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Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 12:51 AM

Greetings. I am a woodworker, and i build lockboxes with hidden compartments and complicated homemade magnetic locks. On my current lockbox, i am trying to design a "box of compartments", 16 compartments to be precise. included is a quick top view (looking down) design. there are actually 15 compartments and one empty space (the empty space is same size as the other compartments). what i want to happen is by turning a 'hand crank' or some type of similar device, the compartment to the right of the open space moves to that open space. as the crank continues to turn, the next compartment moves over. (e.g. 12 moves to slot 11, then 10 moves to slot 11, and so on). there are a couple of issues i am facing. what kind of trigger mechanism can i use? as the hand crank turns and the first compartment moves into the open space, i need some type of trigger mechanism to "tell" the next compartment to move into the open space? another issue is how to get these compartments to turn the square corners. i thought about using a 'track' that makes turns, and each compartment would have 2 points that fit into the track. as the compartment moves into the corner, the point facing the movement direction would jump to the next track. im stuck on this idea. i know there's a solution, but i can't see it right now.

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#1

Re: space saver mechanical hand crank compartment control

03/02/2011 3:40 AM

Hi, the stuff you are doing sounds great fun and very interesting. At a casual glance I'd say it can't be done in the way you are suggesting. I'd suggest an arangement of compartments like those sliding letter tile kids toys 15 tiles in a square array of 16 spaces which you slide by hand. I'm still not sure how you could manipulate them from outside.
Actually the more I think about it the harder it gets.
Any pics of your work? I'd love to see it.
Del
(If you click on my avatar you can get to my profile which has links to some of the stuff I make...)

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#2

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 7:37 AM

I take it that all the compartments will be hidden and you wish to rotate them past the opening for access. Will be difficult to do. Suggestion give up some space and build it round. A key to turn a round carousel with a ring gear on it.

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#3

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 8:21 AM

This would take some more thinking, but one way to approach it might be to use the idea of a rolling triangle within each of the 16 compartments.

Perhaps you could make the outer shell of each box in the shape of a Reuleaux triangle, but make the inner compartment that is visible/accessible a square shape.

This wiki link shows the triangle rolling smoothly within the square.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuleaux_triangle

/Image from Wikipedia.

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#4

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 10:17 PM

I would try to approach this by daisy-chaining the 16 compartments via springs into a single continuous loop. Move one, pulling immediately any that follow in line; then one or more follow perpendicularly, etc. (I haven't yet fully figured out my half-baked plan....)

By chance have you ever run into similar hobbyist Allen Rolfs?

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#5

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 10:42 PM

How about a belt drive with a series if wedges and block drives to move individual compartments...? Seems pretty simple, one continuous belt that drives underneath the secret compartment section...

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#6

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 11:06 PM

if you would like to see most of my woodworking projects, feel free to add me as a friend on facebook. search for David Dix, and my profile photo is a profile of me with a flame and firebird coming out of my arm. when you send a friend request, just make sure you indicate you're from the forum or whatever. i have almost all of my woodworking projects posted. btw thank you very much for your ideas and input. the reuleaux triangle is very interesting! ..but i will be using rectangular compartments for this specific part of the project. i have discovered the "snaking" compartment pattern is no good, and probably will use 12-16 compartments on the border of the box, rather than snaking around inside the box. this will be easier to build. also, i can have the hand crank operate a gear with 4 posts attached to it. as the gear rotates, each post will trigger push-rods in each corner. the push rods (one at a time) will force the entire line of compartments to move one space over. as the gear continues to turn, the previous push rod will be triggered, forcing that line of compartments to move into that space. if this doesn't work (which i think it will), there are a couple more options. i can use my love for neodymium magnets, or i can use springs. i think all 3 ideas will work, but the corner push-rod may be the best idea yet. down the line i believe a reuleaux triangle compartment will be a fantastic design, and TRICKY! haha. keep the comments coming please if you have any more. i love the comments, both good and bad. thanks again!

...David

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#13
In reply to #6

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 6:04 AM

Your work sounds fascinating but I'm having trouble finding you on Facebook, David Dix is quite a common name. Can you post a link?

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#18
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:20 AM

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/davidbdix

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#7

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 11:28 PM

Bicycle type chain running through the centerline of travel. Each compartment is more square and each corner of each compartment is rounded. Small sprockets of a radius the same as the rounded corners are located at each turning point of the chain/compartment. The straight sides of the compartments will keep the compartments correctly oriented. The compartments are connected to the chain with a peg sticking out of the center point of the compartment bottom. The chain is activated by a crank/sprocket design of your choice.

