Groundhog Day Alarm Clock

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Introduction: Groundhog Day Alarm Clock

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author ...

The Groundhog Day Alarm Clock consists of a Panasonic RC-6025 flip clock modified to play the audio from the movie Groundhog Day when the alarm goes off.

The reason I have created this device is because Groundhog Day (both the day and film) held special meaning for me because I first met my ex-partner-in-crime on February 2nd. This device was built to commemorate the 10th anniversary of our time together. I felt what better way to commemorate it than by recreating a heavily symbolic object from such an iconic movie?

After all, being in a long-term relationship can seem a bit like living the same day over and over and over and over and over -- every time with different consequences. Every morning you wake up with the same sense of existential dread, and simply try to live through the same set of scenarios again. To remind her of the 10 wonderful years of our existential abyss I made her this clock which will awaken her to the same recording every morning. Perhaps not as pleasant of a wake up greeting as the alarm clock underwear I had previously made for her, I nevertheless hoped that she would appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gift.

However, we parted ways shortly thereafter, and now I am the sole owner of this somewhat annoying clock. I'm not particularly sure what to do with it. I guess I could just mail it to Bill Murray. Anyone have his address?

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Step 2: Take Off the Top

Make certain the alarm clock is unplugged before you do anything.

Pull off all of the knobs, and then remove the screws from the underside of the alarm clock to free the top plastic cover.

Remove the screws holding the speaker in place to seperate the top section from the bottom.

Step 3: Free the Electronics

Remove the screws holding the circuit board to the base of the clock and gently set it aside.

Next, remove the screws holding the power transformer in place.

Finally, free the slip clock mechanism by removing the screws from the underside of the case that is holding it in place.

Step 4: Change the Bulb

The bulb inside the alarm clock is meant to last 5-8 years. The clock itself is likely 30 years old at this point. Thus, you will almost certainly need to replace the front bulb.

Cut the wires holding the bulb in place.

Slide shrink tube onto the remaining wires, and then solder a new 12V replacement bulb in place.

If it does not happen to fit snuggly into the blue plastic bulb holder, use a drop of hot glue to keep it in position.

Step 5: Clip the Speaker

Cut the speaker free from the circuit board.

Step 6: Hack the Board

Attach a 6" red wire to the spot on the circuit board conveniently marked with a plus sign.

Attach a 6" black wire to the spot in the circuit board conveniently marked with a minus sign.

Attach a 6" white wire to the leg of the 100 ohm resistor that is closest to the edge of the flip clock board.

Step 7: Put Everything Back in Place

Fasten the flip clock mechanism, transformer, and circuit board back to the clock's plastic base.

Step 8: Program the Board

Plug the Audio FX board into the computer. It should show up like a typical flash drive.

Download the attached audio file and load it onto the Audio FX board by copying it onto the drive.

Make certain the name of the file remains precisely "T01.ogg"

Step 9: Build the Circuit

Attach the heat sink to the 7805 voltage regulator and then put together the circuit as specified in the schematic.

Step 10: Put It Inside

Put the audio FX board and the new circuit board inside the case and fasten everything safely in place with zip ties.

Step 11: Back Together

Put the case back together, fasten it shut, and put all of the knobs back in place.

Step 12: Set the Clock

Turn the dial on the top of the clock to "Auto" and then set the alarm clock to whatever time you wish by turning the dial on the side of the clock.

Plug it in and you are good to go and go and go and go and go and go...

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36 Discussions

Have built the circuit using the same components as you. Even at full volume, the output from the speaker is really, really low...I mean no way in hell its going to wake someone up. Did you find the same issue? The volume pins on the board work fine, and its at max volume. Might need to revert to the un-amped board and stick a beefier amp in.

5 replies

Mine was plenty loud. Have you tried using the board with a different speaker or a different sound clip? Did you test the board before installing it in the project to make sure that it works?

tried the speaker in the clock radio (32 ohms), which I swapped out as it was low, buts assumed it was impedence mismatch (Adafruit suggests 4 or 8 ohms) bought both 4 and 8 ohms, both same result. Same result using downloaded clip and also onboard clip T00.ogg. This is all outside the project at the moment.

And you're using the amplifier jacks and not the audio output pin? Have you adjusted the volume using the volume pins?

Yes, I can increase and lower the volume by grounding the + or - pins accordingly. I'm using the pins at the end of the board, which seem to be the same as what you have used. I will try to pull the schematic and ensure its the same.

So In case anyone else runs into this problem, they changed the design of these boards recently to stop blowing the amps. They have restricted the output to 6db, however they have included 2 jumpers on the back of the board which you can cut. Depending on which tracks you cut you can increase the output to 12db , 18db or 24db. I opted for 12db and it resolved the issue. Plenty loud now.

I have tried to create this however the RC-6025 keeps terrible time in the UK due to the different voltage. Any idea how to resolve this? Was there a European version I could buy and change parts so it still looked the same from the outside but was functional in the UK? Thanks

2 replies

Ever find a solution? I live in the UK and bought this for the same reason and am also stuck on how to get around the voltage problems!

Just in-case anyone else has this problem, its easily resolved if you purchase a 12VDC (car voltage) to 110v/60Hz inverter. They are readily available in the UK from ebay. Just ensure its 60Hz, not 50Hz, they sell both. If it doesnt say 60Hz, then dont buy it. You can take it apart and grab the pcb board, then wire in directly 12v DC from any old power 12v power adapter, again readily available on ebay for next to no money. Then just use the output of the inverter to power your clock radio.

The file is in Step 8. If it changes the filename to a random string of gibberish when you download it, rename it to T01.ogg

Have you tried the link in Step 8? When I try to download I get

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>

<Error><Code>NoSuchKey</Code><Message>The specified key does not exist.</Message><Key>FU5/JN2X/I5BSDORB/FU5JN2XI5BSDORB.ogg</Key><RequestId>19606CCD9A55F2C7</RequestId><HostId>WlFlZwJcxxpBNQ144WRhghBRhDnEYc0rmEygNsCUfjQ8iJhMXPxH81fP9TWnc0GoUxndRcOeSRo=</HostId></Error>

You can try Ebay. I sometimes see them on there, or people selling the service of modifying your existing clock.

Done! Just before 10 PM on February 1... so, with 8 hours to spare. Thanks, randofo, for the revised schematic image. Resoldered to make that quick change, et voila: works like a charm!

Is the schematic wrong, or are the photos? The wiring of the relay is not the same in both: the black (ground) wire in the photo that goes from the ground rail at column 28 should go to G/H/I/J in column 27, should it not? Where does the photo show it going? Looks like E28, which doesn't make sense.

1 more answer

The link to the 12V 50mA incandescent bulb no longer brings up any results at Radio Shack, and I'm terrible at electronics. Got any further distinguishing information, such that I could buy a direct replacement or an LED equivalent online (at DigiKey, say)?

Can anyone suggest an alternative for the Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board?

I have the clock and the other parts, but that one has been out of stock for months, and it this point I'm starting to doubt whether it's coming back. I don't really know enough about this sort of thing to feel confident picking substitute myself, so any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks!