How to make a K'nex solar alarm clock with built in small electronics charger and lockbox.

Picture of How to make a K'nex solar alarm clock with built in small electronics charger and lockbox.
Here it is. The first knex solar alarm clock. This has taken me over a month to design, build, rebuild, perfect, and make instructions. In fact I ran out of parts and had to take several things apart to finish it.

Anyway this project works by harnessing the sun, using the solar motor sold by knex.com. You set the Solar Receiving Unit or (SRU) on your windowsill or wherever the sun first shines in the morning. Then when the sun hits the solar panel it turns on the motor. On the main shaft there is a gray clip that spins and hits a plastic ball, which in turn makes an annoying noise to wake you up.

This also has a power button to turn it off once you are up. Although it is still smart to close the cover on the solar receiving unit when you get up to prevent a burned out motor.
There also some added features. One of them is the small electronics charger. Anything that is thinner than 1-¼ inches will fit in the charging slot. (A Nintendo DSi was used in the pictures.)
Another added feature is the “lockbox” on the bottom. It has a latch on the right side of the door to keep it from opening. It's a great place to store video games, small toys, other knex, etc.

The main down-fall of this device is that the sun does not shine through everyone’s window at the same time every morning. But don’t worry there are still ways to make it work as long as you have a window in your room. Check out the last step. 

*EDIT* This Instructable hit 4.16 stars within 2 hours of posting. 
But It has has gotten up to 5.00 stars a few days after that.

So, what do you think?? Let me know, it only takes a few seconds.
Oh yeah...This is also my twentieth Instructable so yeah!!
I bought the solar power 10 models kit but the motor did
n't have the motor shaft. Where could I get one?
knexman20014 years ago
do you need the solar panel?
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  knexman20014 years ago
Furloy4 years ago
i was the 100 person to rate!!!!!!! five stars muthafucka!!!!!!!
Picture 48.png
KnexFreek5 years ago


 I CAN DO THAT TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :P

wahahahaaaaa! i have 20-20 vision foo!  you go get some glasses! haha :D
hey last year i got an f on my vision test! i had to get new glasses...far sight :P
wahahahaaaaa! i have 20-20 vision foo!  you go get some glasses! haha :D

thats what that small message said :)

how do you get it that small?

 idk lol
 it says wahahahaahaaa! in the beginning of that last message but its hard to tell. also at the end it says : haha :D

(my advice 2 you)

make a video of this and i can garentee the rating will shoot up like a rocket.

Killer~SafeCracker (author)  KnexFreek5 years ago
I know sooo cool.
When you search for knex and go to highest rated it's on the first page.
I know, I have three ibles on the front page.
My stair lift was up there with 4.13, but someone rated it down to make it go to the fourth page. :-(
probably some n00bs who want their stuff rated higher.
i had the same thing happen to me, my shotgun was on the first page with a 4.07 and one 1/2 star rating knocked it down to 3.89 i hate this rating system and haters too ):-(
I'll go rate it up! ⇔®...sweeeeettttt
 awesome!!!! thankyou :D ill do the same for you :)
dude you still here?
 NOw i am :)
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
I know how you feel man. Those haters can be a real pain. :-(
It might be because of the video, I should get a better video camera. But it's most likely ball machine haters.

Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
I saw how high it was and I would say it it was just haters that wanted their ible on top or like you said ball machine haters. But whatever it was it's happens to me all the time. :-(
It's on the first page again. :-)
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago


It actually got up to 4.27, but it's 4.14 now.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
I know, I think  I saw it in third place. :-)
Top rated Ibles 4.JPG
Sorry for the bad quality.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
Late but I can see it. :-P
I'm picky with my pictures, lol.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
Yeah, I'm not too picky but they have to be good.
 *jaw drops*
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  KnexFreek5 years ago
Bigev5 years ago
Finally. A K'nex instructable that is well documented, practical, and above all, not a gun. Fantastic work.

5 Star, and featured to boot.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Bigev5 years ago
Thanks, that means a lot from a non knexer.
Who says I'm not? I've spent hundreds of hours playing the epic game my brother and I invented using K'nex. We had countless adventures using the five basic creatures and a multitude of scenarios unique to our taste.

