Possible to hack a retro clock into a split-flap display?

I've been wanting to make a split-flap display board for a while and hook it up to display various messages/times for my office, however building one from scratch seems to be very expensive due to the motors and parts involved.

Is it possible to take a retro-style flap clock and repurpose it to be one of these displays? I haven't been able to find anyone attempting this before, despite it seeming (to me) like a pretty good way to get around the issue of the expensive step motors and gears involved, considering the relatively cheap cost of retro clocks online.

Any ideas or opinions? Sort of new to this whole endeavour but willing to do the legwork in executing on the idea if it is possible.

rickharris2 years ago

The address book was a rolodex. !

The basic display mechanism is pretty simple. You could build it from scratch. An indexed and geared DC motor would work just as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-flap_display

http://unknowndomain.co.uk/category/design/split-f...

http://dominicmorrow.org/2014/06/19/messing-with-s...

just for a starter.

Problem is that you are very limited with the amount of flaps.
In the old days every doctor had these rotating address book thingies that had hundreds of flaps.
Maybe you can combine the tow in a simple way so that the clock meachnism simply rotates through all flaps.
If you are happy with just the flaps on the clock you need to figure out a way to fast forward to specific time to display the right message.