The Earth Clock

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Introduction: The Earth Clock

About: I'm a French mechanical engineering student, I like to design, make things and share them here! My main hobbies are astronomy, astrophotography and 3D printing. :)

The Earth Clock is a project I made in order to visualize the face of the earth exposed to the sun in real time!

>>New version (3D printed)<<

Step 1: The Sun

In the nature, the sun-rays are almost parallels because the sun is far away, that is why the Earth is 50% in the light and 50% in the dark. The light source was tricky to make, because by using a simple LED (picture-1), light-rays won't be parallels and the globe won't well be lit, however if we use a light with the same diameter as the globe, the planet will be well lit (picture-2), I chosed to make an LED ring with a diameter of 100mm (same as my globe).

I bought warm white SMD LED (3200K) and I made a ring from wire, I decided to use 12 LED so I drew a circle and marks to place them correctly.

Then I bended a metal wire into a circle and I placed the 12 LED in the correct polarity, I glued them in place and added a second wire circle slightly smaller than the first one, I also glued it to LED, then I connected the 12 LED together: 3 groups in parallel with 4 LED each, and the two wires of the ring are the positive and negative.

Step 2: The Earth Globe

The globe is made with a clear plastic ball (⌀100mm), I printed an Earth origami and placed it into the ball, that way, I painted the continents with a great accuracy (with acrylic paint) the origami doesn't have beautiful colors so I used Google Earth to paint the real colors of the continents.

Then I removed the origami and I painted the inside of the ball with blue paint, I also painted the outside blue to avoid reflection from the LED ring.

Step 3: The Box

The box is made from 5mm plywood, you can see on the picture all the dimensions

all the pieces are attached with wood-glue

Then I stained the box with a dark oak stain and I vernished it.

Step 4: The Circuit

The circuit is composed of:

-1 Arduino uno,

-1 5V regulator,

-1 PWM signal module (step 5),

-2 Stepper motors (28BYJ-48),

-2 ULN2003 driver,

-1 Clock module,

-Buttons,

-2 DC jack,

-Wires.

The Arduino board and the PWM board need 12V,

stepper motors and clock module run with 5V,

that is why I used a 5V regulator, but the 7805 heats up a lot, so I planned to buy a voltage regulator module.

Step 5: PWM Signal

A PWM signal (Pulse Width Modulation) is a square-wave signal with a variable duty cycle, it allows to adjust the brightness of the "sun" from 0% to 100% by rotating the potentiometer.

for this circuit you'll need:

-(1x) protoboard

-(1x) 10k potentiometer

-(2x) 1418 diode

-(2x) 100nF ceramic capacitors

-(1x) 555 timer chip

-(2x) 2 screw-connectors

-3 pins dupont connector (to deport the potentiometer to the front panel)

Step 6: The Clock Module

this module was a kit to solder, I modified it a little bit: added wires to the 7segments display and to the two buttons (which I changed for bigger ones) these wires allows me to screw the pcb on the bottom plate (part F of the box) and glue the display and attach buttons on the front panel (part B).

I also added Dupont connectors to make it completely demountable

Step 7: The Arduino Code

The code is available to download below.

I know it's not optimized but ...... it works fine.

It uses the pre-instaled library "Stepper.h".

As you can see there are two motors :"YearMotor" (doing one revolution per year), and the "DayMotor" (doing one revolution per day).

My motors are doing 2048 steps per revolution

and one year is 365.25 days, so 365.25x24x60x60x1000 = 31,557,600,000 ms.

2048 steps in 31,557,600,000 ms <=> 1 step every 15,408,984 ms (CW)

For the DayMotor it's a little bit more complicated :

In the geocentric reference table, the earth is doing 360°/24h

But because of the rotation around the sun, the earth (in the heliocentric reference table) is doing more than 360° it is actually doing 360+(360/365.25)°

for the motors 360° represent 2048 steps

so 360+360/365.25 is 2054 steps

2054steps in 24 hours <=> 1 step every 42,064ms (CCW)

You may notice that DayMotor is mounted on the YearMotor axis, so to prevent the DayMotor's wires to be coiled around the "year axis", the YearMotor will reset itself after one turn by doing a full revolution ccw

If you have any questions about this code, let a comment.

Step 8: Motors

The YearMotor was mounted on a plywood piece with a length of 130mm to fit in the box
LEGO pieces was used as axis to make the final clock easier to dismantle

The DayMotor is mounted on a bracket with an angle of 23° with little woodscrews.

