Clock Radio

Back when I was tiny, I had an alarm clock next to my bed that had glowing red numbers and a radio built in too. Then, for many years, I did not.

Now it kind of almost returns!

Clock Radio Front

Its official name is “Net LED clock radio” and it was bought from Habitat at half price just after Christmas. The main body is white plastic with a faceplate in brushed aluminium. The numbers and indicator lights are a very bright blue and the back has all the usual buttons.

Clock Radio Back

Holding Alarm and Sleep together results in the seconds display appearing, so I get to relive those exciting moments of 3 minutes and 33 seconds becoming 3:33am and so somehow sticking forever… Or at least 26 more seconds anyway. 2 minutes, 22 seconds into 2:22am is even better… 37 seconds! Not to mention the almost-as-satisfying, yet where-did-the-left-most-digit-come from? 22:22 and 11:11.

That the time is displayed in 24 hours was unexpected however; my earlier one had an AM/PM indicator in the same region as the Alarm LED… 24 hours is less ambiguous I suppose.

Clock Radio Close Up

As for the materials, they are very similar to the current Apple Keyboard and continue the mostly inadvertent trend of mine to buy electronic devices in white shells; iBook, eMac & MacBook, Nintendo GameCube & DS, Eee PC… With the current trend towards aluminium however, I suppose this will end soon; my monitor, USB hub and 500GB external hard drive are all silver-painted-plastic.

Modifications that would make the Net better would be a tighter door on the battery compartment as sometimes the four AA batteries pop out due to the slightest jostling. A switch to dim the LEDs would be appreciated as at night my entire bedroom glows blue. This doesn’t bother me as I don’t notice it with my eyes closed, but it does mean my lady friend will not allow it in the bedroom when I move back in with her. Finally, though the batteries maintain the time and even allow the radio to operate when the power adaptor is not plugged in, I’d prefer it if they also powered the LED clock itself.

Thinking forward, when the FM and AM radio signals are finally switched off, I plan on either opening it up and fitting an MP3 player of some kind, or possibly simply using a USB FM transmitter to stream content from a computer. Also, I’d like to change the blue LEDs for white ones, or at the very least red ones, as blue is for some reason much harder to see than those two.

And that’s that.

[NOTE - I forgot to say originally, but I would not have this clock if Elton had not been super-powerful, going to several branches of Habitat and calling all around on my behalf until he eventually managed to find one of the few remaining in stock. In return, I totally helped him proof-read his review of Indiana Jones 4. Hoo-hah.]