NES Alarm Clock

Introduction: NES Alarm Clock

So I built a funky alarm clock out of an old Nintendo console. Why? Because I was at Value Village with my friend and my sister, and while they were browsing through miles of clothing the only thing of interest I could find was a broken Nintendo unit with controllers, and I had to do something with them! 

The controller is wired to allow you to change the time, pushing the power button sets the alarm, and the reset button serves as the snooze!

Step 1: STEP 1

I started by gutting a little alarm clock and the NES unit.

I secured all the components inside the console, glued the speaker to the inside of the top where the air vents are, and cut a little faceplate to mount the LED display in out of black plastic (from a VHS case).

I wired the Player 1 controller port to wires on the clock that would allow me to set the clock from the outside with a rewired paddle.

I also wired the Reset button to the snooze input on the clock's main IC.

I wired the Power button to the output for the alarm indicator, and would have wired it directly to the Alarm On input on the IC as well, but there were two problems with that: one, the Power button is a SPST switch, and two, a quick check on the IC's data sheet showed that the Alarm On input is actually an Alarm Off input.

Step 2: STEP 2

Strapped for components, I did the ultimate kludge job and the crown jewel of this hack: I soldered the prongs of a 24V DC adapter directly to the mains, and used it (switched by the Power button) to drive a 24V DC relay controlling the Alarm Off input as well as the Power LED and the alarm indicator in parallel.

Yep. Needless to say, as soon as I finished this part, the box was screwed shut never to be opened again.

Step 3: STEP 3

Rewiring the controller was a cinch.

I just desoldered the communication chip, scratched a few traces to break some unwanted connections, and soldered the conductor leads to be switched by the appropriate buttons.

One complication: there aren't enough conductors in a standard NES paddle to actually use all the functionality; pushing A and B alone will set the hours and minutes on the time, and holding either Start or Select will switch to setting the alarm (originally I wanted Start and Select for setting time and alarm respectively). I was also going to have the D-pad as an alternate snooze, but oh well...

Step 4: STEP 4

Other nifty features include the ability to shut the flap and cover up the potentially annoying red glow of the LED display (without cutting off access to the alarm light or the all-important snooze), and the standard 3-pin shrouded power connector (like a computer's power supply) that in my opinion every electrical device should have.

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    5 Discussions


    6 years ago

    Any chance you could post how you made the controller buttons and the NES buttons work on the alarm clock? I'm in the middle of trying to do this project but don't know how to go forward with that part. Thanks!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Sweet! this is awesome! I always thought that the nes looked like an old boxy alarm clock!


    Mr. Noack
    Mr. Noack

    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is pretty sweet. It would be great to see more detailed steps,so that someone like me who is not electrically inclined, can actually attempt the build.

    Nice! I miss the good old days of the Nintendo! What a great way to have one around without having to blow repeatedly into the games trying to get them to work :)