Sure SSDs are great, because they’re fast, sturdy, and quiet. But do you ever feel like it’s a little too quiet around your computer?
The HDD Clicker is little bit of retro-inspired fun that was cooked up by enthusiast Matthias Werner. Not only does it replicate the sounds of a spinning hard drive… but it plays sounds when your SSD is actually reading or writing data.
So it’s not only nostalgic, but actually kind of useful. It provides an audio indicator to let you know when your SSD is working.
Its design is fairly straightforward. There’s a four-pin header that accepts power via a Mini-Molex connector, input and output headers for a hard drive LED, a small piezo and an LED.
Processing is handled by an ATTiny microcontroller. When the SSD performs read or write operations, the computer passes a signal to the activity LED. It’s intercepted by the ATTiny along the way, which triggers the piezo.
The result, as you can hear in this demo video around the 2:25 mark, is impressively accurate.
It reminds me a bit of the first 5.25″ Quantum Bigfoot drive I encountered while working as a service tech at a retail store. That thing had room for plenty of files, but it ran hot and loud.
And yet as I sit here typing out this post on a fanless computer that boots to an SSD in a more or less silent office part of me thinks it might be kind of fun to hear it click and clack away as it launches programs and saves files. The other part of me thinks I hear plenty of hard drive noise throughout the day whenever I’m within earshot of my NAS box.
If you’re intrigued enough to build your own, this page and the demo video above will get you headed in the right direction. If you’d rather just buy a finished product, you’re in luck. A Clicker based on Werner’s design will be on sale shortly over at Serdashop for about $25.