Hello. I am very new to this and trying to figure out where to start.
I "dabble" with electronics and know just enough to be dangerous but have never use (or even seen in person) an Arduino.
I am a machinist by trade.
I am building a new workshop and want a clock tower on it.
Problem, I live in Vermont and outdoor clocks are very expensive. Plus the normal problems of a stand alone clock ... setting it (we do have a number of power outages) and such.
So, I started thinking about a step motor. This way no gear box ... just three motors (well per side so possibly 12 motors ... motors are easier than gears) ... hours, minutes and seconds. No gearing and such ans the motors can be driven at any speed. No real load as they are only turning the hands of the clock. I "think" even if the clock freezes up (snow and ice) and the hands stop moving, there will be no damage to the motor.
I am guessing I would need some kind of switch on each motor to tell when it is at "zero" ... just thinking this as the CNC machines I work on have a switch at each end. We run a "calibrate" program each day to make sure the machine knows where zero is.
Also, it would be great to have it tie into the GPS system to make sure it is accurate. Really not sure how this would work. Do you check every hour or each day or ? Do you run it back if it is fast or run it forward if slow or ???
Finally, it would be nice to take control of the hands say at the hour and have them do something odd (say go forward then back a couple of times).
So first question ... am I on the right track or is my idea way off base?
I tried to do some homework searching the web.
I see clocks driven by step motors so I think I am OK there.
I did see there is a GPS module available so I think I am OK there.
I see step motor drivers .... just never saw 12 off a board ... is this possible ... plus then say 12 "zero" switches?
Assuming this is possible .. where do I begin?
I think I would want to build a simple three motor (and three switch) unit on my desk to test the concept ... but I would want to make sure I can expand it to 12 motors and switches later.
Should I buy an UNO or MEGA or ???? Shields? Kit or parts or ????
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks ..... Mike in cold cold cold Vermont