Connecting Up The Colonel

With Dawn’s fantastic puppetry complete and most of the drive mechanism done it is time to bring Colonel Rutherford to life by linking the puppet to the mechanism. Colonel Rutherford’s movement is fairly straightforward. He moves his hand as if sketching then stops and looks up at his subject, in this case, a camel who’s shadow is visible on the box top.
rutherford-a04The motion is controlled by two cams located under the scenery, one controlling the drawing hand, the other controlling the head. I’m fitting cam followers (not shown here) which will then pull and push on a wire connected to the relevant part.rutherford-a05The wire moving the hand lifts up and down, I need the hand itself to move back and forth so I’ve made a bell crank to change the direction of movement.

The parts of the bell crank are made from wire shaped with pliers and wire cutter.rutherford-a01


The small staples hold the wire to the hand, the other end connects to the edge of the table.rutherford-a02

The wire push rod connects to a loop on the heel of the hand.rutherford-a03Et voila!





Colonel Rutherford

colonel-a04I delivered the first plinth to the Archive this morning. Dawn met me there and after struggling with the heavy box from the car we set it down in a currently unused room.

The plinth, which will ultimately be painted white, contains a power supply in the form of a large lead-acid battery, a coin slot mechanism and a timer circuit. Drop a suitable coin in the slot and the motor runs quietly for a preset period.

Colonel Rutherford was the first to try out this privileged placement!
Looking good we both agreed.colonel-a01The good Colonel sits on his stool under the baking desert sun sketching and occasionally looking up at his subject .

colonel-a03Whilst the mail plane, charmingly decorated in copies of original hand written letters and airmail sticker circles overhead.

colonel-a02We were both delighted with how the plinth, the mechanism and Dawn’s fantastically detailed puppetry are looking.

Next time: Catherine Marshall and the Suffragette donkey!


Battery Base

Each Automata in the Archive Project stands on plinth and will be covered with a protective glass case. Mounted in the plinth will be a coin slot. Tokens fed into the coin slot will trigger the performance of the automata.

Some of the plinths will be near to a ready supply of mains electricity but others will need to be self contained. I’ve opted to use a fairly meaty 12v lead acid battery as the power supply to maximise the time between charges. The batteries are heavy. Nearly 2kg in this case, so they need to be secured to the inside of the plinth.

I’ve constructed this battery holder on the laser cutter. It is shown here clamped up as the glue holding the three layers together, dries.¬†battery-a05

A top view of the base shows that it is a shallow tray. Four small  rectangular slots on the base allow two zip ties to the threaded into place.battery-a01

Viewed from the underside you can see the two long slots where the ties fit. You can just make out the small holes at the end of each slot.battery-a02

Two long cable ties thread into place…battery-a03

…and the battery is secured. The finished assembly is screwed down inside the plinth and ready to go.battery-a04