an arduino powered alarm clock


Cubi is an alarm clock I made for an electronics subject in high school. It features:

  • A glorious 8x8 RGB LED matrix display
  • Customisable clock face
  • Modular sliding menu system with animations
  • A party mode that cycles between the time, the temperature and a spectrum analyser from the mic
  • Per day alarm
  • Brightness profile adjustment including night mode
  • Customisable alarm music that fades in
  • Settings and time keeping that persist through power outages

After starting work on Cubi in high school, I then continued work on it over the summer break until around March 2016 where It kind of lost my interest and I moved onto other things. I was originally thinking about mass producing and selling them but that seemed outside of my skill set. Programming and wiring up is one thing, where as market research and PCB design is another. Maybe one day I'll learn how to woodwork and sell these but not any time soon. Considering it would be about $70 to make I don't know who would even buy them, though I've seen people make successful businesses out of world clocks so maybe there's a chance.

Writing a program and running it on a PC is a very different experience to having something that sits next to your bed 24 hours a day. Any mistakes in code could mean waking up late or having trouble sleeping. I remember the first night of having next to my bed I realized the need for a night mode because the lowest brightness setting was way too bright in a totally dark room. So it was a lot of fun thinking of features as I was using the clock

The project ended up being somewhere around 5000 lines of code, though most of it was just the graphics class filled with code like drawline(0,0,2,2). All of the images and animations are just lines like that. It got to a point where I wrote a separate program to convert pixels into code for these images. It was my first real big arduino project and I learned a lot about C++, electronics and git. All in all it was good fun and maybe one day I'll make and sell them.

  • May 2016