Pi Alarm B&W

Pi Alarm 2.0 – My Second Attempt at a Raspberry Pi Alarm Clock

What happened to Pi Alarm?  Well, you may already know, but if you don’t here’s what happened: through a series of fatal mistakes by the one and only me, I managed to corrupt my SD card.  My program vanished into the abyss of lost code.  And the icing on the cake that was my broken raspberry pi? I forgot to save a copy of my code.

The hundreds of lines of code and almost as many hours had, quite simply, vanished.

I was slightly very devastated.  But it was done and I was just going to have to learn from my own very stupid mistake.  I could have just tried something else, or given up, but instead I decided to start again and make Pi Alarm 2.0.

It was thanks to my Computing teacher, Mr Aitken, that my Raspberry Pi is now working.  Well I say ‘my’ Raspberry Pi but I actually ended up swapping my one for one from school.  It worked and Mr Aitken managed to save me the hassle of adding my icons and music back, but it also caused some problems (you’ll hear about them in a minute).

In theory the process was going to be 100% easier and quicker as I already knew what I had to do and didn’t have to teach myself Tkinter. In practice however that was really not true.

So what problems did I encounter this time?

Problem #1 – WiFi
Again, if you don’t already know, my WiFi is less than adequate.  This time however the problem was not initially with my WiFi, but instead with my WiFi adapter.  For some unknown reason my new Raspberry Pi decided it didn’t want to detect the WiFi adapter. At all.

My Solution – It took me a day and a half to fix this problem.  My brain was so frazzled by the end that I actually can’t tell you how I managed to fix it because I don’t remember! At least it works…

Problem #2 – Where do I begin!
I knew exactly what my end product was going to be but having spent so much time on it previously I couldn’t even begin to think where to start.

My Solution – I refreshed my memory on how to build the clock and after that it all started coming back to me. Phew!

Problem #3 – Screen Timeout
I spent SO MUCH TIME trying to adjust the screen timeout settings on my previous Raspberry Pi that when I finally found a solution* using ‘xset’ relatively quickly this time I was both ecstatic and also a tad annoyed.

*My solution though created a new problem.  Whenever I got my screen to turn itself off it would turn the Pi off and on again.  How strange. Until it wasn’t.

My Solution – It transpired that my Pi wasn’t receiving a high enough voltage and for some reason this caused my Pi to turn off when the screen went off (I’m still not entirely sure why that is).  I realised that the microUSB cable on the charger I was using was slightly faulty and didn’t fit properly.  I tried another charger and – it still wasn’t working.

This time my new charger was only 1 amp.  I thought I was going to have to buy a new power supply until I noticed my previous charger that also didn’t work was 2 amps.  So I needed to buy a >2 amp power supply! Except I didn’t.  I woke up early on Saturday and it hit me.  I remembered the cable was faulty on my 2 amp charger.  A simple solution really, I just took the cable from the 1 amp charger and used it with the 2 amp one.  Screen off – Pi on. Yay!

Aside from all the other little problems I had to fix along the way, I didn’t suffer any major set backs.  And my code is on GitHub – so I’ll never lose it again!

I’m aware that due to my Pi Alarm set back this is my first blog post in a while.  But I promise you there will be one in the next week or so and I’m really looking forward to writing it.  Curious? You’ll just have to wait and see! If you follow me on twitter there is a clue there and if you really can’t wait be sure to sign up to my mailing list to be the first to know about blog posts and receive exclusive news.

That’s all from me – I hope the rest of your day is very ‘appy 😉


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2 thoughts on “Pi Alarm 2.0 – My Second Attempt at a Raspberry Pi Alarm Clock

  1. Hello Ellora,

    it took me a lot time to find a simple alarm clock to use with my Home Automation. Good work, thumbs up. Thank you very much for sharing.


    1. Hi Matthias,
      Apologies for not replying sooner! Thank you very much for reading – hope it was helpful 🙂

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