- Sunrise simulation
USB charge port(automatically identifying required charge protocol using TPS251x)
- It should be discouraged to take a smartphone or tablet to your bedroom. Give your mind some rest.
- Large LED display
- readable without glasses
- Independently configurable display brightness settings for day & night
- User configurable level to switch between day & night mode.
- Light from LED-array and buttons can be fully turned off at night. Waving at the clock will turn them on again.
- Rubber feet (so it doesn't slide from your closet)
- Wake-up sound from MP3 (2.5W in a 4ohm speaker)
- One-handed configuration
- Backup supply in case of power outage, powerful enough to sound the alarm.
- Powered by USB adapter. These are easy to get.
- USB-B connector for power. Even your grandma will be able to plug this in. The same can not be said from a USB micro connector, used on the Blaupunkt BT16CLOCK (that's not the only reason to avoid this clock. Try to turn on the FM radio without using the manual. Good luck... The UI is not very intuitive.) Update (Feb 12 2019) : Micro USB of BT16CLOCK has bad connection.
Apparently Craig Bonsignore had about the same annoyances with standard clocks, that's why he built his own version. I'll start off from that design: adding features I miss and scraping off costs where needed.
Future extensions (unplanned)
- Wake up module, to be placed under the pillow. Its vibrations will wake you, even if you're deaf. It's a nice alternative to a very loud alarm which you're bed partner is not likely to appreciate.
- Wireless functionality to sync slave clocks around the house. Bluetooth GATT CTS (Current Time Service) may be of some use here.
- Microcontroller platform selection
- Audio module
- Rev.0: IO Panel : LCDs, switches, IO expansion, LED array, light sensor all integrated on one PCB
- Rev.1: Modular approach : IO panel divided into separate, reusable modules
Five options for setting time have been considered:
- Long wave time signal
- DCF (EU), MSF (UK), WWVB (US)
- cheap modules only have a few 100km range.
- more future proof than RDS.
- signal easily disturbed by electronics in the vicinity (laptop, SMPS, ...) .
- no user interaction required
- indoor use possible
- EOL in Western Europe
- Timestamp only sent once a minute. When the reception quality is bad, you might have to wait some minutes to get the correct time.
NTP: requires input of SSID & WPA-key to the alarm clock. The most elegant way seems to add a QR-code on your device, showing its preferably unique SSID & WPA-key. The users scan this QR-code to connect their phone to the device's AP. Upon scanning, the smart phone opens a webpage. This webpage contains a list where you can select the SSID of your home network. Directly below it, there's a text box where you can type the corresponding WPA-key. Upon saving the settings, you're done. The pitfall is that the browser on your smart phone doesn't run as a root user, so it has no access to your wifi credentials. This requires the user to copy them manually. This can be a bit of a burden, leading to complaining users: "Where's the WPA-key again?", "Pff, such a long key..." and "How do I type these strange characters?..." Instead of putting your device in AP mode, you could transfer wifi credentials through NFC, audio, sound or through light.
I don't see any benefit in these methods...