Birthday Gift Is A Constant Reminder Of Impending AARP Membership


Sometimes milestone birthdays can be a bit depressing. 30 is rough, and 40 tougher – but 50…that’s a big one!

[Ryan’s] uncle is going to be turning 50 shortly, and in the interest of good-natured fun, he has constructed a handy birthday countdown timer for his uncle, lest he forget (or tries to avoid) the big day.

The device displays the amount of time left before his uncle’s birthday, playing an audio clip of “Don’t fear the Reaper” when the clock strikes 00:00. This is accomplished by using the MSP430’s internal clock to keep time, while also interfacing with a Nokia 3310 LCD panel to display the countdown timer. The music is provided by the circuit board from a greeting card he gutted for the project, which was wired to the LaunchPad in order to be triggered at the right moment. Everything was crammed inside an Altoids tin, as you can see in the picture above.

Though not overly complicated, it’s a fun little project, and we’re hoping his uncle gets a big kick out of it. Once his birthday has come and gone, [Ryan] plans on converting the piece into a permanent desktop clock for his uncle.

16 thoughts on “Birthday Gift Is A Constant Reminder Of Impending AARP Membership

  1. I have no idea what you guys are on about. I always keep time with a simple voltage regulator, don’t you?

    Mea culpas all around – I wrote this up late last night and was clearly delirious at the time – I saw LM317, read DS1337. Time for new glasses!

    Thank you for pointing out my glaring mistake.

  2. Sad, so sad… I turned 50 last week. My nephew even did not show up. He went to a party abroad instead. He sent me an SMS to tell me ‘happy birthday’ and that he ran out of money and that his cell phone had to be recharged. I got the hint…
    I wish my nephew was as creative as the one above.

  3. 2nd Try… Hackaday isn’t a fan of ascii art?

  4. Now for more fun… add some yellow or gray playdoe and mail it internationally to a forwarder and mail it to your uncle.
    //Why yes, I’ll have the rubber glove treatment.

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