Rough Science
Explore the Challenges
Solve the Web Challenge
Meet the Rough Scientists
About the TV Series
Discover More
Site Map
Explore the Challenges

The Challenge: Build accurate clocks

Bamboo sliderHow did the clock chime?

This is where the science more or less ends. We made a float that rose as the water level moved up in the lower barrel. By using bamboo, string, nails, scraps of wood and other odds and ends we linked this to a triggering mechanism which released coconuts or calabashes on the hour so that they would roll down rails to make a chiming noise on an old disused lime juice machine. Perhaps we were out in the tropical sun for too long! To calibrate the water clock, we used the sundial and worked out how far the float rose each hour.