pencil case ahmed clock

UPDATE: The model of the clock is more around mid 80’s than mid 70’s. From Artvoice:

* Correction: A reader and commenter, Joe Donaldson, tracked down the clock in a Radio Shack catalog dated 1986. It’s likely that my guess of mid-to-late 70s was off by a bit, and it’s now obvious it was a model that was for sale in the mid 80s. Though it doesn’t really change the point, I want to post this correction here for accuracy sake and thank Joe for the heads up.

You all know about the boy genius MIT praised and who Obama invited to the White House. Well, somebody went through the trouble of checking out Ahmed’s clock. Turns out it is probably a digital clock from the 1970’s. One like it was available on eBay.

A curious engineer watched the YouTube video interview of Ahmed and wanted to know more about the clock. This is what he discovered:

Reverse Engineering Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock… and Ourselves.

So, this story about a 14 year old boy in Texas that was arrested on suspicion of creating a bomb hoax (who, apparently just wanted to show off his latest electronics project to his teachers) that has blown up (no pun intended) all over the news and social media, caught my attention immediately. Not because of his race, or his religion, the seeming absurdity of the situation, the emotionally charged photo of a young boy in a NASA t-shirt being led off in hand cuffs, the hash tags, the presidential response… no, none of that. I’m an electronics geek. I was interested in the clock! I wanted to figure out what he had come up with.

I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this – there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock.

For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics.

So I turned to eBay, searching for vintage alarm clocks. It only took a minute to locate Ahmed’s clock. See this eBay listing, up at the time of this writing. Amhed’s clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 756

For one last bit of confirmation, I located the pencil box Ahmed used for his project. During this video interview he again claims it was his “invention” and that he “made” the device – but the important thing at the moment, at 1:13, we see him showing the pencil box on his computer screen. Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly.

Vaultz Locking Pencil Box, 8.25 x 5.5 x 2.5 Inches, Black (VZ01479)

The engineer who made this analysis is critical of the overreaction but has to conclude:

…is it possible, that maybe, just maybe, this was actually a hoax bomb? A silly prank that was taken the wrong way? That the media then ran with, and everyone else got carried away? Maybe there wasn’t even any racial or religious bias on the parts of the teachers and police.

It is silly to think this was an innocent prank. This is a setup.

Some kids who didn’t get invited tothe White House:

So It’s Come To This: Seven High School Students Arrested For Throwing… Water Balloons

Courtni Webb, San Francisco High School Senior, Suspended For Writing Poem About Sandy Hook Shooting

Kiera Wilmot, Teen Arrested In Botched Science Experiment, Haunted By Felony Record

7-Year-Old Suspended For Making a ‘Gun’ Out of His Breakfast

Girl’s arrest for doodling raises concerns about zero tolerance

Those kids’ actions were totally innocent.

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30 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Kitten says:

    Well, well, well…

    Excellent research, Pat_S. I wonder what the WH will do now? Staying tuned to see what unfolds…as the clock ticks closer to Obama throwing Ahmed and his fake clock under the bus because he’s of no political use to him anymore.

  2. mdannyg says:

    It’s outrageous how quickly the white house and everyone reacted to this story, all for the sake of indimidating anyone who dares to be concerned about possible terrorism. What happened to “if you see something, say something”?

  3. Cathode Rays says:

    It’s the schools that are dangerous — the liberal vermin that are in charge of them.

  4. Vintageport says:

    Hmmm…let’s see, one of these is a clock, the other is a test run. And the parents are part of the problem, bet on it.

  5. Dave says:

    Muslim mischief.

  6. Maynard says:

    So is Obama gonna tell him, “You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”?

  7. dennisl59 says:

    Thanks for the research Pat. This whole incident stinks. Nothing was ‘invented’, it was all ‘re-purposed’ to create the impression of a bomb timer. Period. The gullibility, ignorance and sheer stupidity of the American public never ceases to amaze me. What’s next? A ‘science project’ for the his ‘invention’ of The Wheel?

    posted 9/19 856am Texas[What Time Is It?]Time

  8. Maynard says:

    A tech question: The news reports say Ahmed’s engineering teacher was fine with the clock, but trouble started when it beeped during English class, drawing the teacher’s attention and then the police report. But these clocks run on AC current, and do nothing visible or audible when not plugged in; the battery is only to keep the time while unplugged. So unless there was some other noisemaker, this wouldn’t beep during class unless the kid had a way to plug it in. Did he? How/why was this unit powered up during English?

    • Pat_S says:

      According to the police, he plugged in the clock during English class.

