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Clockwork Air Flow System  RSS feed

 
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No idea what category this belongs in. I'll start it in Upcycling, because I want to build it out of upcycled clocks.

The house I'll be building is NOT natural construction, link to it at the bottom of my posts, Maison du Bricolage. The design is based on Passive House air tightness standards, mixed with passive solar, high thermal mass, with an emphasis on repairable tech and coping with erratic electricity. So it requires ventilation, on a regular cycle, a small amount out at a time, but it MUST be vented to make it draw the fresh air in. I have 4 inch pipes being the exhale of the house, but I have been trying to figure out how to make a port cycle open regularly, accounting for the electrical issues and desire for repairable tech, which rules out anything computer based. The vents do not need a fan to make them work, just to be opened if the house is closed up for the winter, the make up air will push the stale air out. Two 4 inch round ports are designed into the house, and should be adequate to vent the amount of stale air required.

I thought about the old 8 day clocks, with the pull weights, and I LOVE the idea of having clocks that keep time, chime the hours, and turn a disc that covers the vent ports. The discs would have a cutout notch (I'd make it adjustable to regulate the amount of air flow) and as the notch passes over the vent the air can escape. The chiming of the clocks will remind me, if it stops, to pull the weights, and we love the sound of chiming clocks.

My questions:
Is this feasible at all? I do not question my vent sizes, or things like that, only whether a clock can do what I want. If it can, what are the specs for the clocks I would want to find? I assume it would have to be stronger than one made to just run the hands? Anyone have any that would do this to sell or know where to get them cheaply? Pretty clocks would be neat, but it's absolutely not required, just the mechanisms would be adequate.

Thank you for advice! I know there have to be clock type people around here, please ask them to come read this thread :)
 
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Interesting.  Give me an idea of the timing of open and closed with the vent. On for an hour off for an hour? On at sunup, off at dark?

 
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Between the end of High School and full time employment I worked in a Ye Olde Flour Mill - all timber and cloth shutes, air pressure and weights.

So, it seems doable, but the description sounds like some phantasmagorical steampunk machine!

Add a mandatory cuckoo clock, a slinky, and a laying hen, and undoubtedly it'll work.
 
Pearl Sutton
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wayne fajkus wrote:Interesting.  Give me an idea of the timing of open and closed with the vent. On for an hour off for an hour? On at sunup, off at dark?


On for about 5 mins every hour.
Start with clock parts like this:




My visual here is of something like this, disc would turn with the hour MINUTE hand, off that same shaft. As the disc turns, the slot moves, covering and uncovering the vent behind it. The slot in the disk is easy enough to make adjustable to tweak the flow rate until I learn what is needed.




And I stole that picture from here, would something like this work? Is it strong enough to turn a disc like this? How can I tell? I don't speak clock tech :)
https://www.cuckooclocks.com/details--8-day-running-time-Modern-clock-with-8-day-running-time-from-Hermle.asp?AID=8717

 
Pearl Sutton
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F Agricola wrote:
So, it seems doable, but the description sounds like some phantasmagorical steampunk machine!

Add a mandatory cuckoo clock, a slinky, and a laying hen, and undoubtedly it'll work.



Steam punk isn't bad tech, as long as it's done for tech not cute! I just got rid of some cuckoo clock corpses, don't think I have a slinky, but can get one, and got a hen! This could work!!

Edit: Madame InsPECKtor says she refuses to be part of this, get another hen!
 
wayne fajkus
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Ok. I was hoping for a longer time opened and closed. My mind got drawn to the weights and using them to trip levers. I had this big rude goldberg vision in my head, including it flipping over your pancakes in the morning.

Is this for novelty more than function? A 4 inch pipe opened and closed every 5 minutes should ruffly move the same air as that same pipe half capped at all times, as well as adjustability.  Similar to the air entry in a barbq grill.

If its novelty,  I'm still intrigued.  A sand hour glass that drops sand on to a teeter totter like device. One side is a cup to hold sand, the other side a paddle to cover the vent.

