Edgytokei’s Incredible Mechanism Shows Time Without A Face


Taking inspiration from Japanese nunchucks, [ekaggrat singh kalsi] came up with a brilliant clock that tells time using only hour and minute hands, and of course a base for them to sit on. The hands at certain parts of the hour seem to float in the air, or as he puts it, to sit on their edges, hence the name, the Edgytokei, translating as “edge clock”.

The time is a little difficult to read at first unless you’ve drawn in a clock face with numbers as we’ve done here. 9:02 and 9:54 are simple enough, but 9:20 and 9:33 can be difficult to translate into a time at first glance. Since both hands have to be the same length for the mechanism to work, how do you tell the two hands apart? [ekaggrat] included a ring of LEDs in the hub at the base and another at the end of one of the hands. Whichever ring of LEDs is turned on, indicates the tip of the minute hand. But the best way to get an idea of how it works is to watch it action in the video below.

We have to admire the simplicity and cleanliness of his implementation. The elbow and the hub at the base each hide a stepper motor with attached gear. Gear tracks lining the interior of the hands’ interact with the motor gears to move the hands. And to keep things clean, power is transferred using copper tape lining the exteriors.

On the Hackaday.io page [ekaggrat] talks about how difficult it was to come up with the algorithms and especially the code for homing the hands to the 12:00 position, given that homing can be initiated while the hands can be in any orientation. The hand positions are encoded in G-code, and a borrowed G-code parser running on an Arduino Nano in the base controls it all.

[ekaggrat] seems to be a master at making creative clocks like this. Check out this doodle clock that uses a magnetic writing board containing iron filings, and this TORLO clock where the arms run along the rim under control of artistically exposed timing gears.

15 thoughts on “Edgytokei’s Incredible Mechanism Shows Time Without A Face

    1. it moves one in a minute so i wont worry about it lasting long… i am already working on version 2 which uses belts to get a better movement and make it easier to build..

  1. Can never quite understand how as we advance in technology, makers seem only to make displays that are harder to read and far less detailed. There are 86,400 (minus 1,440) available and notable actions missing from this and countless fancy projects.

  2. This is not a clock… this is art that tells time. I love it! Though, I don’t want one, as I’m perfectly fine with the clocks I already have and I’m pretty sure that the noise will become annoying over time. Though you could see it as an old ticking clock with a chime every x minutes. Anyway, the design is really cool.
    Great project.

  3. I’ve always been a digital ‘military’ time type of person, so I’ve been forever waiting for something that gives a digital display the class you can get from an analog one.
    So anyway, this isn’t for me then it seems, but if HaD finds something digital that has some class I’d like to see it featured.

  4. The time is a little difficult to read at first unless you’ve graduated first grade.

    But honestly, the only thing that makes this difficult to read is the first picture, captured from the video. At first I thought I was supposed to see 9:15 to 9:45 on the left and 9:45 to 10:00 on the right somehow.

    1. It sounds like you’re referring to the banner at the top of the article. The clock positions shown do match the labels above them. Below the label 9:15 to 9:45 the clock is showing around 9:25. Below the label 9:45 to 10:00 the clock is showing around 9:55. So what you at first thought you were supposed to see is correct. Unless I misunderstand what you’re saying.

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