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Rolling ball clocks

John E. Elkins

New User
Nov 13, 2009
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I am interested in rolling ball clocks. Anyone know where I can purchase a quality rolling ball clock, the bigger the better? Contact me at snikle@mchsi.com or call 228-467-6946. Thanx, John
 

Scottie-TX

Deceased
Apr 6, 2004
936
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Proclocks, for one, and if you type in, sell rolling ball clock, to GOOGLE, you'll find pages of choices from forty bucks to five thousand!
 

clockhoarder

Registered User
May 14, 2009
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LOL.....you do realize that they are VERY noisy? When my Aunt first got married her husband had a huge rolling ball clock that could wake the dead and after a few months it just stopped working. My Aunt always claimed innocence on the demise of the clock:rolleyes:
 

Burkhard Rasch

NAWCC Member
Jun 1, 2007
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Twistringen
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That´s not true,I don´t hear mine in my bedroom,especially not when my Comptoise is striking(and repeating):DThey don´t strike and usualy are covered by a glass dome or case.
Burkhard
 

doug sinclair

Registered User
Aug 27, 2000
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Calgary, Alberta
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An original Congreve "rolling ball" clock operates relatively silently. But I have seen plastic, electric clocks of the type that are more cosmetic that real, which ARE quite noisy.
 

clockhoarder

Registered User
May 14, 2009
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An original Congreve "rolling ball" clock operates relatively silently. But I have seen plastic, electric clocks of the type that are more cosmetic that real, which ARE quite noisy.
Yes....This one was plastic....and quite large...Took up one whole end table
 

Bill Ward

NAWCC Member
Jan 8, 2003
1,233
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USA
The plastic one uses a synchronous electric motor motor to raise a steel ball up onto a stopped, pivoted track every 5 (IIRC) minutes. Thus, the timekeeping is not controlled by the passage of the ball down the track, only indicated by the number of balls on it. The track was numbered every 5 minutes. The 12th ball causes the track to tip, and one ball is rolled onto the hour-indicating track, while the other 11 fall into a collecting tray at the bottom. The worst is at 1:00, when all the balls save one are dumped with a clatter into the tray.
But this clock had a problem in the cold dry winter. When rolling down the plastic tracks, they pick up a static charge, and when they bump into the other balls in the track, and they thus all acquire the same charge, and repel each other. They then back up the tray, and cause it to tip prematurely.
Another problem is that when all the balls are dumped into the tray, their force can lift the plastic shade, and the balls escape.
Clockies are apt to forget that not everyone can sleep through the sound of many loud chimes. When my plastic rolling ball clock still worked, I had it on a table next to the sofa-bed in the library, which doubled as a guest room. I had a house guest, and we attended a party. On returning afterwards , I shoved bedding at him, and flopped into my own bed, never giving a thought to the many clocks. He got quite a shock at midnight, especially from the tubular bells and Morbier, but, thinking the worst was over, was just beginning to doze off at 1:00AM. That's when that ?>)*$%* ball clock dumped a &#)%! load of steel balls, first on the lower track, then on the drum-like tray, then against the pastic cover, then onto the marble tabletop, and then, one-by-one, at irregular intervals, onto my hapless guest's head.
 

clockhoarder

Registered User
May 14, 2009
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I think it would be neat to make one that used bowling balls. :D
Oh man...Now I gotta do some Googling......For some reason a giant roing ball clock strikes a filed away memory..........Cannot recall if it was built or someone wanted to build it:confused:
 

shutterbug

Moderator
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Oct 19, 2005
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The bowling ball clock has already been done. Took up most of the basement if I recall correctly. I think it was referenced here some years back. It might even be on Youtube. Not sure.
Yep. Here you go!
 
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Les harland

Registered User
Apr 10, 2008
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This a different clock to the one I was thinking about when I asked if Billiard balls would be too light
I was thinking of the Congreve clock
 

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