Unusual bedside clocks
My Music Box MP3 Digital Player
This is a 7cm black cube with a grey metal face that contains a 5x2cm LED display. Below this are seven buttons that control the clock and what MP3 track you play.
The left and right sides have speaker grills while the back has the battery insertion point (four 'AA') a mini USB cable and slot for SD or MMC card. There is an instruction sheet. I found it almost useless, it was partly in English - of sorts - but the instructions were terrible.
I think I worked out most things. It seems that for some reason setting an alarm comes before setting the clock and the date. The five items arranged in the shape of a '+' do nothing apart from increase or decrease the volume top and bottom of the '+' and the three positions in the horizontal line play the track or select the previous or next track.
Setting the alarm, time and date are all done by the 'S' and 'A' keys and a lot of keypresses first to get to the correct screen and then to change the figures as they only go forward so 58 minutes will require 58 pushes.
It can work on batteries but the display is very dim and there is no way to turn on a backlight even for a few seconds to see the time at night.
However there is a mini USB lead that can either go to a PC to take power or from the 13amp plug supplied that has a standard USB connection. The display then is clear white numerals on a black background. While the clock still works without the batteries the MP3 playing or alarm functions do not. There must be another battery inside as the clock settings remain (dull mode) even without mains power or the batteries installed. £39.95 from the link below.
H2O Powered Clock
This is a circular clock of 8cm diameter with a small flat point every 90 degrees as it is designed to sit on any of those points to display different information. It is just over 3cm thick.
A lot will be made of the fact it runs on water but to me anyway the extra information and the fact that turning it through 90degrees gives a totally different screen is gimmick enough.
Yes it does run on water a small battery fits in the back and half of it is clear plastic and this unscrews and you add a little water and rescrew it. Fit the battery and the display starts flashing. Luckily the instructions are a great deal clearer than with the last clock. You set time, month, day and year and then round the edge of the display the day of the week will flash (black on grey). Just like the last clock there is no light at night but you get a single ting on the hour every hour. It did not wake me but I would have liked the option to turn it off.
Rotate the clock 90degrees left and you have the current temperature (either F or C) rotate another 90degrees and you have a countdown timer. Another 90degrees and here is where you set the alarm. Another 90degrees brings you back to the digital clock display with the day of the week flashing above and the month, day and year shown below. The top has a button to turn the alarm off while the back is where you insert the battery and have two buttons that control the settings. I would have liked a light function just to see the time but it's far better than the MP3 offering above. £16.50 from the link below.
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