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Kinetic ball clock DYI? Answered

Anyone see a tutorial on how to make a clock like this one?
I know I can just buy the thing but I wanna make it on a larger scale. And I don't have one to observe and to reverse-engineer :(?


The trick is designing things so time is divided into suitable periods.

Balls are delivered at a known rate -- 1 per minute -- to the first counter, using some sort of bucket lift driven by a clock motor. That counter is counterweighted such that it will hold 4 balls but overbalance and dump when the fifth arrives, dividing the time into 5-minute units. Second and third are counterweighted to hold 11 and dump when the 12th arrives.

That much is tolerably straightforward, though making sure they dump completely when they do dump is a bit less than obvious. Some experimentation should resolve that.

The tricky part, not visible in the video, is that each of the upper two tracks lets only one ball go to the next counter, while the rest go back to the bin that feeds the bucket lift. I can think of several ways to build that divide-by-five/divide-by-twelve mechanism; I don't know which one they might have used. Again, I think it's probably more fun to leave this for you to experiment with; you might come up with different solution than they did.

That's really all there is to it...

Thanks :D right after this comment the idea just came to my head of how they dump the balls into the next part of the track and bin.

I doubt that I'm going to do the 5 min intervals on the second track but instead make them 10 min intervals with the first track doing 1 min intervals :D Much nicer to read imo.

I just wish that I had the resources to carry out my plan ):

If I were making it, I think I might try to come up with another catch N-and-release the N+1st mechanism. Example: the fifth rolls across the top of the fourth (or is otherwise caused to take a different path by it), trips a release that dumps the four, and continues to the next divider. That also solves the hidden problem of how to isolate the "carry bit".

I'm sure there are many other solutions.


6 years ago

Use your own ingenuity, stand on your own.
Cook book plans or Reverse engineering is not as satisfying :→(
Here is a "larger scale" conceptual and elegant start for your clock.
orksecurity has grasped the salient operational elements of the ball bearing clock in a minutes of real brain power here.  You could do it too.
Maybe your too young to invent that is why you are unpublished after a year.
Growth occurs when you stretch over your limits.
That's why you asked.......  No ?


I'm "unpublished" too, for a much longer time, but that's because I haven't had time for a serious project that I though was worth documenting as an Instructable.

We enjoy your insightful output contributions as well as any ible.