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Energy storage in spring

  1. Sep 3, 2010 #1

    I am thinking of a device, i dont know if a similar one exists already but this is what it is supposed to do.

    1. compress(or extend) a spring by way of some mechanical force like turning a wheel(this wheel could very well be that of a bicyle)
    2. Once the spring is compressed(or extended), the decompression(return back to original state) should happen in a timed(stuttered) way.

    Any pointers to documents or links are welcome
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2010 #2
    You mean an old fashioned , wind up, alarm clock?
  4. Sep 3, 2010 #3
    Yes something along those lines. What is it called so that i can google it and learn more of the mechanics behind it.
  5. Sep 3, 2010 #4
    Well the clock has a spiral spring.
    You wind the clock to tighten the spring with a crank.
    The tendency of the spring to unwind works against an 'escapement mechanism', to drive a toothed wheel with a rider that engages the teeth and prevents movement.
    Some form of oscillating mechanism eg a pendulum, or rocker or wheel periodically lifts the rider from the toothed wheel to allow a burst of movement. When the oscillating mechanism swings back it resets the rider on the next tooth.

    there's lots on the net about clock escapements.
  6. Sep 3, 2010 #5
    Nice idea. However, i dont have the luxury of something periodic happening like a pendulum. Am curious how do timed windup switches like the ones in the basement work without any electricity? That will probably provide me a pointer for design.
  7. Sep 3, 2010 #6


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    Welcome to Physics Forums.

    I googled mechanical timer, as well as mechanical timer tutorial. Perhaps that will lead to something that would help you?

    It is not clear what you have in mind, do you simply want to know how mechanical timers work or are you wanting to design/build something? (And if you want to build something, providing more details would lead to better answers.)
  8. Sep 4, 2010 #7
    What i am basically trying to do is to raise a weight and then bring it down slowly. I am not sure how to go about this. Any tips towards this design goals i appreciated
  9. Sep 5, 2010 #8


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    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  10. Sep 5, 2010 #9
    Wow thats very informative, thanks a lot.
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