How to Make a K'nex Solar Alarm Clock With Built in Small Electronics Charger and Lockbox.




About: Im Killer~SafeCracker, I started using Instructables in 2009. I mainly post in the Knex world, but I venture out sometimes. Check out all my instructables, you wont be disappointed! I live for music and I p...
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 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!!

Step 1: Part Count

White 43
Blue   34
Yellow 13
Purple   110
Green 64
Red   25
Orange 51
Dark gray 2
Red 13
Blue 2
White 137
Green,  Some where around 250
Odds and ends:
1 solar motor. You can get these on Ebay
1 connection rod for the motor
1 Solar panel
1 the wire to hook up the motor with the panel
1 knex ball
3 tan clips
1 ball joint
32 blue spacers
3 gray spacer
2 black and blue hinges
1 blue gear
1 red gear

The part most won't have is the motor. doesn't sell/make them anymore, but Ebay is always a good place to search for anything.

Step 2: Step 1

Okay, in the first 10 steps you will be building the Solar Receiving Unit. 
First off we need to build the "locking" part of the solar receiving unit.
This shouldn't really be that hard.

Step 3: Step 2

So all you need to do is connect the green connectors like shown with the green rods. Then after you have 6 pairs of the green connectors, attach them to the rod like in the picture.

Step 4: Step 3

Ok, first off gather 24 green connectors.
Next, add all 24 connectors to the part we made in the last step.
Go ahead and get two blue and black hinges. We will need them in the next step.

Step 5: Step 4

Now, get the two hinges I told you about in the last step. Add them to one of the ends of the "Green block". That is what you see in the first picture.

Next you need to add the part you made in the first step. That's what you see in the second picture.

Step 6: Step 5

Alright, go ahead and build these. It's shouldn't be that hard.

Step 7: Step 6

First off make these 9 pieces. Then add them together on two yellow rods.

Step 8: Step 7

Now add the parts you made in step 5 to the back of the stand like so. This should make it stand up.

Step 9: Step 8

So all you need to do now is make these three parts, then connect them together.

Step 10: Step 9

Now go and add the panel to the stand. Just slip it in and snap. Next get the solar panel sold by Then just place it on. It won't snap but it will fit just right.

Step 11: Step 10

Now just connect the "Green block" to the stand like so.
You're done with the Solar Receiving Unit. Now onto the hard stuff.

Step 12: Step 11

Now we are going to build the main unit. We're going to start on the bottom and work our way up. The parts you'll be building are going to get bigger now, but you should be ok.
To start off make the parts in the first two pictures. Now set them up like the third picture. Then like snap them together like the forth picture

Step 13: Step 12

First get 13 white rods then add the 13 white rods to the top like so.

Step 14: Step 13

Now, build the object in the first picture, then slide it over the white rods. Next gather 12 blue spacers, and slide them over the rods shown.

Step 15: Step 14

Now build the thing in the first picture. Then slide it over the white rods.
Good job, onto the door.

Step 16: Step 15

Build the things in picture 1 and 2 then connect them like the third picture.
Next, make the panel in picture 4 and connect like so.

Step 17: Step 16

Now add two green rods to the end, then add the red connector.
Finaly add a green rod where shown.

Step 18: Step 17

First add the red connector to the white rod then slide the door over the white rod. Now slide the blue spacer over the white rod.

Step 19: Step 18

From this step on the picture quality might be lower. That is because I had to change cameras. So I'm sorry if it's hard to see.
Again these are going to be big parts but I think you can handle it. First off build the parts in the first two pictures. Then line them up like the third picture, and snap them together.

Step 20: Step 19

Go and line up the panel with the body. Then snap it in like so.

Step 21: Step 20

Build the parts in the first two pictures. Then line them like up so and snap them together.

Step 22: Step 21

Make the things in the first picture. Notice the direction of the tan clips. Then slide the rods through the holes in the panel. One of them should lock and the other will spin. Then add 5 gray clips to one of the rods and 3 gray spacers and one blue spacer to the other one.

Step 23: Step 22

Now slide the panel over the red rods and snap it in. Then place the motor in.

Step 24: Step 23

First add the green rods to the top of the base. Then if your going to use the electronic charger, go ahead and put it in.

Step 25: Step 24

Now build the parts in the first two pictures. Then snap them together like so.

Step 26: Step 25

Go and slide it over the rods and snap it in. Don't forget to add the white rods.

Step 27: Step 26

Now build this panel, then slide it over the rods and snap it in.

Step 28: Step 27

Now this is the best part.
First slide a blue spacer over the drive shaft. Then put a blue gear over the shaft and lock it in like so.

Step 29: Step 28

Now slide a blue spacer over over the next shaft, then put a red gear on and lock it in. Also snap on the gray clip and slide the two gray spacers over the rod.

Step 30: Step 29

Now slide a gray spacer and a blue spacer over the rod. Then place the ball on like so.

Step 31: Step 30

Now place twelve white rods and the two blue rods to the top of the body. Next build two of these squares. And slide one of them over the rods.

Step 32: Step 31

Now add 16 blue spacers, than add the second square.

Step 33: Step 32

Build the big panel then slide it over the rods and snap it in.

Step 34: Step 33

Let's finish this puppy up.

Let's add a blue spacer and a blue clip to the top of the shaft. Then build these two pieces and snap them together. Place it on the yellow connector like so. And you're done.

Step 35: Finishing It Up.

Okay, now that you built everything it's time to get it working.
First set the solar receiving unit or (SRU) where the sun first shines in the morning, for me that is on a stool like this. Make sure the wire is plugged into the SRU and the clock. Also don't forget to open it up.

When the sun hits the solar panel on the SRU it will turn on the motor. When it finally wakes you up, you can hit the power button and it will turn off. But it is still smart to close up the SRU to prevent a burned out motor, seeing that doesn't sell them anymore.

If the sun doesn't come up in the morning in your room or it just comes up too late. Try hanging it outside your window, I tried it and it still closed.

Also to charge your small electronic, just plug it in and slide it in the clock.

The "lockbox" is easy enough to figure out. Just pull it out or push it in. The green rod will keep the door closed.

Step 36: You're Done

You're done!!!!
I hope you have fun with this and I hope it works well for you.
Let me know what you think, and don't forget to hit that subscribe button.



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    166 Discussions

    Well, I mean KSC is good at both weapons and not... Great job on this alarm clock! (And your EAP, might make it for my secondary!) So useful!

    knexinventions 49

    6 years ago on Step 23

    I bought the solar power 10 models kit but the motor did
    n't have the motor shaft. Where could I get one?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i was the 100 person to rate!!!!!!! five stars muthafucka!!!!!!!

    Picture 48.png

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    wahahahaaaaa! i have 20-20 vision foo!  you go get some glasses! haha :D

    thats what that small message said :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    (my advice 2 you)

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