Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Time Flying

clock mobile
  [vote for,

This large, slowly gyrating mobile could embellish the ceiling of a theater lobby or an airport terminal while displaying the time. Its seemingly random movements are not be caused by drafts but are exactly choreographed and executed.

The mobile is made up of five tiers of horizontal beams linked by non-twisting cables. At the bottom, on the same level are 32 thin, two-sided, monochrome, display panels that can display any number, a colon or just the background color. Their apparently arbitrary progress is precisely steered by electric motors at the ends of each beam, turning the cable that bears the next beam or a panel.

Every 30 seconds a group of four or five panels congregate in a line somewhere within the mobile, and those panels display the time in digits. As these panels leisurely split apart, with fading characters, another group is gathering at another point.

FarmerJohn, Oct 28 2002

Mobile sketch http://www.geocitie...nie/timeflying.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       I'm not seeing this one.
bristolz, Oct 28 2002

       Each tier is a beam suspended by a cable, and it steers two cables that support beams or panels under it. By controlling the total, pre-programmed turning of all the cables, one decides the two dimensional movement and placement of the panels. It looks like a mobile changing haphazardly but is a clockwork composing its clock face at different places. Capisce?
FarmerJohn, Oct 28 2002

       Does this work somewhat like arrows?
PeterSilly, Oct 28 2002

FarmerJohn, Oct 28 2002

       Come on - time flies like an arrow.
PeterSilly, Oct 28 2002

       silly me
FarmerJohn, Oct 28 2002

       Fantastic concept, but - non-twisting cable? That'll be a rod then (with or without tiger).
egbert, Oct 28 2002

       Yet another totally brilliant rocking concept, Farmer... croissant for the title alone.   

       bris, wait another 30 seconds for the arms to come around again, and you'll catch it...
RayfordSteele, Oct 29 2002

       I already need a little one of those, for the den. Very nice, [FarmerJohn].
You should encase it, so people can't disrupt it by throwing things (wasn't me), or get it tangled with helium balloons. You may need a separate little "AM-PM" panel. If the motors are computer-controlled, corrections are easy (like after power failures), and doing Daylight Saving Time.
I'm probably gonna miss my flight, watching this thing, but somehow I don't care.
Amos Kito, Oct 29 2002

       Thats quite a complex time piece there. I can't decide which would be more beautiful the Kaleidoklock or this.
kaz, Nov 09 2002

       It occurred to me this morning that the “inactive” panels in this clock might be visible from other angles. This led me to speculate whether you could design it so that depending on where you stood relative to the clock, it would show you the time in different time zones.
krelnik, Nov 11 2002

       Perhapse.. You could put electro-magnets and sensors in each of the panels so that when five get near each other they pull together, figure out if their #1 or 2 et cetera and display the time like you show. After a minute the magnets turn off and the mobile continues, randomly. I say this 'cause I like random, and I worry that the engines would wear out. Totaly deserving of this croissan
Lizz612, Apr 19 2003


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