Fun & Games Technology
Weekend Project:  Phaser blasted alarm clock!

Blast your alarm clock with a classic Sega Light Phaser! Hack an old toy and your alarm clock to make this gratifying wake up call…

MP4 Video | QT Video | Subscribe in iTunes.

Make Pt0492
From the pages of MAKEProject: Gun-Operated Alarm Clock – Hack a retro gaming light gun with tilt switches to control a vintage digital clock radio. When the alarm wakes you up, grab the gun and kill it off! Read it in the MAKE digital edition.

74 thoughts on “Weekend Project: Phaser blasted alarm clock!

  1. WAY better then last week, still not very practical though. Its a step in the right direction.

    PS will there ever be another Joe Grand episode?

  2. @moolc – thanks, we’ll get better and better each week — we’ll have joe on the cast’ soon too.

    as far as practical goes, that’s not really something we’ll really do that much of all the time, sure – we’ll some projects that are utility based, but many of our projects (and our past projects) are more inspiration and skill building.

    if you look at paper plate shapes, puppets and cameras on weather balloons, none of those are really practical but were very popular.

  3. Yep, better than last week. My only real compliant now is all the pervy Metcafe video links that pop up at the end. Personally I don’t mind, but it’s a little weird with my kids sitting next to me. The kids miss Bre’ too.

  4. @The Thompson Five – we’re testing out metacafe, i will talk to them about the “view more” videos at the end.

    benjojo – joe is working on a tv show and he’ll be here from time to time.

  5. Much better than the first one, and a good variation on the original project, I like the added sound.

    Also, it would be possible to power the sound board through the 2 unused wires.

  6. What a promising improvement! It’s great to see that Kip is taking on board all the ‘kind advice’ people posted last week.

    I’m still not in love with the intro though. 20 seconds was too long last week, turns out it’s still too long this week.

    Where’s the ad gone? I’m not missing it, to be sure, but all that fuss about getting more people, food for lunch, and helping Radioshack get out of the reputation they got (irrelevant here in Europe); and now it’s gone. Ah well, it’s better for us, if not for you, I suppose.

    The new narrator voice is much better. Doesn’t sound like those informercials in the supermarket selling you a super-mop anymore. It doesn’t sound patronizing either, it’s adequate.

    Do you wear glasses when you work on the project? Or do you have an assistant in the video? The gentleman revealing the secret screw has glasses.

    When I read that project in the mag, I thought how it was funny that instead of reaching for the alarm clock you were now expected to sleep with your weapon, like in the army.

    Cool little workshop! Bit too tidy though (running out of things to complain about here). Nice touch with all the box sets in the background.

    Great job Kip, looking forward to your next Make video.

    Lionel.

  7. This is still a very very boring video and mundane project. I liked the older videos because they were interesting projects about people pushing the limits of what can be done. I just unsubscribed from this podcast, if the magazine starts taking a turn I’ll unsubscribe from that too. Time to pack up and go out to look for something more interesting.

  8. eh, I guess it is better than last week. I like that kipkay went more in depth of the why, but it seems he purposley tried to make it unperfessional, I mean this is his first video where he ever studdered or paused or said um or anything like that!

    I know what was better about bre’s! With him you made stuff. With kip you mod stuff.

  9. Yes that’s me in the glasses. I use a pair of 4+ reading glasses when I do close-up work. Thanks for all of the comments. Always open to suggestions and comments. Also, there is no model number for the alarm clock. Inexpensive model made in China.

  10. @AC – you’re missing out, this is just the 2nd video of hundreds. when bre started a lot of people complained too . usually the complaints were that the projects were to simple, and then later too hard – you can’t please everyone.

    @guyfrom7up – this is just the 2nd video, it’s hard to generalize there is more ahead, each week.

  11. What a wasted opportunity. I thought initially you would have to aim the gun at the clock to snooze; that would be an awesome project with IR LEDs and photodiodes and what-not

  12. Just a note on the video itself: In the iTunes-Podcast you’ll get a 240mb H.256-compressed video with 1080i resolution.

    That’s a bit much, don’t you think? Go easy on your servers and scale it down to 640 * 360 or something like that.

  13. Seconding Christian – when I clicked play on this in iTunes I thought I’d left it scaled to ‘fit to screen’!

    I guess the stupid resolution is for the AppleTV users? It’s probably overboard.

  14. @Max – this is from our project in MAKE volume 08 – MAKE projects aren’t meant to the end, only the beginning — why don’t you make that project and send us some photos or what you did – in kip’s version he added sound, you could add IR — that’s sorta how all this works, we all add and contribute…

  15. You know what, I was very skeptical at first, I guess I still am a fair bit, but it seems kipkay is getting more make: ‘y :P

    The project was much cooler than last week and there was enthusiasm and stuff :) I agree with the others, the intro is a bit long… Also, I think I found the source for kip’s ‘radio style’ voice : it sounds like you’re using a condenser mic with a pop-shield, gives off much clearer sound but also much more flat and reverbless. I don’t know if you have software for it, but I’m guessing you do if you’re overdubbing, adding a wee-bit of reverb and a EQ with some odd soft harmonics could make the whole thing sound like if it wasn’t done in a recording booth.

    I hope to see kip getting even more general with his explications : especialy when it comes to parts, people are never going to have the same parts, so it’s no use bothering on details of you’re (though that wasn’t so bad in the video).

