Gear clock

Analog clocks now a days get no respect. Everyone is digital this, or binary that, and we admit it is nice to look over and see the time promptly displayed. But there’s something about the quiet ticking and ominous feeling you get when around a large intricate clock that you know some serious time has been invested.

Nostalgia feelings aside, [Alan] from Hacked Gadgets introduced us to his Gear Clock. While it’s not a new idea, and in fact we have a few around the office, his concept really inspired us. His clock is driven via stepper motor and a PIC, allowing for the time to be fairly accurate. The only small problem he mentions is the poor paint job, but we think it looks amazing regardless.

Comments

  1. pod says:

    it’s beautiful!

  2. Alex says:

    Looks cool. I wouldn’t want to jam my finger in it randomly though…

  3. David S says:

    “So I’m manually able to control time.” YES!

  4. Kyle says:

    Masterfully executed system for setting the time. Love it!

  5. Spork says:

    That is an awesome project, but come on… was the pun really necessary?

    On that note, bookmarked for when I get back from vacation.

  6. djrussell says:

    sweet. i have a cuckoo clock that is great.

  7. jason says:

    really? really? An /entire/ PIC system to give you a 4PPS square wave?

  8. sly says:

    it’s still a digital clock. a true analog would have continuous motion with a simple DC motor. any “ticking” would indicate a digital nature (even a purely mechanical clock that ticks is digital). The readout is the only thing that can be considered analog.
    [/technicalities]

  9. pookey says:

    @sly

    Interesting point… Can you think of *any* clock that is not inherently digital?

    For example, an hourglass appears to be analog, but the grains of sand are discrete. Since the passage of time is represented by the number of discrete grains that have fallen, an hourglass is a digital clock.

    Even a gravity clock using water drops is digital, and for the same reason. Measure time with a stream of water? Still digital, because water is composed of discrete molecules.

    The only clock I can think of that is truly analog is a sun-dial.

    Can anyone think of other examples?

  10. pookey says:

    @jason

    I think a PIC chip is entirely appropriate for this application. With it, you get a crystal-controlled time base and a state-machine that will properly sequence stepper windings, as well as respond to user input for purpose of setting the clock. You get all that functionality for the cost of four parts… the PIC, two caps, and a crystal.

    Whatever you use to sequence the stepper, you’re still going to need driver transistors and current-limiting resistors, so I don’t count those parts against this design. Even if you do, this is still a nice, lean implementation.

    I’ll bet the guy who programmed it learned something about PICs, assembler, and IDEs, to boot.

    BTW, What approach did you use for the gear clock *you* built?

  11. Vaevictus says:

    @pookey: A sundial :)

  12. Vaevictus says:

    Oops, you said that. :)

  13. stunmonkey says:

    Nice new censorship system. WTF?

    Do you have to fellate every project now to get to post?

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      @stunmonkey,
      Who is being censored? I’ve got a horrible case of the spams right now. I’ve deleted nearly 50 posts lately that are nosensical and off topic and all seem to fit an identical formula. Watch for them, they don’t make any sense and all end with a period, space, comma. like this. ,

      I might have accidentally deleted something else, but I didn’t intend to.

  14. stunmonkey says:

    Alright, My post was pretty long. It may have just been an accident then.
    I just spent a lot of time on it and I wanted to see some other thoughts on the idea. I thought it ran afoul of the moderators for some unknown reason.

  15. tehgringe says:

    MDF!!! Eeeeeew.

    But aside from that awesome project, but I wanted METAL…..

  16. Abbott says:

    Agreed, i was thinking that it was aluminum plate at first… would have been badass… still an awesome clock though.

  17. strider_mt2k says:

    Definitely more gear than fab, but groovy nonetheless!

    ;)

  18. Alan Parekh says:

    Hey guys thanks for the feedback!

  19. Friendly Neighborhood Psycopath says:

    I ended up cutting one of these out of acrylic on a laser. It looked really cool, and I didn’t actually know what that second slot was for until I read the schematic for the controller. HOLY CRAP IT LOOKS AWESOME! Red LEDs behind clear acrylic makes this clock. It cost nearly $100 for the materials (acrylic is expensive) but it turned out really well. Thanks for posting this, Alan, it was a really cool project. I’ll see if I can post pictures somewhere to link to.

  20. Alan Parekh says:

    That sounds very cool Friendly Neighborhood Psycopath! I would love to see what it looks like.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 92,417 other followers