Thursday, 20 December 2012

24 hour vague clock

The vague clock came about because people have different names for different parts of the day. Some people view afternoon as 12pm onwards (which it is) but when does midday start and end? So I decided to jot these all down and put the on the one clock face. It soon became apparent that the AM/PM overlap was going to cause me issues to I decided to slow the whole clock down to perform one rotation every 24 hours.
I've left the link as the rather more general pdf format if you want to print your own or just read the witty writings on it, guffaw. (pdf here)

It's a simple modification to turn the clock into a 24 hour clock. Clock modules are pretty much all the same, a control crystal provides the timing pulses, the coil is energised in one direction and then the other, which causes the magnet on the bottom of the smallest gear to rotate, half a turn per second and appropriate gearing from that point onwards to make all the hands rotate correctly. Simply cutting half the teeth off this smallest gear means that it will only turn the onwards gears half the time and the big hand will now take 24 hours to perform a single rotation.
It's a hack, I'm worried about how well it will keep time but it seems to be ok at the moment. There are all sorts of other ways to change the tick length on a clock from changing the crystal oscillator, adding a frequency divider to the coil pulses, to full blown arduino control that might work better.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Project #7 Marble Machine #1

This post has long been the most viewed post on my entire blog but this design has long been superseded so I just want to make people aware that a better version exists 

I present to you my own hand cranked, laser cut marble machine. These are available to purchase as kits, for self assembly and I intend to run some local workshops for them too. The kit includes all the laser cut wooden parts, the nuts and bolts, and enough balls to fill the machine up and spares.

This kit and assembly instructions are available through my shop

A long time ago in a blog not so far away (this one actually) I ran a project where I laser cut one item per day for 365 days. While I was making the machine triggers and before I'd committed to running my own Donkey Kong machine there was a suggestion that I should be making kits like this to sell on the day. I gave it a whirl and failed and if it couldn't be cut in a few days then it was a hindrance to the 365 project so it went on the back burner.

I recently picked it up again for two reasons, one it's a nice idea and makes a fun toy and secondly I need to investigate ball lifts for the eventual recreation of Donkey Kong. In the meantime Michael Henriksen from BustedBricks created this awesome, hand cranked, laser cut, marble machine, which is a great little kit too.
I don't want to steal his thunder or jump on his bandwagon so if you're only going to buy one kit, buy his, but if you're starting a collection of machines then buy mine aswell. (The price is similar for both machines)

7 projects/ 10 weeks