4 - Checkout Part 2 - The Secret of the Straws

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What’s up with all the straws?  Let’s find out…

You may be able to tell that I’m using the 3D printed straws.   You can use a normal heavy duty straw that you have cut into 1/2 inch (see below) and 1 inch lengths. Try straws of different diameter and thickness to find out which worse best.   Or just print some!

As you may recall from the last section, when no straws are in place on the front of the machine, when you press the clock in, the clock rods on back move towards each other in pairs. as shown below. 

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But if we put a short straw on the front of the machine behind each logic rod as shown:

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Then when the clock is pushed in slowly, the clock rods stay apart:

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Repeatedly, with straws attached, pull the clock panel out, and slowly push it back in all the way. The above positions of the clock rods should be repeatable. 

If you’re having trouble getting this to happen reliably, first, do not let the clock panel snap as the logic rods pull into their niches. Secondly,  examine the length of the straws on the front of the machine. While the original spec for these straws were 1/2 inch long, reliability may be improved if length were increased slightly.  With less distance for the logic rod to travel from riding on the clock plate to sitting on a straw, the less chance of the clock rod being pushed or jarred into the wrong spot. Of course there the straws must clear the logic rods, when the rods are raised by the clock panel.  (Again I apologize for the background, although somewhat appropriate, noise).

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Notice that when the clock panel is pulled out, the clock rods are placed in a reset position. If there is a straw holding the given clock rod out, the logic rod will remain in it’s reset position. If there is not a straw, then the clock rod is pushed past the little nib on the clock or reset panel and goes into the other state. 

Also notice how the clock panel is being controlled and moved slowly. If allowed to snap, as at the end of the video, clock rods may be jarred into an incorrect position. 

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Stop!  There’s no point in continuing checkout until you’ve reliably achieved these actions.   They are fundamental to the correct functioning of the device. 


Continue with checkout part 3

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© Some Old Guy 2017