passage of time can be measured in many different ways. We often check it visually on a clock or computer. With the string clock, we wanted to create a clock that can be checked by listening. With this clock, a guitar string is played each hour, you can learn what tone goes with what time. However, like most musical instruments, the tone of the strings change over time. This abstracts time as what you once heard as 6 pm has now changed. The clock is tunable with pegs on the face of the clock. One can retune the clock to its original tune. The clock is made out of wood, we laser cut a design for the front face with, four numbers, rectangular holes for the other numbers and four brackets cut out to help with the sounds. We chose the brackets because they are used in sheet music and give the clock a musical aesthetic. The face we stained white, this gave a really nice surface for the strings to stand against. For the sides, we cut a wood disk out to give the clock height and somewhere to put the electronics. The clock only has an hour hand. The hour hand is laser cut from black acrylic and has a magnet on the tip. The tip is a pick like structure designed for plucking the strings. However, it was too ridged and we had to glue on a piece of more flexible plastic for the strings to pluck without causing the hand to stop. The strings were a little tricky to figure out, after some testing, we found the best way. In order to have the strings tight but tuneable we discovered a nail and eye screw system. The strings are nailed around the center of the clock, they then are tired to an eye screw on the edge which tightens the string when it screws in. The excess amount of string was stapled down to the back and glued around the sides. This system gives the user of the clock a chance to tune the strings because the ‘pegs’ are on the face of the clock.
The mechanism we used for our clock hand was a multiple piece circuit. The circuit was a stepper motor, an h-bridge which is a piece that powers and drives the motor. a real-time clock chip, which communicates with your computer to get real-time, a magnetic switch, and an Arduino microcontroller. When the clock is first turned on the hand will complete one revolution to look for twelve which is home where the magnetic switch is. When the switch is triggered thee Arduino pulls the time from the clock chip and calculates how many steps it needs to take to get to that time. It then moves that amount of steps and stops. From there it moves one step ever three minutes. All of these elements work together to form the string clock. It is a beautiful clock that makes dainty noises every hour. The string clock is one that anyone would want hanging in their home.