LunzPi Alarm Clock

June 4, 2017

Finished Product First:

lunzpi finished

LunzPi Alarm Clock in Action

Here is a quick video of everything working before I built the case

LunzPi: Raspberry Pi Alarm Clock


Have you ever thought about something for TWO and a half years? I mean, there were some breaks in there. I had other things in life come up, career goals to focus on, and even moved states! But, from the first idea to the last bit of glue drying on this project... it's been on my mind. Some technological advances greatly helped me finish this project. It was really nice going from a Raspberry Pi B+ to the Pi 2 and enjoying the speed boost!

What started as a quick sketch to one of my coworkers became a two and a half year journey. I've learned a lot of new skills that I would not have pursued if it was not for this project like:

  • becoming a lot better at coding in python

  • problem solving

  • Creating CAD Designs

  • using a table saw and other woodworking tools for complex joinery

  • using a bench grinder

  • project management and prioritization

lunzpi sketch

Objective: Create an alarm clock which gets me out of bed as pleasantly as possible. LunzPi


  • Wake up to a Spotify playlist

  • This way, I can edit the playlist on my phone or computer anywhere in the world -- not relying on FTPing local files and connections to the Pi

  • Set the alarm from a webpage

  • Screen is viewable from across the room

  • Ideally, I can use the bright LEDs as a sunrise alarm clock (gradually increasing brightness)

Enclosure 3D Model:

Fusion 360 CAD Models:

Here are a few models created using AutoDesk Fusion 360

lunzpi model

lunzpi 1





Work In progress:

Here are photos of the initial stages of the project.

lunzpi 2

lunzpi adafruit

lunzpi fritzing

I used fritzing to map out the connections between the Pi Hat, the GPIO expander, Photocell (to control the dimming), and the touch capacitive buttons.

lunzpi circuit

Things aren't always as neat in real life.

lunzpi face1

This was an experimental display -- extremely bright!!

lunzpi face2

This one displayed the weather (by drawing clouds) and the temperature.

lunzpi face3

It rains a lot in Portland, Oregon.

lunzpi holes

There were some initial miscalculations when aligning the holes to the ones in the copper. I improved tremendously as I went on.

lunzpi dryfit1

I did a "dry fit" of the case to make sure everything fit before applying the glue.

lunzpi dryfit2

Here it is held together with blue tape (and hopes/dreams) during the dry fit.

lunzpi clamps

While I was clamping it all together and watching glue dry, I turned it on and it booted right up!

Finished Product!

lunzpi finished

Bill of Materials:

Item     Qty   Per Unit Price Total Price
Medium 16x32 RGB LED matrix panel 1 24.95 24.95
5V 2A (2000mA) switching power supply - UL Listed 1 7.95 7.95
Premium Female/Female Jumper Wires - 40 x 6" 1 3.95 3.95
Female DC Power adapter - 2.1mm jack to screw terminal block 1 2 2
Premium Male/Male Jumper Wires - 40 x 6" (150mm) 1 3.95 3.95
DS1307 Real Time Clock breakout board kit 1 9 9
Raspberry Pi 2 - Model B - ARMv7 with 1G RAM 1 39.95 39.95
Panel Mount USB Cable - B Female to Micro-B Male 1 3.95 3.95
Assembled Pi T-Cobbler Plus - GPIO Breakout for Raspberry Pi B+ 1 7.95 7.95
RJ45-Male-to-Female-Panel-Mount-Ethernet-LAN-Network-Extension-Cable-Excellent 1 2.44 2.44
2.1mm female/male barrel jack extension cable - 1.5m / 5 ft 1 1.95 1.95
Standalone 5-Pad Capacitive Touch Sensor Breakout - AT42QT1070 1 7.5 7.5
Adafruit Push-button Power Switch Breakout 1 6 6
PIR (motion) sensor 1 9.94 9.94
Photo cell (CdS photoresistor) 1 0.95 0.95
DS18B20 Digital temperature sensor + extras 1 3.95 3.95
Adafruit RGB Matrix HAT + RTC for Raspberry Pi - Mini Kit 1 24.95 24.95
HDMI male to Female AV audio panel screws mount cable 0.3m 1 3.82 3.82
6 Inch 1/8" 3.5mm Stereo Audio Headphone Cable Extension Cord M to F MP3 Aux 1 3.9 3.9
CR1220 12mm Diameter - 3V Lithium Coin Cell Battery - CR1220 1 0.95 0.95
Panel Mount 2.1mm DC barrel jack 1 2.95 2.95
16mm Panel Mount Momentary Pushbutton - Burgundy 1 0.95 0.95
Half-size breadboard 1 5 5
16mm Panel Mount Momentary Pushbutton - Black 1 0.95 0.95
Total 24 $179.86

May 2017 Updates

lunzpi face4

I had some time to work on the "new clock-faces" and experimented with gradients

lunzpi face5

More gradients -- this one is the reverse of the photo above.

lunzpi finished2

This is the clock face I'm using these days. I really like the clouds because they aren't as bright and have some "texture" haha