LED clock lights up a dead Mac Mini

[Professor Shadoko's] Mac Mini died. But since the case designs on Apple products are half the reason to buy them, he decided to reuse the enclosure by turning it into this clock (translated).

As with the binary clock we saw yesterday, this one uses a bunch of LEDs to display the time, but it does it in a way that’s a bit more readable if you know what you’re looking for. The face has been divided up into two columns. On the left is hours, then minutes and seconds in increments of five. To the right is AM/PM, with minutes and seconds in increments of one. If we’re doing this right, the time seen above is 10:23:42 PM on April 28th, 2012. The white LEDs below the date act as a digital pendulum, scrolling left and right as the seconds tick by.

The display uses two MAX7219 LED drivers to control the grid which is build on a big hunk of protoboard. An Arduino ties the whole system together with a Chonodot for accurate time keeping. There’s even an ambient light sensor which adjusts the LED intensity to make this readable in direct sun, or the dark of night. See a demo clip embedded after the break.

Comments

  1. bio says:

    i love the idea of binary clocks and i own one my self but for me personally when i want the time i want to look and intently know the time and go back to working … not look, calculate, smile and feel proud of my self than go back to what i was doing :P
    than again math was not my favorite subject

  2. Jarel says:

    The most innovative use of a Mac Mini ever!

  3. Pr. Shadoko says:

    Thank you!

    Actually, it’s not a binary clock, time is diplayed almost as on a regular clock with 12 digits. With a little practice it’s not that hard to read ;)

  4. Coda says:

    I was wondering what to do with my dead PPC mini, but I’ve already built a binary clock.

  5. Pr. Shadoko says:

    I’ve added soud, sampling my XIXth-century clock :) The clock now rings the hours and half-hours. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDlG3dIIwWM&feature=youtu.be&t=2m08s

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