Published on November 1st, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Word Clock

Materials: Ribba-Frame, ATmega328-MCU

Description: This hack modifies a Ribba-Frame into a word-clock that displays the time in words.

1. Drill holes in the back-plate of the Ribba-Frame for the LEDs.

2. Solder the LEDs to a grid where anodes and cathodes get shared in each row and column.

3. Make a proof-of-concept on a breadboard. The rows and columns get multiplexed with shift-registers (instructions can easily be found with Google). The ‘heart’ of the clock is a ATmega328-MCU. Time is kept by a real-time-clock and updated by the german DCF77-radio-signal.

4. Solder your working clock on circuit boards, place them in the frame, connect the LEDs.

5. Hang it on the wall!

See more of the Ribba word clock.

~ Christian, Germany

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

13 Responses to Word Clock

  1. joblagz says:

    can i grab a copy of the schematic??

  2. Amazing. Impossible for the “normally abled” I’m guessing. But very cool.

  3. DJinny says:

    I want one!
    AND, by the way, we need to see this more closely!

  4. Brecht says:

    As stated on his blog, it’s not Christian’s design. But at least he could have shared the link to the original qlocktwo:



  5. Allison says:

    I would love to do this except the link or this post should have more detailed instructions. That is a whole lot of wires.

  6. Kendall's Picks says:

    That is one great looking clock!!!

  7. wow says:

    omg… this is cool..
    great job!

  8. mobeldesign says:

    This is hardly an ikea hack but that is one cool clock. I want one! Is this being offered on Etsy or elswhere for sale? If not it should be

  9. Kimmy says:

    Wow, that’s a really cool idea. But frankly I dont have the nerves and time to do this clock. Really great! ♥

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Materials: Ribba-Frame, ATmega328-MCU”

    Methinks that list is not … quite … exhaustive.

    Seriously though, while impressive, this project is not an “Ikea hack”. It is something inserted into an Ikea picture frame (and could be inserted in any other), and in the “Ikea hack” context not really much more than inserting a picture.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wirklich toll! Respekt!

  12. Anonymous says:


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