Twenty Four Clocks To Make A Clock
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Sunday, 05 January 2020

What still amazes me about physical computing is how simple things can be transformed by some computational power. Consider the humble clock. It has just two hands, but put 24 of them together and you have something new - a meta clock.


Engineer Erich Styger decided that the year rollover was a good time for a clock project.  The basic idea is to use each clock as part of a bigger line display. Each clock is driven by a stepper motor. You are wondering how to use a stepper motor to drive to hands mounted on concentric axles then the trick you need to know is that there are dual axle stepper motors made for the automotive industry. Each clock has its own micro-controller and they are synchronized by a master controller communicating over serial lines. If I was to redesign the project I think I'd use a single controller and some discrete logic on each of the clocks, but each to their own approach.

The effect is very pleasing:

It is particularly nice the way that the clocks seems to scramble towards the final message and how order seems to emerge out of chaos.

Erich Styger's website has more information on the build and on other similar designs - it's worth a visit.



More Information

DIY ‘Meta Clock’ with 24 Analog Clocks

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 January 2020 )