June 8, 2013

Fixing Ikea Lottorp Clock

Ikea Lottorp Clock is a cheap, simple yet complete and easy-to-use alarm clock (and timer, and thermometer!).

UPDATED: Unfortunately, it's almost a discontinued product now...

It is so nice, I've resisted my impulse to hack it... till now...

After another tumble, the mechanism allowing to change function rotating the clock has stopped working.

Time to try to fix it!




With the help of a small flat screwdriver, you can lift and remove the front panel.


It is attached using bi-adhesive tape.





You can then peel-off the bi-adhesive tape (pay attention not to let it crush).


You can then see the four holes to access the small screws that hold the front panel.


With the help of a little philips screwdriver, remothe the four screws.



After removing the front panel, you get access to the main board (attached to the front panel itself) and the internals (the pushbuttions circuit board and the battery holder).



In my case, the tilt sensor (the white block in the picture) did not work anymore because the lid was detached (and the small metal ball was free to move in the clock container...).


After putting it back ad fixing it with super-glue, the tilt mechanism started working again.

Here is a detailed picture of the internals of the tilt sensor. When rotating the clock, the small metal ball makes different connections telling the microcontroller the clock orientation.


In this picture you can see the small (black) piezo speaker used by the alarm.


This speaker makes also a quite annoying "beep" each time you turn the clock. One possible hack is to add a switch in series to the speaker to stop it doing that... even if you have to remember to enable the speaker when you need your alarm to wake you up!

The printing on the main board gives you instant access to the battery, the RGB LED and the pushbuttons, too.