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Sunday, December 31, 2017

An updated version of my Clock for Kids

Now that my daughter is 5 and is able to tell time, I wanted to make a new clock for my 3 year old son. Since my first prototype was green, I passed it down to my son and built a new pink clock for my daughter.  Just like v1, v2 does not change any of the functionality of the clock itself, it only adds an RGB LED.

Here is the link to my first version. It was powered by a Raspberry Pi Model B (not B+).  Now that the Pi Zero W is out and it fits perfectly inside of these clocks, I decided to use it for v2.  The clock is the same Walmart alarm clock as the first one.  Here are some of the photos from the build process:

Obligatory finished product image first.

The BOM is a clock, a Pi Zero W, MicroSD card, and a Shiftbrite.  
A Neopixel could be used instead but the Shiftbrite is far brighter.

The opening of the "light cone" needed to be enlarged to fit the new LED.  My Dremel to the rescue!

The wiring for the Shiftbrite and the 3.3v to power the clock's internals.

I used the 3.3V line of the Pi to power the clock. The Shiftbrite works on 5V, so I had to run a lot of different wires for everything.

The Pi Zero W fits in the clock perfectly.

A notch cut out of the back to power everything.

The final fitting.

Again, I used pretty much the exact same software from my GitHub repo. The only real difference between v1 and v2 is in the hardware. Instead of a 3.3V power supply crammed into the system, I used the voltage regulator on the Pi itself so it only needs power input and does not require external wires like v1.

I'll update this post with photos of the clock operating.  Also, I'll be posting soon on how to integrate everything with Google Home. It's very nice to be able to tell Google Assistant to tell the kids it's time for bed.

I'm happy to answer any questions that you might have.  If this has helped or inspired anyone, any donations will be very appreciated and will result in more cool stuff being built and posted here. Thanks for checking out my project!

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