# Need help designing a clock with a repeating signal

• B
• Krion
In summary, this conversation provides a overview of how to build a clock that triggers a single signal to occur three times at equally spaced time intervals. The method of triggering the signal is dependent on the particular design, but all involve a weight that is suspended by a length of chain. The Summary also includes a suggestion for a more complex design that uses a spoon to control the spin speed of a spinning bowl.
Krion
TL;DR Summary
I need to build a clock that triggers a signal to repeat three times at equal intervals. These intervals need to be adjustable within a short amount of time (i.e. striking three times with 30 seconds in between to striking three times with 90 second intervals).
Hello! I am in need of a clock expert. Just a disclaimer, I am vastly unfamiliar with much of the inner-workings of clocks and need some help. I have only built a simple Graham Escapement clock, previously.

I need to build a clock that triggers a single signal to occur three times at equally spaced time intervals. These time intervals need to be adjusted after each trial for a total of three trials (we are only given five minutes to adjust). We are also only limited to mechanical clocks and no electrical components. I was looking into striking clocks, but I am unsure of whether you are able to adjust the interval at which it strikes or if it is even doable considering my inexperience. I have also considered adding a lever system that triggers a visual signal, but the dropping weight does not strike the lever with enough force to trigger it. Currently, I am trying to research more into it, but I find it hard to understand a lot of material. A bit of advice would be greatly appreciated!

Welcome to PF.

I think you need to keep it simple.
1. A pendulum and an escapement wheel.
2. A 12 tooth bicycle chain pinion on the escapement shaft.
3. Adjust the pendulum length to one pinion tooth per second.
4. A weight hanging on a length of bicycle chain drives the escapement shaft.
5. The signal is triggered when an extra-long roller pin passes over the top of the pinion. The distance between three long pins in the chain programs the period. It all stops when the weight reaches the floor.

Also, consider a loop of chain with only one extra-long roller pin. It will regularly pass over the pinion, with a period determined by the number of links in the chain loop. A separate weight would be required to drive the escapement shaft.
If more than three signals were not permitted, then the weight would have to be caught after three and a half periods.

Tutoroot, DaveE, anorlunda and 1 other person
A really odd approach:
1. consider a spoon. you hold the handle in your fingers and twirl it so the bowl spins with the spin axis along the handle
2. if you put the spinning bowl in a container of liquid it will be harder to spin
3. the more of the spoon bowl in the liquid, the harder it is to spin
Now if you use a liquid that is more viscous ("thicker") it will be even harder to spin that spoon. That could be a way to control the spin speed if the driving force is fairly constant. A constant driving force could be a weight suspended by a string that is wrapped around a shaft, or the spring from a sacrificed windup clock (probably harder to use though).

For the different time periods that you need, you can change how deep the spoon is in the fluid; or use different size spoons; or wrap the string supporting the weight around different diameter shafts.

Now getting really odd, instead of a liquid, use silly putty and adjust its viscosity for different speeds.

You can make silly putty using corn starch or using borax powder. Do a Google search for: make silly putty.

Anyhow, there is one approach to a speed regulator. The rest of the mechanics "Are Left To The Reader."

Have Fun!... and please keep us updated on your project, it sounds like a fun one.

Cheers,
Tom

anorlunda
Raspberry Pie?
(Only joking)

Krion said:
We are also only limited to mechanical clocks and no electrical components.
Thanks for the reminder. In today's world we are accustomed to software-based solutions that make things like that trivially easy. We forget how difficult it was to be flexible using mechanical solutions.

Is this a challenge posed to ME students?

Baluncore said:
Welcome to PF.

I think you need to keep it simple.
1. A pendulum and an escapement wheel.
2. A 12 tooth bicycle chain pinion on the escapement shaft.
3. Adjust the pendulum length to one pinion tooth per second.
4. A weight hanging on a length of bicycle chain drives the escapement shaft.
5. The signal is triggered when an extra-long roller pin passes over the top of the pinion. The distance between three long pins in the chain programs the period. It all stops when the weight reaches the floor.

Also, consider a loop of chain with only one extra-long roller pin. It will regularly pass over the pinion, with a period determined by the number of links in the chain loop. A separate weight would be required to drive the escapement shaft.
If more than three signals were not permitted, then the weight would have to be caught after three and a half periods.
That is very helpful. Thank you so much!

## 1. How can I design a clock with a repeating signal?

To design a clock with a repeating signal, you will need to first determine the type of signal you want to use (e.g. digital or analog), and then select the appropriate components such as a clock movement, hands, and power source. Once you have all the necessary components, you can assemble them according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

## 2. What is the purpose of a repeating signal in a clock?

A repeating signal in a clock serves to indicate the passage of time in regular intervals. This allows the clock to accurately display the time and ensures that it stays synchronized with other clocks.

## 3. Can I customize the design of my clock with a repeating signal?

Yes, you can customize the design of your clock with a repeating signal by selecting different components such as clock hands, dial face, and casing. You can also choose to add additional features like chimes or a snooze function.

## 4. How do I maintain my clock with a repeating signal?

To maintain your clock with a repeating signal, you should regularly check the batteries or power source to ensure they are working properly. You should also clean the clock and its components periodically to prevent dust or debris from affecting its functionality.

## 5. What should I do if my clock with a repeating signal stops working?

If your clock with a repeating signal stops working, first check the batteries or power source to make sure they are not the issue. If the clock is still not working, you may need to replace the clock movement or other components. If you are unsure, it is best to consult the manufacturer's instructions or seek professional help.

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