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The last digital alarm clock?

Started by Unknown February 1, 2018
My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room.

Everybody else seems to  be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places.

Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply.

The clock was a VGW-531

http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573

Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion

https://www.sensirion.com/en/

Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible.

I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect.

My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson.

The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat.

-- 
Bill Sloman, Sydney
On Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10:16:36 PM UTC-5, bill....@ieee.org wrote:
> My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. > > Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. > > Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. > > The clock was a VGW-531 > > http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 > > Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion > > https://www.sensirion.com/en/ > > Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. > > I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. > > My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. > > The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. > > -- > Bill Sloman, Sydney
Westclox makes an assortment. Even their little atomic clock is cheap at under $10. The atomic clock is best because it self-sets, actually for the cheap one it's the only way to set it, and you have to wait 12 hours on average for it to receive the calibration signal https://www.ebay.com/b/Westclox-Alarm-Clocks/79643/bn_7794915
On Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10:16:36 PM UTC-5, bill....@ieee.org wrote:
> My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. > > Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. > > Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. > > The clock was a VGW-531 > > http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 > > Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion > > https://www.sensirion.com/en/ > > Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. > > I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. > > My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. > > The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. > > -- > Bill Sloman, Sydney
Moree: https://www.ebay.com/i/302541926546?chn=ps
On 2/2/2018 8:46 AM, bill.sloman@ieee.org wrote:
> My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. > > Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. > > Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. > > The clock was a VGW-531 > > http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 > > Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion > > https://www.sensirion.com/en/ > > Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. > > I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. > > My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. > > The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. >
Didn't it come with instructions?
On Friday, February 2, 2018 at 11:42:52 PM UTC+11, Pimpom wrote:
> On 2/2/2018 8:46 AM, bill.sloman@ieee.org wrote: > > My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. > > > > Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. > > > > Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. > > > > The clock was a VGW-531 > > > > http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 > > > > Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion > > > > https://www.sensirion.com/en/ > > > > Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. > > > > I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. > > > > My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. > > > > The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. > > > > Didn't it come with instructions?
Sure it did. They clearly weren't written by a native speaker of English, but were still clear enough - the procedure they spelled out was one used on several of the digial clocks we've got over the years. Sadly, the clock didn't act the way the instructions said it would. My first thought was dirty contacts under the push-button switches, but when I took the beast apart, the push-buttons turned out to be mounted on the printed circuit board, and I didn't fancy trying to get them off it. -- Bill Sloman, Sydney
On Friday, February 2, 2018 at 8:50:36 PM UTC+11, bloggs.fred...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10:16:36 PM UTC-5, bill....@ieee.org wrote: > > My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. > > > > Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. > > > > Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. > > > > The clock was a VGW-531 > > > > http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 > > > > Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion > > > > https://www.sensirion.com/en/ > > > > Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. > > > > I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. > > > > My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. > > > > The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. > > Westclox makes an assortment. Even their little atomic clock is cheap at under $10. The atomic clock is best because it self-sets, actually for the cheap one it's the only way to set it, and you have to wait 12 hours on average for it to receive the calibration signal > https://www.ebay.com/b/Westclox-Alarm-Clocks/79643/bn_7794915
By "atomic clock" I imagine you mean the standard clock signal broadcast by the local National Standards lab - it's at Rugby in the UK, and we used clocks in the Netherlands that exploited the German equivalent. Australia doesn't seem to have one. -- Bill Sloman, Sydney
bill.sloman@ieee.org <bill.sloman@ieee.org> wrote:
> By "atomic clock" I imagine you mean the standard clock signal broadcast by the local National Standards lab - it's at Rugby in the UK, and we used clocks in the Netherlands that exploited the German equivalent. > > Australia doesn't seem to have one.
I use those clocks whenever possible. Only my microwave oven and my Honeywell thermostat have free-running clocks. All the others are either locked to NTP (internet tine) or to DCF-77 (the German "atomic clock" radio signal).
On Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10:16:36 PM UTC-5, bill....@ieee.org wrote:
> My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. > > Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. > > Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. > > The clock was a VGW-531 > > http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 > > Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion > > https://www.sensirion.com/en/ > > Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. > > I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. > > My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. > > The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. > > -- > Bill Sloman, Sydney
ebay? I've had one of these GE alarm clocks for years.. decades.. https://www.ebay.com/i/282807516700?chn=ps George H.
On Fri, 2 Feb 2018 18:12:45 +0530, Pimpom <Pimpom@invalid.com> wrote:

