Introduction: 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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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).
Fasten the plexiglass to the rods with screws. Pre drill holes that are slightly smaller than the screw threads (1/16" smaller).
Fasten the top plate with screws.
Cut small notches in the base of the dunking bird (to accept the Peltier cells).
Ideally, the Peltier cell should be a snug fit.
Drill two holes in each bird's base--the holes should be toward the front of the base.
Drill holes in the upper plate to match the holes in the bird base. ONE AT A TIME.
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.
Number each base, or you will have trouble later matching the base holes to the top plate holes.
Solder about 15 inches of wire (#22 stranded) to each Peltier cell. Place heat shrinkable tubing over the solder joint.
Using epoxy, glue the Peltier cells to the bird base.
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.
Place the wires through the hole.
Number the red wire as you prepare each bird base. You will need to keep up with this to match the relays to the correct bird.
Bird 1 Arduino pin 11, "8" hour
Bird 2 Arduino pin 10, "4" hour
Bird 3 Arduino pin 9, "2" hour
Bird 4 Arduino pin 8, "1" hour
Bird 5 Arduino pin 4, "8" minute
Bird 6 Arduino pin 3 "4" minute
Bird 7 Arduino pin 2, "2" minute
Bird 8 Arduino pin 1, "1" minute
Drill holes in perfboard and use nuts and bolts to prepare to mount the relay interface (perfboard).
This is the schematic--quite a bit of wiring. I mounted the relays in wire wrap sockets to make the work easier. The pushbutton is used to "set" time. The clock starts at 1 o'clock and each push advances the time five minutes. The LED's help you to know where you are when setting the time (the birds have about a 100 second delay before they start or quit bobbing).
Mount the terminal strip.
Drill holes and mount the Arduino processor board.
Wire the relay interface board. When connecting "pin 8" on the relays, use two runs of wire wrap wire.
Insert relays into sockets.
Electronics should look pretty good--before you tie everything together.
Take a 1.5 inch piece of #22 solid, strip both ends and leave one end open to receive wire wrap wire from the relay board.
Turn the relay board upside down and add wires to connect to Arduino and the terminal strip. Don't forget that wires to the terminal strip have to survive turning the perforated board over (next step). I ran those wires toward the lower part of the picture shown, then under the board (so they wouldn't get tangled when the perf board is flipped).
Hide the wires as much as possible.
Add the wires from the 5volt 6 amp power supply (each Peltier cell will consume about .7 amps).
Bring the wires from each bird to the terminal strip (now, aren't you glad that you marked those wires!)
Everybody is ready to bob! If you've been wading through all of this for the secret on how to determine drinking bird sex, think "blue" for boy and pink for girl (and just what were you thinking?)