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This is my 6th collaborative project with Dave Bruckenstein aka "The Crazy Clock Guy". We call this one "Cosmos" and it uses an old camera lens and macro extension tubes from Dave's childhood. A ring of LEDs below the lens is projected via the mirror onto the screen.
The clock in the image above is displaying the time of 7:20. The blue dot represents the hour, and the red dot is the minutes to the nearest five.
The design of this clock evolved over many months with numerous concept sketches created by Dave.
After we settled on using the glass dome, Dave then built a working prototype from materials at hand to get the optical alignment and dimensions worked out. I began by fabricating the base from two layers of 1/2" thick black acrylic. Each layer is rounded over to visually reference the curved shape of the dome. I milled out a cavity for the electronics and LED ring light. This clock uses the same electronics I had designed for several previous clocks we had made. So this was essentially a plug and play design from an electronics standpoint - except that I had to reverse everything due to the mirror. Dave provided me with the lens mount so the lens is secured to the base by screwing it in as one would on the camera body itself. I then machined a post from stainless steel rod to support the circular projection screen in the front. Both the mirror and screen posts needed to be adjustable in height, so I fabricated a clear acrylic support with a set screw. We later decided to make all the supports black to tie in visually with the base so I painted it black. This clarified the concept and I then machined it and the other supports on my lathe using black Delrin. I completed the rest of the feet and supports from half inch black acrylic. It was my idea to use thumbscrews to make it easy to tweak and adjust everything perfectly to Dave's satisfaction. Each curved foot is positionable to get the focus and alignment relative to the lens. Each time Dave and I complete a new clock, it exceeds both of our expectations. Something about the synthesis of our two minds and creative ideas tends to create a very satisfying result for both of us.
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