Introduction: Perpetual Clock
As a young boy, like all boys my father was my hero, he was the smartest man in the world, everything he said was gospel. Wait, back up here, my dad was a good guy and smart but he was stuck in the beliefs of the day. There was a number of things he told me I didn't believe, I suppose this is a natural part of growing up and becoming independent.
The one thing he told me is "Perpetual anything is impossible". I always chocked on the word 'impossible' because I always believed that somehow, some time all things will be possible. I always dreamed as a child about owning my own computer, I was told by many people I was not smart enough to make enough money to buy one and what would I do with it, the list goes on and on. There was a cartoon strip called "Dick Tracy", he was a detective that among other things had a wrist communicator, it looked like a wrist watch but it could magically connect with others, wait, this sounds familiar. Apple Watch?
The moral of the story is "Never stop believing". Your beliefs may not be possible today but nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.
With great fanfare I present to you now my perpetual clock.
Step 1: Shopping List
1 battery operated clock of your choice. ( any clock that takes 1 AA battery)
1 5 Volt usb solar panel with a female USB connector
1 type A to type C USB cable (length of your desire)
1 USB chargeable AA battery
The items I show here are expensive but two of the items can be purchased at the dollar store, the battery I bought on line and is priced anywhere from $10 to $30. The solar panel is a low watt 5 volt panel with a female USB connector. The clock usually does not have a continuous draw on the battery, the solar panel I use is about 5" X 7" with suction cups. I have an inline digital volt/amp meter to monitor the load on the solar panel. On a sunny day the output is 4 to 5 volts and I rarely see any current draw once the battery is charged.
Step 2: Assembly
Plug the USB cable into the battery then insert the battery into the clock, be sure to get the polarity correct and don't put pressure on the USB cable.
I used the suction cups that came with the solar panel to stick it to the inside of the window with the solar cells facing out. A south facing window is best.
Now plug the other end of the USB cable into the solar panel.
Thats it. Set your clock to the correct time and mount it, set it or place it within the range of the cable.
On heavy overcast days the battery may not get much of a charge but the battery should keep the clock going for weeks.
When you stick the solar panel to the window make sure the window is clean, lick or wet the suction cups then press firmly onto the window getting as much air as you can out of the suction cups.
Step 3: Conclusion
This is a very simple instructable but I think a fun one and practical.
My clock has been running for about 5 years now with no signs of quitting. Clocks are some of the most efficient devices man has created. Now when you are trapped by 3 feet of snow and huddled around the fireplace to keep warm because the power is out and weeks of overcast skies, you will always know what time it is.
I was thinking of sending Santa one of these clocks, he has never been late yet but who knows what is possible. Besides "What time is it at the North Pole?"