Alpha Clock Five observations (presales/feature request)

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    Really like appearance of the Alpha Clock Five.  This is I suspect more of a “feature request” than a question. :-)
    Have you any plans to update the firmware, to add new features?
    (Have any users sent you interesting modifications?)
    Professional gym clocks start at $400, with options for “bells” or buzzers costing hundreds more.
    To that end I searched the net to see if anyone has added to the Alpha Clock.. timer variants like countdown/countup and “rounds” of time.
    Sort of like the Grizz9000 clock: which is more of a raw blog of a build, than a kit.
    A clock kit with the software basics – timers/rounds etc. – and the ability to be hacked/extended would be a nice evolution. :-)
    I guess this is half feature suggestion, and half inquiring if there will be continued development of the Alpha Clock Five firmware. :-)
    (Hopefully I don’t sound lazy. What I’m looking for is more “feature foundation” in a clock kit, and this is the closest product/kit I have found)
    EDIT: I think my question could be answered in a demonstration of a countdown or countup, as a forum reply or maybe blog post.
    (I’m a programmer of sorts..  but from the PHP/Python/Perl world where the interpreter does so much for you. Shifting bits is quite alien to me).
    Windell Oskay

    We are currently working on an all-new version of the Alpha Clock Five firmware, which has an updated toolchain and will (hopefully) be a little easier for people to modify.  The new firmware is currently at the stage of adding the menus, options, and other functions. 

    The primary supported functions of Alpha Clock Five are (1) as a serial-controlled data display device and (2) as a bedside-type alarm clock.   We are always interested in hearing new feature requests, but there is a definite tradeoff to consider in terms of feature completeness versus simplicity and usability.    So, while I like the idea of adding features like countdown and interval timers, they may not actually be good things to add to the main branch of the firmware.  We could certainly consider a separate fork of the firmware (i.e., an available download) that would have those features instead. 
    – We could do a boxing timer, that displays the round number and time remaining
    – We could do a lap timer, reset by a button, or so forth.
    – We could do a simpler countdown timer.
    The trickiest part for any of these is defining what the behavior *should* be– which button press does what, and what is displayed an so forth –such that it’s intuitive and easy to use.   If you would care to make such suggestions, we’d be happy to listen.
    BTW, I see that you’ve left this request on our wiki as well:
    (That’s the best place for feature requests– if anyone has others, please add them there as well.)

    Sports watches have a great deal of functionality, and many have only four buttons.
    Perhaps there could be a “sports watch” fork of the firmware.

    Would it be possible to buy an Alpha Clock case without the engraved labels on the top piece?
    (For instance, for “no snoozing” contexts)

    Windell Oskay

    Yes, by custom order; please contact our store directly:


    I have just a few, quick, objective questions about the new software:

    Will a clock loaded with the new software, and operating as a stand-alone unit:
    1) have adjustable seconds? (so the minutes change at the right time)
    2) be able to show the seconds? (in at least one display mode)
    3) be able to show the date? (in at least one display mode, and/or with a button press)
    4) be able to show the day of the week? (in at least one display mode, and/or with a button press)
    5) What behavior if I set the alarm time through the current time? (as when adjusting the alarm for an afternoon nap, for instance)

    I will not comment further, except to state that my personal preference is: yes, yes, yes, yes, and silence.

    Windell Oskay

    Yes, Yes, Yes, No (but the day of week is calculated internally, and it would be relatively straightforward to display it), not certain.

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