Or the pendulum being the seal. It would open close every couple seconds, covering the vent, not covering the vent.

And to answer your first question, i "think" yes, it can be done. Worst case the clock moves slower, but its not keeping time. If it is required to be a tight seal, then probably not because of the friction added.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Definitely not for novelty, for function. The passive house people do this with computer controlled fans, I like the system, but hate the idea of computer crap and electric fans involved. I have visuals of an ice storm, no power for 2 weeks, and having to open windows to keep us from suffocating. It's a VERY low air infiltration house design. Or having the system die in 10 years and have to figure out what tech can work at that point, as tech will change.

The open and close bit, as opposed to just an always open, has to do with heat retention. The air flow difference between always open and periodic is about the same, but what it does to temperature is odd. You end up with just a ... hm. not sure of the word, negative draft that never has the time to get warm? Periodic opening lets warm air out, but then the air that's left can warm up again. It's odd. Try it sometime, I made a little test thing when I learned this, it really does change the way the heat feels. If you think on it, opening a door in winter lets in as much air as having a window always open a bit, which is less pleasant? It's a weird complex reaction.

I DO want it periodic. Just a matter of if I can make clockwork do what I want... And if so, do I need meaner clockwork than I threw the link to, and if so, what do they call it? What would I want to get?
 
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Ok, I'm imagining a clock with the minute hand extended and modified a bit to act as a light flipper arm.  At the 12 o'clock position there is a vertical magazine of marbles (or small steel balls) in a tube.  Whenever the minute hand goes past the 12 o'clock position it pushes one marble out and it rolls down a chute and lands on the long end of a lever.  At the other end of the lever is the cover for the 4" pipe inlet.  So the weight of the steel ball opens the duct.  Let's say it's a one ounce marble acting on a 5 foot lever.

Now we just need the clock or some other time based system to knock the ball off the lever at the 5 minute point.  Maybe another clock?

This way the on/off for the pipe would be crisp.  If that matters...
 
Pearl Sutton
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Mike Jay: And then you have the brass gong that the marbles fall off onto to announce they have done their job... And the mouse that is startled by the gong, who poops, and when enough poop builds up it tips the cage sideways and the cage pulls a rope that turns on the light, so I remember to feed the mouse and shut the vent! But then I fall on the loose steel balls on the floor, as I fall I grab the mouse cage and pull it down with me, further traumatizing that poor mouse, and as he piddles all over, it lightens the cage enough that it goes back up and resets the mechanism...

No, crispness does not matter :)
Silliness, however, ALWAYS matters!
 
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Can't add much to that scenario!

Just to add that striking clocks, alarm clocks etc have more than one spring/weight normally - the clock itself trips the additional mech to work to make the chimes or ring the bell of the alarm.  Even if an alarm has only one winder, it typically has 2 springs inside.  So I would reckon you'd use the clock to trip some other device that actually did the flap opening.

Another way would be a water operated thing, where a slow drip of water fills a container until it tips and thus makes something happen.  Generally those auto-reset by the water bucket emptying and becoming light again.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Austin Shackles:  I can't even look up stuff because I don't know the words for what I want to learn.   Are there different strengths of clock motors?

What I envision turns a disk on the hour hand shaft, so the hour MINUTE hand turning part would need to be strong enough to both turn the hand and the disk. What do you call the motor strength of a clock? I know it's not horsepower, or voltage, but what words would I be looking for as far as high strength and lower strength of the turning shaft? Might be how strong the spring is? I just don't have a clue here.

I'm often better with my hands than with the correct words for parts, I drive the guys at the car parts places nuts sometimes :) "The thing after the fuel filter but before the flappy valve" makes them just crazy :)
 
Mike Jay
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Austin Shackles wrote:Another way would be a water operated thing, where a slow drip of water fills a container until it tips and thus makes something happen.  Generally those auto-reset by the water bucket emptying and becoming light again.


