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Electrical pendulum clock modifications
In Electric Clocks
Douglas Reid
Nov 02, 2022
Hi Steve, My ideas for an improved electromagnetic kicking circuit have been evolving. The initial objectives are to provide more accurate control of amplitude and timing of the EM pulses, together with reduced power consumption compared to use of the Chinese modules. With the benefit of being microcontroller-based, an elaborated version could also measure and correct timing by changing the amplitude of the pendulum swings - in theory, the long-term accuracy could then be as good as that of the quartz crystal in the circuit. Apart from design and construction of the electronics, this involves changes to the clock base such that the custom coil and PCB together with different batteries can fit within the base. I am also thinking that a version of the clock made from a hybrid of wood and 3D printed components would be good. If the base and supporting framework were to be made in wood (i.e., all parts seen in orangy-brown plastic) were to be made in wood, the clock would look much better! It is completely reasonable and good to 3D print all the gears, but the base and vertical supports, being in plastic, detracts from the overall appearance. Using the step file of the base which you kindly provided, I have produced a variant that could be easily routed out of wood, refer graphic. If desired, there could be a slope down towards the front - but that would complicate construction. Other variants are also possible such as a simple square/ rectangular or a hexagonal or octagonal base. Arguably, the simpler the base, the better from the aesthetic perspective of the design. A simple rectangle of polished wood may be the best?! My thinking is that the top surface of the base should be flat such that it is not obvious that the pendulum is traversing over a kicking device! I should expect that the EM signal is able to pass through a thin thickness of wood. In any event, the top surface can best be flat whether or not it may be found that there needs to be a hole. The clock framework is best also made in wood. Only simple 2D curves are involved which can be easily routed by hand using a template. There is now the challenge of how to attach the framework to the wooden base?! Rather than having to cut rectangular holes (apparently also having the complication of sloping sides!) at an angle in the base, it would seem better to use simple angled circular holes. I should appreciate if you could provide the step files of the support framework parts - I should then be able to modify the ends where the verticals attach to the base and also cut holes into the base itself. Much better would be if you could make available the overall Fusion 360 model - the inter-relationships and accurate dimensioning between the parts could then be checked. Furthermore, it will then be possible to visualise how the overall clock looks with the various alternative shapes of base. If you prefer, we could communicate directly. What is your email address? Best Regards, Douglas
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Electrical pendulum clock modifications
In Electric Clocks
Douglas Reid
Nov 02, 2022
Subject: Coup Perdu Hi Steve, Congratulations on finishing your new design! Your YouTube video discusses the pros and cons of the Coup Perdu and Graham deadbeat alternative mechanisms and I understand that either could be used for this clock (despite it being called "Coup Perdu") which involves usage of the small motor for rewinding. Maybe the alternative variant is best referred to as the "motorised Graham" or something ...?! Do the plans for the Coup Perdu include for both alternatives? Based on your comments and, in particular, that the running is quieter, I should favour construction using the Graham deadbeat mechanism. I already bought plans for the EM pendulum clock and am wondering whether or not to (also?) construct that earlier design of clock. Does the EM pendulum clock use the same Graham deadbeat mechanism as you are talking about in relation to the Coup Perdu clock design? Or has a better variant of the Graham deadbeat mechanism been developed since your EM pendulum clock design? There has been some mention of quirkiness regarding the EM pendulum clock and I noticed in a video that it sometimes seemed to miss a beat. Does the quirkiness arise from some aspect inherent in the (earlier design of?) Graham deadbeat mechanism (or whatever the mechanism used in the EM clock design is properly called for)/ 3D printed gear construction or is the issue relating to the electromagnetic kicking aspect? I appreciate that for any 3D printed clock there is a need for careful adjustments and some fine tuning. My question is really which should be considered as being the inherently most robust design. Usage of the small motor for rewinding is an interesting idea. However, I consider that the electromagnetic kicking approach used in the earlier design also has potential as a means to power such 3D printed clocks. As I have posted in the EM clock thread, I have some ideas for an improved EM kicking circuit which has the potential to provide more accurate control of amplitude and timing of the EM pulses, together with reduced power consumption. I shall add to that posting today with some new ideas. Douglas P.S. Probably an extra forum category is required for the Coup Perdu?
