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An alarm clock is simply what it sounds like, a clock with an alarm that we can set to remind us about various activities or to awaken us in the morning. The basic function of the alarm clock has not changed, yet the various additional features such as the type of alarm have continued to evolve around popular opinion and changing fads.
There are analog alarm clocks and digital alarm clocks. Analog clocks are the ones with arms. Analog clocks can more accurately display the time. The third seconds hand can show exactly how much of a minute had passed, whereas a digital alarm clock only shows the nearest whole minute that has already passed.
The most traditional alarm clock is analog, has three hands and one type of alarm bell. With this type of alarm clock, the alarm is usually turned on by pulling out the pin at the top of the alarm clock. This same pin is depressed in order to turn the alarm off once it has alerted you at the proper time.
In these traditional and still popular analog alarm clocks, a spring drives a gear that propels a clacker back and forth between two the sides of a single bell or between two bells. In an electric bell alarm clock, the bell rings with an electromagnetic circuit and armature that turns the circuit off and on repeatedly.
The basic digital alarm clock radio combination is the most popular type of alarm clocks used today. Generally, these will be digital alarm clocks that have analog tuning capabilities for AM / FM radio listening.
Of course, the nice thing about these popular alarm clocks is that you can choose to be woken by the radio station of your choice instead of the annoying alarm raucous. Many people prefer to awaken to talk radio or soft music.
A nice feature that all digital alarm clocks have in common is a sleep function, as well as a snooze feature. With snooze you can tell the alarm clock to go off again in a set amount of time, usually five or ten minutes. Sleep is a feature that allows you to listen to music while you go to sleep without leaving the radio running all night. Sleep will turn off in the amount of time specified by you.
Over time there have been many innovations and nice features added on to the digital alarm clock radio. One feature I really enjoy is how my alarm will start off quiet and slowly rise to the full volume at which I set it. This is really nice and preferable to the sudden jolt of regular alarm clocks.
There are alarm clocks that allow you to play your favorite CD, using with the alarm or the sleep feature. This is a great way to customize your alarm clock and waking up in the morning experiences.
Many people prefer to use their cell phones as alarm clocks because they are able to hold several different reminders for several different events. This is certainly something that alarm clock manufacturers should have in mind when designing the alarm clocks to come.
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