Flip clocks appear to be back in fashion - are the cheap ones any good? - Click Show More to expand this text box...
Purchasing Links below (all affiliated):
White clock (cheapest)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2e7cBPw UK: http://amzn.to/2eOuCVS
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2e7dFTC UK: http://amzn.to/2eOwz4u
eBay (general Flip Clocks)
Note - the eBay seller I bought my clocks from no longer ships to the UK - so I haven't included a link to them. When buying off eBay - do a bit of research - look at the number of sales and check their recent feedback. Pay with a credit card through Paypal for buyer protection.
Don't worry - I'm working on more retro videos, but these clock boxes were cluttering up the place so I needed to get this out of the way first. I'm also working on dash cams, action cams, mini cams, failed formats, oddities etc etc...it's all in the pipeline. I'm getting straight onto my next video as soon as this one is uploaded - so I won't be around to answer any questions, sorry...but I really do need to catch up.
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I can vouch for the one in the middle keeping good time as we have one. May just be lucky but it's lost about a minute in a year. And that's easy enough to fix just by flicking it a two minutes forwards (As when you adjust it, it takes two minutes for the first minute to flip over). However, the minutes do not drop exactly a minute apart I may add. That's why the cheapest one was seemingly faster. Due to tolerances and whatnot minute 57 may last 67 seconds whereas minute 7 may last 53. It all averages out though.
I wish you would have opened the plastic-encased one. Wonder if it looks nicer with showing the mechanics.
I have the one which didn't arrive from your order. Since 10 years at least - and I love it. It only makes a soft audible sound at the one hours, which is practical. But a couple of the minute digits are broken by now. They have very small parts that break off. Sadly I can't find replacement of this.
I bought a clock just like the big one there this summer at Clas Ohlson (Electronics and "home stuff" retailer in Scandinavia), and it has been running since July. It still ticks within half a second of the clock on my phone. But the ones on Ebay might be QC rejects/built to lower standards
The issue with the clock with the seconds is that it has only one motor and the motor runs at a constant angular velocity. While that might be fine if the tolerances on the flaps and bodies were higher or if each clock was individually calibrated and tested, it obviously is not ideal for the technology. Split flaps work best with stepper motors and where the face of the is set ~+90° from the surface the clock sits on (reclined just a little bit); this allows you to design the flats to depend solely on gravity and the precision of the stepper motor rather than friction to drop your digits.
Of course, friction also works, when all the parts are of high enough quality or when the flaps themselves are spaced far enough apart around the drum. If the digits were split from 24 60 60 into 2 10 10 10 10 10, the mechanics of the actuation of the dial digits would probably work better and operate more accurately. Though, gearing might be a challenge, as gears between 1s and 10s would need to drop the angular velocity by 1/10, then the gears between 10s and 1m would need to drop angular velocity by 1/6th, then the gears between 1m and 10m would need to drop the angular velocity by 1/10th again, then the gears between 10m a 1h would need to drop the angular velocity by 1/6th, and finally, the gears between 1h and 12h would need to drop the speed by 1/12th. Seems simple enough, but all of that gearing creates friction and torque, which will slow the constant rate motor's realized speed, so the system would run into the same problem of needing individual calibration to account for these forces and the specific electronic errors and variance in the motors, resistors, and so on. Further, if the clock is purely battery powered, accuracy may drop off with battery discharge.
This can all be easily remedied with a stepper motor, even if all gears remain and only one such motor is used. Capacitors can fill between ticks to ensure the motor steps the same amount with every tick. Capacitors and a quartz crystal diod would be needed to maintain pulse spacing until the battery dies, but it would make a far better design (albeit, more expensive).
Just some fun diagnoses of the flaw in the 3 split flap clock. :) it does more or less keep pace though, which tells me the internals of the gearing do their job, the problem is simply with the design of the flap catch and in some of the flaps themselves.
I might be wrong but isnt it better to remove the battery before setting a clock? I was always told to do that with a normal battery powered circle clock. Does the same thing apply to these flip clocks?
