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Clock of Blocks

An intricate instrument under a playful surface
  [vote for,

This is a clock that uses miniature blocks to spell out the time, from ONE PAST ONE to ELEVEN TWENTY-SEVEN. A successful meld of child pastime and serious timekeeping, the apparatus will thrill you with its twirling movement and seeming simplicity.

Its 19 position display is achieved with 19 wheels of one inch blocks, all on the same axle. Each wheel has eight spokes, each supporting a block that can rotate to show four of its sides. The sides, like infant building blocks, have the raised and painted letters of the alphabet and some symbols.

By rotating blocks and spinning block wheels, the time is whirled into view every minute. The clockwork and motors are ingeniously hidden inside the wheels. Sensing which side is up, the clock will keep its display forward while mounted on the nursery wall or gracing the mantel of the den. The beech blocks’ carved lettering can be ordered in red, blue, yellow, green, black or the multihued version.

FarmerJohn, Dec 19 2003

drawing http://www.geocitie....html?1071827623796
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

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       sounds complicated. If you can show me a prototype I'll bun yah!
v0rtexx, Dec 19 2003

       I want one but I can't work out why!
dobtabulous, Dec 19 2003

       [UB] Eight if you include Q and H, for "Quarter past/to" and "Half past".
friendlyfire, Dec 19 2003

       I love it, [FJ]. Could it make soft jack-in-the-box sounds as it changes hours?
k_sra, Dec 19 2003

       What does it display at fourteen past eleven?
phoenix, Dec 19 2003

       twenty-eight past twelve?
PeterSilly, Dec 19 2003

       k_sra: "click-click-click-sproiing"   

       phoenix: ELEVEN FOURTEEN   

       PeterSilly: TWELVE TWENTY-EIGHT
FarmerJohn, Dec 19 2003

       You could have just six blocks per wheel if they can turn upside down or sideways. (M and W could share a side, as could N and Z, so there would be only 24 unique letters.)
AO, Dec 19 2003

       [FJ] - that's cheating.
PeterSilly, Dec 19 2003

       Alphabits meets clock ... very nice, [FarmerJohn]!   

       However at first read, I was thinking LEGO-type blocks, but this is cool anyway ... or use dice. Give it a little Vegas flair.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 19 2003

       [Copy and paste to monospace]
(Total of different letters)
For the hours, this uses max 8 blocks on an axle.
modular, Dec 19 2003

       [jutta] A cop-out, maybe. I was looking for a simple, workable design (identical wheels steered by matching mechanisms) and saw loose, interdependent blocks as bordering on magic. Were you thinking of using more than one display surface per block by turning them 45 degrees towards the viewer?
FarmerJohn, Dec 19 2003


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