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Automata clock. Running a motor for 30 second each hour.

Discussion in 'Sensors and Actuators' started by bunchofapes, Dec 21, 2017.

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  1. bunchofapes


    Apr 28, 2017
    Hello I'm looking for some advice. I'm looking to make a clock, which on the hour operates an automaton.

    Such as in my site

    I know nothing on electronics
    . Any advice would be greatly appreciated
  2. dorke


    Jun 20, 2015
    Are these times fixed?(i.e no need to change the periods)
    What accuracy do you need for each?

    It is a simple task which can be achieved in several ways.
    The best would probably be to use a small micro controller chip.
    You would need to make a small μC circuit(or purchase a ready made one),
    And program it for the 2 timing periods.
  3. Doug3004


    Sep 5, 2014
    Using an Arduino board (an Uno or Nano) for this is pretty easy. The Nano is physically smaller, but is functionally the same.
    At this link is a sketch that would blink pin #12 on for about*** 30 seconds every hour:

    The details would depend on what kind of motor you want to use (a DC motor or a stepper motor?)

    For a DC motor you would need to use a motor controller board or a relay to control power to the motor.
    For a stepper motor, you would need to use a stepper motor driver (another little electronic board).

    DC motors are cheap and spin fast easily, but don't usually have a lot of torque.
    Stepper motors cost more and don't spin real fast, but they have a lot of torque and you can control exactly how much and which direction they turn.

    Also We Note: an Arduino is a cheap and (relatively) slow microprocessor, but it can still easily control a dozen or more motors all at once. It's probably best to just start with one motor however.

    ***The clock in an Arduino can gain or lose a few seconds every day.... If you wanted to use this thing as an actual clock to tell time by, then you may want to look into using a RTC module as well. It has a clock microchip that is more accurate and more stable than the one present in the Arduino processor.
  4. KMoffett


    Jan 21, 2009
    The simplest setup would be a wall-plug timer that can turn on and off at one hour intervals, followed by a 120VAC , 30 second "Interval timer". How much are you willing to spend? The higher the cost, the simpler to assemble. Also depends on the motor type.

  5. 73's de Edd

    73's de Edd

    Aug 21, 2015
    Sir bunchofapes . . . . .

    Could you designate where within that sites massive amount of info , WHERE your particular application was ?

    I was also pulling for the simple and cheap plug in with its pop in -or out setting tabs, but wasn't sure if it could
    be set for 24 settings per day or possibly ONLY the OPEN hours of a business , unless it was a walk by window display.
    On the other extreme:
    How about considering the use of an atomic clock based time base that is set for an on the hour chime and
    then going inside to get an electric sampling of that tone burst. You then feed that into a CMOS based one
    shot timer that will then take, that on the hour sampling, and make it electronically switch operating power
    to your display device, for whatever of a time period that it requires.
    The device then stops and is waiting for the EXACT onset of the next hour, at an overall onset accuracy of 2
    billionths of a second.
    The internal battery of the time piece is pulled and an outboard D-cell alkaline unit replaces it, for providing
    an ininterrupted power supply service . . . . .of right at 5 yrs plus.
    The simple CMOS circitry is powered by its own power source or possibly the activated units compatible power
    source, since its use cycle is being so comparatively short.

    Two options for the Atomic time standard, with the second ones consideration being its small size, IF the first
    one is not wanted to be displayed to further make use its displayed additional visual side attributes to the

    Atomic Clocks . . . . .

    Or if small physical size restraints are being a consideration . . . .

    73's de Edd

  6. KMoffett


    Jan 21, 2009
    The main limitation here is bunchofapes' acknowledgement that: "I know nothing on electronics". So the assembly must be made of pretty much plug-and-play hardware. A wall plug timer that can do 24 on-off cycles a day is the start. This followed by an AC line triggered, fixed or adjustable 30 second off-the-shelf Interval timer. The cost and ease of wiring then is something that go together. Along with this is what type of automated motor/lights/actuators the output of the interval timer must switch. This may or may not require a relay following the timer.

  7. dorke


    Jun 20, 2015
    You would probably need a " programmable 24hours digital timer ".
    There are many on the market ,most of them can provide 1 minute resolution,
    if you can live with that(not 30 sec) then you have your medicine ready made .

    In any case look here ,needs more investigation for the small details.
    Or, you can go into a local electric shop and inquire.
  8. Doug3004


    Sep 5, 2014
    You always have this question about how much a person wishes to get involved.
    Everybody started somewhere though, and almost everything associated with Arduinos is made to be easy to use.

    The problem with using off-the-shelf appliance timers is that they always have limitations you may not want.
    Going the DIY route is more hassle (and maybe more cost) but the result is more adaptable.
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