I almost wrote an instructable on "The Game" but after a few steps, I felt it sounded childish and a bit vague so I quit.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Bigev5 years ago
Oh ok. :-)  Cool.
not to sound indignant of course... K'nex still rule...
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Bigev5 years ago
Thank god its not a gun.
luvit5 years ago
 solar alarm clocks work best when i sleep. in the day. outside.
Killer~SafeCracker (author) 5 years ago
Hey it got featured!! Thanks!! :-)
knexfreak955 years ago

Killer~SafeCracker (author)  knexfreak955 years ago
Pizzapie5005 years ago
This is complete ownage! The only 2 things im worried about is that the motor will get messed up since it keeps on going but a rod is stoping it. Also I want to use this to charge my new psp 3000 (I didn't even have it for a week yet!) but I can't. Is there anyway to connect it so i can charge it? 5*
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Pizzapie5005 years ago
Well I said " it's still smart to close the cover of the SRU". I don't  have a PSP so I'm not sure. Can I see a picture of the charger??
Um.. It's ok... I don't really want to charge it anymore because I want to take this apart so I can build the HeavyCannon v1 so yeah. Thanks anyways.
Pizzapie5005 years ago
On the 2nd sentance it says stat not start.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Pizzapie5005 years ago
can u post a vid in action?
Sorry it's gone now.
Skreetsha5 years ago
Wish i had this motor...
This is big points.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Skreetsha5 years ago
Cool, man. Thanks.
So what do you really think of it??
KnexFreek5 years ago
 5 stars btw
GrandeSwag5 years ago
 Shouldn't it just be called an alarm? It has no clock. 
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  GrandeSwag5 years ago
It's not a "clock" but it does the same thing. It gives you an idea of what time it is when it goes off. I could of added a clock but for one, that has been done before and two it would make the thing bigger. Also look at the ible it has lots of other features to make up for it..
 make another charger thing to add a clock in it
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  smattman225 years ago
Na, I'm fine with the way is now.
That still isn't a reason to call it a clock.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  GrandeSwag5 years ago
For you it isn't for me it is. That's that.
 OK, I'll go change my famas slide show to knex rocket launcher. No difference. 
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  GrandeSwag5 years ago
sprout_less5 years ago
 what makes the noise
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  sprout_less5 years ago
A gray clip knocking a knex ball.
 how loud is it?
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  sprout_less5 years ago

Quite loud really.

Hiyadudez5 years ago
Wow! Nice, definatley in Round 4.

5*, Faved and subscribed (even though I have already subscribed)

Anyway, keep up the excellent woprk!
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Hiyadudez5 years ago
Well, I sure hope I get through. lol
Thanks, I'll try to keep it up, in fact I three more ibles coming soon.
Cant wait!
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Hiyadudez5 years ago
Nice Idea. I can't build because of pieces but I would if I could. 5*
Try putting this in a gun that uses motors....
Thanks, glad you like. I'm not sure what you mean by putting it in a gun.
Oh. I meant a sort of gatling gun or machine gun.
You could, but for one the motor isn't that strong. You would have to really gear it down. Also you could only fire it in the sun.
er.... It would work for an outdoor battle.... maybe?
I really doubt it, The motor isn't strong enough.
one of the few knx things i like!!!
Cool, glad you like it!!!
Mr. Muggle5 years ago
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Mr. Muggle5 years ago
heat-seeker5 years ago
You should have made a lock for the bit underneth.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  heat-seeker5 years ago
Well I could of, but every time I wanted to get in I didn't want to pick it up.
GAG35 years ago
Cool...This will go good with my tower...Hmmmm Nice
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  GAG35 years ago
Cool, glad you like it.
heat-seeker5 years ago
faved rated 5 subscribed this is so cool
i thought you couldn't fave unless you were pro. Well, at least i can't.,..
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Seleziona5 years ago

You can't fave, rate, or sub?? I can, It might be because the time you joined.

