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Arch-Ball Clock: Build Your Own

As featured in the July 2009 issue of Nuts and Volts Magazine
Downloads: Download the full size patterns for the three arches.
Hours Arch                Minutes Arch                Large Arch                Code
Make the Arches:     
  1. Print and cut out the arch patterns downloaded earlier.
  2. Use spray glue to attach the patterns to 1/2 inch medium Density fiberboard (MDF).
  3. Cut the wood almost to the pattern line and then sand to line. Make sure that the inner portion of the hour and minute arches are smooth and nick free as the ball bearings need to roll freely.
  4. Cut two 2"x3-3/4" pieces of MDF for the feet at the end of the large arch.
  5. Cut a groove on the inside of the hour and minutes arches leaving a track for the balls to ride on. The balls do not ride inside the groove but on the outer rim.
  6. For mounting the hour and minutes arches drill a hole that will allow for a tight press-fit onto the motor shaft.
  7. Cut out a recess in the large arch for the stepper motor to sit in. This allows the motor shaft to stick through far enough to allow the the
Electronics Parts List:
Part # Description Supplier Supplier Catalog #
IC1 Picaxe 18x - pre-programmed *** see note below    ABC-IC1
R1 Resistor 22k, 1/4 w www.Jameco.com 691180
R2, R8 Resistor 10k, 1/4 w www.Jameco.com 691104
R3 - R6 Resistor 4k7, 1/4 w www.Jameco.com 691024
R7 Resistor 2k2, 1/4 w www.Jameco.com 690945
R9 - R16 Resistor 1k, 1/4 w www.Jameco.com 690865
C1 2200 mfd, 26 v radial capacitor                                     www.Jameco.com 30535
C2 .01 mfd capacitor www.Jameco.com 15229
D1 - D12 1N4007 diode www.Jameco.com 36012
Q1 - Q9 MPS222A transistor www.Jameco.com 210673
VR1 LM340T-5 Voltage Regulator www.Jameco.com 51262
VR2 LM340T-12 Voltage Regulator www.Jameco.com 51334<
S1 SPDT on-off-on switch www.Jameco.com 75889
S2, S3 Push button www.Jameco.com 1586074
StpM1, StpM2 Stepper Motor 42BYG016 www.Jameco.com 224022

Qty Description Supplier Supplier Catalog #
1 Printed Circuit Board ***  see note below   ABC-PCB
1 18 pin IC socket (for IC1) www.Jameco.com 38113
1 12 VAC, 1500 ma wall wart www.Jameco.com 167151
2 Heat sinks (for Vr1, VR2) www.Jameco.com 42622
2 4-40 screw, lock washer, nut (for VR1, VR2 & heat sinks)        

**** Printed circuit board and programmed Picaxe 18x microcontroller are available from:  Nuts and Volts

Assemble the Circuit Board:
The circuit board is mounted between the two motors on the back side of the large arch
Setting the time: Setting the time is a four step process. Steps 1 and 2 "zero" the motors while steps 3 and 4 actually set the current time.
  1. Flip S1 to the hour position. Press S2 and S3 to position the hour arch so the ball bearing is sitting at the '1' position.
  2. Flip S1 to the minute position. Press S2 and S3 to position the minute arch so the ball bearing is sitting at the '0' position.
  3. Flip S1 to the center position. Press S3 to set the hour position to the current time.
  4. Press S2 to set the minute position to the current time.
Please Note: After a power outage, and/or the time hasn't been properly set, the ball bearing may roll off the end of the arches and fall to the floor. Causing a choking hazard to small children and pets.
This site is for the private use of it's members. Please email info@pertneer.com with any questions.