grounding screw. The clock is definitely a different take on keeping time, and we think it looks great.

Continue reading to see a quick demo video of the clock in action.

[Thanks Brian]


  1. daqq says:

    Great build!

  2. Bogdan says:

    I have only one thing to say: Gorgeous!

    I want one :d

  3. jafoca says:

    I want one too!

  4. Anthony says:

    That is awesome. Looks like a great build. I think I am gonna try and put one together. Great job Sine1040 keep it up.

  5. Robot says:

    OMG! Penultimate clock p3rn!

  6. Justin says:

    Fantastic and clever. I totally want one.

  7. D33PCOR3 says:

    WTF! Absolutly awsome… i want one… that´s sure. Where to buy?

  8. Pablo says:

    Totally awesome!
    Is there a website you can buy aircraft parts like this?
    If so please tell :-)

  9. Andrew says:

    Shut up and take my money!

  10. Chris Muncy says:

    Agreed! These are really secsi! I’d love to find one of these and build my own.

  11. DS says:

    Need the Top Gun music in the background…

  12. mowcius says:

    Wow they’re pretty awesome :)

  13. Grumblenuts says:

    Sorry not to add much to the entries above, but WOW this is absolutely amazing!

    I’ve seen hundreds of clocks on hackaday, and to be honest I usually find them incredibly dull and pointless.

    All different now…

  14. Digital_Entropy says:

    Two things:
    One: Awesome project.
    Two: Like everyone else on here, I really really want one =)

  15. matt says:

    I’m also highly interested in old aircraft parts, particularly displays, controls from early 90s and back. If anyone has some resources, please post!

  16. madcows says:

    BAD ASS!!

  17. HackerK says:

    Nicely done… put one on eBay and see how high the bid goes. ;)

  18. Hirudinea says:

    Very cool, looks like the dashboard clock from the Millenium Falcon, I raise a Colt 45 to you Sine1040!

  19. El Toozero says:

    What sort of digit display is that?

    Google is looping back to this very article when I search for “projection-style digit displays”.

    I’ve seen Nixie, this is something on an entirely different (and more beautiful) level.

  20. The Steven says:

    \/\/ /\ |\| -|-

  21. MattE says:

    Fantastic! :D

  22. HeK says:

    I’m not totally sure, but I think these used to be radio direction finders…

  23. Sine1040 says:

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the nice comment.

    I have put the last unit up for auction :

  24. pRtkL xLr8r says:

    OMG…spit my coffee out when I saw the auction price!

  25. adam says:

    sine1040 are you seriously getting almost 500$ for these?? I mean they are pretty freaking cool but 500$ cool I dont know. Either way really sweet idea man I love the way they look.

  26. Henrik says:

    So awsome, i would pay more than that….

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