Tuesday, March 24, 2009

i have a clock!

Back when I retired my Comcast DVR service, the thing that I missed the most was that I no longer had a clock in my living room.  Since then, I have actually gone through the trouble of finding a replacement clock.

In my mind, a simple clock should cost no more than $5, and shouldn’t be needlessly elaborate.  I first tried Target, where there was a Sony clock for something like $15.  Too much.  I then tried Best Buy, where they had the same clock, but for more money.  I clearly was looking in the wrong places.  I later checked out the local hardware/random crap store where they had some cheapo clocks like the one I got in Hong Kong 20 years ago that didn’t even accurately keep time.  $3, but too small and crappy for the living room.  At that point, I basically gave up.

But, as fate would have it, I was destined to find a clock.  As I was coming back up to my apartment after driving home from work (a rare occurrence in itself), I spotted a iPod dock/alarm/radio/clock in the corner that people put the trash that they think other people might want.  I snapped it up and figured I’d give it a shot.  The thing worked, but not surprisingly, wasn’t in perfect operating condition.  One of the speakers wasn’t working.  This must be why it was thrown out in the first place.

So what do I do?  I had the clock that I wanted, complete with dimmer, which is pretty awesome.  But no, I must meddle.  I just *had* to take the thing apart to try to figure out what was wrong with it.  After meddling with the speaker connectors, I came to the conclusion that the speakers worked fine, but for some reason the circuit board wasn’t outputting any audio to the left speaker.  I didn’t see anything visibly wrong with the board, so I cut my losses and decided to make it so that the thing has mono output.  Yes, I know.  It already had mono output so it really makes no difference.  But anyway, a bit of solder later, I had both speakers working.  It actually sounds better, BTW.

OK…  where was I…  I wrote all that while Outlook was searching for some e-mail… Now I’m waiting for my remote computer to do something.

Anyway, the clock is working.  Plus, it has decent speakers so now I can listen to the radio while working from home without having to have both my HTPC and my TV on.  Instead of 200W? I’m running on 15W.  Sweetness.  I also managed to tether it up as a speaker for the HTPC in case I feel like listening to my own music off the comp without wasting the 47” TV.

Back to work!

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