    Anyhow, I actually enjoyed this video and can see kip’s been doing his homework, even though I found some of the comment on the last one way to harsh. I hope to see some of your own creations in the future and maybe a bit more perkiness.

    Keep it real, Louis.

    PS : am I the only one having trouble with the “captcha” thing in to post comments ?

  16. @Christian & @John:
    On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised to get a nice HD version. The MP4 file is a 34MB 640×480 for those in a hurry. I’m not sure what you get through iTunes though, was it the 1080i version?

    However, Phillip & Kip, please specify the resolution of the videos with the links. I had to get all of them to find the HD one, and others ended up with HD when they wanted a smaller file.

    Lionel.

  17. @Lionel:
    HD is nice, but the iTunes feed has the huge version.

    I suspect there’s far more people putting the video onto iPods and iPhones than there are AppleTVs, so the resolution is overkill.

    Still, at least I have a computer good enough to play it – I had to stop subscribing to Bre’s Weekend Projects feed because the H.264 high res, high bitrate files simply wouldn’t play on my older Mac. Not everyone has a monitor that can display 1080i/p HD, let alone the CPU power to decode it.

  18. Much, much better. Does the gun fire even when not pointing at the clock? That would be unfortunate, but it was still a good podcast. Thanks for taking our suggestions into consideration.

  19. A massive improvement over last week’s video, this one makes me feel like I can relate more to Mr. Kipkay and the project he is doing.

    On a side note, if KipKay is on staff, should his name not appear with the other staff members on the upper right hand section of the screen? I know when Bre was here his used to be there.

    Thanks for listening to your viewers’ suggestions!
    –Purduecer

  20. Hi

    I recently had a problem finding a small ceramic crucible I had called the leading manufacturers, but I had great luck with Malcolm G.Stevens, Inc. Located in Massachusetts, I just wanted to let every know how many items these guys carry in stock is amazing, next day delivery. The web site is http://www.mgstevens.com excellent service

  21. Kudos Kip.
    I know I was maybe a bit critical last week, but this was much better. I’m glad to see the advertisement removed from the middle of the content as well. Thanks for listening to the fans Make!
    “Keep it real” :)
    PS> Where can I get one of those alarm clocks? Looks cool.

    PS> again problem with captcha – second attempt. Is it on a timer? I take time to re-read my posts several times, could that be it?

  22. @Louis – I use an AKG D5 Mic for post with Adobe Soundbooth and my live-on-camera mic is a Countryman Isomax.

  23. Great project, great presentation. I agree that it would have been cool to have to aim the phaser at the clock to get it to shut off. Seems like it would help wake you up.

    I really liked the personalized intro – different feel for a KipKay video, but I think it came out really well.

    Excellent project!

  24. Most excellent improvement Kip! Getting on camera, and even adding in some jokes.

    Bravo. And yes, I do have a few nitpicky things. I woulden’t be the Capitan if I didn’t.

    I think you need to add in some more mid and treble to your VO work though. It is a minor thing, but your VO currently still has that ‘record spinning, finger snapping, toe tapping, FM Radio DJ’-esque feel to it. The inclusion of some mids and treble will help with that.

    Also… Your other videos that aren’t from Make should be on another account. Just so your not double-dipping from both the Make payroll, and the Metacafe payroll.

    Or make a separate Make Metacafe account for other people on Make to upload to. That way, the money can go straight into Make for more cool stuff/projects.

    I am all for people making money. I’m not some hippy who thinks we should all live in a commune sharing everything. We live in America, the land of Capitalism. Go ahead and make money–but I don’t think that you should use Make’s fan-base and subscribers for your own personal gain.

  25. I liked this video a lot more then last week… but it still has that goofy infomercial feel. I’m glad to see your responding to your critics though, and I hope you can accept constructive criticisms while ignoring the people who just yell abuse. I’ll admit that the new format will take some getting used to, but I’m willing to see how it goes for now.

  26. I liked the intro, liked the content, hope that there’s more detail in the magazine/print version – I never bother to look at those, but it was a good teaser to get the juices flow.

    I think the only complaint I had was the sound leveling. I have neighbors and thin walls, I turned down the volume to watch the video, and then the dialog was really quiet, then the narration was really loud. Kind of annoying to have to freak out to turn it down, turn it up, then freak out and turn it down again…

    Just one thing that made it feel unprofessional.

  27. The iTunes version decimated my computer’s CPU. :( My display isn’t high-res enough to even need 1080p anyway (1024×768).

  28. When I first saw this I thought ‘what the hell’ and then it kind of dawned on me that this video is more of a basic principles study in re-purposing and modification. Personally, I would rather see far more complex Make projects and more experimentation, but I understand that Make is now appealing to a wider, younger, and technically inexperienced demographic and in doing so is getting support from some larger sponsors. I hate to say this as I really have enjoyed coming here but I’m getting a bit tired of seeing this level of ‘project’ and will probably stop visiting the Make blog soon. Which from a business sense is a real shame as it’s my demographic that’s paying $15 for the magazine.

  29. @Capitan Obvious: The Metacafe MAKEZINE account is MAKE’s account not mine. I only have one account on Metacafe, Kipkay. I add the MAKE videos to my favorites on my channel.

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