Topsy Turvy Clock – FAQ

There have been some questions about the Topsy Turvy Clock that I’ve entered in the SimplyAVR Design Contest

Why?
This is the question that I get asked the most and it shows the people who really know me vs those who don’t. Where as some people go running, play chess or watch the ballet, this is what I do. Making things challenges and inspires me, so when I saw a clock with Topsy Turvy numbers on a kids tv show, I just knew I had to make it real.

But it makes it hard to read the time
Although the clock points at the right numbers I think our brains are trained to see the visual representation of the hands. This is why we can still read the time when clocks have no numbers or numbers that are too small to see. I have wondered how long it would take to retrain on a new pattern.
For the Topsy Turvy Clock telling the time is only part of the reason it exists, it is also there to marvel at, to be a thing of beauty, to provide enjoyment and for the deep thinkers to question the norms of society. English clock makers Sinclair Harding summed this up nicely when they recently told me “but who buys a clock to tell the time”.

Can I buy it?
Unfortunately not, the clock is a one of a kind and at the moment I’m quite fond of it. It’s also a prototype so I want to keep a close watch over it for a few months to make sure it does not rip itself apart.

Can you make one for me?
I’ve no immediate plans to make another but I’d be happy to offer advice if you want to make one yourself. The code is all available to download and details of the build are on the blog.

How long did it take to build?
The clock’s been built over the last 10 months in spare time and in evenings. I even did some designing and fixing code on the commute to work. I’d estimate between 70 and 100 hours of work.

How can you tell the time?
I’ve found that there are some people who genuinely can’t read the time on the clock so I’ve put together a little tutorial.


Don’t forget to vote Topsy Turvy


If you’ve any other questions, please leave a comment or drop me a note on Twitter @Workshopshed

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