Laser Time Writer
The pantograph of the sand clock
Writes the time on phosphorescent
paper with the help of a laser.
The charm of the Elektor Sand Clock is irresistible; ladies, gents, enthusiasts and those normally more blase, technophiles and technophobes, young (especially) and those not so young, everyone, when they see it, stops, speechless, before a wide grin crosses their face. Watching this robot write the time in the sand has a strange calming effect on us.

The Laser Time Writer is silent

This calm is disrupted every minute when two vibrator motors are used to shake the sandbox of this automaton to erase the time before it is written anew.

This is why Elektor Labs thought of replacing the stylus and that sand by a small laser module (< 5V) and a sheet of phosphorescent self-adhesive paper (glow-in-the-dark sticker material): the result is a bright display with good contrast, perfectly readable from afar, not lacking in charm, and because the time now disappears by itself, perfectly silent.

This video shows how to modify a completed sand clock by means of the upgrade kit and transform it into a laser clock.

The new version of the kit is equipped with a button which allows the automatic update of the time display with a manual command.

The new software also inverts the display compared to the sand clock; now the figures are no longer viewed from the mechanism side, through the pantograph, but from the outside.