Winner of Name that Ware December 2007!

The ware from December 2007 was a Philips AJL308 “Clock Radio”.

It’s a nice past-time of mine to go to the local retail store, buy something off the shelf that looks relevant to my area of interest, and take it apart. I did a little tear-down writeup which I share as a link with anyone who cares to read it; it’s a lot of words and images for a blog post. These days, an alarm clock radio with a graphic LCD screen is interesting from my perspective and I can learn a thing or two from the design choices made by Philips in creating a product like this. I saw it on the shelf at Meijer’s while I was doing my last-minute Christmas shopping, so I got one, took it home and plucked it apart. Yes, this is what I do when I go home for Christmas; then again, it didn’t phase my parents at all to see alarm clock guts all over the dining room table. It’s just what curious kids do, right?

As for the winner, it’s super-hard to pick a winner this time; so many thoughtful posts. I think I’ll have to go with Dave Z this time — he did get the answer exactly right; if it wasn’t for his third post talking a bit more about his analysis and methods for arriving at it, he would have been beaten out by some of the other quality posts that didn’t quite arrive at the right answer but had great insight. Congratulations, contact me for your prize!

5 Responses to “Winner of Name that Ware December 2007!”

  1. Nate says:

    Nice. Most regular alarm clocks have a bare die bonded to the PCB with epoxy over it.

    I think you overestimate the cost on the Mediatek chip. Does this include all the MPEG licensing?

  2. Rick says:

    Have you looked into perhaps modifying the ROM used on this alarm clock. I am interested in doing some modifications in the software but have no experience in decompiling the ROM images. You can find the latest ROM image here:

    I would love to be able to decompile the source and tweak it somewhat to be able to turn off the backlight and display entirely, just show the clock, etc. Or even more hard core hacks. Once I have the source I can modify it and redump the rom but I do not know how to decompile the source.



  3. some guy says:

    Hi Rick, let me know if you are ever able to come up with any useful hacks for this clock radio, which could have alot more potential with better firmware.

  4. Septuginta says:

    Dudes, we need to create better firmware for this device.

    List of improvements I can think of right now:
    1. Write a small text file with all relevant settings to RAM.
    2. Switch off the display completely at night.
    3. Play a MP3 as a alarm tune.
    4. Toggle photo ticker on/of in clock/tuner mode.
    5. Load different background images.

    Thx to Bunnie for the info!