Yes!  I just looked it up and it's called Shishi-odoshi and it's actually to scare away critters from your garden.  Awesome idea on its own.  But it could be adapted if you could deliver a steady drip of water to work perfectly for this.  Instead of dumping the water it would have to trickle out a hole that takes 5 minutes to empty.  I first saw one at the end of the first Kill Bill movie.

Wikipedia
 
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I'm interested in the clockwork mechanism as well but for a different project.  In this case though couldn't you let the sun do the work?  
If your exhaust pipe had an extension that was in the sun, when the pipe warmed it would create it's own updraft. A flapper valve prevents back flow.
If it's not enough pull put a solar collector around the pipe to get the temps higher.

With careful use of shading from the sun you could vent for a few hours in the morning and a few more in the evening.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Roy Hinkley wrote:I'm interested in the clockwork mechanism as well but for a different project.  In this case though couldn't you let the sun do the work?  
If your exhaust pipe had an extension that was in the sun, when the pipe warmed it would create it's own updraft. A flapper valve prevents back flow.
If it's not enough pull put a solar collector around the pipe to get the temps higher.

With careful use of shading from the sun you could vent for a few hours in the morning and a few more in the evening.



That would work, but I'm not venting to the outdoors, seems like a waste of heated air. It will vent to the garage and the greenhouse, no full sun involved. Pulling the air where I want it isn't the problem, just choosing the rate of flow, and making it vent periodically, all day and night.

And yeah, chimney effect is excellent, and I'm using it a lot of places in this mess.
Years ago in NM  I ripped the roof off the house, redecked most of it, and built big clerestorys on it, with windows I could open. People who didn't understand what I was doing predicted I'd cook from the sun coming in in the summer. We got it all installed, opened the windows just a crack, and the temperature in the house dropped like a rock. It's a powerful force! I wish more people understood it, it's very effective

What's your project with clockwork? Anything I want to learn from? Mechanical forces fascinate me.
 
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A friend has high ceilings and would like a fan powered by some mechanical means.  I think as much as a conversation piece as practical.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Roy Hinkley wrote:A friend has high ceilings and would like a fan powered by some mechanical means.  I think as much as a conversation piece as practical.


Oh cool, I'd love that too, when you figure it out tell me how I'd use it as a practical thing, I'm not into doing it just because.
Spiffy!
 
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I've seen a gear-powered fan system in New Orleans, so this sort of thing should be possible. There's another thread with the clockwork fans focused on here: Belt-driven Electric Fans. I have often wanted to figure out how to do something like this for myself as well, though that's something for down the road.
 
Pearl Sutton
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D. Logan wrote:I've seen a gear-powered fan system in New Orleans, so this sort of thing should be possible. There's another thread with the clockwork fans focused on here: Belt-driven Electric Fans. I have often wanted to figure out how to do something like this for myself as well, though that's something for down the road.



Oh Cool! Thank you, I swear no matter how much I poke around here I miss a pile of things. That thread is in urban, I have to confess, I doubt I have ever set fingers in there, not being interested in urban life in the least.
Now I'm getting all kinds of wild ideas...
Oh dear.
I need a bunch of 8 day clocks to kill :D
 
Pearl Sutton
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Aaaand let's her it for brain farts! I just went back and edited my previous posts, the disk runs with the MINUTE hand, not the hour hand. I was thinking "hand that goes around once an hour" and wrote hour hand... disk turns one full revolution an hour, port open time 3-7 minutes.
 
D. Logan
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Let us know how it turns out. I for one would love to see the step by step of someone building such a system.
 
Pearl Sutton
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D. Logan wrote:Let us know how it turns out. I for one would love to see the step by step of someone building such a system.


I'll try to remember to. I have 8 million posts for here in my head that need writing up as is :) I need to teach my cat to take dictation while I work, since she's underfoot anyway, and I talk to her. Earn your kitty treats, cat!! :D
 
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