MSP430 alarm clock with bubble LED display

Bubble displays were intensively used in vintage electronics. Back then LEDs were small and inefficient so they were placed under bubble lenses to make it look bigger. Today we have different situation with multicolor bright large LED displays. But those old ones actually look pretty attractive and gives nice flavor to product. Markus has build a simple alarm clock which features a four digit bubble display. Clock is run on MSP430 microcontroller that runs RTC inside. Clock is powered with single AAA battery what makes it really small. There is a speaker to ring an alarm which is augmented with LED flashing. So there is no way you could sleep any more. Continue reading

Alarm clock that simulates sunrise

In winter time we get sleepy because days are short. And in order to get up early we definitely need an alarm clock. It seems that regular alarm clocks are boring these days and many of us are looking for something different. Renaud suggests to try his idea – a sunrise alarm clock. It is not something new or unusual, just a digital clock with set of LEDs that imitate sunrise light. Clock is run by MSP430G2553 that runs on MSP430 Launchpad from TI. Precise time is updated using DCF77 radio module that synchronizes time automatically. Time is displayed on nice 4×40 alphanumeric LCD. It also has a speaker alarm in case LED lights won’t break through the eyelids. Alarm sound is generated using PWM signal filtered with low pass filter. Not the best sound but works for now. LED simulated sunrise is built using a bunch of LEDs that are driven using PWM through resistor key. It is hard to tell how close this light is to reality, but idea is plausible.   Continue reading

Making MSP430 useful

Markus had a spare MSP430 microcontroller have decided to make simple alarm clock of it. He used a four digit 7 segment LED display controlled via 74HC164 shift registers. He connected two push buttons for interactions. And finally he added a buzzer to play alarm tunes. He made it really miniature and power efficient. It draws about 10µA in standby mode. So set and forget for about 10 years. Continue reading