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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tõnis

Electromagnet Clock


Building clocks fascinates me and when I saw a PCB electromagnet clock project in Instructables I decided that I would like to try it too. Additionally, I used the opportunity and learned a new PCB development software.

Project summary

In this project I designed an electromagnet clock built with PCBs and a 3d printer.

My responsibilities

  • Design and assemble the PCBs

  • Program the clock

  • Design the dial system

  • Build the whole clock

  • Test and adjustments


The PCB design was relatively simple, as I was able to use the provided schematics. I modified the design to fit better with my vision of how the whole system could look like. After the design was ready I ordered the PCBs and after a few weeks they arrived.

The sample design had some improvement possibilities that I realized after I was testing the PCBs, thus I added some additional external components to reduce the power consumption and heating issues. The usage of shift registers was new to me and it took some time and testing to get it to work as I intended. In the end I had the working PCBs with suitable software.

The challenging part was the dial system including the magnets. It took me several attempts to find the suitable design that did not have too much friction and was working as intended.

Despite all the single components were working as intended, the whole clock was not successful. The permanent magnets inside each dial were weak, still strong enough to impact the neighboring ones. The distance between the dials was just too short. The dial mechanical assembly could be improved, however since the dial control was not working successfully I decided to stop the project and move on.

The Original idea and code can be found here: Link


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