Build a clock using dials instead of hands

[Doug Paradis] found a simple way to use dials instead of hands on a clock. Actually, that’s pretty much the entire hack… use dials instead of hands. He grabbed a battery-operated clock movement from the hobby store, then printed out one dial for hours, another for minutes, robert’s your mother’s brother, and you’ve got a new clock. The case seen above is laser cut, with a window and index line that helps you read the time precisely.

But instead of building a case, we’d like to try this with some retro equipment. The first thing that pops to mind is to replace the disks on a broken strobotuner, like the big-dialed model that Conn used to make. If you’re not down with the bulky music hardware-turned-clock perhaps there’s an old multi-meter, or a panel gauge that can be repurposed for this. We know [Doug] already has some needle meters sitting around that would be perfect for this.

Comments

  1. sprky0 says:

    This same concept was “popular” – or at least somewhat popular around the 70s with wrist watches. They’re called jump watches — predate LED displays by a couple of years.

    This is a really nice build! I love the attention to detail with the burned in logo.

  2. N0LKK says:

    Nice finished product, although some veneer tape on the plywood edges could help some, but it has a nice aged look as it is. Depends on the aesthetics one finds pleasing. Old meter pointers or old clock hands would work well on the larger hour dial, but not so much on the smaller minute dial. Personally I wouldn’t rob a functional classic electrical meter of it’s needle. While I’m an old motor head, I’d have less a problem robbing an old vehicle of it’s instrument panel parts ,if it’s been setting in in a pasture for decades. Most likely they are destined for the scrap yard anyway. A way to show the second hand movement would be nice so one could tell the clock is operating.

  3. meatman says:

    Lots of clocks are made that way. Look at European clocks from the 1920’s most of them did this.

  4. Hirudinea says:

    What he should have done is print the numbers on clear plastic plates and rotate the face around fixed hands on a clock, hey thats a good idea, I’ll be right back, gotta buy an old clock and some plastic!

  5. dhon says:

    Does anyone else feel that the face should spin counter-“clockwise” in order to read it correctly? The time shown looks more like 11:30 than 10:30 to me…

  6. PJ Allen says:

    Looks good to me.
    Keep those dials spinning clockwise.
    If you want a “tick-tock”, add a relay (and a “off” switch for that when it gets offputting.)

  7. Az says:

    I’ve an old casio wrist watch with a face styled like that. Lost the backing to it at a concert though :(

  8. kabukicho2001 says:

    how to reverse clock movement? you need to reverse the motor magnet to avoid looking more like 11:30 than 10:30.

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