The Sunrise Alarm Clock

Ever woken up in the morning, looked at your alarm clock, and wished you’d woken up about 5 hours earlier? I know I have. As one of the dreamiest sleepers in the world, I have not found a single alarm clock (or a combination of them) that has ever been loud enough to wake me up permanently. Thus, this project. This project started with an article I read about how “dawn-simulating” clocks are far more effective at waking people up than just regular alarm clocks. So I thought, why not build one? And then I got started.

Its finally done. Undoubtedly one of my most gruesome and excruciating builds, this clock put all my skills to the test and forced me to learn a lot about electronics. But at the end of it all, I think I have a decent alarm clock, that is for me, the first time I have been able to wake up on time. Check out the complete instructable here!

Update: While the alarm clock did work well, I had received some criticism that said that the project did not look very nice. A few people rightly said that the way I had painted my wood had made all the imperfections stand out in it. While experimenting with different finishes, I came across a sheet of card stock. I used this to finish my project by printing a large sheet of card stock black, and then using it as a laminate to cover all sides of my project. Unexpectedly, the LEDs turned out looking quite nice inside the card stock, and I think the entire project has an improved look. Let me know what you think!

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For the extra code that I promised on my instructable, here it is!

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The WhiteSoftboard

The Wood Finish

The WhiteSoftboard is a tool that everyone must have. Its the perfect way to pretend that you’re incredibly busy to stop those annoying questions that are constantly shot at you. It requires just two simple steps

Step1: Build WhiteSoftboard

Step2: Fill whiteboard. Pin up multiple papers on the softboard.

And thats it! This is an extremely simple, but useful project to make. I made two for myself, one with a “wood” look and one with a more “modern” look. I personally like the wood finish better, but you can decorate yours however you want. For the entire instructable, please click here

The Paint Finish

A Modular Workstation

Picture of Modular Workstation

What if you had a workstation that was reconfigurable from the ground up? That’s exactly what this workstation seeks to do, make a unit that can be quickly customised for specific project needs. The reason I made this unit is that I don’t have a traditional workbench which I can use so I keep moving from one place to another. It’s quite irritating to move individual components, and even of I do, I often lose something on the way. I made this workstation to try and solve those problems.

A run-through of the configurations :

1. Base configuration – you get a large box with a screwdriver set and a hammer. It’s big enough to fit two circular saws and have some space left over.

2. Large modules – two of these can be placed in the box at any time. There are four in total, the jigsaw module, the drill module, the carpentry module and the electronics module.

3. Smaller modules – three of these can be placed in the box along with any two larger modules. These have removable dividers so they can be used either for small parts or for keeping slightly larger items like an arduino or a raspberry pi.

I’ve been using this for quite a while now, and I can honestly say that if you don’t have a permanent workstation, this can be incredibly useful to work on projects. To learn how to make this, please click here. Cheers!

The Steporama (A working title)

This project evolved out of an old weak stepper motor that I had laying around. I first tried to create a robotic arm with the stepper motor. The motor was barely able to lift the arm, let alone an external load.Then I tried to build a 3d printer with the stepper. Clearly I wasn’t thinking straight – the stepper couldn’t lift thermocol and I wanted it to print objects in 3D. Not too smart.

The end of this project was to attach the stepper to an ATMega328 with a ULN2003 darlington array and just keep making it spin around. I used the stock stepper code on the arduino website and used my Leonardo to program the ATMega. The only use I found for it was to create a panaroma capture device. However, as whimsical as it might sound, it genuinely does take better photos than a handheld device. Enjoy!

The Name Lamp

My first woodworking post here! And its actually something I made quite a while back, but never really got around posting plans for. This is a really simple custom table lamp you can make in very little time and also one which doubles up as a USB charger. The only power tool you’ll need is a drill!

Parts Required

  1. Drill
  2. 1/2″ wood – 30″ x 5″ (You won’t get wood this size, but this is all the half inch ply you need for this project)
  3. 1/4″ wood – 10″ x 5″ (The same for this as well, you can use scrap wood if you have some laying around)
  4. A USB charger
  5.  Wire
  6. A bulb holder
  7. A small LED bulb
  8. Glue
  9. Female and male AC plug

Steps

  • Cut 3 pieces of 10″ x 5″ wood (two from the half inch and one from the quarter inch)
  • Like the template below, draw up a scaled version of of the text and place holes in roughly the positions of the text. The holes shouldn’t be too close, otherwise the drill bit will keep slipping into the adjacent hole (unless you have a drill press, which I don’t). It doesn’t matter if the text doesn’t look readable, it was the same for me, but it takes shape better in the wood.
The front of the box. The holes signify drill points

The front of the box. The holes signify drill points

  • On the piece of 1/4″ plywood, make a hole roughly the size of a usb port. Use a cable to measure it out.
The top of the box

The top of the box

  •  For the side pieces, cut out 5″x5″ pieces of 1/2″ plywood.
  • Now, mount the bulb holder on one of the side pieces. Make sure you mount it at the centre of the piece so that the top piece can fit on well.
  • Now, mount the usb device so that it is aligned with the hole made previously. In case your charger has a curved edge (like mine did), find a corner to mount the usb charger. Then use a USB female connector to extend the charging port.
  • Finally, wire up the AC plug to the bulb and use the female AC plug to the USB charger.
  • Glue the entire thing in place! This is the boring part – waiting for that glue to dry so that you can look at your beautiful creation.
  • After its dried, I suggest you use a stain to make the plywood look nice. I used paint, and it just hides the grain of the wood completely.

Here’s the one I made for my sister!

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