Synchronous electric clocks do not have an internal oscillator, but count cycles of the 50 or 60 Hz oscillation of the AC power line, which is synchronized by the utility to a precision oscillator. The counting may be done electronically, usually in clocks with digital displays, or, in analog clocks, the AC may drive a synchronous motor which rotates an exact fraction of a revolution for every cycle of the line voltage, and drives the gear train. Although changes in the grid line frequency due to load variations may cause the clock to temporarily gain or lose several seconds during the course of a day, the total number of cycles per 24 hours is maintained extremely accurately by the utility company, so that the clock keeps time accurately over long periods.
If you’re looking for a calmer start to your day, you might want to try the Wake-Up Light. It gradually gets you up and out of bed with a colored sunrise simulation and a selection of nature-inspired sounds, so that you can start the day feeling refreshed and energized—as if you had woken up naturally. For anyone who finds it particularly hard to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark out, this alarm clock makes those winter mornings that little bit easier. It also comes with a nighttime dimming feature so that you can make sure you’re getting your best night’s rest.
Disclaimer: Gear Hungry is not responsible for supplements you purchase, or the side effects that may or may not come from them. Any medications or supplements recommended here are purely based on personal review, personal experiences, and in no way designed to coerce you into attempting them yourself. We’re simply stating what works for us, which may or may not work for other people.
In China, a striking clock was devised by the Buddhist monk and inventor Yi Xing (683–727). The Chinese engineers Zhang Sixun and Su Song integrated striking clock mechanisms in astronomical clocks in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively. A striking clock outside of China was the water-powered clock tower near the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, which struck once every hour. It was constructed by the Arab engineer al-Kaysarani in 1154. In 1235, an early monumental water-powered alarm clock that "announced the appointed hours of prayer and the time both by day and by night" was completed in the entrance hall of the Mustansiriya Madrasah in Baghdad.
Strong, durable, super large time display makes the model perfect for those who either want a big number clock, or for visually impaired individuals who need extra-large numerals, The red LED display on a black background, makes the contrast ideal for easy viewing. The electric power with battery backup lets you sleep with peace of mind and the extra-large snooze bar keeps nap-time within reach. This clock is a solid purchase.
There are cheaper alarm clocks on the market, but the aesthetically minded Kikkerland Retro is hard to top. The alarm clock may look like something you’d find at a thrift store, but nowadays, there’s a large market for all things vintage and nostalgic. This retro design incorporates an ivory face and glow-in-the-dark minute and hour hands to ensure clear readouts even in the middle of the night.
The timekeeping element of a quartz clock consists of a ring of quartz about 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) in diameter, suspended by threads and enclosed in a heat-insulated chamber. Electrodes are attached to the surfaces of the ring and connected to an electrical circuit in such a manner as to sustain oscillations. Since the frequency of vibration, 100,000-hertz, is too high for convenient time measurement, it is reduced by a process known as frequency division or demultiplication and applied to a synchronous motor connected to a clock dial through mechanical gearing. If a 100,000 hertz frequency, for example, is subjected to a combined electrical and mechanical gearing reduction of 6,000,000 to 1, then the second hand of the synchronous clock will make exactly one rotation in 60 seconds. The vibrations are so regular that the maximum error of an observatory quartz-crystal clock is only a few ten-thousandths of a second per day, equivalent to an error of one second every 10 years.
Traditional mechanical alarm clocks have one or two bells that ring by means of a mainspring that powers a gear to propel a hammer back and forth between the two bells or between the interior sides of a single bell. In some models, the back encasement of the clock itself acts as the bell. In an electric bell-style alarm clock, the bell is rung by an electromagnetic circuit and armature that turns the circuit on and off repeatedly.
There’s nothing like seeing the time blasted on the wall in sharp red LED display. It gives you the perfect sense of, “Oh crap, I’m going to be late.” Projection alarm clocks are just plain awesome, and it’s especially true in this model. This isn’t just another electric alarm clock—you get advanced SelfSet technology thrown into this bad boy that’s going to correct the time and date for you, so the Daylight Savings Time ghost of Benjamin Franklin doesn’t haunt you.
Set multiple alarms, but not on the same device. The world started relying on their smartphones to wake them up, and it simply doesn’t work. Nothing is better than a good old fashion alarm clock. Here’s the trick: any device in your home that has an alarm feature, set it. That means your stove in the other room, the microwave, your alarm clock, your smartphone, and perhaps a stereo system (if anyone’s still using those). It’s one surefire way to ensure that you’ll freak out all the way to your feet.
Although it isn’t strictly an “alarm clock,” the Google Home Hub can wake you up in the morning and do so much more. One of the most drastic differences between the Home Hub and other comparable devices is its size; the Home Hub stands at a mere 4.5 inches tall. This makes it small enough to fit comfortably on a nightstand. That small frame is partly due to the lack of a camera, which may be a pro or a con depending on how much you value your privacy. The Home Hub connects to the various Bluetooth-enabled devices you might have throughout your home, including lights, speakers, thermostat, etc. You can set up the Home Hub to respond to your voice commands, or manage devices using the touchscreen. For the purposes of an alarm clock, the Home Hub works terrifically. You can set a normal alarm, or even have the Hub wake you with a specific song from your music library. Given the Hub’s lackluster built-in speakers, however, you may want to connect it to your sound system if you have one. For more details, read our full review.
Remember when the idea of chasing your alarm clock around the house was absolutely mad? Well, Clocky made it a reality, and they haven’t gone out of style yet. Bed shakers may work for some, but if you can ignore it and snooze on through, chasing your alarm clock around the room may be the next best thing. This mad machine can leap from three feet high, and if you’re trying to get some shut-eye on a Saturday, you can disable the wheels and make it stationary for the time being. Just don’t let that ruin your important meeting come 9:00 AM Monday morning. This little buzzer droid is going to make R2-D2 sounds while it zips around the room, egging you on to catch it.
The Philips Wake-Up Light offers a choice of five pleasant nature sounds — or for the more traditionally minded, FM radio — for your morning wake-up call, but the real star of the show is the sunlight simulation. Twenty to forty minutes before your programmed wake-up time (you set both times), the clock will slowly begin to simulate the sunrise, complete with the softest dawn reds and oranges gently brightening into sunny, yellow light.