Abused Hard Drive Becomes POV Clock

We all know that there’s not much to do with an old hard drive. Once you render the platters unreadable and perhaps harvest those powerful magnets, there’s not much left of interest. Unless, of course, you turn the whole thing into a persistence-of-vision clock.

At least that’s what [Leo] did when he created “PendoLux”. The clock itself is pretty simple; like any POV project, it just requires a way to move an array of flashing LEDs back and forth rapidly enough that they can trick the eye into seeing a solid image. [Leo] put the read head mechanism of an old HDD into use for that, after stripping the platters and motor out of it first.

The voice coil and magnet of the head arm are left intact, while a 3D-printed arm carrying seven RGB LEDs replaces the old heads. [Leo] added a small spring to return the arm to a neutral position, and used an Arduino to drive the coil and flash the LEDs. Getting the timing just right was a matter of trial and error; he also needed to eschew the standard LED libraries because of his heavy use of interrupts and used direct addressing instead.

POV clocks may have dropped out of style lately — this hard drive POV clock and a CD-ROM version were posted years ago. But [Leo]’s clock is pretty good looking even for a work in progress, so maybe the style will be making a comeback.

[via Hackaday.io]

7 thoughts on “Abused Hard Drive Becomes POV Clock

    1. It’s been done before, pov hard drive clock with a slit cut in the platter. Only works with metal platters though. Last hard drive i took apart had glass platters with a metalic coating. I droped the platter and it shattered, didn’t know glass platters were a thing till that happened.

  1. Why did I not think of using the head actuator for this before? I think I might have to go grab one of my old drives and try creating this myself without following the original post any more than just the idea 🤔

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