Saturday 16 April 2011

DAB Clock Radio Mod

I recently took the (somewhat conservative) plunge and went shopping for a DAB clock radio for my beside table. They all seemed rather expensive for what you get, except for one model which my local "evil" supermarket was selling off for £10. No-one at the store seemed to know why they were selling it off for a fraction of its retail price, so I snapped one up on the off-chance.

After getting it home, it quickly became apparent that there was a fundamental design flaw: the backlight is far too bright for a bedside table, even on its "dim" setting. This seems to be a common complaint with many new DAB clock radios. But with just a screwdriver and long-nosed pliers there is a solution...

The following instructions are for the "Technika CR-109IDAB" device, but I'm guessing they're all pretty much of a pattern. Your warrantee will be invalidated, of course.
  1. Remove the six crosshead screws from the base.
  2. Remove the two crosshead screws holding the LCD module to the front panel.
  3. Carefully unclip the front panel and, using long-nosed pliers, bend the legs of the two LEDs on the right-hand side of the display module, so that the LEDs face forward, instead of "into" the module. Note that the LEDs may be hidden behind opaque electician's tape.
  4. Replace (or add) opaque electrician's tape over the LEDs so only a fraction of their light will leak into the prism behind the LCD module from the side.
  5. Reassemble the unit, in reverse order. The brightness of the backlight should be considerably reduced, perhaps to the point where you won't be able to easily read the time in daylight; but at least you'll be able to sleep at night without eye-shades.