This clock displays its numbers using panelled segments

So satisfying

Probably noisy as hell.

Probably worth it anyway.

I'm picturing a massive one on the wall of my office as a dual-purpose clock and countdown timer. Someone comes into the office, and I tell them they have 1 minute of my time, press a button, and the clock flicks quickly to "1:00". One more press of the button, and it starts counting down loudly second by second almost drowning them out as I stare waiting for them to talk.

Bonus: It would be awesome if it could run in loud and quiet modes, so I could flip a switch to ask my questions after they were forced to yell over the ticking.

My thought exactly, like how often have we all watched seconds tick by, but something about this is just great.

The video where the gif came from.

It’s as loud as I hoped it was.

This is something I’d happily pay too much for.

You should attach it to the inside of a briefcase and take it to school they'll think it's awesome.


BOFH, is that you?

Honestly, this wouldnt be too expensive to make - 14 servos, a few logic gates and a cycle controller. Probably only $40-$50 and a few hours(including learning and construction) of your time.

check out BCD to 7 segment display

edit: underestimated a bit

edit: solenoid or actuator are a cheaper and more reliable option.

May even get free tuition out of it to one of the countries most prestigious Universities. For a clock.

It's actually really quiet and you just have a speaker playing loud mechanical noises along to it.

Way more satisfying with sound

You could probably soon learn to tell the time just by how many are clacking at one time

Someone post something about Flip Disc Displays.


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Here is said

Also... Here is a future video of his where he has 8 digits going.

I've been out of RC planes for a few years, but as I recall, fast and accurate servos like those pictured can easily cost tens of dollars each. Has it really gotten that cheap for hardware?

It looks like you could use mechanical stops instead of accurate servos.

something about Flip Disc Displays.

Also interesting how introducing/removing white in the frame is screwing with the metering of the camera.

Yeah, but it cut off right before 69. That's some bullshit.

it's the noise time should make

PFY. Plausible Deniability. Do we need to have that talk again?

So someone using a typewriter right next to you every second. Better hope it gets put in a good case to dampen the sound.

Colorado Time Systems used this on most of their swimming scoreboards through the 80's-90's early 2000's, and I can tell you it is rather loud. Especially when there's is about 40 larger versions of what is shown above. But once everyone was racing in the water and people were cheering you couldn't hear it if you tried.

The metal panels just flip to the side, when one is retracted you can see it just resting on its side and when activated it flips up to face the camera.

Flip-disc display

The flip-disc display (or flip-dot display) is an electromechanical dot matrix display technology used for large outdoor signs, normally those that will be exposed to direct sunlight. Flip-disc technology has been used for destination signs in buses across North America, Europe and Australia, as well as for variable-message signs on highways. It has also been used extensively on public information displays. A few game shows have also used flip-disc displays, including Canadian shows like Just Like Mom, The Joke's on Us and Uh Oh!, but most notably the American game show Family Feud from 1976 to 1995.

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I'm being facetious.

This is how the old displays used to work some buses in Toronto.

But nothing will ever come close to that satisfying frprpprprprprp sound when they flipped.

Breakfast made a modular, ~30fps flip disc panel

I think the noise is what would make it particularly satisfying.

Isn't this also how a lot of older stadium scoreboards work?

Put it in a solitary confinement room. See how long they last.

Nice clock Ahmed!


Aaah... the trials and tribulations of middle management...



If you're going that route, then I want the Jack Bauer countdown noise.

beep BOOP beep BOOP beep BOOP beep BOOP



I think 7->6 would be the most

Yea that sound is so nostalgic for me. Early morning swim practice where everyone was too tired to say anything. All you heard was the flip flip flip of our timing system that was set to a 60 minute stopwatch during practice.

I can't believe this has been a mystery my whole life and I'm only seeing it now

I used to fit these to railway stations in the early '80s

Edit: they were a more versatile replacement for the ones with a series of destination "blades" - sort of like Venetian blind vanes with destinations printed on them. If you wanted to add a new destination, you had to climb up the ladder and swap a vane out or insert another. Imagine being able to just program it into the device from the office. It was like science fiction at the time.

Nice clock OP

And if your dark skinned whites will freak!

I love that when the longer you listen to it the more you can tell the difference between how many panels are moving. The noise is the best bit. When it goes to 1 is just the best.

Depends, sure you can spend upwards of of 15-20$ on a hobby grade servo, or you could go a bit lighter on the display parts(numbers) and get a servo that only pushes 5g's, you'll still get the response time of 0.1s and would only run you 3$ from a place like banggood. But the weight loss in display parts would probably cost a loss in the "clicking" sound so yeah if you really wanted that heavy clicking sound this would be on the more expensive side. Still possible to go cheap though.

2 to 1 as well, I believe.

It would be impossible to tell though, as multiple changes can make the same number of panel move.

Number Change Panels moving 0 -> 9 2 9 -> 8 1 8 -> 7 4 7 -> 6 5 6 -> 5 1 5 -> 4 3 4 -> 3 3 3 -> 2 2 2 -> 1 5 1 -> 0 4

Edit: Fun fact, now that I wrote it in a table like that, I see that there are two different possible number changes for each number of moving panels

Which number change causes the most panels ro move at once?

Please get to 69. Please get to 69. Please get to 69.


Upvote for "frprpprprprprp"

Calm down there satan

remember when there were rows and rows of them in airport terminals for the flight numbers? standing in said terminal and the background noise of these things switching, ah the memories.

The sound is satifying too

Do what?

Fast movement

No overshoot

Negligible settling time

No oscillation

That's some good tuning.

A lot of timers displayed at the finish at ski races are like this. It's usually too bright out to see any kind of electronic display

Thankfully we live in a world where you can put a programmable CPU in anything for pennies.

Electromagnets, springs, and transistors could maybe work too. Edit: Probably more difficult from the mechanical engineering side though.

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