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Mystery Clock

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Project by DickB posted 924 days ago 4120 views 23 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an exposed wood gear clock project that I am working on. All of the moving parts are out in the open, so you can see everything working, but what makes it tick is a bit of a mystery to many. Unlike most pendulum clocks where the pendulum regulates the movement, in this clock the pendulum drives the movement.

The pendulum contains a rare earth magnet, and the base has a coil of wire in it. As the magnet passes the coil, an electronic circuit senses the magnet and sends a current pulse into the coil. This gives the pendulum a “kick” and keeps it moving.

Others have designed and built clocks like this, but I have developed what I believe to be a unique drive circuit. I use a microcontroller with a watch crystal reference, and compare pendulum period to the crystal reference. Then, I adjust the pulse to the coil to speed up or slow down the pendulum a bit. This makes the clock much more accurate than it otherwise would be. There is also an LED in the base that flashes red or green if the pendulum is too fast or to slow. This makes it easier and quicker to set the pendulum bob.

I’m fine-tuning the design with three clocks built and running at this time.

Here’s a video: http://youtu.be/0hvj574hrd4

-- Dick, http://www.carveshop.com





15 comments so far

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

941 posts in 2412 days


#1 posted 924 days ago

Very nice! I’ve built a few clocks as well. I have only done one with a electro-mechanical impulse drive. I use a few transistors to time and impulse the neodymium magnets at the end of the pendulum. I’d be interested in comparing designs. I’m curious as to the battery life of your clock design.

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

View DickB's profile

DickB

61 posts in 924 days


#2 posted 924 days ago

Max,

You have some very beautiful clocks!

Calculated battery life is over a year on 4 D cells. This is my first pendulum clock, and I’ve not had one running long enough to verify. I have had one running for about a month. I was thinking of running one to exhaustion on AAA cells to verify.

-- Dick, http://www.carveshop.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2182 days


#3 posted 924 days ago

Hi Dick
Welcome to Ljs
That’s one fantastic clock

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View tom427cid's profile

tom427cid

294 posts in 1075 days


#4 posted 923 days ago

KUHL
tom

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6123 posts in 1405 days


#5 posted 923 days ago

I LOVE IT!!!

Thanks for posting!
-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The best woodworking show since the invention of wood.)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View KYJeepGuy's profile

KYJeepGuy

40 posts in 1046 days


#6 posted 923 days ago

Nice job, beautiful work. Which CNC router/engraver do you use?

-- If I'm not in the shop, I'm someplace else. Joel, Lumberjock #30,000

View DickB's profile

DickB

61 posts in 924 days


#7 posted 923 days ago

Thanks. CarveWright. Reasonably priced, no extra charge for the basic but very capable software, easiest to use of the software packages that I sampled. Some people have a lot of trouble with the machines, but much can be avoided by using a good dust collection system (which oddly the manufacturer does not provide) and paying attention to maintenance needs.

-- Dick, http://www.carveshop.com

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

3270 posts in 1472 days


#8 posted 923 days ago

Awsome.Very good looking

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2265 posts in 1488 days


#9 posted 923 days ago

Beautiful clock, very unique motion! Welcome to LJ’s.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Diggerjacks's profile

Diggerjacks

1738 posts in 1744 days


#10 posted 923 days ago

Hello

Welcome to LJ’s

This type of project is for me the best of the best for the scroll saw working

I love it

Thanks really for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1180 posts in 1789 days


#11 posted 923 days ago

Very clever clock mechanism. I want to make one badly.

-- Allen, Colorado

View rhettbarker's profile

rhettbarker

6 posts in 965 days


#12 posted 923 days ago

that is awesome you should publish some plans. I have a carvewright and would like to build that.

View DickB's profile

DickB

61 posts in 924 days


#13 posted 922 days ago

Thanks!

I’m working on getting this into the CarveWright PatternDepot as a project, and also offering a kit of hardware parts including built and tested electronics. Hope to have it ready soon.

I have another clock in the depot already: http://store.carvewright.com/product.php?productid=21882&cat=0&page=1

-- Dick, http://www.carveshop.com

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2163 days


#14 posted 921 days ago

I’m very interested in getting one. Please post when they become available. Thanks.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2405 posts in 2197 days


#15 posted 920 days ago

Great Looking Clock!!! Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Dennis Zongker

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