The Defusable Clock is a fully-functional alarm clock just like you’d expect (a normal beeping alarm, snooze alarm, etc.). But at any time you can press the big red button to start a scary countdown sequence exactly like bombs in Hollywood movies. There are 4 wires across the top of the clock. You have 10 seconds to choose the correct wire to cut: one wire stops the countdown and saves the day, two have no effect, and one will “detonate” the device immediately. These role of each wire is randomly assigned when the detonate button is pressed, so it’s a new challenge every time. Also, the wires are attached with screw terminals, so you can replace them easily. If you don’t want to actually cut the wires, you can just pull them out of the screw terminals if you keep the screws a little loose.
The microcontroller is an ATmega328 with the Arduino bootloader, so this clock is programmable with the Arduino IDE. The ATmega328 is certainly more powerful than needed for a clock, but this device has lots of inputs/outputs, and ATmega328 chips are now about the same price as the older ATmega168. It keeps very accurate time and requires a simple 9V “wall wart” power adapter. A special alarm mode lets you even use the countdown sequence as the alarm and require it to be defused when you wake up in the morning. What a stressful way to start the day!
We are going to offer this as an electronics kit later this fall. Only the electronics will be in the kit — nothing that looks like dangerous explosives! With some imagination, I’m sure you can make a great looking Defusable Clock for yourself, but don’t go scaring anyone with it, and don’t bring it anywhere near an airport, ok? The product page will have plenty of warnings not to use this kit for any evil purposes or get into trouble with your school, employer, or local law enforcement! There will also be a picture gallery where you can submit a picture of your clock after you build it.
Click here if you’d like to receive an email notification when the Defusable Clock kit is available!