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Creating a Vetinari Clock Using Antique Analog Meters

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Duane Benson
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Very nice!
Duane Benson   8/20/2014 4:09:48 PM
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I love old meters. Now, if you could only include one of these CRT meters. My dad's old HiFi (to all you youngsters - that's what they called "iPods" back then) had a round one that displayed on the end of the tube.

David Ashton
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Analog meters
David Ashton   8/20/2014 4:13:06 PM
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@Max, I am a hoarder and I also have a soft spot for analog meters, but you take the cake there!

I'd keep it simple I think.  I love the idea of using a metronome-type meter to tick the seconds.  I was going to suggest a centre-zero meter (I might even have one for you if you want) but really if you're going to drive them with an MCU then you can make them do what you want anyway, and centre zero meters need + and - drive voltages which would make life difficult.

I'd imagine you are going to drive the meters with PWM at a frequency which won't show on the meter ballistics?  I'd stick to a maximum of 12 things on a meter (in this case hours) because otherwise you'll have to get very close to read them easily.  Are you going to make custom scales for them?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Very nice!
Max The Magnificent   8/20/2014 4:15:23 PM
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@Duane: Now, if you could only include one of these CRT meters...

I have something even better to go on the top -- but I didn't want to give everything away all at once...

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Analog meters
Max The Magnificent   8/20/2014 4:17:11 PM
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@David: I love the idea of using a metronome-type meter to tick the seconds.

Me too -- that will give it some real visual interest

 

zeeglen
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Chimes
zeeglen   8/20/2014 4:18:41 PM
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Interesting idea, will be nice to see the finished project. Maybe you could find an old GC-1195 (Heathkit clock) on ebay and salvage the "Big Ben" chimes synthesizer board as well as the tic toc.  Or build your own Big Ben sound generator.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Analog meters
Max The Magnificent   8/20/2014 4:19:22 PM
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@David: I was going to suggest a centre-zero meter (I might even have one for you if you want)...

That's very kind of you, but I picked a couple up as part of my "stash" -- now I'm trying to worjk out how to use them. The thing is that, using the MCU to drive it, I can make a regulat meter "look" like a center-zero meter...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Analog meters
Max The Magnificent   8/20/2014 4:21:41 PM
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@David: I'd imagine you are going to drive the meters with PWM at a frequency which won't show on the meter ballistics?

That's right -- PWM is the way to go -- in fact I'll be writing a blog on this in a couple of weeks -- explaining how you work with different meters that were originally intended to display voltage, current, resistance -- and different orders of magnitude -- and so forth...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Analog meters
Max The Magnificent   8/20/2014 4:23:42 PM
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@David: I'd stick to a maximum of 12 things on a meter (in this case hours) because otherwise you'll have to get very close to read them easily.

This is something I'm going to have to look at -- in the case on minutes and seconds I'll need to go up to sixty -- but I might have major lines on the graticule every 10 units with minor lines betweeen them for every unit.

David Ashton
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Re: Chimes
David Ashton   8/20/2014 4:24:01 PM
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....or get one of those old "ding-dong" doorbells and fire it up on the hour....

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Analog meters
Max The Magnificent   8/20/2014 4:25:18 PM
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@David: Are you going to make custom scales for them?

Bet your booty -- it's hard to tell the time when the big dial's faceplate presents values in Ohms and the two medium meters show volts and amps LOL -- watch for my column tomorrow on this...

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