This instructable is basically how to make a sound-proof container for your alarm clock. It can be used for the Sabbath (when you're unable to turn off the alarm) so you don't go insane from the constant beeping. In addition, it is the first step to a super alarm clock that is loud for you but not anyone else.
The instructable will be how to make the sound-proof container and the last step will be how I made the cool alarm clock thingy. I will share my ideas on how to make it work even better and hopefully give you some ideas of your own. The idea behind it was an alarm that used modified headphones that wouldn't fall off during sleep attached to an iPhone. The problem is that the iPhone alarms come through the headphones and the thing itself, so I had to find a way to block the sound from the iPhone. This is that story.
It's a basic design but you may have to replace some of the materials. Shouldn't be too hard. Most of the things you wouldn't be able to find are easily replaceable.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Scroll saw
- Screw driver
- Something to cut the thick cardboard with - I used this with a rotary tool: http://www.dremel.com/en-us/AttachmentsAndAccessories/Pages/AttachmentsDetail.aspx?pid=543
- Yoga mat (I recommend just buying one and keeping the extra materiel. It's useful to have.)
- Thick cardboard tube (I used the tube that those plastic table clothes come rolled in. Just find the thickest you can. You can always wrap it in more cardboard) Make sure its inner diameter is bigger than the width of your alarm
- Old socks or any other old clothing
- Bigger cardboard tube - I used a oat container
- Duct tape
- Small nails
- Key ring
Step 2: Inner Container
The whole container will consist of three layers: the inner container, a layer of socks, and the outer layer.
Needed: Thick cardboard tube, foam, scissor, marker, rotary tool (or whatever you're using to cut the tube), tape
Measure the height of your alarm and add 1/2 to 1 inch. Mark that on the tube and cut.
Each side of the tube will have a layer of foam. The inside one (shown as yellow) is the same height as your tube. The outside one (shown as red) is 1/2 inch taller, with a 1/4 lip on either end the the tube.
Mark and cut the foam. The inside layer should hold itself together and you should tape the outside one.
These red and yellow sides will come in later. When I say inner diameter in Step 4, I mean the inner diameter of the red layer, meaning what would fit inside the red layer. When I say the outer diameter, I mean the diameter of the whole thing.
Step 3: Outer Container
Needed: big container, marker, scissor
See how high your inner container is and add 3-4 inches. Cut that from the big tube. If you need help with cutting such an awkward shape, see picture 2. The dotted line is where you want to cut.
Step 4: Sandwich
Needed: wood, foam, marker, scissors, scroll saw, nails or tape, screws, screw driver/drill
So far you've done the sides. For the top, you're going to make a sandwich between two pieces of wood and foam. Let's begin.
Cut two squares (really any shape but squares won't roll if you put the container on its side) with sides a little bit longer than the diameter of the big container.
Now cut two circles the same diameter as the small container (including the foam).
Do this twice:
Mark and cut two circles from the foam. One should have the diameter of the inner diameter and one with the outer one from step 2. Place those on one of the squares and nail or tape it into place with the small piece on top of the large one.
Cut several more circles and place them on top of one circle, opposite side of the pieces from before. Put all this on the center of one square and screw it into place.
Place the bottom part into the small container (the small foam circle goes inside, the large one goes on top) and all this into the large container. The square should be the only thing sticking out (see picture 2).
Place the other square-foam-circle-foam thing you made on top of all this and see how much space is left inside. It should fit but have a little tension so you would have to push a bit to make it stay. Add more foam to the back of you circle if necessary and screw it on to the square.
Now place the inner container in the big one and fill the gap between the two walls with socks (see picture 3).
Step 5: Finishing Up
Needed: Everything you've made, string, key ring, duct tape, drill, screws
Place the bottom square in position and tape it securely in place.
If you want your alarm to be able to hang off something (like a bunk bed), tie on the strings to the sides with lots of extra left to tie it to other stuff. You could also attach a clamp.
Now drill two holes for screw in opposite sides of the bottom square. Put screws in both. Now put the top square in all its glory into the large container and make sure it's tight. Tie string to one screw (I doubled it for strength) and pull it over the whole contraption. Loop the string through the key ring and place it on the other screw. Pull it tightly and knot it. The top should be on nice and tight.
Watch the video if you have no idea what I'm talking about.
Step 6: How to Use It
Place the alarm clock in the container without putting the top on. You should be able to hear it okay. When the alarm goes off, simply put on the top and secure it, blocking the noise but not touching the alarm (Sabbath no-no). Hooray! This method replaced my original method of burying the alarm in eight cubic feet of pillows, blankets and towels. Not as efficient.
Step 7: The Alarm Clock Version
(Yes. The capitalization is to make the title look cool.)
Basically this is what you just made plus modified headphones that won't fall off while you sleep. I stopped using them because they are uncomfortable and I might have broken the wire while making them. Oops. I will explain how I made them and what I plan to do for the second version.
I took apart iPod headphones and removed everything but the speaker and wire. I glued these into place in a rectangle of foam with a circle cut in them. I took some tubing and cut a piece that could wrap around my ear but hook on (around the U-shaped canal. See blurry picture 4). I connected the two ends of the tube by stringing string through it and tying it and covering it with tape (for comfort). This part was the bottom near my earlobe. I then glued/sewed (added strength) the foam part onto the tube so that when the tube was around my ear, the speaker was right in the center of my ear. The tubing was rubber and stayed in place and the whole thing was pretty flat so it stayed in place.
It does actually work so if you decide to use this or any other headphone design BE CAREFUL. The cord can easily wrap around your neck and choke you and, because you are asleep, kill you. Make sure you tie the cord to your bed post or something so it can't reach around your neck.
- Takes too long to put on
- Too much set up
- Can't take iPod out of container quickly. I use mine to write down ideas and this is annoying to undo at night in the dark.
- Speaker in pillow. Pillow is also curved up at the sides to guide ear to speaker
- New headphone design that is quicker/not as annoying - speakers are in slighty concave discs in these types of earmuffs http://www.amazon.co.uk/BLACK-earmuffs-muffs-wraparound-behind/dp/B001NY92LU. They go around the back of the head.
- One that flicks water at you for days where you REALLY need to get up on time.
- Make sound blocker two slightly concave pieces that fold like a book to sandwich the iPod (faster)
Feel free to use any of these ideas and have fun.