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Author Topic: Creating an analog second hand  (Read 293 times)
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Hello.

I'm looking to build a Nixie Clock with 4 tubes I've got.  They'll be mounted on top of my enclosure (it will be a wood top and base with acrylic on all sides.  On the front I would like to have an analog second hand which will rotate a full 360deg every 60 seconds.

Should I just buy a small clock kit and use that or would it be worth finding a small motor to interface with my Arduino to accomplish this task?

I was curious if I ripped a small motor that cell phones use to virbrate, just determining how I would control speed to make it accruate.
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I don't think you will get those little motors to turn slowly, you would end up needing a gear box. You could use a small stepper motor, but you probably won't find one that goes in 6 degree increments so your hand would jump at non-second intervals.

I'd go with a cheap clockwork, but you aren't done there.  You will probably want to sense when the hand is straight up so it is synchronized with your digital section. An infrared LED/photodiode pair would be a good choice, put them both on the back side and watch for the reflection. Then you can stop the clockwork any time it gets off and wait for the next minute. Hopefully that isn't too often.

You could wind 60 little coils, use 4 of the serial in, 16 out LED drivers, put a bit of magnet on the end of the hand and make your own synchronous clock motor... I mean you are already using nixie tubes, simplicity has left the room a long time ago.
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Since you are going for an analog look and feel, what about finding and putting an analog vu-meter in there.  Set it up so that at 59 seconds it hits the max level, then whenever the seconds roll over you can just dump the analog out back to zero.  This way you don't have to worry about drift at all - just put the seconds on analog out scaled to whatever voltage level matches the meter's range.

... err nevermind.  I just asked digikey how much those cost.  Yikes!
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