The Georgia Tech clock project

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This blog follows one alumni's project to build a legacy pendulum clock as an inspiration for future generations of engineering students. The refrigerator-size transparent clock case is modeled on the form of Georgia Tech's "Tech Tower" administration building. The highly visible clockwork mechanism inside this case will have actions to gong on the hour and to chime the quarter-hour with phrases from the school's "Rambling Wrech" fight song.

GT.01.jpg GT.18.png GT.19.png GT.20.png

The above images show the real Tech Tower and initial 2D and 3D modeling efforts for the top of the clock tower. Note that the pendulum and the full height of the clock case are not yet included.


This is a first full height view of the intended clock. Compared to the prior images, the scale of the case is shrunk to 75% so the escape wheel pallets are centered in the arch window behind the TECH lettering. The clock dial is at 64" up from the floor. The peak of the roof is at 108" (9-feet). Note this view shows using the image of the GT seal on the swinging pendulum bob.

Only the regulator gear train is currently shown. The other two similar gear trains for the chime and gong actions remain to be shown. They will each be turned 90 degrees to be featured prominently when the clock is viewed from the left and right sides.

GT.02.jpg Jim and Larry at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England in October 2006

GT.03.png Early 2D work on the regulator gear train (click on image to enlarge view)

GT.04.png Front view of the early regulator gear train and frame development

GT.05.png Early side view of the regulator gear train and frame

GT.06.png Early isometric view of the regulator gear train and frame

GT.07.png Early isometric view of the regulator gear train with front frame pieces removed

GT.16.png Close-up of the escape wheel area

GT.17.png Close-up of the great wheel area

GT.08.png The GT seal, planned to be used on the pendulum bob

GT.09.png Escape wheel laser cut profile (approx. 6" diameter)

GT.10.png 72 tooth 10 DP gear laser cut profile (7.2" pitch diameter)

GT.11.png "Rambling Wreck" chime timing chart

1st Qtr = "I'm a rambling wreck"

2nd Qtr = "I'm a rambling wreck from Ga. Tech"

3rd Qtr = "I'm a rambling wreck from Ga. Tech and a hell of an engineer"

4th Qtr = "Rambling, gambling hell of an engineer" GONG, GONG, GONG, ...

GT.12.png An initial gear train layout (milled gears)

GT.13.jpg Prototype milled gears and escape wheel (for high-end clock)

GT.14.jpg Laser cut acrylic gear (low-end development work)

GT.15.jpg Early gear mesh prototype (masking tape holds frame together)

YouTube link


YouTube link to an animation

GT.21.png GT.22.png

Early investigations into the chiming and gonging linkages