How to convert an old telephone box into a steampunk analog clock

steampunk analog clock

If you ask people what is the best thing they can do with old stuff? Majority of the replies would be to throw away. But some people have a better option. They say that they will re cycle the old stuff to build something unique and innovative. What a creative thought! In this post you will be learning how to recycle one of your old stuff.

Telephones are turning obsolete as mobile phones such as iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Windows Mobile are taking the market. The question comes in the mind is – what can you do with your old telephone box? Well, this post will answer your question. In this post you will learn about recycling an old telephone box into an analog clock. You will learn about the difficulty level of the task, the time required to do so, different resources you will require, estimate cost of the task, a step by step guide to carry out the task, answers to some frequently asked questions, some quick tips and things to watch out for so that you do not harm yourself.

1. Difficulty level

The difficulty level of converting an old telephone box into a steampunk analog clock is moderate – which means you will require some basic technical knowledge to carry out the task.

2. Time required

The time required to upcycle your old telephone box into an analog clock totally depends upon your skills. A highly skilled person can finish the task much faster than a novice.

3. Resources required

You will require the following resources to convert your old telephone box into an analog clock:

A. An old telephone box

B. 3 round analog meters

C. A five-way switch

D. Arduino Mega

E. Chronodot, a little dip format board

F. Micro OLED 128 by 4D systems

G. Capacitive touch sensor board MPR121

H. Three small FETs to drive the gauges
I. Three 10k trimpots to trim the PWM output to the gauges
J. Watch crystal for the viewport
K. Clock wind up mechanism made from old clock parts

L. Small microswitch for wind up mechanism
M. Custom trim hardware

N. Electroluminescent sheet

O. Avery laser printer clear sticker sheets

P. 1.5 inches diameter speaker

Q. Various wires, cables, screws, grommets, caps

4. Estimate cost

The estimate cost of the project depends upon the availability of the material.

5. Instructions

Step – 1 : Understand the dangers

If you do not have much technical knowledge ensure that there is someone which you who has the technical knowledge. The project involves using tools so you should be aware of the various dangers associated with each tool and how to use it properly.

Step – 2 : Gather the resources

In this step you need to gather and collect all the resources which are listed in the ” resources required ” section. It is important to gather all the resources beforehand so that we do not have to go and look around for the stuff we need, which will only waste the time.

Step – 3 : The gauges

To use the gauges, you need to figure out how many amps ( milliamps) are required to move the needle to a full scale. If it requires 1 milliamp, you can apply 5V to move the scale. You need to use Arduino to do this using a square wave for the project.

Step – 4 : Make it tick

With the help of Arduino, the gauge is moving, but we need it to tick. So you can use another code in Arduino to make the moving delay for a second and then call the function to update the gauge. In this way the gauge will start to tick.

Step – 5 : Real time clock chip

Now you need to find a DS3231 clock chip, which you can easily get from chronodot, a little dip format board. This chip will help to keep the month date day of the week and year.

Step – 6 : Talk to the real time clock

Now you need to connect the chronodot, the little dip format board to a suitable power source and then connect it to the Arduino. You need to update a code to Arduino to get it talking to the DS3231 chip.

Step – 7 : Putting it a bit together

Now we are set up to read the time from the real time clock and we can also move the gauges. Now we need to convert the real time clock’s reading so that the gauges update themselves with the same value. Here you can read the real time clock and update the gauge every second. In this way the gauge will start to update every second.

Step – 8 : Using the real time clock to drive the gauges

Now that you have connected the real time clock and the Arduino, you need to read the data from the clock, convert the same into numbers to be sent to gauges to display the time. You can do this by using the codes in Arduino.

Step – 9 : Clad the model

Now you can clad the whole model into the telephone box to give it the final shape.

6. Frequently asked questions

a. Can I use any other encoding language other than Arduino?

Ans: Yes, you can. But only if it is able to do what Arduino can.

b. Can I use any other stuff instead of a telephone box?

Ans: The basic thing behind the project is to upcycle old stuff, so you can use any other stuff instead of telephone box.

7. Quick tips

a. Be careful while coding in Arduino.

b. Make sure you have gathered all the resources required

8. Things to watch out for

a. Be careful while using tools.

b. A wrong code in Arduino can drive you crazy. So be careful while coding in Arduino

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