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Clock Projects

Why so many clock projects? The short answer is because I like clocks. The long answer is because everybody knows what a clock is and what it's suppose to do. I don't have to explain what the project is suppose to do. Just how to read it. Plus a lot of people like clocks.

Arch-Ball Clock - as featured in the July 2009 issue of  Nuts and Volts Magazine
The Arch Ball Clock uses two stepper motors to position the two inverted arches. One arch is for hours and another for minutes. Each arch has a steel ball bearing which is allowed to roll freely on the arch. As the motors turn the arch the ball bearing rolls to the lowest point on the arch - displaying the new time.
Build Your Own
Gyro Clock
Circles rotate inside each other to display the time.

The innermost circle moves a red pointer inside a slot in the middle horizontal white circle, which is marked off in hours.

The middle white circle moves another red pointer inside the slot in the outer vertical white circle. The outer white circle is marked off in 5 minute intervals.

The circles are rotated by miniature servo motors.

Time displayed is 3:57.
Chain & Sprocket Clock
One end of a chain is fixed in place. The rest of the chain loops through two small sprockets which are attached to motors.

Riding on the chain are two larger sprockets. One for the hours hand and the other for the minutes hand. The motors raise and lowers the chains which cause the hands to rotate.

With the continuous chain the vertical position of the minute hand will vary for any given minute - depending on what hour it is. In other words the vertical position for 15 minutes will be different at 3 o'clock then it is at 6 o'clock.
Arch Clock
One servo motor controls the minute hand while another controls the hour hand.
The hands move along the arch from left to right. At the top of the hour the minute hand quickly moves back to 0. The hour hand moves quickly to 1 when the time changes from 12:59 to 1:00.
At the end of each hand is an LED. This is an optional feature. Maybe you can make the LED on the minute hand blink for seconds.
Led-Dial Clock
I first saw this clock at the Evil Mad Scientist web site which refers to the Ironic Sans web site. So this definitely isn't my idea. However, I re-designed it using a Picaxe microcontroller and wrote the program for it.
We're familiar with sun-dials where you read the time by a shadow which is cast on its face. Works only outdoors in sunny weather and isn't very accurate.
The Led-Dial clock casts a shadow for hours, minutes, and seconds. It can be used indoors and is relatively accurate
Card Clock
The Card Clock uses playing cards to display the time.
As time passes the cards fan out.
To read the clock you simply read the highest cards being displayed. The time displayed is 10:49. Hours uses the Jack card for 11 and the Queen card for 12. The back of the card represents 0.
Wood Clock
Nothing outside of the box here - right? There's the standard hour and minute hands and it has gears.
True. But, it only has 2 gears, which are identical, and they don't touch each other. A servo motor turns a pulley which turns a belt. The belt raises and lowers 2 levers which in turn moves the 2 gears.
Binary Clock
The picture shows two binary clocks. The large one on the bottom I built 20+ years ago - long before Picaxe. I'm not even sure there were microcontrollers of any kind 20 years ago. It used CMOS counter and gate ICs.
The clock on top easily fits in the palm of your hand and was built with the Picaxe
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