Lets start. The nightstand alarm clock is something that has stayed the same for many years. It has a horrible segmented display. It is large and cumbersome. The radio sound quality is painfully horrible and that’s if you’re lucky to have good am/fm radio reception to hear anything past static. The radio alarm clock is slowly being replaced by smart-phones with alarm capabilities. It will soon become an obsolete product.
As an interesting project and for nostalgic reasons, I decided to design an upgrade to the original nightstand alarm clock. This new design includes a large easy-to-view 24×8 LED display, a very thin dimension, and a programmable micro-controller at the center of the printed circuit board. The device is designed with both a master and a slave usb ports.
A prototype board has been built by an etching process at home on a copper-plated fiberglass sheet by a copper dissolving agent and a deterrent of the agent to protect the wanted traces.
The protecting material has been transferred to the board to protect the traces from the copper reacting acid. Toner printed on glossy magazine paper was transfered using heat and compression to the clean copper face of the fiberglass board.
The face of the lytmus is entirely composed of 3 8×8 RGB LED displays. The LEDs are very bright, but will be reducible in brightness by pulse width modulation by the microcontroller for a more applicable level of brightness.
The board below is populated with components. For a future revision, the screens will be flipped to populated side of the board to reduce the entire width of the device. The power regulator is larger and more powerful than what is necessary for a device of such low power consumption.
As a homemade board and a little bit too ambitious in the chosen design rules, it requires testing of all the traces for continuity. The width of traces chosen is closer to that of a specification for a PCB manufacturing build.
This project has been put on hold until time is dedicated to continuity tracing of all paths on the board.