3 - Checkout Part 1 - Logic and Clock Rods

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Now that you’ve completed assembly we’ll start checkout.  We will follow the checkout instructions in the original manual, but presuming you just printed this and bent the wires, will start with more basic checks.

For your convenience in making adjustments, you may wish to remove the top plate.  Be sure to replace the pin into the remaining plates and base for this checkout. 

Take a good look at the device. Make sure none of the rods have slipped out of their respective holes. 

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As you can see above, logic rods 1, 3, and 5 are not in the correct positions.

Make sure all the logic rods are in their niches in the clock plate.  If they’re not:
1) Is the clock plate in the correct position?

2) Are all the rods in place?

3) Are there rubber bands on all logic rods?

4) Are the rubber bands providing enough pull?  If not, wrap the rubber band around the rod or pulley a second time. Or add a second rubber band on the same rod.

5) Are any of the top ends of the logic rods or clock rods catching on a slider?
6) Are the clock rods on back restricting the logic rods from moving all the way back?

7) Are the clock rods on back passing through the correct slots in the clock and reset plate?8) Is the crank attached correctly9) With the clock panel positioned so the rods are in their niches, are the left sides of the clock and reset panels fairly aligned?

Once you’ve got all the logic rods in the correct position, pull the clock all the way to the right. The logic rods will ride up on the clock plate. Now return the clock to the neutral position by pushing in until the logic rods again rest in their niches.  If any of the rods are out of place, repeat the evaluation above and make corrections. 
Repeat this and the previous step until all logic rods reliably behave as expected.

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Now, using the Manual Input tab on the right of each flip-flop, set all three flip-flop values to zero (pull the tabs to the right).  Examine all the logic rods. The rods should line up towards the centers of each True tab on the flip-flops.

In the photo below, things may look a bit worse than they really are because of parallax from the camera’s view.  The second logic rod looks about worse, but I think it should be OK. The proof will be if the logic rods slip off the straws during calculation.   You can improve a problem rod by bending a new one allowing more or less length on the horizontal portions of the rod. For example as indicated in the red circle below.  This one could use a little less horizontal spacing.

Again, using the Manual Input tab on the right of each flip-flop, set all three flip-flop values to one (push the tabs to the left).  Examine all the logic rods. The rods should line up towards the centers of each False tab on the flip-flops.

Make any adjustments necessary

Now turn the device around, so the clock rods are facing you.  Without any straws installed, when you pull the clock out, it should look like this:  (getting some fish-eye effect on these photos)

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And when you push the clock in, it should look like this:

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Here’s a short video showing how this should look in action.  Move the clock slowly, at least for now, until you have proven reliability.  

 I used a little mist of silicone spray lubricate on the clock and reset panels, and in the crank area. I’m unsure if this will affect the ABS in the long term. We will see, but it certainly made things go smoother. The believe the original manual recommended a little mineral oil in some of these areas.  Your welcome to use that if you wish. Again, I’m unsure if it will affect the ABS in the long term.  You can order a small bottle from Amazon. Or get some from your local farm supply (it’s used as a laxative for cattle). Don’t get very much unless you’re building capacitors for a Tesla coil. But that’s a whole different project. 

Do NOT use vegetable oil or WD 40!

In the video, the bowing of the clock plate is because I’m accidentally putting some upwards pressure when pushing it in. And again, we have some fish eye effect going on here in an attempt to get close to show the details.  (And I also apologize for the background noise - I was subjecting the mother-in-law to a horror movie).

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


You may reinstall the top plate at this point if you’ve removed it earlier.

Continue with checkout part 2

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© Some Old Guy 2017