The Vetinari Clock is easy to assemble, and requires only basic soldering skills.

To make the Vetinari clock, you will first solder the control board PCB, which contains the microcontroller that will drive the clock mechanism.

After this is finished, we will modify the clock mechanism of a wall clock to add two wires that will be attached to the PCB board, which will then take care of controlling the clock. (instructions are for the clock that is available as a bundle with the PCB, but if you are modifying another clock mechanism, it should be roughly the same).


To assemble this kit, you will need:

  • A soldering iron
  • Solder
  • A wire cutter (a diagonal type that allows you to cut the wires as close to the soldering points as possible is best)
  • Helping hands or clips to hold the PCB in place when soldering (a vise will also work)
  • Pinchers


  • A multimeter
  • Desoldering wick
  • Solder sucker
  • Protective glasses

See the equipment page for more details.


First, familiarize yourself with the PCB.

Step 1

There are three resistors included. One 10kΩ (Brown, Black, Orange, Gold)and two 47Ω (Yellow, Violet, Black, Gold). The resistors can be identified by the color pattern of the stripes, so the one with the unique pattern will be the 10kΩ one.

Let us solder the 10kΩ (Brown, Black, Orange, Gold) resistor first. It goes to R3.

To insert the resistor, first bend the legs 90 degrees, and then insert each leg into the matching holes in the PCB. Orientation doesn't matter.

Bend the legs of the resistor outwards slightly to make sure it doesn't fall out when you turn the board over to solder.

Carefully solder each of the two points, and then use your wire clipper to clip off the excess wire.

Now, let us solder the two 47Ω (Yellow, Violet, Black, Gold) resistors, that go to R1 and R2. They are soldered in the same way as R3.

Here is how the PCB will look with all three resistors soldered:

Step 2

Next are the two 1N4001 diodes. They go on the right side of the board.

Make sure orientation is correct: The white stripe on the diode should line up with the stripe on the PCB footprint.

They are soldered in the same way as the resistors, but since the wires are thicker they may be harder to align flat against the PCB board. If you are having trouble, try to pull at the wires with a pincher.

Step 3

Now find the small blue 0.1µF ceramic capacitor. It goes to C1. Orientation doesn't matter for this component.

Solder and clip off the remainder of the legs.

Step 4

Next is the 32KHz crystal. It is not polarized, so the orientation doesn't matter. Bend the legs 90 degrees and insert it into the footprint.

Step 5

Place the 8-pin IC socket.

Make sure it is oriented so that the half-circle indentation matches the half-circle drawing on the PCB.

The component may fall out when you turn the board over to solder. You may use a small piece of masking tape or similar to hold it in place.

Step 6

Find the 10µF electrolytic capacitor.

Electrolytic Capacitors are polarized and must be inserted the correct way. The long leg goes in the square hole. The short leg goes in the round hole (marked with a minus sign)

Step 7

Insert the microcontroller into the socket. It may be neccesary to bend the legs inward slightly to make it fit.

Make sure it is oriented so that the dot is aligned with the half-circle indentation on the socket.

Step 8

Find the battery holder. The red wire should be soldered to the hole marked VCC on the PCB and the black wire to the hole marked GND.

Depending on where you want to mount the battery holder, it may be a good idea to shorten the wires a bit before soldering them onto the PCB.

To shorten the wires, first cut them to the desired length, then strip off a bit of the rubber coating. Twist the bare wire to make it stick together, and then apply a little bit of solder to each exposed part. Finally solder to the PCB board.

Next, let us complete the clock mechanism modification.

The clocks we bundle periodically go out of production, so which clock is in your kit depends on when you ordered it.

NEW clock, in kits shipped starting April 2018

OLD clock, in kits between January 2014 and March 2018

OLD clock, in all kits shipped until December 2013