Automaton quartz clock - advice for a novice

Thread Starter

bunchofapes

Joined Jun 14, 2018
22
Hello all

I am attempting to make a clock that runs an automation of a flying bird on the hour, every hour..

I did start a thread previously, but realised it was better ask for help to the solution below, rather that outline what I planned to use, then ask how to put together.

  • It needs to be triggered by a quartz clock movement
  • Play a sound once, when first triggered on the hour - sound must be record-able by me
  • Run from batteries
  • Run a small motor for the automation
  • Have light sensor, so it doesnt play the sound at night
Any help would be appreciated. Im a novice electronically, so a solution using available modules I can put together would be best

Thanks

Dave
 

danadak

Joined Mar 10, 2018
3,627
This is a fairly straightforward design for an experienced developer, even one
who has not done speech or motor drive.

But for just gluing modules together like Leggos I am not aware of any off the
shelf solution.

Why not learn a UP by a dual approach, get a basic board and start learning a
language, like C. While building and running example applications.

Do you have any test equipment ?

Regards, Dana.
 

Thread Starter

bunchofapes

Joined Jun 14, 2018
22
HI Dana

Thanks for the reply

I have no test equip at all im afraid! Im also a bit stuck for time to learn a programming language..

I tried a greeting card voice module and have a light sensor module.. could they be connected together like my diagram below?

Remember im a novice, so please be kind! haha

The highlighted red section is the voice module
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/152995263041?var=452795224297




Sorry if its not clear, but I think it will make sense (?)

Thanks again

Dave
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,854
What are the voltage and current requirements for the motor? How long does the motor run each hour? How long do you need the circuit to function on one set of batteries?

This information is needed in order to size the battery.

What kind of battery are you thinking of using? Rechargeable?

Why does the circuit need to be triggered by a quartz movement? Does it need to be a mechanical movement, or just be controlled by a quartz crystal?

This is the kind of project that an Arduino might be well-suited to, particularly if your interest is in getting the project working and not learning about electronics/
 

danadak

Joined Mar 10, 2018
3,627
You can start with a PC sound card based scope for free. Will give you basically
audio range scope, spectrum analyzer, and function generator all using your
PC sound card.


https://www.zeitnitz.eu/scope_en


http://www.zelscope.com/


http://www.ledametrix.com/oscope/


http://www.virtins.com/downloads.shtml


But first build a simple circuit to protect sound card inputs so you do not
ruin from transients, overvoltage. Google "protect sound card input".


For example http://makezine.com/projects/sound-card-oscilloscope/


Sound card impedance bridge -


http://www.marucchi.it/ZRLC_web/ZRLC/Steber_An_LMS_Impedance_Bridge.pdf


http://www.sillanumsoft.org/ZRLC.htm


Regards, Dana.
 

Thread Starter

bunchofapes

Joined Jun 14, 2018
22
What are the voltage and current requirements for the motor? How long does the motor run each hour? How long do you need the circuit to function on one set of batteries?
Thanks for the reply


The motor is 3v and will run each hour for 10-30 seconds ideally

This information is needed in order to size the battery.

What kind of battery are you thinking of using? Rechargeable?
Not sure yet

Why does the circuit need to be triggered by a quartz movement? Does it need to be a mechanical movement, or just be controlled by a quartz crystal?
The project will be a cuckoo type clock, with a motor running a bird automaton

This is the kind of project that an Arduino might be well-suited to, particularly if your interest is in getting the project working and not learning about electronics/
Yes I had thought about that, but it may be too costly..
 

Thread Starter

bunchofapes

Joined Jun 14, 2018
22
You can start with a PC sound card based scope for free. Will give you basically
audio range scope, spectrum analyzer, and function generator all using your
PC sound card.


https://www.zeitnitz.eu/scope_en


http://www.zelscope.com/


http://www.ledametrix.com/oscope/


http://www.virtins.com/downloads.shtml


But first build a simple circuit to protect sound card inputs so you do not
ruin from transients, overvoltage. Google "protect sound card input".


