If your Raspberry Pi projects are boring you to sleep, this Pico-powered alarm clock created by Vernon over at NerdCave is sure to wake you up! Using our favorite microcontroller, it features an LCD screen, buttons for controlling and setting the clock, is housed inside a custom-designed case and even accepts DC input for power.
It works like a standard alarm clock but with four buttons for programming the alarm and setting the time. The LCD displays a simple interface for configuring the clock. The far left button is used to set the alarm, the next two add and subtract minutes to determine the alarm time while the far right button confirms the alarm.
This project is simple enough for beginners but has plenty of room for more experienced makers to add and remove features as they go along—much like the other project shared to his YouTube channel, NerdCave. Vernon specializes in microelectronics projects and shares all of the details at NerdCave for anyone who wants to follow along with or modify the projects to suit their needs at home. We recently covered his Pico-powered joystick LED project which uses an analog stick to trigger LEDs.
This alarm clock is built around a Raspberry Pi Pico and relies on a DS-1302 RTC (Real Time Clock) module to keep track of the time. A couple of WS2812B (NeoPixel) LED strips are thrown into the mix as well to illuminate with custom colors while a buzzer module is used to sound the alarm. It supports DC power input and is housed inside of a custom laser-cut case designed by Vernon with Fusion 360.
The alarm clock functions are programmed using MicroPython but you could also build it with C or CircuitPython if that’s more your speed. In this case, Vernon is using MicroPython along with this LCD Display library to get the output he wants on the 16 x 2 LCD panel.
If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project, you should check out the video shared to NerdCave by Vernon for an up-close look of both how it works and demo video of the final product. Vernon has also shared the source code used in this project at GitHub along with all of his other projects for anyone interested in perusing the materials he’s created. Be sure to follow NerdCave for more cool projects and original Raspberry Pi creations.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.