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Electrical pendulum clock modifications
In Electric Clocks
Douglas Reid
Oct 23, 2022
I did some calculations to obtain an estimate of the battery life for the Coup Perdu clock. Please check my figures (it is early in the morning and I have not properly woken up yet - so there could be a mistake?!) From specification on eBay page for JL-12FN20-1006: 5v at 0.054 A That may be incorrect - a similar table which appears to originate from the manufacturer shows 0.077 A, refer N20GearMotor.pdf 5v at 0.077 A --> 0.385W when running. From video: "Rewind operates every 3 or 4 mins." Looking at the video it very roughly seems to take 6 secs for a rewind. So rewinding takes 6 secs and occurs every 180 secs (assuming the worst case 3 mins figure). Duty cycle: 6/ 180 = 0.033 (or 3.3%) --- How many watt-hours from an AA battery? https://sustainable-nano.com/2016/04/29/aa-batteries-mercedes/#:~:text=A%20typical%20AA%20battery%20contains,have%20to%20change%20the%20batteries. A typical AA battery contains about 3.9 watt-hours, ... https://sciencing.com/energizer-watthour-battery-specs-7425932.html Data sheets for Energizer's technical information can be searched on their website. For their AA battery, it looks to have a capacity of 2800 milliamps hours, or 4.2 watt-hours. --- Hours * 0.385 * 0.033 = 3.9 (using that figure for the watt-hours) Therefore, hours = 307 If step-up conversion efficiency is 80%, the hours figure reduces to 0.8 * 307 = 245.6 hours That corresponds to 10 days for a single AA battery. For 3x AA, 30 days, which is not unreasonable for usage, although use of rechargeable batteries makes sense. Using 3x or 4x AA could possibly be convenient if it means that a step-up converter is not required. Starting voltage would be 3x 1.6 = 4.8v, towards end of battery life dropping to 1v per AA - would the motor still operate the rewind mechanism with only 3v? (Can you please check that?) For 4x AA, starting voltage would be 4x 1.6 = 6.4v (hopefully, the "5v" specified motor would survive that?!), towards end of battery life dropping to 1v - would the motor still run with only 4v? It would be good if you could test the motor with 6.4v, 4v and 3v! (Under the load of doing the rewinds.) The version of the motor on the eBay page has torque 102.4 N.m with gear ratio 1006:1 If the clock rewind could operate with a reduced torque (and assuming other variants in the list of motors could be sourced), the power consumption could be reduced. For example, the -380 version of the motor has torque 75.6 N.m with gear ratio 380:1 whilst drawing 0.068 A. So it operates 3x as fast, assuming the torque is sufficient, whilst consuming around the same power. So a single AA battery could then last for 3 months?
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Electrical pendulum clock modifications
In Electric Clocks
Douglas Reid
Oct 22, 2022
Hi Steve, Thanks for your prompt response. Yes, a constant amplitude swing would improve the timing accuracy - so that is another benefit. I shall consider in more detail the subject of using a boost converter. The conversion efficiency of such are typically in the range of 80% to 90% across a wide range of input voltage. Probably 90%+ of the battery life can be used whilst producing a constant voltage with associated constant current drive to the coil. Since the current can be chosen to meet the actual requirement, the battery can be expected to last much longer. How long does a battery typically last with the Chinese modules? The current consumption could be further reduced by optimising the magnet/ coil system. Obviously a powerful magnet moving close to the coil would require a lower current pulse and/ or of a shorter duration compared to a smaller magnet spaced further away. I shall think about how many/ the type of battery that could best be used. The cost of batteries, whether disposable or rechargeable type together with the battery holder and convenience to replace or recharge batteries should also be considered. Could the base benefit from being weighted for stability? Maybe a steel plate at the bottom? I haven't studied the instructions in detail - maybe this subject (adding weights within the base) is discussed? The new design looks very interesting! Since it is a "much better design" and will be available shortly there seems little point in my constructing the existing model. I should always be thinking that I should have built the better design! I am interested in both table- and wall-mounted versions. Is there any possibility of a special deal for me on the new design, given that I shall not be using the existing?! I shall focus my current efforts on constructing the Silent desk clock, together with thinking about electronics. Regarding the Coup Perdu Clock, please let me have details of the rewind motor and possible sources of supply. It may be time-consuming to obtain this special part from China or wherever so it is best that I order it as soon as possible. With knowledge of the motor specification, I can also reapply my ideas for efficient use of batteries for powering that motor! [Voltage, current consumption, how frequently motor is switched on and the duration of each rewinding process?] Regarding the Silent desk clock, I shall be thinking about the motor drive electronics ... I already have some ideas for a more elegant solution. It would be useful to also have the step file for the base of that clock. I should then be able to modify it to accept a custom PCB and also better understand how the motor (of particular size) will be attached to the base. Douglas
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Douglas Reid

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