alarm clock

ST7565 Success

After much screwing around, I finally got the ST7565 working with the Arduino Due. The wonderful u8glib recently added support for the Due and had preexisting support for the ST7565. I’m still annoyed that I can’t get the adafruit library to work on the Due. I’m slowly porting bits of the u8glib SAM code path for the ST7565 over, but frankly I’m just annoyed with displays at this point, so I’m going to go on the something more interesting, like actually adding a clock to my alarm clock.

ST7565 and the Arduino Due

I’ve spent the last several days unsuccessfully trying to get the ST7565 to work with the Arduino Due. I’ve been trying to port ladyada’s ST7565 library to the SAM core without much luck. Using the ST7565 with Uno and the library works with no issues, as would be expected, so I didn’t fuck up soldering or anything easy to diagnose like that. Getting the code to run on the Due is not as easy.

Struggles With the Arduino Due

One of the things I knew going into this project was that I wanted the alarm clock to be compatible with Arduino. Ideally I’m going to expose as many of the Arduino’s pins on the final product in an accessible way so people can slap on shields and extend the clock to make it better. This then begs the question: which Arduino? I have both a Uno and a Due. While I like the simplicity, support and cost of the Uno, the Due seems more future proof.

Learning to Solder

One of this things I knew I need to learn to build the world’s best alarm clock was how to solder. And I was right: one of the first things I needed to do was solder wires to the ST7565 display I got from adafruit so I could hook it up to the Arduino at the heart of the clock. Problem 1: I don’t have a soldering iron. Some quick Googling show that there are a lot of cheap soldering irons out there, and that you can probably get away with using them if you’re not doing a ton of work.

Alarm Clocks Suck

Crappy Sony Alarm Clock All current alarm clocks suck. Go look at Amazon and see what I mean. The best appear to be the Sony designs, which look unchanged from mid-90s. Piles of buttons, no auto-setting of time, no modern technology. If you want something built this decade, the best bet is the iHome crap. I’m sure you’ve seen these: the look like they’re designed by a blind man, they only support iPhones and iPods, and still aren’t all that high-tech.