The last couple of months have been a lot of fun taking part in the challenge, and here is a quick summary of all the features I was able to implement as part of the challenge. I have managed to achieve most of the features I initially  planned as part of the proposal, with a couple of deviations. And, with the build of the clock and circuit completed, this put me in a good position to add more software features to the clock in the future. Here is an before and after picture side by side



Features Implemented

Here are the list of features I have managed to implement using the Intel Edison.

  • Visual indicator using diffusion panels - as part of the build five glass panels were switched out for 3D printed LED diffusion panel, which are meant to give an visual indicator when I wake up in the morning. Here is a brief description of the panels -
    • Weather - this lights up based on the weather conditions from Yellow for sunny, blue for rainy and white for cloudy.
    • Traffic – based on the Google Maps Distance Matrix API, gives me an indicator if I need to leave early because of heavy traffic.
    • Twitter - this will be set to blue , if the hashtag that I am tracking has been used more that 5 times  in a tweets today on the twittersphere.
    • Gmail - this panel will light up red, if I have more than 10 unread messages, and green if less than 10.
    • Home - this panel is to monitor values from the Air quality and Temperature sensors connected to the back of the clock.
  • Getting more info from the LCD panel -  there are two more glass panels that were replaced on the clock to house an Grove LCD and two buttons and a potentiometer, which are used to set alarms, show the weather condition, temperature and humidity outside, and also show temperature and air quality sensor values. In addition, you can also get the IP address assigned to the Intel Edison just in case you have to ssh in for maintenance,  and also switch off/on you phillips-hue smart bulbs at home.
  • Making the clock Speak in the morning - as part of the setup I am using an amplifier and speaker connected to the USB sound card, to read out the weather condition,the latest 5 tweets for a specific hashtag that I am tracking. As part of this feature, I would also like to add the top 5 news headline in a future enhancement.
  • Uploading sensor data to Cayenne - this feature was a great addition to the clock, and was a result of meeting the folks from myDevices at the Bay Area Makerfaire a couple of weeks ago.Basically as part of this feature, I am uploading the temperature,Light and Air quality sensor to Cayenne IoT dashboard.I have just touched the surface with this, and would like to explore a couple of more features in future.
  • Make the clock speak after the door is opened (post challenge) – this feature uses an ESP8266 and Magnetic contact switch aka a door sensor to detect the opening of my front door, when I get home from work in the evening. Once the door is opened, the ESP8266 publishes a MQTT message on a topic which the Intel Edison subscribes to, and then reads out the weather condition, temperature at home and tweet with a specific hashtag


Electronics and Upcycling the clock



Here are the list of sensors used as part of the build, connected to the Intel Edison Arduino board


Sensor connected
A0Potentiometer which is used to control features on the clock and display things like weather condition, Temperature etc.
D2Top green button
D3Yellow button at the bottom
D5Grove buzzer sensor for sounding the Alarms
D11Data line of the LED strip (APA102)
D13Clock line of the LED strip
A1Grove Air quality sensor v1.3
A2Grove temperature sensor
A3Grove Light sensor


A4, A5

Grove RGB LCD display connected to the I2C connector on the Grove shield

In addition, I am using Adafruit’s Stereo 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier - MAX98306 with a 4 ohms 3 watt speaker connected to the USB sound card, which you see on the left of the picture above. But I should have ideally gone with Adafruit Mono 2.5W Class D Audio Amplifier - PAM8302, since I am using only one speaker,which means I will have to order one later.

To power the Intel Edison, I am using the power adapter that came in as part of the kit that is Triad Magnetic Power Supply 1 Output 24 W 12 V,2 A .And to power the LED strip I am currently using another power adapter 5V and 2.5 A.


As part of the build,I had to remove the glass panels and replace them with something that would not impact the rustic look and aesthetic of the old clock. So, I set-out and designed the panels in Autodesk Fusion 360 and 3D printed them in Sunlu wood filament , which I then sanded and stained using Mirmax Wood finish. And for the LED diffusion parts of the panel were dual 3D printed using Hatchbox transparent PLA, in combination with another matching color PLA. 



List of blog posts

Here are the list of blog posts written as part of the challenge, most of the blog posts which include code also include setup instructions on the Intel Edison which you can tweak to include in your own projects.

Upcycled Clock #1– Project details

Upcycled Clock #2- 3D printing parts to hold buttons, pot and LCD

Upcycled Clock #3 - Showing IP address and temperature on Grove LCD

Upcycled Clock #4 - Unleash the power using IFTTT

Upcycled Clock #5 - Reading out the weather using eSpeak

Upcycled Clock #6- Reading out tweets on a Bluetooth speakers

Upcycled Clock #7 - Testing the RGB LED strip

Upcycled Clock #8- Commute time to work using Google Maps API

Upcycled Clock #9 - 3D Printing panels

Upcycled Clock #10 - 3D Printing LED diffusers for the panels

Upcycled Clock #11- posting sensor data to Cayenne

Upcycled Clock #12 -Soldering and more 3D printing

Upcycled Clock #13- LED diffusion panel Integration

Upcycled Clock #14-Display data on the Grove LCD

Upcycled Clock #15- Detect door opening (post challenge)


The code for the project and the blog post above, has been uploaded to Github at


Video Demo




In conclusion, I would like to thank element14 and Intel to hosting and sponsoring this awesome challenge. And in addition, I would also like to say a big thank you to all the other challengers and members of the element14 community, who commented on my blog post  with suggestion and positive feedback and CharlesGantt for featuring my updates on the weekly challenge summaries. And a big shout out to rscasny, whom I had an opportunity to meet in person at the Bay Area Makerfaire  for re-shipping my kit, after UPS returned package back to Chicago.


As part of next steps after the challenge, I plan to clean up the code on github and also have a couple of extra features I would like to implement, so remember to check out the blog posts using the tag - UpcycledClock