For example http://makezine.com/projects/sound-card-oscilloscope/


Sound card impedance bridge -


http://www.marucchi.it/ZRLC_web/ZRLC/Steber_An_LMS_Impedance_Bridge.pdf


http://www.sillanumsoft.org/ZRLC.htm


Regards, Dana.
Thanks, il take a look!
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
23,532
get a basic board and start learning a
language, like C.
You want a total beginner to start with the most cryptic computer language in captivity? That's like having your first Physics course being quantum mechanics. :rolleyes:
At least let him start with Basic, such as with a Picaxe.
 

danadak

Joined Mar 10, 2018
3,627
You want a total beginner to start with the most cryptic computer language in captivity? That's like having your first Physics course being quantum mechanics.
We agree to disagree. Basic C is pretty simple. One can write w/o all
the accouterments of full blown C and accomplish a lot. The embedded
world runs off C, why learn something, like Basic, virtually no one who is hiring
would find a plus.

Yes, Calculus is hard, so is Geometry and Trig for beginners. But mankind
seems to have managed it.

"Most cryptic language", I am thinking Prolog and the like, or enterprise
writing or .NET vastly more challenging than C.

And there is tons of video \training on C. From beginning to end.


Regards, Dana.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
23,532
Basic C is pretty simple.
Perhaps to someone who already knows how to program, which is different from learning a programming language
why learn something, like Basic, virtually no one who is hiring would find a plus.
I somehow doubt that the TS is concerned about being hired for his programming skills. :confused:
Yes, Calculus is hard, so is Geometry and Trig for beginners. But mankind seems to have managed it.
Your sarcasm states the obvious.
But mankind started with arithmetic before tackling the rest.
C is more like starting with Calculus.
"Most cryptic language", I am thinking Prolog and the like, or enterprise writing or .NET vastly more challenging than C.
I was referring to the cryptic nature of the language syntax, not the difficulty of programming with it.
And, in the context of the discussion, I think we can limit the types to common programming languages used in hobbiest microprocessors.

It's apparent you are an accomplished programmer and think many problems posted here can be solved with a microprocessor and a little programming (which they probably can be if you know how to program).
I would imagine that programming seems simple to you, but I think to many non-programmers, such as myself, learning both programming structure and a programming language (two distinct tasks) takes much effort and a long period of time.
Implying that these tasks are easy, is doing a disservice to those who have never done it as it's not, expect perhaps to those who have a particular affinity for programming (as you probably do).
I've written a few short programs (<200 statements) in Basic, which is probably the easiest language to learn, but it still took me a significant amount of effort to learn both simple programing structure and the Basic syntax.
However my short foray in C (to modify a program at work already written) was frustrating and not pleasant. To me it was like trying to understand Chinese with all of C's cryptic symbols and notation.

Perhaps I'm an exception as to how much time and effort it takes to learn programming structure and a programming language syntax, but somehow I don't think so.

Read this for a little humor on the subject.
 

danadak

Joined Mar 10, 2018
3,627
Basic C is pretty simple.
It is, to wit students, who take a class, in 1 quarter write basic C code, define a var,
init it, test it in an expression. Its in fact Basic like in that sense. I and several
other FAEs started using C at a one day seminar. Basic C. This included UART
comm, IDE, build, chip program, and of course basic level coding.

I somehow doubt that the TS is concerned about being hired for his programming skills.
Agree, as that statement was not targeted towards the TS per se.

It's apparent you are an accomplished programmer and think many problems posted here can be solved with a microprocessor and a little programming (which they probably can be if you know how to program).
Totally agree, when it meets goals. Like parts count, reliability, power, cost...
"Accomplished", trying to get there :)

However my short foray in C (to modify a program at work already written) was frustrating and not pleasant.
That is a sign the programmer did not document/comment the program well. One
of my pet peeves. Your experience one of the most difficult under those circumstances.
I have done the equivalent on machines were I had to build test vectors to find out how
the machine worked. Very ugly.

And, in the context of the discussion, I think we can limit the types to common programming languages used in hobbiest microprocessors.
Professional work in embedded spans to stuff like .NET, example Freescale
LAN oriented parts, 32 and 64. I perceive this is a forum where beginners
and pros share problems.

Basic and C share a lot of similar constructs. But the embedded language of today is not Basic,
its C for a number of reasons. And in the not too distant future, already in labs, is
AI C where a front end takes a system definition in native language (English for example)
and generates the code. Thats the future.

I stand by the comment that Basic C is simple, not climbing Everest, more like a
mile high hike.

Regards, Dana.
 
