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The right amount of time for a snooze

How my alarm clock knows

Dear Matthew Alice: Okay, I was a little lazy this morning when I woke up and hit the snooze bar on my alarm. Nine minutes later, the alarm went off again. Some of my friends say their clocks' snooze time is seven minutes, some say ten. What is the right snooze time and who determines how many minutes to program on my alarm clock? — Aaron Cull, La Jolla

According to the General Time Corp., makers of the Westclox brand, the snooze was defined for us (arbitrarily) years ago by some now-forgotten engineers. The “right” snooze time varies with the type of clock movement you own: old-fashioned electric analog nets you seven minutes; digital/LED and liquid crystal diode give you nine minutes; quartz is strictly for the “snooze, you lose” crowd, with four minutes. They’re the industry standard. The snooze mechanism in the electrics is mechanical. The spring-loaded snooze bar bumps a gear onto the snooze track and turns off the alarm for seven minutes. Digital and LCD are strictly electronic; the snooze bar sends a jolt of voltage into the preprogrammed snooze microchip. A quartz snooze is a mechanical-digital hybrid. Some digital clocks let you regain control of your destiny and define the next day’s snooze time by overriding the programmed default setting, if you want that kind of decision-making responsibility that late at night.

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Dear Matthew Alice: Okay, I was a little lazy this morning when I woke up and hit the snooze bar on my alarm. Nine minutes later, the alarm went off again. Some of my friends say their clocks' snooze time is seven minutes, some say ten. What is the right snooze time and who determines how many minutes to program on my alarm clock? — Aaron Cull, La Jolla

According to the General Time Corp., makers of the Westclox brand, the snooze was defined for us (arbitrarily) years ago by some now-forgotten engineers. The “right” snooze time varies with the type of clock movement you own: old-fashioned electric analog nets you seven minutes; digital/LED and liquid crystal diode give you nine minutes; quartz is strictly for the “snooze, you lose” crowd, with four minutes. They’re the industry standard. The snooze mechanism in the electrics is mechanical. The spring-loaded snooze bar bumps a gear onto the snooze track and turns off the alarm for seven minutes. Digital and LCD are strictly electronic; the snooze bar sends a jolt of voltage into the preprogrammed snooze microchip. A quartz snooze is a mechanical-digital hybrid. Some digital clocks let you regain control of your destiny and define the next day’s snooze time by overriding the programmed default setting, if you want that kind of decision-making responsibility that late at night.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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