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Rolling Ball Clocks #2

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.." -- Greg Anderson

Motors and Power Units

The general design for these power units is the same but it seems to take me a long time to work out the details. My concern is mostly about the aesthetics of the units and has relatively little to do with function.

It begins with a search through my scrap box of old motors. I pull out all the stepper motors; mostly salvaged from scrapped printers and disk drives. The results are bigger than I'd like (again with the aesthetics). So I search the internet.

For about $11.00 I can buy a set of 5 stepper motors; complete with driver boards: ( FTCBlock 5 Sets 28BYJ-48 ULN2003 5V Stepper Motor ULN2003 Driver Board with 40pin Jumper Wire for Arduino ) I'm not sure if these small motors will have enough torque but for it's worth a try.

This first power unit I built for the 'large' clock (shown below) made a lot of noise when running at clock speed. It had a direct drive to the drive gear so the motor had to run too slowly. Each step made a distinct click and this was a little anoying. So I made a second unit with a gear reduction to speed up the motor. This resulted in less clicking (less vibration) and therefore a quieter operation.

These new motors have a 1/64 reduction built-in so that should take care of the noise issues. We'll see...

That's it for the motor.

Next step: Will this motor be strong enough to drive the clocks? More pieces and some fine tuning ...

Check out the 'Finish' section ...