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#8
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 11:36 PM

yes, that's a good idea. thank you!

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#9
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/02/2011 11:42 PM

so are you saying that the pegs coming out of the compartments are propelled by the sprockets? or are you saying that the chain is attached to each compartment, which would make the compartments move?

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#10
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 12:16 AM

Certain of the chain links would have a "loop" (maybe a stiff wire) attached, so as to not interfere with the sprocket, into which the peg would be inserted.

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#11
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 2:36 AM

The bycicle chain is you simplest and best option with idler sprockets at every turning point. In case of the 16 compatments there are 8 turning points according to your numbering sequence. The driver can be put anywhere convinient either on one of the eight turning points or on a straight part (extra cost for extra sprocket)

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#20
In reply to #10

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:44 AM

Instead of loops, which might interfere with some of the sprockets, replace some of the link pins with longer pins that would fit into holes on the bottom of the compartments. Link length and pin spacing are critical.

(oops, just read #16)

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#12

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 5:30 AM

Picking up on Del the cats idea of the sliding tile game. Add an iron plate to the base of each compartment and embed a magnet into a block that sits in compartment 13 when not in use. Use the magnet to manipulate the squares by holding it to the base of the box. The magnetic field should work through a thin wooden base sheet. With no indication of the location of the internal compartments solving the puzzle would rely on an excellent memory and good spatial awareness. To make it easier a number could be added to each compartment (perhaps on the top face of the compartment wall in one corner), and corresponding small holes placed in the box lid.

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#14

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 6:23 AM

Try thinking of a round disc on the bottom of each box that will travel around in a "groove". Once this is done it would be simple to join all centres with a link. Each link may have to extend to get the square corners around the bend.

Maybe if the discs were bigger, or as big as, the diagonals. This would leave a gap between the boxes, does this matter.

Another way is put cloth tape around each box crossing over between the boxes ( if there were just two boxes the tape would make a figure 8 ). P.S. you need three tapes. As the boxes are square there would be a gap between them also.

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#15

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 9:02 AM

The diagram you posted, only allows one box at a time to move. Also this box MUST lie next to the free "hole".

As you move a box "forward", the "hole" will move backwards.......

After saying that, I can only think of a bike chain and that each box can clamp itself on the chain, but only one at a time. Maybe the clamp can be "controlled" by a magnet.

Or each box has a motor to move it. A rechargeable battery. A track under/over the boxes with a charging voltage on it, also to guide the boxes....each one switched on by placing a magnet over it, when a "hole" is next to it, so each box must sense holes in front and behind with a micro-switch and only move in the direction where the hole is......

Just a few (strange!) thoughts......

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#16

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 9:30 AM

If you had a chain as suggested earlier running round a square guide along the centreline of the boxes you would not have to turn the boxes. Each box would move as per Del's sliding tile concept eventually presenting the same face each time to your opening. I can imagine having a pin on some of the chain links engaging in a hole on the bottom of the box. This might need to be slotted or oversize to allow for the chain link turning the corner of the guide, the finer the chain is, the tighter you could keep the fit. You might need to drive all 4 sides of the chain as I imagine there would be some resistance to a tight turn at the corner.

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#17

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:04 AM

The answer is already here. It is a combination of these.

Use magnets to couple the boxes to the belt!

Try a continuous rubber belt following your S pattern around under the boxes.

Have magnets evenly spaced, embedded in the belt, with magnets set into the bottom of the boxes.

Then, as the belt moves, each row will be moved along its path until it stops, then the next row will move to fill the gap, and so on. the magnetic coupling allows the belt to only move the row that is free at that time.

If they are very strong magnets, a thin sheet of delrin/teflon/polished wood between the boxes and the belt should manage the excessive attraction when coupled.

magnets on the belt spaced slightly more than box size will help move boxes one at a time, (with a little space in between) and reduce belt lockup/force by being coupled to fewer boxes at any one time. Then it would help "pack" the boxes in the row, opening up the space for the next row to move.

Bap

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#19

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:29 AM

unbelievable. all fantastic ideas. the one that struck me the most is the magnetic coupling idea. i am definitely considering that solution. i usually order about 200 neodymium N45 magnetic discs 1/2" x 1/8" at a time. those are my preferred choice for lockboxes. so yes, they are VERY strong. the original idea, where the compartments snake around inside is probably out. it's best if i just have the compartments move around the border of the box, rather than all the extra turns inside.

