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pallen123's avatar

What kind of small toys or devices click when you rotate them forwards and backwards? Seeking mechanism or design...

Asked by pallen123 (1514points) November 21st, 2009

I’m trying to help a friend design a small toy and she needs a mechanism that will click in very small increments as she rotates a small (1 inch diameter) dial that turns 360 degrees on its axis. She needs the dial to click precisely as it turns clockwise and counterclockwise in smallish increments. I was thinking a fishing reel mechanism might work, but that just allows turning in one direction. Then I thought a ratchet wrench mechanism might work, but that also turns in just one direction (and I’m not sure how the inside of a ratchet wrench works either). Can anyone think of existing toys or devices that have a clicking mechanism that freely rotate? Novel solutions? Suggestions? Thank you!

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10 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

Gambling wheels and putting cards in your bike spokes come to mind

Harp's avatar

Sounds like you want something along the lines of a “Wheel of Fortune”-type mechanism. In ratcheting mechanisms, the pawl is positioned relative to the faces of the teeth in a way that alows rotation in only one direction. In a game wheel, the teeth are replaced by pegs and the pawl is placed so that it allows movement in either direction ( by pointing toward the axis of the wheel).

When I was kid, cheap toy cars sometimes had this kind of mechanism built into the axles so that the car would make buzzing sounds when it was pushed forward or backward (saved our lips from having to supply the motor noise).

DrBill's avatar

you can do this using a ratchet and replacing the pawl with a ball bearing.

evegrimm's avatar

Something like a knitting row counter (aka a “kacha-kacha”) is inexpensive enough that you might be able to modify it to work.

Fred931's avatar

Maybe the mechanisms in a counter or the parts of a bike that make the ckicking noise when idling at speed.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

A baseball card clothespinned to the fork of a bicycle wheel, and clicking on the spokes used to work fifty-odd years ago. I think that technique still applies… even if those baseball cards are now worth (or ‘would have been worth’) thousands of dollars…

Talk about a misspent youth.

lillycoyote's avatar

A socket wrench mechanism clicks and turns both clockwise and counter clock wise but you have to flip the lever to change the orientation, but maybe that could be modified somehow.

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