The time ball returns to regular service

July 5, 2013

 What is red, has about 80 teeth and goes around and around?

The big new red gear in Sydney Observatory's time ball mechanism, July 2013. Photo Andrew Jacob © Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
The big new red gear in Sydney Observatory’s time ball mechanism, July 2013. Photo Andrew Jacob © Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

The big new gear wheel in Sydney Observatory’s time ball mechanism!

Today the broken gear was replaced with a shiny new red one. Tim Morris, our conservator, installed it and at 1pm today, Friday July 5, 2013, I was able to once again drop the time ball. After two months out of action it will return to its regular schedule on Monday July 8.

The new gear, closely modelled on the original, was cast off-site and machined in the Powerhouse workshop. It may require a little more machining, so the time ball may be out of action again for a few days in the near future. However, it is wonderful to have our old friend back, and to be able to continue this great tradition of dropping Sydney Observatory’s time ball.

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