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#21

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 3:52 PM

If this is a lockbox, there has to be a trick to open it. Just cranking a handle until the box opens is not a lock.

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#22
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:06 PM

i know. this is merely an upper section of the overall lockbox. the main body is almost complete, and now im begging to add sections to the sides, lower, and upper. the final size will be comparable to a VERY large entertainment center. i can't give exact dimensions at this time because i've started in the middle, working outward. the majority of the locks so far are homemade magnetic key operated (with the 1/2 x 1/8 neodymium discs). the locks for this section will be designed and constructed after this section is finished. my locks always go in last.

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#23
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:08 PM

Try the lox on a salted bagel.

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#24
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:46 PM

bob i LOVEEEEEEEE puns and bad jokes. that's great. lox. where did you get that fantastic flame for you profile photo? is that an edited photoshop type picture, or just a picture of fire?

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

4 spainards stuck in quicksand is quatro-sinko.

drop a piano down a coal shaft and you get A-flat minor.

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#25
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/03/2011 11:51 PM

I picked it up at a fire sale.

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#26

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/04/2011 3:49 AM

Attach the compartments to each other with springs as shown below. The springs should have a small tension to keep the compatments together. The white box is the empty space. Moving the box on the right to the empty space will pull the next box to its place and if connected as shown the other boxes will move to fill in the space left. Only the leading compartment should be driven by a chain of a shape the same as the spring connection. The joint beween the pin and the compartment should be flexible in order for the square shape to be able to round the radius turns.

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#27
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/04/2011 5:15 AM

The first two squares are OK. The third yellow square can't move until the corner position is completely empty, by which time the direction of pull exerted by the grey spring is about ½ at right angles to the line of travel and ½ forward in the line of travel. As the yellow square moves forward the proportion of force pulling it forward decreases. This is compounded by the restraining force exerted by the green spring behind it. When the yellow square reaches half way the forward and backward springs exert an equal force in the direction of travel and cancel each other out. The yellow square locks up in the centre position. I know it is called a lock box but this is the wrong definition of lock.

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/04/2011 5:26 PM

this part of the project is not a lock. this is merely a compartment WITHIN a lockbox. when this compartment is complete, the lock for the opening in the front will be constructed.

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#30
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/07/2011 2:04 AM

You can play around with the spring constants to ensure that the force pulling backwards is less than that pulling forward. There is always a downward component on the yellow box

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#28

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/04/2011 2:40 PM

What about not moving the boxes, and instead you move the cover to the box, just like the little sliding tile puzzles we all had? By attaching channel to each of the boxes on the top, and not using any channel at the corners, It would be just like old times.

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#31

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/07/2011 12:03 PM

I know this link is in German, but the diagrams and the animated video should explain themselves, I hope it helps you further......

This is a type of lift that was very popular in Germany till quite recently, they need a bit of nerve to "hop on" the first time as they never stop!!!

They never have doors either......

They are not seen so often nowadays....probably for safety reasons.....

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#32
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/07/2011 2:44 PM

The link seems to have been taken hostage as it neared the Pirate's area.

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#33
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/07/2011 2:57 PM

Well noted Bob. A senior moment.....

Here it is:-

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternosteraufzug

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#34
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/07/2011 3:49 PM

English link

You may have to "Allow" redirection to another page in you browser

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#35

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/07/2011 10:27 PM

that's a fantastic idea!

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#36
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/08/2011 5:53 AM

Did you mean the Paternoster?

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#37
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/08/2011 10:53 AM

yes

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#38
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/08/2011 3:31 PM

Thanks.

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#39

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/08/2011 10:38 PM

This kind of conveyor arrangement (larger versions are seen in airport baggage handling) might be adapted.

http://www.bluecsushi.com/default.aspx?ID=2

And the second half of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1csy8v3u1A

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#41
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/09/2011 4:52 AM

The second one is very neat and is a small copy of most of those luggage handling machines at major airports.

Its a great and clever way to move stuff around......might be useful for the OP as well.....

Thanks for the link.

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#40

Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/08/2011 11:00 PM

you might be able to do it with hexes.. this pic is something I made a few years back

but it gets the idea across.

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#42
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/09/2011 4:53 AM

Neat.

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#43
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Re: Space Saver Mechanical Hand Crank Compartment Control

03/09/2011 8:34 AM

ya... but I think it might still be clunky trying to get them all to move.. but at least it has some chance with a chain or something. (I don't think just pushing one would work unless the vertical surfaces are virtually frictionless.)

thanks

chris

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