There is a brass tube around the lego axis to make it look nicer (/!\ the first picture is not to scale /!\)

Step 9: The Earth Clock Is Done

I hope you liked this project ! if you have any request about it let me know in comments.

Thanks !

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Clocks Contest

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    101 Comments

    0
    Occitan
    Occitan

    2 months ago

    Bonjour...et félicitations pour cette horloge très créative !

    J'ai moi-même construit une maquette pour une animation scientifique pour des ados sur le mouvement de la terre autour du soleil: https://www.wikidebrouillard.org/wiki/Exp%C3%A9rim...

    Si vous lisez ma présentation vous verrez que j'ai besoin de repères indiquant le cercle terminateur afin de pouvoir chronometrer les durees des jours et des nuits. J'ai utilisé pour ça deux tiges verticales matérialisant un plan passant par le centre de la terre. Ça marche mais j'avoue que votre solution basée sur des LEDs réparties sur un cercle de même diamètre que la terre est une super idée ! Bravo !

    Sur un tout autre sujet: Dommage qu'il n'existe pas en France un site aussi dynamique et vivant qu'Instructables ! J'ai l'impression que notre Wikifab est totalement dépassé ... Dommage !

    0
    SimonRob
    SimonRob

    Reply 2 months ago

    Bonjour ! Merci beaucoup :)
    Je trouve votre démonstration dans la vidéo plutôt parlante en mettant la caméra à la place du soleil.
    Oui c'est clair qu'en France il n'y a pas de site semblable, ou alors ils donnent beaucoup moins de visibilité, ce qui peut être frustrant vis à vis du travail réalisé... en tout cas ça fait plaisir de croiser des français ici !

    0
    phongnguyenkhac
    phongnguyenkhac

    Question 2 years ago on Step 6

    Could you tell me the name of your clock module?? By the way, if i don't misunderstand, from your schematic i notice that your clock module doesn't have any connection to Arduino UNO. So are the timing of clock module and arduino control step motors are two independence processes? Thank you for your awesome ideal.

    0
    SimonRob
    SimonRob

    Answer 2 years ago

    Hello
    you can find the module here:
    https://www.banggood.com/fr/C51-4-Bits-Electronic-Clock-Electronic-Production-Suite-DIY-Kits-p-920198.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=UK

    And yes the clock an the arduino are not connected.
    This allows me to make small adjustments between time on the clock and position of the globe.
    But if you want you could integrate the clock feature to the arduino and place some extra components like displays and buttons directly on it, that way arduino will be the only "brain" of the entire clock.

    0
    phongnguyenkhac
    phongnguyenkhac

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi!
    Honestly, i asked you about your connections because i'm wondering about the way you synchronized the time of module and position of the globe correctly after power on? Do you do this manually?
    Btw, the link of module you gived me doesn't work. It's show "page not found"?
    Thank you!

    0
    gabriel26092002
    gabriel26092002

    Question 2 years ago on Step 4

    ciao puoi linkarmi il sito dove posso comprare il modulo regolatore di tensione

    0
    haydenk0440
    haydenk0440

    2 years ago

    What are the dimentions of the wooden box?

    0
    GabrielG245
    GabrielG245

    2 years ago on Step 6

    Ciao mi puoi dire dove posso trovare il modulo orologio

    0
    HudaK7
    HudaK7

    Question 2 years ago on Step 9

    can you give me the overall idea of project? now when we start the project the globe will one complete revolution every 24 hour?!

    0
    Clawow
    Clawow

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    Hello!

    Do you also sell these? I would love to buy one.

    Greetings,

    Frank

    0
    SimonRob
    SimonRob

    Answer 2 years ago

    Hello,
    Sorry but I have to say no, I made one and I wont make another one.
    But I encourage you to build one yourself !

    0
    LenkaDesign
    LenkaDesign

    3 years ago

    Great idea! Really loved it!

    0
    SimonRob
    SimonRob

    Reply 3 years ago

    thank you !

    0
    LenkaDesign
    LenkaDesign

    Reply 2 years ago

    Sorry to see you were not shortlisted. I voted for you!

    0
    SimonRob
    SimonRob

    Reply 2 years ago

    yes it's too bad, thanks for the vote :)

    0
    Troubah
    Troubah

    3 years ago

    Great idea, great instructable ! Voted.

    0
    SimonRob
    SimonRob

    Reply 3 years ago

    merci :)

    0
    ghorbani77
    ghorbani77

    3 years ago

    nice project . thank you

    0
    SimonRob
    SimonRob

    Reply 3 years ago

    thank you !