IR-controlled Musical Alarm Clock


Forum user [Frank] shared with us his recent project, a musical alarm clock. More than just a simple alarm clock, his creation allows the user to load music onto a micro SD card, has alarm settings for each day of the week, and best of all, can be controlled using an IR remote. He uses a Teensy++ to control most of the clock’s functions including the display, delegating the time keeping to a DS1307 real-time clock. All of the audio playback is handled by a separate music decoder mounted on a breakout board.

His Instructables writeup is extremely detailed, with tons of annotations, pictures, diagrams, and source code available. He walks through each step in detail, making this a great learning guide for others looking to start in on AVR programming.

His final presentation is a great lesson in recycling, though unfortunately a bit lackluster, as the clock is packaged in an old SparkFun cardboard box. He does mention that there were some time constraints towards the end, which may explain this choice – it would be nice to see a revised version of this clock packaged in a nice plexi case.


11 thoughts on “IR-controlled Musical Alarm Clock

  1. DAMMIT!

    I was working on a project extremely similar to this. I thought it up in August, but have only really made headway lately. (Sadistic) MP3 playing alarm clock using an ATMEGA32A, VS1053, and an SD card for storage. Mine is going to use a VFD display instead of an LCD, though. I’m also using a DS3231 instead, which I have because I sampled it for a previous project. The word sadistic comes from how difficult I am going to make it to snooze and turn off. Think missile switches and decreasing snooze-time. Maybe some more annoying stuff as I come up with it.

    This instructable has me no longer afraid of dealing with SD cards and the FAT filesystem, thanks! I’ll take a closer look at it after work.

    I appreciate your work, even if it makes my project less novel. Just let it be known that when (and if) I submit it to hackaday that the idea was conjured up in Summer 2010. Procrastination is a bitch.

  2. @Scott
    “when (and if) I submit it to hackaday that the idea was conjured up in Summer 2010. Procrastination is a bitch”

    It sure is. I’ve got projects from several years ago that are unfinished or undocumented.

    Let me know how to overcome the procrastination.

  3. @Andrew

    Either you need to seek treatment for ADHD (like myself), or your life is busy enough already.

    Breaking a project down into small parts is extremely helpful, and it’s what allowed me to get back into it. I also (attempt) to keep a notebook related to the project, a journal if you will.

  4. The re-used sparkfun box was clever the first time I saw someone use it. Not so much the second, third, and 984th time.

    You get a grade F for the “enclosure”. And you get an F for instruct-a-bullsh*t. (otherwise nice project!)

    If you still want to read instructables with out all their junk – here’s how:

    ^check it out.

  5. I would seriously love to see that alarm clock with missile switches? & decreasing snooze settings…if i didnt sleep in & ignore my alarm clock every day, i’d totally have time to procrastinate and still b productive lol

  6. @Rsm

    How about I make it increasingly louder, too?

    I’m finding that I don’t have as much time to work on this as I’d like, but I’ll eventually finish it or I won’t forgive myself.

    I have the missile switches already…

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