The clock uses a PIC16F1829 for timekeeping and display control, and uses 3 x eBay MAX7219 matricies for an 8 x 24 display. It has a LDR based light sensor for auto dimming, and has a special animation feature that displays between 0530hrs and 0630hrs to show him it's OK to wake up.

Power is delivered from the 4 watt solar panel into the 12 volt SLA, with a 14 volt zener used to prevent overcharging. An additional diode prevents the solar panel discharging the battery. From there a fused feed is taken to the clock where it is fed to a DC-DC converter to supply the PIC and the display. There is provision for battery clock backup but this is not used at the moment.

The bottom red blocks were hollowed out (badly) with a dremel and then most of the other parts were hot glued together.

The display was superglued and then soldered together, with some theatrical lighting gel used as a filter. The gel was expoxied onto the display, and proved quite sucessful. During development the display was plugged in using normal .1 inch headers but for final assembly I connected it with enamelled copper wire.

I like to salvage and re-use components hence my use of a modular jack telephone lead for power. Looks much better than old speaker wire! The 32kHz crystal and caps were from an old motherboard whilst the theatrical gel and capacitors were from Reverse Garbage, a recycling shop.

Power use is approx 300mW at minimum brightness, and 1W at full brightness.