FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

/FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Let’s face it, we all hate spam!  So I think newsletter concept is antiquated these days. While there’s no newsletter there’s a better solution. Just like our Facebook page or follow us on twitter!  This way you’ll get all the updates in a matter that won’t be disruptive and you will have total control of stopping updates from showing if you get fed up with it 🙂

Absolutely not!

Xronos Clock is working and usable right out the box, without need for computer or anything else!

Xronos Board is brains of the Xronos Clock.  It is kind of a Arduino clone but with lots of extras.  You can use it on many of project not related to Xronos Clock.

While board doesn’t support standard Arduino shields, it can do much more than regular Arduino! It has built in Real Time Clock w/ battery backup, microSD card reader, RFM12B radio tranciever and audio processor capable of playing back uncompressed WAV files (mono 22Khz) of any size. And with minor tweaks it’s compatible with many Arduino libraries (some of them were already modified and available on this site for download)  and easily works with Arduino IDE.

  • 16 pin IDC header has 7 data pins (plus VCC and GND) connected to microprocessor and will work with at least two 16×32 Sure’s bi-color LED matrix displays and four 16×24 Sure’s LED displays!  Or use them for your own hardware.
  • Button header (already complete with pull-up resistors) supports 3 buttons.
  • Temperature sensor header supports DS18B20 temperature IC .
  • And there are more headers available for your own custom connections!

 

DIY Kit will be available very soon!

Also separate components such as standalone boards will be offered for sale as well

Yes it’s possible, but you will need to make modification to the code (sketch). And it’s a very easy change too! 🙂  If you are interested and don’t know how, please post question on the forum.

Yes!

All sounds are stored on the microSD card which can be easily accessed by removing left “maintenance” side door which only held by 3 simple screws. You can remove microSD card and replace existing Alarm WAV files (named alarm1.wav, alarm2.wav, etc.) with your own.

Audio files must be in following format: uncompressed WAV, 22Khz, Mono, 16 bit.

Also rather then overwriting alarm files, I highly recommend copying all WAV files from microSD card to your computer first, replacing alarm files (locally on your computer), formatting microSD card and copying old and new files back to it. This will avoid potential issue with file fragmentation.

It’s silly how easy it is to repair Xronos Clock if anything goes wrong!  There are no proprietary tabs or permanent adhesives. Almost everything is held neatly by set of machine screws and can be taken apart in less than 30 minutes!

  • Most electronics are thru the hole, so any of them can be de-soldered and replaced.
  • Main processor is not soldered and can be removed with IC extractor or just plain flat screwdriver.
  • All cables can be easily unplugged from the main board
  • Speaker is probably hardest part to replace, because it’s held with hot glue, but it can be fairly easily detached with simple heat gun or hair dryer!

 

 

While you can buy a mass produced Alarm clocks in the store like Walmart or Target, hand-made electronics are rare and every expensive to make. Each clock is hand-assembled by a single person from quality components. Just parts alone account to more than 50% of the Xronos Clock cost (LED Display and Laser Cut Acrylic case costing the most) and it takes about 3 hours to assemble single clock.

I’m constantly trying to reduce the cost, but it’s not easy. Buying parts in bulk costs thousands of dollars, and currently I’m trying to raise money to buy a laser cutter, which will reduce cost and time needed to make enclosure considerably.

Approximately 2-3 years.

We are using high quality lithium battery (such as Sony or Energizer) inside Xronos Clock to keep time if there’s main power interruption. Real Time Clock chip (RTC) uses very little power, so battery should last 1-2 years if your clock never plugged in. Of course chance are it has external power, during which battery is not used at all so it will just discharge at as if it was laying on the shelf (all batteries discharge on their own) which probably will be about 3 years or more.

Not at all! When I started building Xronos Clock my primary concern was that brightness of LED display will bother me at night and I won’t be able to fall asleep. Indeed naked LED matrix is pretty bright on it’s own, even at lowest setting. However Xronos Clock uses thick (6mm) and very dark acrylic in the front that dims light sufficiently. Set to Auto Brightness or Night Mode it’s not brighter than any off the shelf alarm clock I previously had.  Additionally you can select font that uses less LEDs making clock emit even less light.