tim   .


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.   hunkin






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I became fascinated by gravity escapements and spent ages drawing them in the science museum. The idea is that the pendulum is kept swinging by the weight of two small arms, and is not directly connected to the clock gearing, to make it more accurate. Big Ben, and many other victorian clocks have gravity escapements. They are beautiful to watch. Without a lathe or many metalwork tools, I spent a couple of months making my own version. The bureaucrat figures move their heads from side to side with the escapement mechanism. Their arms move in and out, moving the chain round the bicycle ratchets to wind it up, every half hour or so. 
he two small cranked levers in the hands of the wooden figures are connected to two small geared motors. A quartz timer was going to make them rotate once at minight, sweeping up the minute hand and pushing it to zero (as long as its not more than about 6 minutes slow or fast). In practice the clock was accurate enough for them not to be needed.   Although the clock is accurate, the 'tick' is very noisy. It lived in an architects office in London for ten years but has now retired to my office, only running on special occasions.
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The chain of beads (in the high priest’s right hand) show the hours, and the hour glass indicates roughly how much of the hour has passed. The two assistants on the outside chime the quarters and the hours. At the time I was teaching myself CMOS digital electronics and set myself the challenge to do the counting circuits for a clock chime (it chimes once at one o’clock, twice at two o’clock etc).

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The electronics are in the chest under the high priests feet. The circuit boards are populated with tiny figures designed for n scale railways

There is a video of the clock in my 'Some Early machines' film

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The dial rotates once a day, chiming on the hour. The moon rotates once a month to show the phases.

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The elephant clock is constructed round an old electricity meter.




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