This is the Spoka Box ver 2.0.
It’s an upgraded version of this one.
First of all, “why Spoka Box?”
In the very first version its name was S.M.S., that stands for Scatola Magica della Solitudine [eng: Magic Box of Loneliness], and it was a gift for my girlfriend, who studies and lives far away from our city 5 day a week.
The goal was to give her a present to remember me and don’t feel loneliness. It could show some random sentences to encourage her and a simple romantic “cartoon”.
Now, the main features and the design is totally upgraded and the gift needed a new name, Spoka Box, from the name of the little night light bought from IKEA.
Spoka Box essentially is an alarm clock with a graceful and funny design, but in the inner core it’s an useful butler.
In fact Spoka Box is programmed to wake up its master gently, turning on a soft light some minutes before the alarm time, and it’s upgradable with much more usable functionalities (some will be added in the near future).
Features and description
- clock and date
- alarm clock
- midi alarm song
- before alarm, wake up mood light
- independent mood light
- random sentences (in main screen and by a button function)
- simple cartoon
Date and time are configurable by a dedicate menu and saved into an internal chip, that has its own battery.
The time is shown in a very big style in the middle of the screen, the date and the week day is visible in the top right corner.
In the top left corner you can see an “*”, that indicates the alarm is set on.
Midi alarm song.
In the main persistent memory there is a midi song saved for the alarm functions.
The Spoka Box uses two 2W speakers with standard 3.5mm jack, that have a volume control in the back.
Spoka Box functions.
The spoka light can works totally independent by the Spoka Box, can also be detached from it and used with its internal rechargeable battery, and have three states: off, “slow changing color light” and fixed light.
When 10 minutes till wake up, in any states the spoka light is, the Spoka Box set the “slow changing color light” state.
When alarm (and song) starts, the Spoka Box create a new state for the spoka light, by a loop between on and off, it blinks the light.
Now you can switch off the alarm and the spoka light remain in “slow changing color light” until 15 minutes pass, or you can turn it off pushing its head.
It shows a random sentence from a list.
Every minute one of this sentence is shown in the bottom of the main screen, or you can see one by selecting the function in the menu.
It shows a short lovely animation.
It uses a matrix of the positions of every single elements of the cartoon.
The design of the Spoka Box is made of four main parts: core box, box support, spoka light and speakers.
The core box is where the main board, memory and clock chip (and battery) are.
It’s made from an electric derivation box (plastic), covered by purple cloth and some yellow flowers.
It has a 3.5mm jack for spoka light control, a 3.5mm jack for audio out, and a mini usb port to firmware update and power supplier.
On the right side there is a pot to control the screen brightness.
The Box support is made from an IKEA cutlery holder (name: Magasin, price: € 2 ca.), painted and modified to look like the “E” letter.. my girlfriend name is Elisa.
It also has two little magnets inside the top, to firmly attach the core box.
It’s a night light from IKEA (name: Spoka, price: € 13 ca.).
It has been added a little board (a power mosfet used as a switch), put into the core box, and a 3.5mm jack inside, to read the light state and to change it by an electric impulse, simulating the head button press.
Normal 2W, 3.5mm jack, speakers, with volume control in the back and a nice looking design.
How it’s done (hardware).
- graphic LCD,
- LCD shield (by me),
- 2 buttons,
- 2 trimmers,
- 2 3.5mm jacks,
- mini breadboard,
- 1 electric box.
- Spoka night light,
- 1 mini board with a power mosfet (into spoka light),
- 1 3.5mm jack.
You can find the code and some information about LCD here.
Some functions and menus code snippet will come (the code needs some public readable updates).