[time-nuts] Solstice Puzzle

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Sat Dec 17 03:08:59 EST 2011


Looks like we came up with almost exactly the same ideas.  Maybe there
is only one solution?  You said "accelerometer" and "tube sensor" and
I said "gravity sensor".  I think both are really an accelerometer
with one bit resolution.  You said and End Code, I said "beep".
Pretty much the same ideas but different words.

OK there is another solution, expensive but it could work:  Each block
contains a precision inertial navigation system and it transmits it's
exact position.  Each block listens to the other five blocks when no
movement is detected each block displays the "correct" digit.  But now
we have each block costing $100K but now they don't need to be in a
neat row.

Dumb idea:  Build ether design by building each cube from six iPads.

On Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM, Brooke Clarke <brooke at pacific.net> wrote:
> Hi Nevelle:
> Have each face of each cube contain an LED digit display.
> They are battery powered.
> If one is rolled like a dice an accelerometer (or better set of ball in a
> tube sensors) knows where the top and bottom faces are and so they are not
> to be turned on.
> There's an assumption that after all six have been rolled someone will push
> them together into a sort of tight row.
> To sense that they are now grouped into a row you use one LED on the four
> possible active faces to measure the light.
> There are two possible answers, either three faces are open (an end cube) or
> two faces are open (a middle cube).
> If a cube is an end it blinks an LED on the dark face with the I'm an end
> pattern.
> If a cube is a middle cube it looks for a blinking LED.
> When a middle cube sees a blinking LED it makes note of the code.
> It remembers the code it's seen and adds one to it and blinks the opposite
> face unless the code is saying "in 4" meaning that the cube seeing this is
> the tail cube.
> Now each cube has two IDs which is as it should be.  After a head end cube
> has received an "in 4" message then it knows it's also a tail end cube.
> When the time is displayed the 10 hours digit will be on the face of a
> starting cube that's CW from the adjacent cube when looking down on the
> string.
> If the cubes are numbered 1 to 6 left to right then the 10 hours digit will
> be on the 1 (left most) cube and on the front face.
> When looking at the back of the string, i.e. cubes 6 to 1. the 10 hours
> digit will be on the 6 cube on the left facing to the back.
> At this point the cubes assume they know where they are but they also know
> that they may be rearranged so . .
> cube 1 not only displays the current 10 hour digit it also sends the
> position message to cube 2 and makes the light measurements to confirm that
> it's still an end cube.
> If these fail then the cube un registers both it's IDs and we got back to
> the top.
> If the tests pass (cubes are still in order) then cube 1 sends the 1 hour
> time to cube 2.  Cube 2 displays it and does the "have I been moved test" as
> above, if not it sends the 10 minutes message to cube 3, etc. etc.
> It may be possible to detect movement with other sensors, such ball in a
> tube making it easier to tell when that's happened.  In any case when any
> cube knows that it has been moved it can cry out by blinking the LEDs on all
> faces in a we're being moved pattern.
> Have Fun,
> Brooke Clarke
> http://www.PRC68.com
> http://www.end2partygovernment.com/Brooke4Congress.html
> Neville Michie wrote:
>> At this time of the year many people look for frivolous puzzles to solve.
>> My puzzle is to design a clock.
>> This clock consists of 6 cubes, each has a digit display on one face.
>> It does not matter how you arrange them, if they are in a line they will
>> display the
>> right time. (there may also be a nearby box containing a Rb or GPS time
>> standard.)
>> A second or two may be needed for them to reorganise if they are moved.
>> It must be possible to design them, but an elegant design has eluded me.
>> Merry Solstice,
>> Neville Michie
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Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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