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December 2016
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March 2017

January 2017

Last jobs and project completed

On Monday of this week the children planned out and added the code to make a Raspberry Pi chime and bong so that it sounds like the real clock in London.


And today the small speaker we were waiting for arrived, meaning we could finish off the project.


The Raspberry Pi, the USB powered speaker and the3D printed base were all placed inside the tower.

It was plugged in and the children eagerly awaited the working clock to show half past.

As half past twelve arrived, we heard the unmistakeable chimes of Big Ben, and at one o'clock we again heard the chimes followed by a single bong.


Project completed!

Holding the Pi

The Raspberry Pi and speaker that will be needed to make the clock chime every hour will need to have a way of staying inside the tower - even if the tower is lifted, and so I've used the Morphi 3D design app to create these two files.


The base of the tower will sit inside the cut out groove to add stability and also give an internal solid base. The cut out on the right hand side will allow the power cable for the Raspberry Pi to reach inside. The small speaker could sit on this base if the pupils choose.


This wil sit on top of the base piece (above). The groove will allow the Raspberry Pi to be fitted and stand at a slight angle. As with the other piece, the power lead will pass through the cut groove. The small speaker could also sit on this level if pupils decide they prefer it higher.

Chiming the time

The clock is almost finished, but already there are requests to do more with it. The DHT has asked whether it could go in the hall, and chime like the real clock does.

I've not spoken to the children yet about this as I want to make sure it's possible - but I'm thinking a Raspberry Pi Zero, a speaker, the computer clock and some audio files might help it to chime.

Watch this space!

Update: after testing with an older Raspberry Pi Model (version2) and a set of headphones, I'm pleased to say that the idea works. A short program in the terminal window of the Raspberry Pi, a change to the cron settings to run the program automatically and that's it!


Adding the clock

Today we finally added the working clock to the 3D printed tower. I had drilled a hole in preparation for this session (as I couldn't let the children near a drill!) so that the children were able to get on with the fitting of the working clock parts.

The back of the clock was placed inside the tower section, but then a problem was noticed - the sections on the outside of the clock that create the clock face were too wide for the retaining nut to be fitted to the clock mechanism and so they had to be removed before they could continue.

However, once the washer was in place the hands were fitted easily, and then cut to size to fit within the rectangular clock face.


A battery was fitted to the mechanism, the time on it adjusted and then...

there was a working clock installed into the model.


The final job to be completed will be a little bit of tidying up, painting over areas that have peeled, and adding an effect behind the working clock face.