Talking clock sounds just like you

We’d bet a large portion of our readers don’t remember when you could call the phone company and get the time of day. Gadget Gangster is bringing back the tried and true method with this talking clock. Just press the button and the ‘operator’ will read the time of day to you. Record your own voice and place the WAV files on an SD card, from there a Propeller chip takes care of the rest.

As a side note, we’re big fans of the method used to breadboard the power supply using the TO-220 package leads as their own jumpers. We’ve always been partial to using a breadboard regulator on a PCB but this method is simple and takes almost no space at all.

Comments

  1. jc says:

    I remember. I also remember when Atlanta had an “atomic clock” you could dial and listen to an advert, and then the time. I think it was shut down finally about 3-4 years ago.

  2. Don says:

    Ummm, Ya, I can remember those days. I just called 817-844-6611 and listened to my local Time and Weather Forecast… Same number for the last 35 to 40 years. Just have to add the Area Code now. Where do you guys live? Cool little device though. I think it needs a nice girls voice on it though!:)

    Don

  3. Ginge says:

    We still have the talking clock in The UK…

  4. kevin says:

    Remember? I just called time & temp the other day. Alarm clock was flashing, didn’t want to get out of bed and boot the computer.

  5. D_ says:

    I remember that service and more was available in some areas, but not in the hick phone service areas. I do have the automate airport weather station number in my cell phone is case I really want to know how damn hot or cold it really is. Gives the time a well. You have to think in terms of Celsius millibars and zulu though. I try to find a sexy speaking female to make the recordings. At the tone the time will be ** ** ** you stud.

  6. sneakypoo says:

    How young do you think your readers are? Fröken Ur (Miss Clock/Watch) as we call her here in Sweden has been around since forever (1934) and I still use her from time to time.

  7. supershwa says:

    “We’d bet a large portion of our readers don’t remember when you could call the phone company and get the time of day.”

    You mean this isn’t the Hannah Montana fan club website?

  8. greycode says:

    The U.S. has two talking atomic clocks owned by the Navy. The East Coast clock has a male voice, and the West Coast clock has a female voice. As you travel back and forth across the U.S. if you get to the exact point in between them, it sounds androgynous. You can tell how far each coast is by the sound of the voices. The Navy has need of exact time for navigational purposes, and even makes sure that all ships have someone on board who can actually get the location of the ship the “old fashioned way.”

    I can also remember thirty years ago in “hick” areas where you could call and get the time. Time being so vital to us, the phone company has had these services, almost always free, for more than 50 years. All one had to do was get a phone.

  9. Whatnot says:

    Last thing I want is to hear my own voice from a clock, I don’t quite see the logic here.
    Not that you need to use your own voice of course.

    This reminds me long ago when I read they had fighterpilot hear warnings in their planes spoken in by their spouse, since that had a better psychological impact, not sure if that was and is used much though, but it’s a nicely related subject.

  10. Whatnot says:

    Addendum, perhaps someone should hack this onto a smokealarm and have them or their spouse scream “WAKE UP, FIRE!”, as a nice twist on the concept.

  11. Philippe says:

    I like the “beeeeep”… Hilarious!

  12. Eric says:

    @whatnot there are actually commercially available smoke detectors that utilize a voice recorder. It’s marketed toward parents who think their children will only respond to their parents voice as they sleep. Forgot what it was called though.

  13. jc says:

    @Eric Studies have shown that people react quicker to a voice waking them up than a beep (probably a few million years of evolution working in your favor). There are now a couple talking smoke detectors on the market. I do have to wonder how much fidelity and volume place into this, however. I can’t imagine getting any really good quality out of a speaker that fits in a 6″ x 1.5″ disc.

  14. James says:

    This is odd, as I can only go to sleep to the sound of voices (TV/Radio), and the only thing to wake me is a beeper, as the TV/Radio has absolutely no waking effect.

  15. Whatnot says:

    Fascinating stuff, I had no idea they already had those smokedetectors.

  16. Luke says:

    It’s not the phone company but, a local bank has a dedicated time & temperature number here.

  17. catzburg says:

    I used 310-TIME just last week to set my watch… I don’t think one week olds surf hack-a-day…

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