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Steam Sparky, Sparky

Signs I may be losing my mind #579

Inspired by Pac Gentleman and Pongmechanik and of course The Great Crystal Cyberdrome Exhibition, I just spent an hour in the bath trying to devise an electromechanical computer that could drive a Tetris fairground game. Of course I could cheat and hide a microcontroller in the base (I've already implemented Tetris in C), but there's something terribly appealing to me about the idea of a clicking whirring machine that could theoretically have been built as far back as 1835 (when the relay was invented).

Comments

Speeding up the machine's no problem, you just have a graded system of switching between contacts on a rheostat, driven by a multiple stepped cam on a slow worm drive, i.e. geared in such a way that it takes the duration of the game to travel over one step. The rheostat would, of course, control the primary drive motor. As for ISTR, I'm not even sure of what that is, let alone how to incarnate it mechanically..