I need a desk clock without an alarm
October 3, 2013 10:09 AM   Subscribe

I have a mentally ill child who compulsively sets his alarm clock for the wee hours of the morning to do things he shouldn't be doing. His mental illness is such that having a clock in his room is very beneficial. I want to buy him a desk clock that does not have alarm clock functionality and I can find none. Where can such a clock be acquired? I would rather not debate my course of action. Thank you.
posted by DWRoelands to Shopping (32 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Most wall clocks don't have alarms. Can you get a wall clock and somehow mount it so that it can sit on a desktop? Would a clock on the wall not suffice? HERE are a bunch of digital wall clocks, not all of them have alarms.

Rather than looking for specifically digital clocks for a desktop, look for other kinds of clocks. This car clock could work, for example.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2013

Does it have to be a digital clock? Lots of lovely analogue clocks don't have alarms.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2013

Digital or analog? You might have the best results with clocks intended to be decorative, but knowing generally what kind you want will help narrow it down. If analog: are ticking or chime sounds a problem?
posted by asperity at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2013

Response by poster: I've considered this, but would prefer to find a desk clock if possible.
posted by DWRoelands at 10:12 AM on October 3, 2013

The first thing I thought of are those overhead projection clocks. I have never seen one without an alarm function BUT you could put it in a closed cabinet or locked box or something and only have an opening for the projection arm. The digital time is then projected onto the wall or ceiling but he can't get at the actual body of the clock to set an alarm.
posted by elizardbits at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2013

Also with standard desk alarm clocks that have the turning pin to set an alarm, you could potentially just break off the little pin and fill the resulting hole with crazy glue.
posted by elizardbits at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2013 [6 favorites]

Do you feel comfortable buying a regular desk clock and disabling the alarm, either by cutting the wires to the alarm or by disassembling it?

When I took the bar exam, we were not able to have clocks with alarms, so I had to buy a regular alarm clock with a countdown feature and open it up and disable the buzzer. It was pretty easy.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:15 AM on October 3, 2013

Response by poster: asperity: Ideally, a digital desk clock. Failing that, a small analog clock with glowing hands or other feature so it can be read at night.
posted by DWRoelands at 10:15 AM on October 3, 2013

What about this? I see no mention of an alarm in the description.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:17 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Buy a regular digital clock and a thing of superglue. Set the alarm button to off, and fill the whole area with superglue so it won't ever work again.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

I was about to suggest the same thing as PuppetMcSockerson. One thing you can do on places like amazon is include "-alarm" to remove entries from search that have descriptions that include an alarm.
posted by zabuni at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2013

Response by poster: PuppetMcSockerson: I'd like something cheaper. Like in the $20 range, if possible.

Sorry to threadsit. The difficulty of finding such a clock is why I'm asking here. :)
posted by DWRoelands at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's a cheapie clock that is supposed to go in your car (so, no alarm) but can be velcroed to anything and has a light for checking it out at night.
posted by jessamyn at 10:24 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

What about this minimalistic cube from the Museum of Modern Art?
posted by rada at 10:27 AM on October 3, 2013

Ugh, it has an alarm! Normally, my reading comprehension is better than this. Sorry!
posted by rada at 10:28 AM on October 3, 2013

My grandmother has an atomic clock that is supposed to receive temperature reading from an outside unit - she's since moved, and we just brought the clock with us. If you can't find anything else, you might try searching for atomic clock, temperature, and seeing if you can find one that would work in your price range. Hers sits on a table, although most of the ones I could find were wall clocks.
posted by needlegrrl at 10:28 AM on October 3, 2013

Do you have time to thrift shop? or post to craigslist or freecycle? I see clocks at Goodwill all the time, occasionally ones that are old and have no alarm, and certainly several where the alarm could be disabled. Lots of clocks that were given as an award or promo. If disabling the alarm doesn't work, it's a cheap experiment. I have a desktop stereo that has no alarm; the cd player is borked, which is very common, and I have seen these on freecycle. Also, you can get a battery-operated clock with hands, and mount it in pretty much anything.
posted by theora55 at 10:33 AM on October 3, 2013

How about a mechanical flip "digital" clock like this.
posted by Mitheral at 10:36 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's this Timex atomic clock. No alarm. And it can be set up on a desk like here.
posted by bluefly at 10:39 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think mantel clocks tend not to have alarms. A few minutes on Amazon turned up this one; it's probably not what you want but it is a clock, it is cheap, and it does not have an alarm (see q&a)
posted by mr vino at 10:44 AM on October 3, 2013

Could you get a windup desk clock (you know the kind that has the crazy bells on the top and the most intrusive alarm ever) and simply cut or break off the stem that holds the [external] clapper on?

Your child could wind it to his/her heart's desire, and even set the alarm if she/he wanted to, but, I think, at most it'd output a slight whirring noise.

Some other hackery might be in mind, like stuffing the slot on top with something soft to muffle even that noise, but I wouldn't think it'd be all that complex if it was even necessary at all.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:48 AM on October 3, 2013

How about buying a regular clock and then using some sugru to lock the alarm switch to stay in the 'off' position?
posted by matty at 10:49 AM on October 3, 2013

Buy any alarm clock you want that you think you will be able to open with a screwdriver. Then send me a mefi mail with pictures of the guts and I will walk you through which wires to cut, like we're defusing a bomb. It'll be fun!
posted by ryanrs at 10:55 AM on October 3, 2013 [51 favorites]

A little more than $20, but doesn't look like it has an alarm: retro flip clock.

You could also get some kind of locking display box and put the clock inside like this or this.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:12 AM on October 3, 2013

what about something like this? http://amzn.com/B00DFCZF8W. digital picture frame clock. no alarm mentioned.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:23 AM on October 3, 2013

Hack the alarm clock by clipping the speaker wire. No fuss, no muss.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:33 AM on October 3, 2013

Response by poster: The clock recommended by Jessamyn is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you all!

ryanrs: My wife thinks I'm lame for not taking you up on your offer. :)
posted by DWRoelands at 11:37 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Too bad, those bomb-defusing skills could have come in handy one day.
posted by ryanrs at 11:41 AM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

It occurred to me that since your child is used to setting an alarm, he might be upset that the clock you get him has no way to set an alarm at all. If the act of setting an alarm is necessary to keep him happy, maybe you ought to take ryanrs offer up.

Too bad, those bomb-defusing skills could have come in handy one day.

I'm thinkin' a hobby after retirement....
posted by BlueHorse at 12:09 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Large LED - does not appear to have an alarm.

Bell round clock
posted by barnone at 12:19 PM on October 3, 2013

I'm glad jessamyn found you the right clock, because the one my boyfriend has that matches that description (nixie tube) is not cheap!
posted by foxfirefey at 12:47 PM on October 3, 2013

One of the weather station clocks might work too.
posted by Ostara at 12:48 PM on October 3, 2013

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