It’s a pretty rare thing for me to talk about something like the DIY Ping Pong Ball LED Clock, because it isn’t a product. It’s a set of instructions that you can follow to make your own! Posted on the Instructables website (owned by Autodesk), this nifty clock comes from the mind of a tinkerer by the username ‘thomasj152’. The clock uses a series of circular pixels, created by Ping Pong balls that have LEDs within them. The spherical shape of the balls means the pixels are arranged in a hexagonal layout (which makes for a pretty unique font style when you get numbers to flash on it), and a wooden frame holds the entire unit together, balls, batteries, circuit board and all.

While I’m not going to lay down the step-by-step instructions here (you can head to the Instructables page to check it out), the process is relatively simple and does involve power tools. The individual ping pong balls need to be truncated (chopped) a little below the midline, before being glued together in their hexagonal layout. They’re then fitted into a frame, and mounted on a backplate that has the LEDs and Arduino board assembled in. The LEDs and Ping Pong balls don’t need to align perfectly, because the diffusive property of the plastic used in the ping pong balls will ensure the entire ball illuminates almost evenly like a glowing orb. Just make sure when you’re cutting up the ping pong balls, you take the logo out, because you don’t want that shining on your clock!

An Arduino Nano microcontroller takes care of the software end, and all you need to do is run the script provided on the Instructables site to get your clock running. Yes, that rainbow background is built right into the code, although there’s one with just the numbers too. Makes for a nice quirk-punk addition to your workspace, or even a very meaningful gift to a family member or a friend!

Designer: thomasj152

Click Here to Make Your Own!

Click Here to Make Your Own!

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