Instructables
Picture of Flock Clock
 


The Flock Clock uses male and female drinking birds to display time.  Binary addition of the female birds (left to right) yields the hour.  Binary addition of the male birds (multiplied by five) yields the minute--within five minutes.  An Arduino processor provides the signals needed to drive Peltier cells which heat the fluid in the birds and causes the bobbing motion.  

102-1671-nd  Peltier  digikey.com
pb1124-nd  relay  digikey.com
drinking birds   teachersource.com
320081  5 volt 6 amp power supply for Peltier   jameco.com




 
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Step 1:

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 Cut a 12" by 12" piece of 1/4" thick plexiglass for the base.  Use four three inch long acrylic rods to support the upper plate (I cut the handle of a fancy toilet plunger for these rods).

Step 2:

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 Fasten the plexiglass to the rods with screws.  Pre drill holes that are slightly smaller than the screw threads (1/16" smaller).

Step 3:

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 Fasten the top plate with screws.

Step 4:

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 Cut small notches in the base of the dunking bird (to accept the Peltier cells).

Step 5:

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 Ideally, the Peltier cell should be a snug fit.

Step 6:

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 Drill two holes in each bird's base--the holes should be toward the front of the base.

Step 7:

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 Drill holes in the upper plate to match the holes in the bird base.  ONE AT A TIME.

Step 8:

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 As you prepare each base, insert the bird body and bob it to its full extent both directions.  Be certain that the birds don't collide before you drill holes.

Step 9:

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 Number each base, or you will have trouble later matching the base holes to the top plate holes.

Step 10:

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 Solder about 15 inches of wire (#22 stranded) to each Peltier cell.  Place heat shrinkable tubing over the solder joint.

Step 11:

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 Using epoxy, glue the Peltier cells to the bird base.

Step 12:

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 In the upper acrylic plate, drill a hole behind the bird base (about 1 inch behind the base) large enough to slip both Peltier wires (and solder joints) through.

Step 13:

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 Place the wires through the hole.
J@50n4 years ago
They are ubergeek, thats what makes them AWESOME! 

Great Ible,

Thanks!
no, geeks like innovative solutions that work.
Fanboys like solutions only they and a few others can use in order to make them feel elite.
Fun clock though, even if it's complicated to read
Troll alert :P
No, just a proud geek.
Same as how the guy who fixes my car is not an engineer, he's a mechanic.
You can't claim fanboys aren't defined by their smug elitism.
I'm not trolling, just looking to better define and use terms.
agis684 years ago
Nice job...but if I lose so much time to understant what time is I waste my time...so simple you see????

:)
Javin0074 years ago
Binary Clocks are ubergeek...  Drinking birds are ubergeek.  The combination is unfathomable.

You, sir, have quite possibly created the single coolest thing in existence.  I gotta make one of these to sit on my fireplace mantel.  :D
MikeTheMaker (author)  Javin0074 years ago
Thank you! 

If you use a 12 ohm 3 watt resistor for heat, you can save a lot of money (and probably mount them more easily than Peltier cells).  The start/stop response of a resistor is better--but resistors do get pretty hot and smelly.  I haven't tried one long enough to see if the odor ever goes away. If you control the heaters with a power transistor, you could eliminate relays, diodes, sockets (cost and labor).

The photos really don't capture the "technosexy" look . . . and the thing is fascinating even to those (most people) who don't want to tackle reading the time.

(5 stars btw)
what a bizare instructable ! full marks for effort, not so sure on practicality but then perhaps this wasnt supposed to be practical !
bronhitis4 years ago

Exciting!!!!

JellyWoo4 years ago
 Which ones are male and which ones are female?
MikeTheMaker (author)  JellyWoo4 years ago
 Blue for boys--pink for girls
downeasta4 years ago
I have a suggestion for those who may not have a box of Peltier devices around. Why not just use power resistors? All we need is some heat, here, not the heat and cold produced by the Peltier. You could cut the cost down by nearly $150 USD! Just a thought, folks.
spicy_puppy4 years ago
incredible and totally awesome.
i would have a hard time to tell the time in the morning.

wouldnt it be nice to have that one on your wrist :)
AndyGadget4 years ago
Drinking birds, peltier devices and time-keeping is something you would never expect to find in the same project, but you've done it ooooh sooooo successfully.
Brilliant lateral thinking!
(I never realised they came in 'male' and 'female' varieties.  I assumed that my recent 'male' one was a safer replacement fluid than the 'female' one I had years ago #;¬)
Oh wow. This is great.
missplumeau4 years ago
That's wild! 
Here is a thought: by the time one figures out what time it is with your fabulous contraption, that time is long gone. Which leads one to realize that time is fleeting. Conclusion: Carpe diem, enjoy the day, smell the roses, create wild things...like this clock.
Thank you for sharing it so diligently! 5*

Rob K4 years ago
Nice crazy clock.
Kryptonite4 years ago
Wow, and I thought one of these things was cool. If you arranged it in an orderly fashion on a shelf or little case for each one, it would look even better!
Doctor What4 years ago
 I quite agree with randofo!  

This is the ultimate in geek clocks!
Arbitror4 years ago
This is totally useless for telling the time, but just plain awesome! Good job (Five Stars!)
Actually, it's not useless, it's impractical! Sorry!
randofo4 years ago
I think you have just blown my mind! Thank you for sharing this.