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LED watch + alarm

Discussion on MODERN LED, LCD, OLED and E-INK watches
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ronaldheld

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LED watch + alarm

Post10 Dec 2020, 13:15

Are there any current LED watches with a tone alarm? If so, any of those with day and date?
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Ole Joe

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Re: LED watch + alarm

Post10 Dec 2020, 17:32

Frontier Semiconductors produced the first LED watch to the consumer market in 1973. Hamilton used their modules until Frontier went under in '75 when LCD's became the only game in town. There were several other "no-name" watch manufactures that also used the Frontier modules in their devices. I'm unaware of any other manufacture of LED Alarm watches or modules in that time period. The Frontier module used two integrated chips to make the module. It consisted of "The Real Time" chip which had six functions; Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Month, Day, Day of the week. The "Alarm" chip allowed one to set an alarm time in Hours & Minutes within a 24 hour period and contained the CMOS-FET drivers to drive a piezo crystal disk to produce a 1024 Hz alarm tone. When the alarm sounded you could (1) shut it off; (2) allow it to finish beeping for about 15 seconds; (3) initiate a slumber cycle, which silenced the alarm, causing it to sound again five minutes later. If one allowed (2) above to take place the repeat alarm would sound 24 hrs later. Of course one could Arm or Disarm the alarm at anytime. Needless to say, there wasn't a great deal of demand for the modules, which most likely makes finding a fully operational Alarm watch very rare today. If anyone in the world needs a NOS Frontier Alarm Module for an existing case they have, let me know as I still have 20-30 available.

Ole Joe
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ronaldheld

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Re: LED watch + alarm

Post10 Dec 2020, 17:58

Old Joe,I was unaware of Frontier LED watches. Assuming I could acquire a module from you, where would I get a case for it. I own no 3D printers.
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Ole Joe

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Re: LED watch + alarm

Post10 Dec 2020, 23:56

ronakheld,
I really have no idea where to obtain the correct case to accept the Frontier module. About the only hope would be to locate an original case with a bad module sitting in someones "junk" drawer collecting dust. The Alarm modules excited a large number of watch manufactures back in the '70's but the case was the killer to all but a few. It not only had to be a 4 button case but also had to have a case back stamped/formed into a Helmholtz resonator to help amplify the sound of the piezo crystal which was mounted therein. On top of that, the piezo crystal, which was mounted on a thin brass disk, also had to be electrically isolated from the metal back due to the way the C-MOS chip drivers operated. Just a pain in the behind for the majority of those manufactures who just wanted to turn a quick profit by just dropping a module into a cheap case and shipping it out the door. The case is the reason I'm sitting here with 20-30 modules without a home. The modules are not complete "losers", as they can be used in a two button case without a special back to create a standard LED 6 function watch, i.e., Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Month, Date & Day of the week. The Real Time integrated circuit in the Alarm module was the same as that used in all of Frontiers 6 function modules which sold in the millions. I was once in the chief sales gurus office when the phone rang and he took the call. Siting right there I heard him decline to take an order from a small watch company for 10,000 modules. He told the person on the phone that at the present time Frontier only dealt in orders of 100,000 or more. Times were SWEET!!!!

Ole Joe
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ronaldheld

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Re: LED watch + alarm

Post11 Dec 2020, 02:24

Old Joe:
This sounds close to impossible, if you could not find the required cases. I presume the alarms work in your modules, just at low volume?
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Ole Joe

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Re: LED watch + alarm

Post11 Dec 2020, 15:56

ronakheld,
All the remaining Alarm modules that I have are 100% working. I fabricated a test jig with the piezo disk so that I could test all functions as originally designed. The link listed below will show the patent granted to Frontier along with drawings showing how the module and piezo mated with the case if your interested.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US4068461A/en

Ole Joe

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