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Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Junk from the Garage.... and a Alarm Clock...

Another week has gone by and aside from working (2 jobs) and sleeping I have not had much time to do anything on my projects. This isn't necessarily a bad thing... just a statement. On opportunity that has presented itself if the pile of parts seen below.

What is all that you may ask? A pile of parts with a digital alarm clock being the focus. The clock works but the switches on it are really hard to switch. Sometimes you have to pick the clock up off the nightstand and put some muscle into actuating the switches. It's a good clock with a really annoying alarm and easy to read big dial. Lots'a fun in the wee hours of the morning when it wakes you up but turning it on or off is a chore.
In total there are a bunch of switches and buttons on it. 4 buttons for setting: the alarm, the time, and the up and down buttons for each. Additionally it has 3 DPST switches for the Alarm on/off, Dimmer hi/low and volume hi/low. Also of course is the snooze button. These are all located on the face and top of the clock right where you would expect them. On the bottom is a daylight savings time switch that is labeled On, Off and Old right next to a time zone switch that has: HAST, AKST, PST, MST, CST, EST and AST. I guess each one of those is for a different time zone of the globe. One of the features of this nifty clock is it "knows" where it is and can adjust itself accordingly. Fun but overly complicated.
The difficulty in fixing the hard to switch switches is they are part of the plastic case. These days it is less expensive to buy a switch and put it in a product than it is to mold a slider into the case and have a metal wiper scrape across pads on a PC board. The problem with doing this is if the molded parts are not super accurate or if the case doesn't quite fit together right then the switches become difficult or intermittent. That seems to be the problem with this one...
So rather than throw it away what I have decided to do is replace the switches and buttons with 'real' ones from other devices (my junk pile) and put the whole thing into a new and stylish enclosure of some sort. I figure while doing this I might as well embellish and adorn it with other interesting non clock related stuff and make it look cool!
We'll see how it turns out...

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