Introduction: Alarm Clock Modification

In this instructable I am going to show you how to make an alarm clock with a movable speaker. I did this so that I could have the clock on a shelf, but have the speaker near my head so that it will wake me up without disturbing others.

Go to the next step to see what materials and tools you need.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Before we can get down to business there are a few things we need to get.

Here are the materials that we need:
  1. Alarm Clock. I got mine for free at a garage sale, but you could also find one in a thrift store or even get one new. Make sure it is in working order.
  2. Solder.
  3. Small Gauge Speaker Wire. You can use solid or stranded wire. This will go between the speaker and the alarm clock so make it as long as you want.
  4. Shrink Tube. We will need this to insulate connections.

And here are the tools that we need:
  1. Soldering Iron.
  2. Flat and Phillips Screwdrivers.

Once you have that, go to the next step and find out how to take apart your alarm clock.

Step 2: Dissasembling Your Alarm Clock

Now I am going to show you how to disassemble your alarm clock. Now since all alarm clocks are different this step is just a general guide as to how I took apart my alarm cock.
  1. Flip your alarm clock over and locate all of the screws on the bottom.
  2. Remove all of these screws and put them in a container for safe keeping until you are ready to reassemble.
  3. Slowly and carefully lift up the bottom of your alarm clock. Be careful you don't break any wires.
  4. Your alarm clock may open easily or you may have to slide out the circuit board. Because alarm clocks are so different it is hard to say how easy or difficult yours will be.

Once you have your alarm clock open go to the next step to see how to locate and remove your speaker.

Step 3: Locating and Removing the Speaker

Now that you have your alarm clock open, start looking around for a speaker between one and three inches in diameter. Once you find the speaker look around the edges and figure out what is holding it to the plastic case. Sometimes there are screws or it may just be glued, or if you are having a really bad day it will be screwed and glued down. Whether your speaker is glued or screwed it needs to come out, carefully remove the screws or break the glue. Be careful when doing this because your speaker is very fragile. If you somehow break your speaker you can buy a new one from an electronics supply store.

Once you have the speaker removed you need to disconnect the wires from it. Now you could just cut the wires where they connect to the speaker, but since we are going to be reconnecting other wires to the speaker it makes more sense to desolder them. Try to desolder the wires very quickly because the speaker connections are very sensitive to to much heat.

Once you have desoldered the wires you have successfully removed your speaker.

Step 4: Attaching Speaker Wires

Now you need to attach a piece of your speaker wire and attach it to the wires that you just desoldered from the speaker. Follow these steps:
  1. Cut a piece of speaker wire the length of the distance that you want to be able to have your speaker from your alarm clock.
  2. Using your wire cutters split the wires apart at one end.
  3. Strip 3/8 of an inch of insulation off of the ends of both of the wires that you just split.
  4. Strip 3/8 of an inch of insulation off of the wires that you desoldered from the speaker.
  5. Slide pieces of shrink tube over the wires.
  6. Solder one of the wires from your speaker wire onto one of the wires from the speaker.
  7. Solder the other wires together.
  8. Use the shrink tube to insulate both of the connections.
  9. Drill or melt a hole in the side of your clock, and run your speaker wire through it. You may want to tie a not on the inside side of the wire, this will act as a strain relief.

Step 5: Attaching Your Speaker

Now you need to attach the speaker that you removed earlier to the wires that you just attached to the alarm clock. Follow these steps:
  1. Find the loose end of the wires that you just attached to the alarm clock. Split the two wires apart at this end.
  2. Strip 3/8 of an inch of insulation from the ends of these two wires.
  3. Slip shrink tube on top the now stripped wires.
  4. Loop the stripped wire ends around the connectors on the speaker you removed earlier.
  5. Solder the speaker connections. Remember to be quick and careful.
  6. Insulate the connections with shrink tube.

And now you are almost done.

Step 6: Finishing Up

Now you are almost done, all that is left is to do is to put the clock back together and put a grill on the speaker. The speaker grill is actually optional, but I would recommend making one. The reason for the grill is to prevent your speaker from getting damaged.

Before you put the alarm clock back together make sure that all of the wires are tucked away where they belong. Once everything is in the right place screw down the circuit board and then screw the case back together.

Now that your alarm clock is put back together you can test it.

Once you know that your alarm clock works you can make a protective grill for the speaker. I made mine from an old computer fan cover, but you could also use some wire mesh or hardware cloth.

Well now you have an alarm clock that has a removable speaker.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion feel free to post in the comments section.

If you think this is worthy you might give me a vote in the shopbot challenge.


ShopBot Challenge

Participated in the
ShopBot Challenge