Whether it’s the retro look of the tube or the cool ice blue glow, when Limor Fried came out with the Ice Tube Vacuum Clock I knew immediately I had to have one. Given the constant state of backorder it appears I’m not alone. This consumer of open source gadgetry had little trouble justifying the purchase with xmas on the way and my better half constantly leaning over to use my previous hand made alarm clock
Well before the kit arrived I had started work on a new housing for the clock, although the plexiglass box is ingeniously simple does not do the electronic design justice. Taking the shape of the stock housing as a starting point I initially drafted up a zen-like case mod that would follow the form of a Japanese temple gate. However, something didn’t feel quite right to me and I had my eureka moment when inspiration struct in the form of random blog post about cool rockets . And alarm clock that looks and operates like a ticking time bomb from a sci-fi movie!
[insert sketch of rocket design]
Fitting it together
Customising the Electronics
As a designer I understand that the success of any project relies on understanding you target user. People can generally be categorised in to two groups. The first group figure out when they need to wake up and set the alarm accordingly. My wife falls in to the second lot.. a strange breed to first figure out when they need to get out of bed and then count back 30 minutes, set the alarm, then press the snooze button while they revel in the comfy twilight zone between sleep and the start of the day. Limor’s original desing places the snooze functionality behind any of the three microswitches – when the alarm is active one only needs to hit any of the switches for another 5 minutes of bliss… but they are still a little hard to find. I ran a large push button switch from the tail of the rocket in parallel to one of the switches.