Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: The Motor

By Matt Werbach January 29, 2019

The Mighty Little Motor

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As we continue to take The Market Series A apart for you, we turn our attention to the small but powerful motor that makes the whole piece work. 

We needed a strong and accurate motor, but it also had to be quiet. This is going on desks and bookshelves, after all.

The bull and the bear added to the challenge. They are weighty objects, and the motor needed to be able to balance them, continuously moving, without burning out.

The worm gear motor turned out to be perfect. The worm screw and worm wheel provided enough power, and the unit is small enough to fit snuggly in the New Guinea Rosewood base.

Now, how do we keep the motor quiet? Early feedback let us know that a slight noise was better than no noise. That way, the gentle sound of the moving piece was a clue to the owner that the markets were shifting.

That small black gear you see was the solution. Made of nylon, it's much quieter than the metal gears we first tried. But it emits a gentle hum as the scale moves.

That other small disc you see is an optical encoder. That's how The Market Series A stays so precise. Without it, we have motion but no meaning. With it, the tiny powerhouse of a motor keeps accurate tally of the ebb and flow of the markets. 


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Next week, we will explore the design and installation of the bull and the bear, the two icons that add the artistic flourish to The Market. Everything from their shape to their weight to their positioning had to be carefully mastered.


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Last week, we took a look at the New Guinea Rosewood base that hides the circuitry and motor of The Market in a seamless, naturally colored wood picked for its sustainability and rich, deep hue. If you missed it, catch up here.

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