When I purchase a new device, one of the first things I do is take it apart to see how it works, see if there's anything interesting going on inside. There's a lot to learn from doing this and as the Maker Mantra goes - if you can't open it you don't really own it.
Inside this alarm are all the standard parts you get in any $10-$20 alarm clock. I was a little dissapointed to realize I paid four times that amount for an alarm clock WITH a light bulb that wouldn't look out of place on a Christmas tree. Now, I'm super motivated to remake it.Functional design basics
'"Security mode", Automatically turns the lamp on at random intervals to give burglars the impression that someone is at home....
I highly doubt this will deter any burglar worth his salt.
Seriously manufacturer... just because you can incorporate a particular feature doesn't mean you should. The more complex a device is, the harder it is to use it. When redesigning something ask yourself these questions;
1) What exactly is this feature?
2) How often will I use this feature?
3) With 'less is more' in mind, can I remove this feature and have the device/product still meet my needs?Go where no average consumer has gone before:
As I dismantled the device, I was happy to find that it would be relatively easy to solder in new switches for the front panel. The Volume and Tuner controls are going to be a little trickier but not impossible. The Tuner display and related cogs are going to be difficult and then it struck me! I only ever listen to one radio station, the local NPR: Boston's WBUR
. A second, closer look at the tuner control told me it was going to be more difficult to convert than previously anticipated. That sealed the deal - one less 'feature'... this radio is going to be a 1 trick pony with me waking up to Tom Ashbrook covering the world's events.
With the research expedition into the clock complete, I reassembled the parts and moved on to prototyping the new design.List of features and functions I need to carry forward into the new design:
Time: 7 segment display & am/pm LED
Light: will require a holder
Sun up setting: momentary switch
Sun down setting: momentary switch
Alarm or time set: momentary
Alarm on/off: momentary & LED
SpeakerList of features and functions being deleted:
Snooze. (I abhor this feature on any alarm and its the point of many a debate with my wife!! (o;)
Radio Buzzer selector. This will always be set to radio as I hate buzzersReferences
For more information on the alarm clock itself;http://www.soleilsunalarm.com/http://shop.ebay.com/items/_W0QQ_nkwZsoleilQ20alarmQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZ
How to take apart electronicshttp://www.instructables.com/tag/?sort=none&q=how%20to%20take%20apart%20electronics
Understanding the different types of switcheshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch