Ball Clock II ~ Clutch Latch

by Jon Long Sr on January 26, 2016

Photo 160 croppedSometimes things get complicated.  Especially in relationships and ball clocks.

Having the clock run more often has allowed some gremlins to show up.  I started to notice that the reset for the upper flips was occurring at random.  This of course messed up the quarter, half and three quarter strike timing since everything for that quarter would start over.   I also saw that the balls that dropped through for the quarter trip would hang up on rare occasion.  Luckily, I happened to catch the extra cycle while working on another area.

Photo 180It appeared that when the 12th ball would drop through the its flip, it would hit the frame by the clutch in such a way as to vibrate the clutch dog and releasing the clutch to cycle.

Now this was something that would happen maybe once every 8 hours or so.  Once was enough regardless.

Looking at the clutch dog, I noticed that it was resting against the latch that engaged the clutch.  That pressure would change slightly as the shaft rotated and at just the right time would allow the vibration to trip the clutch.  It also was causing erratic tripping of the clutch when the quarter, half and three quarter balls would drop through their respective flips.  It appeared that three things would need to be addressed.

  1. The pressure against the latch had to be kept neutral.  I was able to accomplish this by notching the face of the clutch cam to create an index that held it in a home position until tripped.Photo 181
  2. The clutch dog needed to be held tripped until the clutch cycled.  This was because the home position of the clutch would allow the dog to return under the latch after the ball tripping it had passed through the flip.  So a latch was made with a notch to caught the dog.  Sounds funny huh?
  3. The latch had to be reset during the cycle of the clutch so the clutch would only make one revolution.  This required another cam added to the end of the clutch with an arm that followed it to reset the latch.

That fixed it and the other issue of balls hanging up when dropping through the flips for the quarter hour trips.

That is one of the challenges of a project like this, to solve the unexpected and move on.  The other is coming up with new mechanisms.

Anyway, next will be planning for the hour strike and how to count the balls for that.

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