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Chris Stolz
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Inner circle
Mississauga, Ontario
1957 Posts

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Hi All,

I am looking for any resources for a large digital clock for an illusion. I need to be able to make the clock count down from 60 and display - ERROR - at a particular time during the countdown. The client's budget will not allow for anything too crazy at this point so the cheaper, the better! Any ideas?

Thanks!

Chris.
Chris Stolz
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Inner circle
Mississauga, Ontario
1957 Posts

Profile of Chris Stolz
hugmagic
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Inner circle
7378 Posts

Profile of hugmagic
How large of a display do you need? You might be able to get a photo count down timer. Also Gra Lab used to make a large (12") timer with a sweep hand that would be pretty visible. You can find them on ebay all the time since no one but me uses a darkroom anymore.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
magicjohn2278
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Isle of Man UK
538 Posts

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There are two problems with what you want to do - (neither are insurmountable but it may be helpful if I point them out) A couple of years ago I worked on a similar problem.

1) some LED displays have a built-in "binary coded decimal" decoder which allows you to drive the seven segment display using only four output lines - (rather than 7, one for each) - the problem with these is that they will only display the numbers 0-9, and you won't be able to drive the individual segments to create letters as in "ERROR".

2) I used a commercially available LED clock for my display and reworked the circuitry in it - I found (to my surprise) that that display worked on a multiplex system which only allowed certain combinations of the display to operate at a time - and none of the combinations actually made a recognisable number. The idea is to toggle between two of these combinations (at say 50 Hertz) to get the display to do anything meaningful.

PM me if you need help.
ClintonMagus
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Inner circle
Southwestern Southeast
3999 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-02-02 08:53, magicjohn2278 wrote:
...and you won't be able to drive the individual segments to create letters as in "ERROR".



Can you use it anyway, and call it Klingon?
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
The Drake
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Inner circle
2274 Posts

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You guys are thinking too hard. Why not simply create a video of the digital countdown that turns into the error display. Make the digits look like this attached image. You could then play a DVD of this video on any sized television. I'd recommend using a LCD flatscreen in 16:9 format. You can get flatscreen pretty cheap these days or even use a computer monitor.

Best,

Tim

Click here to view attached image.
magicjohn2278
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Isle of Man UK
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Quote:
On 2007-02-02 11:25, Timothy Drake wrote:
You guys are thinking too hard. Why not simply create a video of the digital countdown that turns into the error display.


...Clever!!!!
magicjohn2278
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Isle of Man UK
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Quote:
On 2007-02-02 11:41, magicjohn2278 wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-02-02 11:25, Timothy Drake wrote:
You guys are thinking too hard. Why not simply create a video of the digital countdown that turns into the error display.


...Clever!!!!


....I was wrong to post this, it isn't clever - the more I think about it, it's brilliant!!!
Chris Stolz
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Inner circle
Mississauga, Ontario
1957 Posts

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That IS a great idea Tim! I would have to make some adjustments to the design to make it work but I'll definitely keep it in mind Due to the nature of the illusion, the clock must be on top of the prop and will be jerked around quite a bit each time the illusion is performed. It doesn't necessarily have to say 'error'...anything on screen that tips that something isn't working properly will do as it is only going to be the focus of attention for about 1 second. I'll probably go with an RC digital clock for it's shape/size and ease of use. I'm just happy to see that these are out there on the market.

The illusion itself is going to be pretty wild and I'll see about posting photos once it's been built and photographed.

Thanks for the input guys and have a great weekend.

Chris.
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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You could also use a video projector to project the image anywhere on the illusion that you want it to appear. That would add to the expense, but would solve the problem of getting knocked around in transport.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

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