The Bubble Machine
As mentioned in the Wedding Chimney section, I decided upon installing a bubble machine to blow bubbles from the top of the minaret during the wedding sequence to represent the throwing of confetti. I thought this would be a fun feature for the younger kids who may be watching it! I had left just enough space above the videographer manikin to seat a bubble machine on a platform. I needed a bubble machine that ran off 12V, being the system voltage of the entire clock. Most of the machines available ran of a few batteries, so this limited my choice somewhat. I duly bought and installed it on the upper platform in the minaret, behind the opening doors. There should be just enough space for the bubbles to emerge if not too windy. There will inevitably be some drips emanating from the machine and burst bubbles, but hopefully the birds below would tolerate this.
Bubble machine in-situ with side removed
The picture above shows the bubble machine mounted on the shelf in the top of the minaret just above the videographer. I have removed the side cover to the bubble machine and one roof panel so you can see the inner workings of the machine. There is a fan at the back that blows air through the hoops that rotate through a trough of bubble liquid. The wheel is geared to the fan and rotates clockwise. I installed a baffle to direct the airflow up slightly. The intended method of filling the trough with liquid was to open a flap underneath and remove the trough. Obviously, this was not going to be possible, so I devised a method of filling and emptying it remotely.
I bought a hamster drink container and clipped this to the rear of the minaret as shown in this picture.
I bought a hamster drink container and clipped this to the rear of the minaret as shown in this picture. From the bottom of the container, I removed the metal spout that the hamster drinks from and attached a neoprene tube that passed through the rear panel and up to a coupling that passed through the shelf and through a hole in the bottom of the bubble machine and its internal trough. The coupling I made from an old orange-coloured plastic firework rocket fuse protector. I have used these elsewhere in the clock too. I tend to collect odd things like these as they do come in handy at times! I sealed the joints and left a little slack in the pipe so the external container could be pulled free to allow the liquid in the tank to be drained out when required.
Bubble Liquid filler tank
This picture shows this arrangement which allows the internal trough to be filled by pouring liquid into the top of the external container which then runs through the tube into the trough and fills it to the same level as the liquid in the external container. This also acts nicely as a level indicator so you can see externally the level of the liquid in the trough. To drain the trough, you just need to pull the container out of its clip, rotate it onto its side and the liquid in the trough will empty out through the tube and the external container, as shown in the picture below.
Bubble machine plumbing
The picture below shows the filler/drainage pipe beneath the bubble machine platform, connecting through the rear of the minaret to the filling/drainage tank.
Emptying of bubble machine