I bought the cheap one about a year ago, before seeing this video. I always fancied a clock like the on in LOST (alas ThinkGeek's April Fool version never made it to reality) so the intent was to install this one in a custom case and possibly modify the minute digits to be white-on-black and more closely resemble the one from the show. As with many of my projects none of that happened, but the clock itself is surprisingly nice. A pair of decent rechargeable batteries lasted about 11 months (changed them a couple of weeks ago and I don't recall changing them previously) and it had only gained about 15 seconds in that time. Certainly accurate enough to use as a quick glance clock, although I'm guessing limited QA means there'll be a lot of variation in accuracy and I may have just got lucky. In my home office with computers and/or ceiling fan running, I don't notice the ticking or even the "flap" of the changing digits most of the time. I'm not sure I'd want it as a bedroom clock though.
I found flip clock in the trash/ rubbish the other day. It works fine all I do is work is the radio. So I cleaned it up and use right now my study. And I always wanted to a flip clock back to the future movie and the groundhog movie that's why I always wanted one. It is a General Electric flip clock. I put my digital alarm clock next to it. And so behind by a couple seconds. I had for a few years now. And it's reliable. It also has a light tell what time it is. That's neat.
I bought the cheap one due to your video, for a bit of fun, at the time of the video, and it worked fine until a week ago and the hour mechanism is sometimes not flipping, with a loud click/bang. Maybe budget flip clocks aren't the way to go in the long run :-)
I finally got around to getting the cheaper flip clock thats in the white case and i really love it! Me and my gf were looking for a clock we could put next to our tv, and we didn't want something with a big face or made with led's or anything too bright to distract us from gaming, and this clock was perfect since it has no backlighting! The ticking & flipping is very soft and not noticeable at all while gaming or watching stuff.
every daylight savings day, you say to yourself as you reset the clock to the right time." I am just saving the world" and then ask someone else, "what did one snow man say to the other snow man?" sure smells like carrots!
I have old GE flip clock from somewhere between late 70's and early 80's. Unfortunately, it runs for about 10 minutes before it gets stuck and will not move. At least it looks nice on my desk and it's still right once a day. :)
With the larger one
1) Are the minutes linked to the hours perfectly? Being on opposite ends they must use a different mechanism to the one mentioned.
2) Does it make a constant mechanical noise or only a noise when the digits change?
3) How has it been for dust?
These clocks seem to have a few serious deficiencies.First, I'd be surprised if they didn't chew up the batteries a lot faster than claimed. All clocks that employ a continuously running electric motor seem to. The only clock I've seen which overcame this problem hung on our dining room wall for several decades. Instead of running a motor continuously, it intermittently wound a very fine spring. Although not digital, a 9V battery could be relied on to last a minimum of one year, maybe even two. Secondly, the accumulation of dust on the moving parts of two of the models shown must inevitably prove to be an issue. Thirdly, being battery operated means that you miss out on one of the big advantages of these types of clocks. That is, if there is a power outage in your absence, you can immediately tell its duration. And at this point I have to mention how annoying it is when you have a heap of unnecessary digital clocks on all sorts of appliances winking at you when you arrive home because they've all reset to zero during a power outage.
Other than that, I am really enjoying your channel.
I have a big Solari flip clock. That one is made out of steel. And the numbers are made of steel plates as well. (Flipping from right to left). I leave it off because the noise is just horrible. Especially when he hour flips over as well.
also like flipclocks, but a little shame that you dont measure there accuracy, because one thing is what fx chinglish-states in there specs and often another in real life use, and lets face if it they loose to much time and you have to correct them every freaking week awith fx 15 minutes off' the annoyance starts to ruin the show.
Follow all your videos with interest. You convinced me to purchase the flip-clock you liked, and purchased via ebay, and I am very happy with it. The unexpected astonishing thing is that I after about two months since I received it, it is still keeping exact time! Amazing considering that it is not quartz but mechanical.
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