After obtaining a Spiralite Monopak Model S flash unit from an estate sale, Igor Afanasyev let it “ripen” for some time in a pile of random stuff. Afanasyev (unlike many hackers with our random parts piles) finally decided to turn it into something useful — a desktop clock.
The resulting build resembles an old TV, or perhaps a radio of some sort. This look is enhanced by mid-century modern-style legs that he designed for it, along with the faux antenna made with printed parts and a metal ring. The unit’s clear plastic cover has a linear pattern meant to diffuse the flash. This gives it a kind of glitch effect when showing numbers, that evokes the way CRT monitors sometimes displayed artifacts when something wasn’t quite right.
Computing power for the device is provided by a Pro Micro, and the digits are displayed on a couple of .96” OLED screens. As these use an I2C interface, they are both controlled by a pair of data lines from the Arduino; however, a selection resistor had to be re-soldered in order to allow proper addressing. No RTC module is listed on the project’s build log, so time will likely need to be reset intermittently.
Fortunately, manual setting functionality is provided for by a rotary encoder, and Afanasyev has even written a script to send it the time from his computer , making the task very easy!