Blue Flower

We used to forget to put our donation tin out when we had visitors and one day Frank said we should have a donation box that turns a model water wheel when you put money in, to encourage people to make donations. 

As a retired engineer, I soon had an idea of how to make this. All those childhood years taking things apart to see how they work were not wasted! I found some wood to make the outer box and bought a set with electric motors, pulleys, gears etc for the mechanism and also bought a wooden model water wheel kit. 

The first stage was to see what combination of gears would turn the water wheel at the right speed, this was tested with a motor and gears on a piece of wood. Based on this experiment I made the banknote feed module with a motor on top and an actuator that lifts up when a banknote is fed in. The actuator closes contacts to start the motor which turns the feed wheels to draw the note through.

A pulley on the side of the module drives a belt that turns the water wheel which is made from a kit of pre-punched wooden parts, painted brown. Attached to the wheel is a pulley and axle.

The outer box is made from shelving boards with old fence panels for the cladding and roof, giving a rustic look. Some of the doors and windows from the water wheel kit were used on the outside. The roof lifts off after loosening two screws for maintenance, battery changes and removing money. The water wheel is protected by a slide in pespex cover. There is also a coin slot in the roof but coins do not turn the wheel.

The donation box was taken to the mill on 23/5/19 and shown to the volunteers. It paid for itself with its first use at the NIAS visit on 6/7/19. It is now used regularly at open days and whenever we have visitors. We would like to thank everyone who has given donations, the money is taken off site each day and used to buy supplies needed to open to the public and keep the mill looking its best.

Graham Bartlett        Donation Box Video      HOD 2020       Interactive Plan      Site Activity      Model Mill

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