Lamp Alarm

So just in case you didn’t know, this weekend was National Over-Engineer a Project Weekend.  I celebrated it by adding a switch to a timer to a lamp to a switch to wake up to in the morning.  I COULD have just bought a timer, bought a light-up alarm clock, another lamp, or even just moved a lamp that I don’t use so often.  No.


Could have bought this:

I wanted to:

  • have one lamp.
  • still be able to use the lamp to read at night.
  • have it go on automatically every weekday morning (it is the 21st century, I shouldn’t have to tell it that it’s Saturday and not to wake me up).

I ended up wiring some relays, extra switches, and lights.  Now, I have a box that will let me turn on the lamp, regardless of whether the timer is on or not; a “Timer Disable” mode switch and a light to tell me when “Timer Disable” mode is off (timer is on); extrapower outlets; and a hidden switch.

This is kind of how it went down.

I started by finding a strip timer in Home Depot on Saturday night.  Then said, “Bah, that’s not enough!” and came up with everything I wanted it to do.  With that I sketched this out.

I ran out and got everything I (thought I) needed and started bolting together some bits and pieces.  That was when I realized that the strip timer had a missing protector cap.  Poo…But was good because it was also time for a parts run.  I had realized that the strip wasn’t fused and that I didn’t want to interact with that alarm timer interface all the time.


Saturday Night Sunday Morning

was on Sunday morning, before I got the rest of the goods.

Inline fuse holder

1 Amp Slow Blow Fuse

While I was out there I got these two things (DPDT Switch and Red Lamp and assembly) so that I could turn this off during vacations.  At first I was just going to get a switch.  Then I figured I needed to over engineer that with an “armed” light.  Well worth it.

After I took off to see Radio Shack and exchanged the defective strip timer, I was able to finish with no major bumps!  (Not even any burns this time!)  I tested it, buttoned it all up, tested it again, cleaned out / organized my tool box, and tada!  It’s done.

Final parts count:

What I used What I spent Link
two RH2B-U DPDT (Could’a just used SPDT relays but these relays were the ones I had.) $                - DPDT 120VAC Relay
A little wiring block I had lying around. $                - Block
A bunch of spare 18 guage wire. $                -
The “timer disable” DPDT switch. $           4.00 Disable Switch
A fuse holder and 3A slow blow fuse (for the lamp and Relay 1) that I had lying around. $                - Fuse 1
A fuse holder and 1A slow blow fuse (for the Relay 2). $           6.18 Fuse 2
A pair of dollar store extension cables that were around $                -
Timer Strip $         21.00 Strip Timer
Indicator Lights $           3.69 Light
Subtotal $         34.87
Stuff I wanted more than needed for the project
Solder stuff $           8.00 Tinner
Driver $           1.00
Dykes $           2.00
Wire strippers $         10.00 Strippers
Another Subtotal $         21.00
Last Subtotal $         55.87
+Tax $         60.90

I can totally see why they price these lamps at 100 bucks now.  I could have done it in a day and it if I didn’t waste so much time dinking around with the stupid sketches.

I may yet add more to this like a nicer project box…and a toaster.  Yeah, I need it to start some eggs and toast weekday mornings.

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