Killer~SafeCracker (author)  GAG35 years ago
uhhh! Always me! What's wrong with May?
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Seleziona5 years ago
They did a test run then. Anyone that joined after a set date lost some features.
aaaggghhh! Why did they just have to?
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Seleziona5 years ago
They had to make money to keep the site up.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  heat-seeker5 years ago
Thanks man, it's taken me over a month so it should be good. lol.
Holy something i should not say.
LOL, So you like it??
I do!
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  GAG35 years ago
No because i cant build it just kidding but i seriously cant build it 5*s and favorite!
I know, almost no one can build it. But thanks, I'm glad you like it.
Very cool! So the idea is that once there is sunshine in the room it makes a noise?
Well yes...kinda...Once the sun comes up to a set point it will turn on. The sun doesn't have to fill the room, it only takes a few square inches of light to turn it on.
Right. Well, thats very inventive! Well done.
Thanks, man.
Vynash5 years ago

That's AWESOME 5ed and faved
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Vynash5 years ago
Wow, thanks!!
Yup you're welcome.

*goes off to reply to other comment*
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Vynash5 years ago
smilee5 years ago
Haha! Awesome!
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  smilee5 years ago
Thanks glad you like it. Did you rate??
5 just bought a solar motor too
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  smilee5 years ago
Are you saying you just got a solar motor?? If so cool!!


Killer~SafeCracker (author)  smilee5 years ago
Cool, did you get it on ebay??
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  smilee5 years ago
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  smilee5 years ago
Some dumb haters just rated it down.
Simply. Amazing. 5*
Thanks, glad you like it.
DJ Radio5 years ago
(removed by your mom)
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  DJ Radio5 years ago
Hmm...Nice and pointless.
That always means awesome.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  DJ Radio5 years ago
Oblivitus5 years ago
Great idea, good extra features, 5 stars.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Oblivitus5 years ago
Thanks, that means a lot from you. Did you really rate though??
Woops, I forgot to, now I did. :)
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Oblivitus5 years ago
Thanks. :-)
Seleziona5 years ago
(removed by my mom)
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Seleziona5 years ago
DJ Radio5 years ago
Neat, 5*, this should be featured.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  DJ Radio5 years ago
Ha Ha, Thanks. It took quite a long time to make the instructions. I messed up on the step 12 and saw it on step 20. Had to go back and fix it. lol
travw5 years ago
Amazing. 500*
Too bad I don't have that solar motor... =(
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  travw5 years ago
Thanks!! :-)
I know, only a few have it. In fact I can only think of one guy who has in on ibles.
Yeah, I'd buy one on ebay, but I'm not sure how much they are, and..... Sorry, but I don't think I wanna pay $50 or something just for this.
Still awesome though.
i saw one at a thrift store i go to nad it was only 6.99 but i didnt have any money so i didnt get it
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  bigdylan915 years ago
That's a shame.
whats a shame,that i didnt get it?
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  bigdylan915 years ago
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  travw5 years ago
I don't remember his name. He's the one that made the big train for the TNKIT.
I think I saw one for $9 but that's still a lot.
His name is Kairah.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
Ok, thanks. I couldn't remember. :-)
Shadowman395 years ago
Awesome! 5*
I'll have to get one of those solar motors soon :-).
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
Thanks, :-)
I know, those motors are really cool. You workin' on anything??
Yeah. Cataclysm, and a stair lift that I'm going to post soon.

And also a research paper for school :-(.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
Cool, can you post an update?? I really wanna see how it's goin'
Man, I hate those dumb papers. :-(
I don't really want to post any more updates, because it would ruin lots of surprises. ;-)
I'll send you a PM if you promise not to tell anybody.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  Shadowman395 years ago
Deal, No one will find out.
~KGB~5 years ago
epic!!!!!!!!!!!! 5*
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  ~KGB~5 years ago
Thanks, I'm glad you like it!
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  ~KGB~5 years ago
NYPA5 years ago
Cool! It's just that i don't have a solar motor. Also, who would want to wake up at 5:00 in the summer? I usually sleep in till 10:00 on weekdays.
Killer~SafeCracker (author)  NYPA5 years ago
I would. Anyway if you don't want it as soon as the sun's up, place it farther back in the room. You would just have to play with it till you find the sweet spot.
But I'm glad you like it. :-)