Sunday, November 28, 2010

DIY hard drive clock (part 12)

Hard drive clock. Final part.

Well, unit is pretty much completed. Hard drive platters are humming a little bit but I wouldn't consider it as significant flaw. Overall it's a very impressive gadget and it shows time as well.

As final visual touch I placed blue power LED indicator behind front panel grid.
Front panel's custom label is made using heat toner transfer technology. It works the same way as for PCB fabrication.
For protection aluminum panel is covered with matte acrylic lacquer.

DIY hard drive clock (part 11)

Hard drive clock cover.

Old cover for hard drive case had to be modified to suit new purpose of reworked device.

4" diameter clock window is manually cut in cover.
Although cover is made from light and relatively soft alloy but it was too tough for manual nibbler so I had to drill series of 1/8" holes along circle then rip out round window and finally smooth edges with file. 

Whole cover repainted flat black and covered with transparent acrylic lacquer for additional protection.  

Illuminated clock dial is attached to cover with hot glue.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

DIY hard drive clock (part 10)

Illuminated clock dial.

Main purpose of clock dial is to seal hole and keep dust away from sensitive mechanical parts.

At first it was intended to be just a dust cover but, since whole device resembles a mechanical clock, I've added simplified hour marks to it.  

Hour marks are milled using drill press converted into manual mill by adding x-y table.
Edge-lit technology applied to acrylic dial make it much more attractive (well, next model may include second edge-lit acrylic layer with engraved digits).

Dial is illuminated by 4 high intensity blue 3mm LEDs embedded into its sides.
Each LED is inserted into short slot and secured with hot glue.
All four LEDs are wired in series with resistor and connected to 12V circuit.
To achieve comfortable soft brightness, LEDs current is limited to 5mA by 470 Ohm resistor.

Friday, November 19, 2010

DIY hard drive clock (part 9)

Front panel assembly.

Front panel consist of two pieces: plastic support panel and aluminum faceplate separated by wooden spacers.

Support panel is cut from plastic cover of old printer. Panel holds controller board and illuminated control buttons board.

Faceplate is made from scrap aluminum and fastened to support panel with machine screws. 

To keep various power cables and control wires in order improvised wire holders made from 1/4" PVC drain tubing are used. Holders are attached to panel and chassis with hot glue.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DIY hard drive clock (part 8)

Visual enhancement.

This step may be considered as optional but it increases contrast of image being generated and improves overall visual appearance.

Light emitting part of hard drive is completely shielded by custom made cover.
Ambient reflected light and unwanted color glare are blocked by cover so light that can be seen by observer is coming only through slot cut in platter.

Cover for hard drive is made from plastic case of old printer, combined with part of food container .
Parts of cover are hotglued together and painted flat black.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

DIY hard drive clock (part 7)

Assembling unit

For easy maintenance all electrical interconnections between assemblies are implemented with flexible cables and connectors.
To center hard drive on a chassis I had to reposition existing power supply board. 

To lover noise and vibration to minimal level I reused rubber shock absorbers from old computer. Shock absorbers are mounted on custom brackets and fastened to hard drive frame.

Four machine screws are installed onto chassis to serve as mounting posts for shock absorbers.