Friday, July 2, 2010

It Begins

This is it, my first D.I.Y. project to go public and to be finished (eventually)! It's about time a lowly MechE like myself got acquainted with all the fuss surrounding microcontrollers. After all, mechanical projects become a whole mess cooler when they're autonomous. So...
What does it all mean?

No, not a bomb. It's the shrapnel that with work, skill, and plenty of luck will become a watch-winder. Why a watch-winder? Well, I now own two watches, the primary of which is a self-winding Seiko Kinetic that does not like being neglected over the weekends. It's funny the concept of "self-winding" is misleading; the watch will wind itself only if it is clasped to your swinging wrist all day. And while I'm off enjoying my new Citizen with Eco-Drive I would like to know my Seiko is getting it's TLC. In essence I am constructing a replacement wrist that henceforward will be referred to as the "ardWINDo."

As shown above, the system will be controlled by the popular Arduino Duemilanove. These guys are very popular especially with the people at MAKE. It should be straight forward to program...or that's what I am told. The more I read about this highly capable piece of kit the less mechanical this project becomes. I won't give away all the details of the project but at the moment it will look like:

Subject to change!*

I'm going to try to cap this project at $70 but that will be challenging considering the Arduino itself runs for $30. This price was chosen because that looks like the going price of the cheapest decent watch-winder. It's time to start extracting parts from old a servo from an RC car? So the concept may be based on laziness but is that laziness then cancelled out by all the trouble I'm going through to construct an autonomous watch-winder? You decide...

*As I post this I already have three other ideas of how to produce the winding motion.

1 comment:

  1. Engineering: The ultimate pursuit of laziness through hard work.