      So he evidently was getting no reaction walking around the school with what he calls his “invention”. Why did he choose to plug it in during English class? Plus the timer had to be set in order for the clock to beep.

      According to Irving police, Ahmed’s case contained a digital clock that the student had taken apart and rearranged. Police said the student had the briefcase in his English class, where he plugged it into an electrical outlet and it started to make noise.

      Ahmed told WFAA that his English teacher confiscated his case. A few hours later, the student said the principal and school resource officer pulled him out of class and questioned the high school freshman.

      Officers said Ahmed was being “passive aggressive” in his answers to their questions, and didn’t have a “reasonable answer” as to what he was doing with the case. Investigators said the student told them that it was just a clock that he was messing around with.

      “We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only say it was a clock. He didn’t offer any explanation as to what it was for, why he created this device, why he brought it to school,” said James McLellan, Irving Police.

      • Maynard says:

        I saw another allegation — dunno if it was authoritative — that the “clock” was in fact a countdown timer. If so, in its suitcase package, the thing would have looked exactly like a bomb in one of those cartoonish action movies, the ones where the hero pulls a wire and causes it to stop counting down 1 second before it triggers.

        I’m flashing back to that news story a few years ago about that jackass who faked having his young son carried away in a balloon, in order to gain his 15 minutes of fame. And I’m also thinking of the “airport scene” in “Fight Club”, where Edward Norton is informed that his luggage was pulled because it was suspicious, and gets in a ludicrous discussion with an airport security officer about what constitutes “suspicious” (does it tick? does it buzz?) and what class of household devices might emit suspicious sounds.

  9. robscaffe says:

    Flying Imams all over again.
    As long as Obama can use this to take a cheap shot at the American people, why let facts or motives get in the way.

  10. strider says:

    Where is the abstract explaining purpose, methods, outcome of secreting a timing device in a briefcase? This was in a educational environment.

    • Maynard says:

      Hey, when I was a kid, I would have thought it a great lark to build something that looked like a little suitcase bomb out of an action movie. Heck, never mind “would have”; I did that sort of stuff! No political motive; it was just neat. And we played with toy guns and ate lard and sugar and all the other don’t-get-me-started stuff. That was before we, in our modern enlightenment, launched the war on boyhood and manhood. So I don’t see anything inherently wrong with what little Ahmed did, in that the act itself could have been innocent enough; however looking at the full context, it’s looking less and less innocent.

  11. ancientwrrior says:

    Children can’t be children anymore, but little automatons. We’re all just chess pieces on a world sized chess board for the enlightened masters to move around for their own purposes.

  12. Cathode Rays says:

    I don’t know — might have been to quick to point to lib-teacher hysterics. Dave might be right. The parents act like activists screaming DISCRIMINATION!

  13. dennisl59 says:

    Another follow up story about ‘Clock Boy’

    Who didn’t see this coming?

    posted 10/15 909am Texas[What Time Is It Again?]Time

  14. dennisl59 says:

    Clock Boy gets ‘high 5’ from N.Y. Muslim Cop Society:

    posted 10/16 620pm Texas[Pajama Boy]Time

  15. dennisl59 says:

    We never pass up a chance for a ‘Clock Boy’ update. So here you go:

    posted 10/18 759pm Texas[Tick Tock]Time

  16. dennisl59 says:

    ‘Clock Boy’ gets on the White House grounds:

    posted 10/19 637pm Texas[Photo Op]Time

  17. dennisl59 says:

    ‘Clock Boy’ says No to M.I.T., Yes to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    posted 10/20 1052pm Texas[No Surprise]Time

  18. dennisl59 says:

    It’s Official~! ‘Clock Boy’ and Family moving out of Texas~! Good Riddance~!

    posted 10/21 655am Texas[Radio Shack]Time

  19. dennisl59 says:

    Literally a Fat Headed California Congressman sticks his big nose into Texas’ business.

    posted 10/22 929am Texas[Back Off Pissant]Time

  20. dennisl59 says:

    Just when you think you’ve heard the last of ‘Clock Boy’, this story pops:

    posted 10/23 312pm Texas[It’s a Dry Heat]Time

  21. dennisl59 says:

    Well, well, well…The Little Pissant ‘Clock Boy’ finally picked up his ‘invention’…

    We can only hope the next story about this fraud is him getting 100 lashes for heresy.

    posted 10/24 1004am Texas[Good Riddance!]Time

  22. dennisl59 says:

    And just when I thought we’d hear or read the last of the ‘Clock Boy’, Time Magazine does this:

    posted 10/28 1018am Texas[The Media is the Enemy of The People]Time

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