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crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
23,532
students, who take a class, in 1 quarter write basic C code, define a var, init it, test it in an expression.
Is that a course for students with no prior programming knowledge?
But one quarter sounds like a reasonable time-frame for that level of expertise.
I and several
other FAEs started using C at a one day seminar.
And what was your level of programming knowledge prior to taking that course?
Basic and C share a lot of similar constructs. But the embedded language of today is not Basic, its C for a number of reasons
But there is little on no discussion on this forum about commercial embedded systems, just simple hobbyist projects.
You are overshooting the audience here. ;)
I stand by the comment that Basic C is simple, not climbing Everest, more like a mile high hike.
Perhaps.
But I've worked with both and find it hard to believe that even Basic C is as easy to learn as BASIC.
 

danadak

Joined Mar 10, 2018
3,627
Is that a course for students with no prior programming knowledge?
Yes

And what was your level of programming knowledge prior to taking that course?
Assembler. Did it help, yes a little, but very distant from a high level language.
Bu then in 1 day we did some some Basic C programming.

But there is little on no discussion on this forum about commercial embedded systems, just simple hobbyist projects.
You are overshooting the audience here.
I am commenting on threads that are a mix of hobby and commercial based
on TS postings. I would agree this forum is more student/hobbyist, but not all.
And we have lots of ads on forums for advanced instrumentation, why would
that be if hobbyist only ? And of course we are all proponents of todays tech-
nology for our young, I presume this to be true. No need to push Marconi like
technology in todays world.

Here in States regular competitions at HS level on robots, kids writing C and
Basic, doing motor drive, comm, sensing.....its all good. I have even seen
programs for kids in grade school for programming, however not C, but prin-
ciples same. And then we have the fact everyone who uses a calculator is
a programmer, in their head. Point is most people already have basic concepts
prior to entering HS.

Regards, Dana.
 
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Thread Starter

bunchofapes

Joined Jun 14, 2018
22
Thanks again all for the replies..

I Have considered all the options so far and most of them are either too complex for me to investigate or impractical to run on batteries

The best option I can find so far is illustrated below.

The circuit I have made works as expected, I just cant figure out how to connect the voice module.

I need to connect power and have the voice module play the recording one time each time the reed switch is triggered.

Is it possible? As i have said, I know nothing of electronics! Thanks in advance, Dave

 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
19,421
Hi Dave,

I don't want to come across as being disrespectful or elitist. I just want to frame this in its proper perspective.
You keep saying that you know nothing of electronics.

Electronics is a discipline, a technical stream, a professional career, as well as a hobby.

In search of an analogy, it would be like saying, "I know nothing of auto mechanics but I would like to build a hot-rod for my son's upcoming 13th birthday".

Or, "I know nothing about plumbing but I would like to renovate our kitchen as a gift for my wife".

What you are attempting to do is almost trivial for someone with the right electronics background, knowledge and training.
For someone who "knows nothing of electronics" it would be wizardry.

That is not to say that we cannot provide guidance and assistance here on AAC. That is what this site is all about.
Your project is a typical example of "system integration", that is, find some off-the-shelf modules and slap them together and accomplish your goal. In some cases, you get lucky and everything comes together nicely and simply. In other cases (more common than not), things are not so simple and you have to keep going back to the drawing board looking for workable solutions. This is all part and parcel of the Electronics Engineering discipline.

In the professional Electronics Engineering world, you have two solutions:

1) Programmable Logic Controller
2) Embedded Microcontroller

For the hobbyist, the "go to" solution is an Arduino system.

There are other solutions. However, each solution requires thoughtful examination of the problem and some knowledge and insight into the fundamentals of electronics and control.

Here on AAC, we are geared to providing guidance and training on how to acquire that background knowledge. However, it may require taking some time to learn the basics of electronics and electrical and electronic components. Hopefully, at some point you will be able to show off your automaton clock and proudly say "I learned basic electronics and built this all by myself with help from AAC!".
 

Thread Starter

bunchofapes

Joined Jun 14, 2018
22
Message received. Thanks for your time on this. I was just hoping for the easy/lazy option. I wont continue this here, but will post the clock when finished. Cheers again

Dave
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
19,421
Message received. Thanks for your time on this. I was just hoping for the easy/lazy option. I wont continue this here, but will post the clock when finished. Cheers again

Dave
Hi Dave,

This was not intended to chase you away.

The intent was to explained that what you are attempting to do, though on the surface appears simple enough, may turn out to be more complex. We can provide a step by step approach on how to bring this to fruition while you learn about "system design and integration" and "problem solving" in the process. This a great opportunity to learn so much more.

How you take it from here is your choice.

Best regards.
 
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