Retro clock with giant pinball wheel displays

December 27, 2018 | 11:00
Pinball Clock - Elektor-TV
Coming soon in Elektor Magazine!
Used on modern equipment, an indisputably retro display is intriguing. A hybrid device always attracts attention. When Elektor presents such equipment on its stand at electronics shows, everyone passing by stops to have a look – simple geeks and experienced engineers alike. Their faces, and even those of their wives, light up! Not because she knows about these things, but you can see the train of thought… “Now.. the turquoise of these displays would go nicely with the sitting-room curtains!”

Wife Acceptance Factor

Every time Elektor offers a project using Nixie tubes or VFDs, it’s a success. For a bit of variation, we looked for and found something a bit more exotic. This was the case, for example, with our external thermometer which cleverly recycled an electro-mechanical pinball score wheel display (see the link below after the video).

Here’s a new original clock project which also uses pinball score wheel displays. Guaranteed spectacular! When you watch it, the soundtrack will not go unnoticed either. A detail which compromises the famous WAF of our publications in spite of our efforts to maintain it at a high level.

While you are waiting for the detailed description of this clock with electro-mechanical pinball wheel score displays when it is published in Elektor magazine – with maybe a kit to make it – here for the sake of nostalgia is the Thermometer using Giant Gottlieb Displays presented in Elektor in April 2012. The idea to use a pinball wheel display was born of a need to give an indication of the water temperature at an open-air swimming pool. The display had to be readable at over 10 m, in full sunlight, and that the power consumption should be as close as possible to zero. In fact, the consumption of this circuit, once the temperature is displayed, falls to zero, but the temperature remains visible and readable. There’s no battery, no setting up, no maintenance. It took quite some searching before the idea of using pinball wheel displays was born. 
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