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How-To: Control a clock mechanism with Arduino

Arduino Technology
How-To: Control a clock mechanism with Arduino


Just ran across this post on CiboMahto’s blog detailing how to control an inexpensive analog clock mechanism with an Arduino.

The mechanical bit is quite simple. The clock functions in a similar fashion to a stepper motor, in the sense that you charge an electric coil to get the mechanical bit to move forward a precise amount. In this case, each firing moves the second hand one second position forward (and makes the familiar tick noise). To ‘fire’ the electric coil, you simply put a voltage across it. The only complicated bit is that you actually have to reverse this voltage to advance the clock to the next step.

Making a ‘totally crazy’ slow/fast/backwards clock could be a great way for newcomers to get their feet wet with microcontrollers. And for those feeling a bit less wacky, Info for accurate timely control is also provided on the project page.

7 thoughts on “How-To: Control a clock mechanism with Arduino

  1. Maker Dino says:

    I love this. It’s a nice blend of digital and analog and a fun way to mess with a micro controller. :) Nice work!

  2. Randall Bohn says:

    I’ve got the Arduino (Pro) working, now where is the clock mechanism?

  3. Niels Hermans says:

    ive bought 2 clocks but both fell apart the minute i opened them, can someone recomend a easy modiefiable model?

  4. Controlling time with arduino | James Miller Portfolio says:

    […] Makezine […]

  5. Hacking a Clock mechanisim - Visible Futures Lab says:

    […] PoD second Year Richard Clarkson hacking a clock mechanism. Turn’s out the thing that drives the clock is very similar to a tiny we motor, so you can use small alternating pulses to speed up, slow down or stop the hands of the clock. Code and more documentation here: […]

  6. Motors for Clock Making – Arielle @ ITP says:

    […] This post about hacking a clock. […]

  7. Hacking Clock Movements – Arielle @ ITP says:

    […] This is the tutorial I’ve been working from. […]

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