Introduction: Duvet Eating Alarm Clock

About: Maker with an obsession for the 8-bit!

This is an alarm clock machine that steals your duvet.

This invention is not nice. It does not make the world a better place nor make life more comfortable. It will not make you happy. When you are your most vulnerable it will thrust you shivering and naked into an unfair world, and get you the hell out of bed!

For some people the noise of alarm clocks is simply not motivation enough to wrench them from the dream world and face reality. They require an incentive that is rather more aggressive and physical. I am one of these people, and this is my solution to the problem of waking up.

Step 1: Gather Stuff

As per usual I didn't do a great deal of planning and just sort of made it up as I went along with things I had kicking about. These things were...

  • 12v Winch
  • Old car battery
  • Bicycle cogs & chain (amazon)
  • Arduino Uno
  • 5V Arduino Relay
  • Chunky 12V double throw relay
  • MDF sheet material
  • 19x32mm battening wood
  • Broom handle

Step 2: Hack a Winch

I picked up a 2000kg winch from eBay and set about taking it apart. I took off the cable and with the removal of a couple of bolts was able to detach the barrel.

Using a junior hacksaw I hacked off one of the flanges so that gear would slip on, and fixed it in place with bolts.

Step 3: Make a Big Barrel Under the Bed

Next up was to make a big barrel under the bed for the duvet to roll onto.

Using MDF I boxed out an area around 600mm deep under the foot of the bed, and the winch was mounted at the back.

Using a little router I cut a bunch of circles out of some 12mm MDF; two at around 150mm diameter, two around 20mm smaller, and one more a little larger than the gear to act as a flange.

I carefully measured our the center point on a couple of the circles and attached another bicycle cog with bolts as shown.

They all got a 23mm hole in the middle (cut with a flat bit) to receive the broom handle axle. A 23mm hole was also cut into the sides of the under the bed box.

Then it was just a case of sliding the discs onto the axle under the bed, then attaching lengths of battening timber between them (with glue and screws) to give the barrel its form.

As a last step I linked the winch to the barrel with a bike chain, and boxed the winch and chain in with MDF to avoid snags.

Step 4: Hack Together the Electrics

Now it was time to get the winch triggering with an alarm clock. My approach to electronics is to smoosh things together in a pretty kack-handed manner, so please feel free to shout in the comments if you know what you're doing.

I cut a strip of metal off a can and attached one bit to the bell, and one bit to the hammer of my alarm clock. So that when the alarm was on I'd get a circuit that an Arduino Uno could work with.

I opened up the winches handset and found two double pole switches. I fed wires from both sides of one of the switches to a double throw relay. There was going to be a fair bit of current going through this so I used a heavy weight relay. The 5V Arduino outputs didn't have enough oomph to switch the big relay so I used a little relay module to complete a circuit with a 9v battery that seemed to do the trick.

Then just some basic code on the Arduino just to tell the winch to run for a few seconds when the alarm pin was triggered. I also threw a big red button into the mix as a cut off for the battery in case of catastrophic failure.

Step 5: Extend the Duvet

The duvet didn't reach to the barrel so it was necessary to extend it a bit. I had a spare sheet that was close to retirement that with a little trimming and stitching did the job nicely.

I attached it to barrel with a wish I'd taken the time to do it in a way that wouldn't be such a pain to take off for cleaning, but c'est la vie.

The final problem was that I'm a cat man, and I didn't want my mog getting mangled because she was sleeping somewhere stupid. So, I finished off the project by making a shelf/cover for the foot on the bed.

And there you have it! If you've enjoyed this 'ible please check out my other projects, or hook a fella up with a follow over on instagram for updates on what I'm tinkering with...

Invention Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Invention Challenge 2017

Home Improvement Contest 2017

Participated in the
Home Improvement Contest 2017