[alanamon] had an old pinball machine in his basement, and thought it would be cool to rig it up to serve as a clock as well. He didn’t want it to be just any clock however, he wanted the pinball machine to be the most accurate clock in his house.
Other than telling time using the game’s scoring reels, there were two other things that he wanted to ensure with this build – that the game functioned normally when desired, and that the clock mechanism made no permanent changes to the game. To accomplish this, he dug around inside the machine and made all of his connections using clips secured to the game’s Jones plugs instead of drilling holes and soldering wires.
The clock runs off an Arduino, which gets its its time data using an old GPS receiver he had kicking around. The receiver pulls time data from GPS satellites much like this clock we featured yesterday, updating the score reels once every minute. The clock can be programmed to turn the machine on and off at a scheduled time each day, and simply turning off the Arduino will allow you to play the game in its unaltered state.
We never really contemplated using a pinball machine to tell time, but it works for us! Check out a video of his pinball clock in action after the jump.