Open Source Hearing Impaired Alarm Clock using Arduino

Activities of daily living (ADL) are self-care activities that are usually taken for granted, since as the name implies they are performed on a daily basis. If you have ever ended up in a cast, or on crutches you can empathize how menial daily activities can suddenly be very difficult to perform. Waking up in the morning and maintaining a schedule is obviously an important ADL, and for those with hearing impairments that can be a challenge with tradional radio alarm clocks. This post will discuss an open source option for maintaining a daily schedule with a hearing impaired alarm clock. A hearing impaired alarm clock flashes your bedside lamp to wake you up in the morning. Commercial versions of this alarm clock have been disappointing, and are expensive because of the relatively small market size for this type of alarm clock. This combination of poor performance and high cost motivated the open source hearing impaired alarm clock project.

Arduino Hearing Impaired Alarm Clock

This post is organized into the following sections:

  1. Project overview
  2. Bill of materials / price breakdown
  3. Hardware setup
  4. Software setup
  5. Operating Instructions
  6. Future work, possible derivatives

Project Overview

The hearing impaired alarm clock is based on an arduino micro-controller that switches on and off a lamp using a relay. Since building circuits to control household power is best left to professionals, a UL certified module that allows you to control the lamp using 5V signals from the arduino is employed (safety first!). Alarm clocks must survive an alarming amount of abuse from sleepy users, therefore the electronics are protected inside a wood box procured from a local hobby store. Finally a small LCD display is used to communicate the time and other pertinent information to the user.




  • Drill
  • 3/8″ spade drill bit
  • Saw (preferably a jig saw)
  • Roto zip or similar router (optional)
  • Compass for drawing circles
  • computer with arduino IDE installedArduino Hearing Impaired Alarm Clock circuit

Hardware Setup

The four arcade buttons are mounted on the top of the wooden box. A window is cut out of the front of the box using the jig saw to mount the LCD screen. The 3/8″ spade bit is used to drill access holes into the back of the  box for the power cord and the 5V wires that control the power tail. The power tail is mounted behind the back of the wooden box.

Code here:

Hearing Impaired Alarm Clock Source Code (Arduino)


Major Components in Project

Bill of Materials / Price Breakdown

(SparkFun Electronics SKU’s shown in parenthesis)

Total cost: $105, considerable reductions in price could be achieved with better engineering and less reliance on physical computing platforms like the arduino, power switch, and prototype shield. Of course development time is proportional to the ease use of the platform and inversely proportional to cost.

For more detail: Open Source Hearing Impaired Alarm Clock using Arduino

Leave a Comment

= 5 + 8

(Spamcheck Enabled)

Read previous post:
DIY Mod an Omnibot 80's Robot
DIY Mod an Omnibot 80’s Robot with Voice, Camera, Servos, Bluetooth

*Check back for more updates on this build :) So, have you heard of the Omnibot? Well! Any kid from...

Scroll to top