Things are really starting to come together with regard to Max's Vetinari Clock. The meters and vacuum tube are mounted in the prototype awaiting the installation of the electronics.
Well, I have to admit that I have a great big Cheshire Cat-type grin plastered on my face at the moment, because the prototype for my Vetinari Clock project is now well underway.
Just to tease you, let's start with a small photo showing the current state of play, and then I'll walk you through the steps that have brought us to our present position. We'll finish with more photos and accompanying links to full-size renderings of the little beauty.
From the get-go, I knew that I was going to have a large "Hours" meter, two medium-sized "Minutes" and "Seconds" meters, and a small "Tick-Tock" metronome-like meter. One big aspect to all of this was deciding on the layout for the front panel. My graphic artist chum, Denis Crowder, suggested a symmetrical arrangement with the "Hours" meter on the top, the "Minutes" and "Seconds" meters side-by-side in the middle, and the "Tick-Tock" meter in the center at the bottom, with the switches mounted either side of the "Tick-Tock" meter. However, I decide that I preferred the asymmetrical presentation shown below (click here to see the column containing the deliberations that led to this layout).
Another big consideration involved creating the new faceplates from the meters. As I described in my Yummy Scrummy Antique Analog Meter Faceplates blog, graphics guru Denis created the artworks, master craftsman John Strupat machined and printed the faceplates, and analog meter expert Jason Dueck refurbished the meters and inserted the new faceplates.
The first step with regard to creating the prototype was to mark the front panel out on a piece of 1/4" thick MDF (medium-density fibreboard).
Now, I could have cut this front panel out myself with my trusty jigsaw, but I knew that the end result would not be as tasty as I wanted it to be. Also, there's no point in knowing a master carpenter if you don’t use him, so I asked my chum Bob to take a crack at it. Since Bob has a workshop full of tools -- not to mention decades of expertise -- it didn’t take him long to whip something into shape.
In the fullness of time, the real clock will be fully enclosed in a cabinet. For the purposes of this prototype, however, we've left everything open to make it easier for me to wire everything up and perform my experiments. The only part of the surrounding cabinet represented here is the small panel on the top, which will be used to hold the vacuum tube.
In fact, this provides a brilliant illustration of the value of creating a prototype. I had originally thought of making the clock 8" deep (from front to back). But as soon as I saw this top panel in the context of this prototype, I realized that 8" would be too much. I'm now thinking 6" deep, which means the vacuum tube will be 1" closer to the front in the full-up version.
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