PCB Art Forms the Face of This Alarm Clock




You may read this title and note that there’s nothing inherently special about an alarm clock that runs on a PCB. Upon further examination, however, you’ll find Scott Stack’s alarm clock not only uses a PCB to connect everything, but to form an artistic design for the face itself. Stack observed that PCBs without solder mask applied are relatively translucent, and after seeing a few YouTube videos about making PCBs at home, the idea for this unique piece was born.

The clock features four digits etched into the face, with a normal 7-segment display shining through from the back. On top of the numbers, mountains are shown in this photo-etched solder mask, with RGB LEDs in back of the clear area to indicate visually what time it is. He demonstrates its functionality in the video below, as he scrolls through the time with the two setting buttons on top. The sky changes from a semi-random whitish color, to an orange sunset, then finally turns off. It also includes an alarm, with a snooze button made from a mechanical keyboard key.

Besides the mountains, the other visual decoration on the face of this clock is the circuit itself. He chose a PIC18F46J50 microcontroller partially because he had one lying around, and for the fact that it features a built-in RTC — so no extra work to keep things accurate.

More info on the build, such as code, a BOM, PCB and enclosure design files are available on the project’s write-up.


PCB Art Forms the Face of This Alarm Clock was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: PCB Art Forms the Face of This Alarm Clock
Author: Jeremy S. Cook