>On 2/2/2018 8:46 AM, bill.sloman@ieee.org wrote: >> My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. >> >> Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. >> >> Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. >> >> The clock was a VGW-531 >> >> http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 >> >> Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion >> >> https://www.sensirion.com/en/ >> >> Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. >> >> I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. >> >> My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. >> >> The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. >> > >Didn't it come with instructions?
These are great: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P8XGG84/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The human interface and general feel are good. The backlight is on dim all the time, about the right brightness, and goes brighter when you are setting things. It's probably a couple of blue or blue-white LEDs running at a few uA, so probably doesn't affect battery life. Uses three triple-A batteries. I wish Sloman would look up the rules about its and it's. -- John Larkin Highland Technology, Inc lunatic fringe electronics
On Friday, February 2, 2018 at 9:35:50 AM UTC-5, bill....@ieee.org wrote:
> On Friday, February 2, 2018 at 8:50:36 PM UTC+11, bloggs.fred...@gmail.com wrote: > > On Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10:16:36 PM UTC-5, bill....@ieee.org wrote: > > > My old digital alarm clock lost it's alarm last year (though the clock part still works fine) and I started looking for a replacement. I wasn't looking hard because my smart-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) could do the job if I moved it's charger into the bed-room. > > > > > > Everybody else seems to be relying on their smartphones too, because I couldn't find a digital alarm clock to buy in any of the usual places. > > > > > > Eventually I ran into one in my local "Chinese shop" - which in Australia means a small shop in a cheap location that has lots of cheap and nasty hardware. They go bankrupt at regular intervals, and their stock gets bought up cheaply by other "Chinese shops" and sold off even more cheaply. > > > > > > The clock was a VGW-531 > > > > > > http://www.vgw.com.au/goods.php?id=1573 > > > > > > Technically, it is brilliant. It has gained ten seconds since I set it, some months ago. It tells me room temperature and humidity, so whoever commissioned the ASIC probably paid a royalty to Sensirion > > > > > > https://www.sensirion.com/en/ > > > > > > Setting it is an absolute nightmare. You have to go into setting mode to do it, and I've managed to do that in the time mode to get the year, month, day, hour, minutes and seconds right. The alarm functions haven't been as accessible. > > > > > > I can switch to alarm mode (by pressing the "alarm" button (which has a bell symbol on it) which tells me that the alarm is set to go off at 7:00am (and it does, when I let it) but pushing the "set" button doesn't make anything flash on and off on the screen, and pushing the "raise" (up arrow) or "lower" (down arrow) button doesn't have any effect. > > > > > > My best guess is that the last organisation making digital clocks spent a lot on having a very fancy ASIC designed - probably by somebody like Jim Thompson - who included every facility that anybody could want, but didn't think too hard about what the user ad to do to make these facilities accessible - somebody very like Jim Thompson. > > > > > > The idea would have been to grab as much as possible of a rapidly shrinking market by offering extra bells and whistles, but since the alarm part of the clock is inaccessible, the scheme would have fallen flat. > > > > Westclox makes an assortment. Even their little atomic clock is cheap at under $10. The atomic clock is best because it self-sets, actually for the cheap one it's the only way to set it, and you have to wait 12 hours on average for it to receive the calibration signal > > https://www.ebay.com/b/Westclox-Alarm-Clocks/79643/bn_7794915 > > By "atomic clock" I imagine you mean the standard clock signal broadcast by the local National Standards lab - it's at Rugby in the UK, and we used clocks in the Netherlands that exploited the German equivalent. > > Australia doesn't seem to have one.
http://www.twentytwoten.com/666/will-atomic-time-watch-sync-australia/
> > -- > Bill Sloman, Sydney