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RC Clock

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Old 09-28-2010, 07:07 PM
  #1
hattrick364
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Default RC Clock

Hey Guys. New to the forum.

I am having trouble and was hoping you could help.

I have to create a remote control clock. i need to be able to make the minute hand move rapidly and make it change times when i want/need it to. This is for a play I am in. Basically one guy says "its 2 oclock in the afternoon", but the clock doesn't read 2. he pounds his fist on the desk and the clock jumps to 2 (or around 2. doesn't have to be exact). this basic scenario happens multiple times throughout the show.

i had to do this back in 2006, but i had a remote control god helping me, and he has moved. also, it was wired. we had a fuse box with the controls on it, and ran it and a 500 pound circular platform (that fully revolved thanks to RC) off of it. the wires were run under the stage. i don't have this luxury this time around.

now i'm flying solo. and it has to be truly wireless. basically like a RC car.

I have a basic working knowledge of RC cars, and by basic i mean i have 4 nitro RC cars and trucks, and know sorta how they work.

What all do i need in terms of servos, motors, batteries, etc.BONUS POINTS FOR SKETCHING SOMETHING OUT!!!!

thanks in advance!
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:27 PM
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Default RE: RC Clock

Well, if the times you need to display are all one one hemisphere of the clock, you could get by with just a tx, rx, battery, and one servo. I.e 12,1,2,3,4,5, and 6 o'clock are all on one hemisphere or within 180 degrees, which is about the travel of most servos. So all you would have to do is attach the servo thru the clock face and attach the hour hand to the servo arm with glue or small screws. The minute hand would just be glued in place on the clock face pointing at 12. If you need the whole range of time on the clock face, then it gets a little more difficult.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: RC Clock

Easiest way would be to weight the arms behind the backdrop so that when weights are released the hands move to 2:00.  Inner part of the arms would be pointing straight down at this time.  Set the clock from behind the backdrop and, on queue, pull a pin to drop the weights.  Doesn't have to be much weight, and it is easy to move both hands and in opposite directions if needed.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:48 PM
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Default RE: RC Clock


Quote:
ORIGINAL: hugger-4641

Well, if the times you need to display are all one one hemisphere of the clock, you could get by with just a tx, rx, battery, and one servo. I.e 12,1,2,3,4,5, and 6 o'clock are all on one hemisphere or within 180 degrees, which is about the travel of most servos. So all you would have to do is attach the servo thru the clock face and attach the hour hand to the servo arm with glue or small screws. The minute hand would just be glued in place on the clock face pointing at 12. If you need the whole range of time on the clock face, then it gets a little more difficult.
afraid i'm going to need the more difficult version! i see where you are going, and i like it, its right on the right track. unfortunately i'm going to need the minute hand to move. in the instance i mentioned, i need the clock to start at like, 1:50 and bump to 2. also throughout the show, the clock will help pass the time.

i realize that this will be very easy with someone standing behind the set turning the movement, but it needs to be quick. and the director of this show is the same one from 2006 so she has an expectation, so i'm trying to make it happen.

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Old 09-28-2010, 10:10 PM
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Default RE: RC Clock

Hmmm.  To keep time the rest of the play . . .  

Could we interest you in a digital clock?

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Old 09-28-2010, 10:42 PM
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Default RE: RC Clock

i wish! that would make like a whole lot easier.

actually, i think i figured it out. i'm fairly confident that if i can get the hour hand to work normally, i can make the servo controlling the minute hand spincontinually by removing the arm on the feedback, Then by pressing FWD or REV it will spin forever until the stick goes back to neutral. not entirely sure how to get the hour hand to work normally though with this much modificationa whole lot easier. please feel free to correct me if that doesn't sound right.

i just took apart my team losi electric mini. pulled the motor, servos, battery, ers, gears, driveshafts and axles. charging the battery right now. will plug it up and see what happens. and then figure out the clock.

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Old 09-29-2010, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: RC Clock

I do a lot of theatre and if I were directing a show and the Tech Director told me he was going to make a radio controlled clock, I'd get a new Tech Director.

My first rule for set design is: Keep it simple (that's the second and third rule too)

Never use electronic devices if it can be done more simply - Too many things can go wrong (IE, forgot to turn something on, dead batteries, etc.)

Here's what I would do:

Mount the clock mechanism loosely through a flat and put the clock face and hands in place.

Set the hour hand at "2" and the minute hand at "10"

Drill a small hole just under the Hour Hand

Rotate the Clock Mechanism 60 degrees (So the minute hand is on 12) and glue a block of wood to the flat - Mount a Velcro Strap to the block (other half of Velcro mounted to side of Clock Mechanism)

Now, from the rear, you can place a wire pin through the hole to prevent the Hour Hand from moving while you rotate the Clock Mechanism to the block. Velcro the mechanism in place and remove the pin so the clock may continue to move.

Note: The pin the holds the hour hand should Be held firmly with a block off wood so the block can be held securely against the back

PS, the pin should be attached to the back of the flat with a string so it won't "walk away!"
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:58 PM
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Default RE: RC Clock


Quote:
ORIGINAL: hattrick364


Quote:
ORIGINAL: hugger-4641

Well, if the times you need to display are all one one hemisphere of the clock, you could get by with just a tx, rx, battery, and one servo. I.e 12,1,2,3,4,5, and 6 o'clock are all on one hemisphere or within 180 degrees, which is about the travel of most servos. So all you would have to do is attach the servo thru the clock face and attach the hour hand to the servo arm with glue or small screws. The minute hand would just be glued in place on the clock face pointing at 12. If you need the whole range of time on the clock face, then it gets a little more difficult.
afraid i'm going to need the more difficult version! i see where you are going, and i like it, its right on the right track. unfortunately i'm going to need the minute hand to move. in the instance i mentioned, i need the clock to start at like, 1:50 and bump to 2. also throughout the show, the clock will help pass the time.

i realize that this will be very easy with someone standing behind the set turning the movement, but it needs to be quick. and the director of this show is the same one from 2006 so she has an expectation, so i'm trying to make it happen.


Another possibility, if you have a big enough clock, mount one servo thru the back of the clock face for one hand and mount another servo thru the front of the bezel for the other hand. If the clock is big enough, the hour hand and minute hand will not interfere with each other, and no one will notice a small servo in the center of the clock if the hands are constructed correctly. You could also use clear speaker wire for the front servo leads and secure them inside the bezel with clear tape to help make them less visible.
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