Since I was young, I really liked to stay in front of the wall clock, waiting for it to ring on time. The sound of the pendulum ringing became a special ceremony for a certain moment. The old-fashioned wall clock slowly disappeared, the electronic clock became popular, and time became silent in our daily life. Therefore, we always forget some important days and times, such as the birthdays of family and friends.
Is there a way to help us remember the birthdays? At least to help me remember since I’m really bad at remembering birthdays.
Here comes my quite stupid but working solution. The Clock that Remembers Birthdays, a clock that doesn’t ring on time. At a certain moment, the clock will trigger a time reminder. The trigger mechanism comes with: hour=month, minute=day. For example, Duobao (our cutest company dog) was born on August 8th, so the clock will ring at 20:08 (08:08 pm), with a customized voice reminder saying Happy Birthday to Duobao on August 8th. Meanwhile, the display will shows “Duobao’s” for a whole minute. In this way, I hope it will help us remember important birthdays.Step 1: Connecting all the hardware parts
It’s easy to connect all the parts together. Just to make sure you plug the right pins of the MP3 Player Module.
Since I plan to put the clock in our office, I asked the birthdays of all my colleagues who shared the same office. Here is the list of birthdays that I asked the clock to remember for me:
Alice’s birthday is January 22nd, and the clock will ring at 01:22
Alison’s birthday is February 6th, and the clock will ring at 02.06
Eman’s birthday is March 25th, and the clock will ring at 03.25
Anby’s birthday is April 1st, and the clock will ring at 04.01
Eric’s birthday is June 18th, and the clock will ring at 06.18
Samantha’s birthday is July 7th, and the clock will ring at 07.07
Rain’s birthday is August 28th, and the clock will ring at 08.28
Kawi’s birthday is September 5th, and the clock will ring at 09.05
Tony’s birthday is November 5th, and the clock will ring at 11.05
Joker’s birthday is February 21st, and the clock will ring at 14:21
Violet’s birthday is March 18th, and the clock will ring at 15:18 means 03.18
Lily’s birthday is April 9th, and the clock will ring at 16:09 means 04.09
Duobao’s birthday is August 8th, and the clock will ring at 20:08
CY’s birthday is September 29th, and the clock will ring at 21:29
If you would love to get a copy of all my voice reminders, please leave comments and I'm more than happy to share. :)Step 3: Coding
It took me most of the time to code for this project. And it was also the first time for me to learn coding with Arduino IDE from scratch. A huge THANK YOU to Tony Lin, who helped a lot to tutor around for my lamb codes. Please find the attached codes for reference, and welcome to comment if you have any better lines.Step 4: Casing Design
At the very beginning, I wanted to redecorate a recycled cardboard box to the case of the clock. Using a scissor and a knife, I made this first prototype.
Since it looks no good (even though I tried to decor it with some textile), I thought it would be much easier to do a laser-cutting case. To make it fun and cute, I decide to make the shape of a bunny head.
With the file, I laser cut all the pieces out through our laser cutter. I have also tried two different materials, Acrylic and wooden board. Since the laser-cut acrylic pieces were burnt into a dark color at the edge, I decided to use the wooden one.
It didn’t take long to put these jagged pieces together. As the bunny is usually white, so I spray white paint on the casing and also drew the eyes and mouth to make it more vivid.
Put all the hardware into the bonny head, and seal it with hot glue. Plug it to a power supply, and a bunny clock that remembers birthdays comes alive.