This morning, my clock radio decided that it no longer wanted to do the “radio” part of its job. Not only did the radio not turn on automatically at the set time, but no amount of persuading, button pushing, disconnecting and reconnecting would persuade the radio to come on manually either. This was a wee bit annoying, as I’ve become used to waking up to 6Music in the nearly four years I’ve had the thing.
Now I suppose I could have reverted to my non-radio alarm clock, or even dug out the old clock radio, but neither option really appealed. Being woken up by beeps and buzzes really doesn’t agree with me, and I really couldn’t go back to non-digital radio stations after years of getting generally good music in the mornings. Or I suppose I could have tried taking it apart and seeing if there was any visible reason for the radio not to work, but I really try not to do hardware these days, and I doubt if I’d be able to do anything with it.
So the only thing to do was to get a new one. Four years ago, DAB clock radios were not particularly common objects. In fact, the only one that I found at the time was the Bush one that I bought. These days, there are quite a lot of them, and I looked at a few at lunchtime. But most of them were, to be quite honest, rubbish. One of the features of digital radio is that you can have a display telling you the name of the station, and scrolling text giving other information – this is commonly used by music stations to display the details of the currently playing song, which is handy when you miss the DJ’s announcement, or for that matter if the DJ speaks indistinctly, or just forgets to mention the name of the song. And I do like to know these things. Anyway, most of the clock radios (apart from a few excessively expensive ones) can only show one thing at a time – either the normal clock display, or the radio text. My late lamented first one had a separate radio display below the clock. Why don’t newer ones? Poor design, in my not even slightly humble opinion.
Being unimpressed with the goods on sale in the three shops I checked, I declined to wave plastic in anyone’s direction. Back at the office, I did a bit of web searching, and found that Argos had a new Pure model – the Siesta. This has the kind of display I wanted, has three independent alarms, which can be set for every day, weekdays only, weekends only, Saturdays only or Sundays only. It was also smaller than some I’d seen, and cheaper than most. And a quick check showed that it was in stock. So I went and got one after work.
I got it home and plugged it in. It immediately went to work tuning in all the stations it could find and set the time from the radio signal. The manual guided me through setting the alarm ready for tomorrow.
The sound quality is as good as it needs to be, the display is clear (and automagically adjusts its brightness according to ambient lighting), and the controls are easy to operate. Nice kit. I could have saved a few pounds by buying it from Amazon, but this was one of those “I want it now” thingies.
 Well, I suppose I could, but I’m a creature of habit, and disruptions to my routine tend to disturb me…
 Digital Audio Broadcasting
 Brilliant – it means that you can set it and forget it, and not have to remember to reset it on Sunday night.
 Thursday being Newcastle’s late shopping night
 So that’s a “don’t set it and forget it” feature. Nice.