|i have just posted pics of my rolling ball clock on brickshelf:|
here is an explanation:
This clock is based on the Arrow Handicraft Deluxe Rolling Ball Clock that
was popular in the 80's.
To tell the time read the hour from the 3rd row of balls. For the minutes
add the 1st and 2nd row of balls together.
On the first row 1 ball = 1 minute. On the second row 1 ball = 5 minutes.
My friend Chris Scheuerman asked me if i had ever seen a rolling ball clock
before. He told me that he just got one and that i should come take a look
at it and try to make one out of LEGO. I never did go over and look at his
clock. In fact my clock was built strictly from pictures found on the
web. I have never seen one of these clocks in person. I spent about 2
months making this moc and 1 month fine tuning and debugging.
The ball holding, balancing, tilting, and logic was simple to make. It did
take a few bricklink orders to get enough ribbed tubbing and soccer
balls. The lift mechanism is what stumped me. I thought about it for
about a month before i came up with a design that i thought would work. It
still took a lot of tweaking to get it to work correctly. The real clock
has a rotating arm that lifts the balls up to the top. I was originally
going to copy the same rotating arm, but i would have needed a very long
arm because of the height of the ball logic. So i went with the chain lift
mechanism. It turned out very well.
During debugging improvements were made like adding extra guard rails so
all the balls would return to the ball holder and not the ground. One
problem that i have not solved yet is the lift mechanism is not 100%
accurate. Very rarely, 2 balls are lifted at the same time or no balls are
lifted at all. But i think that the no lifts and the 2 ball lifts even
then selves out because after running for 3 days at Brickfest PDX it was
only about 1 or 2 minutes off.
I think i will keep this one together for a while. It is kind of
mesmerizing watching the balls go up and roll around.
Movies of the clock in action can be found here:
Telecom Monitoring Solutions
4343 SW Corbett Ave
Portland, OR 97239
Message has 8 Replies:
| ||Re: Rolling ball clock|| Tobbe Arnesson|
|Hey Bob! That's a really neat clock! Had never heard about it previously! Nice rendition in LEGO! Looks simple enough, but I quess getting the balls to roll safely is a trick in itself. So what basically determines the speed/accuracy of the clock is (...) (10 years ago, 26-Feb-04, to lugnet.technic) |
| ||Re: Rolling ball clock|| Bob Kojima|
|(...) here is the link to the pictures that i used to build the clock: (URL)Looks simple enough, but I quess getting the balls to roll safely is a (...) yeah, the balls get rolling pretty fast and don't want to stay on track around the curves. (...) (...) (10 years ago, 26-Feb-04, to lugnet.technic) |
| ||Re: (no subject)|| Terry Prosper|
|(...) the rolling balls! I have about 100 soccer balls at home and I have some good ideas to use them, but none as cool as this! I want one too! Very well crafted. I like the color scheme too, even though in a MOC of that kind, people don't usually (...) (10 years ago, 26-Feb-04, to lugnet.technic) |
| ||Re: (no subject)|| Bob Kojima|
|(...) i know i could stare at it for hours. at one time i had 4 ball lifts on the chain so that it would run 4 times as fast. i'm not patient enough to wait a minute for each ball to be lifted. (...) thank you, i tried to make it as simple as (...) (10 years ago, 26-Feb-04, to lugnet.technic) |
| ||Re: (no subject)|| John Gerlach|
|(...) *snip* (...) Oh, I'm going to sheepishly chime in here - I 'set' the clock a couple of times during the weekend. I was so completely amazed and fascinated with it I just couldn't bear for it to not be accurate!! But once it was set, it seemed (...) (10 years ago, 27-Feb-04, to lugnet.technic) |
| ||Re: (no subject)|| Bob Kojima|
|(...) that's why it was always the right time. pdx was the first time i let it just run for hours so i was not really sure of how accurate it would be. (...) borrow what you want. i borrow ideas all the time. i'm glad you liked it! bob Bob Kojima (...) (10 years ago, 27-Feb-04, to lugnet.technic) |
| ||Re: Ball Clock (was: no subject)|| Rick Clark|
|(...) < snip > (...) This is a problem you will probably not solve as long as there is a bin of balls for the conveyor to draw from. The Seattle robotics guys will tell you that getting soccer/basketballs to feed reliably from a bin is a non-trivial (...) (10 years ago, 28-Feb-04, to lugnet.technic) |
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