The Climatic Revelator communicates the weather forecast through the
illumination of one of five dioramas depicting a Victorian couple drinking tea in a
park. The scenes represent the common types of weather indicated on most
barometers. These range from sitting at a table in full sun, to being blown over by
gale force winds. The machine uses a weather forecast, calculated from changes
in barometric pressure, to rotates the carousel so that the required scene comes
into view. As the carousel rotates, five chimes are played with rising or falling
tones to indicate the current pressure trend. You can see how they are made here.
The Revelator plays the tune each hour or when the forecast
changes. If no one is present for an hour, the Climatic
Revelator's lamps fade and it stops moving. When a person is
again detected, it comes back to life chiming and displaying
the latest forecast, great for being greeted in the morning or
when returning home.
The optics have been carefully designed so the the scenes can
be viewed from any distance, are reminiscent of early optics
where images were slightly distorted by the technological
limitations of the time and coincidentally create the illusion of
the scene being embedded in the wall! The scenes are
illuminated by a gently flickering light evoking the feel of an
oil lamp. Direct pressure readings can be taken from the
antique style pressure gauge. The control lever sets the gauge
to display the current pressure, the pressure trend or a sequence
showing the last twenty four hours of
pressure readings followed by the
carousel and chimes rotating.
The Climatic Revelator is constructed
from components and materials used
extensively in Victorian steam powered
machines that relied entirely on
mechanical means to achieve their
function. Even the power connection is
disguised as an antique flexible steam
pipe, employing proper brass plumbing
fittings. The scenes consist of three
separate cut out layers which move in a
fascinating way when viewed from
• The Climatic Revelator is 38cm wide by 37cm high by 13cm deep.
• It is powered by a small plug in mains adapter.
• The pressure readings are very accurate as the machine uses a computer
to store readings from a sensor which is accurate to two decimal places.
• The Revelator hangs on two screws protruding from the wall which fit
into keyhole fittings on the back.
• Each one is individually numbered and the engraved labels and weather
scenes can be further personalised if required.
The Climatic Revelator came about as I wanted to create a machine that
communicated the weather forecast mechanically rather than using
flickering lamps. I love the magical appearance of Victorian stereoscopic
images and fold out card toy theatres and scenes, so re-creating something
similar which could move into view seemed like a good idea. Following lots of experiments later,
often using Lego, the optics were sorted out. It would have been far easier to use a digital
display, but that would be cheating and I love the optical distortion caused by the layers and lens.
It is so reminiscent of Victorian engineering. Having got a moving carousel it seemed a waste not
to use the motion in some other way!
I’m often asked how to get a gauge, like the one in the Climatic Revelator, to run off an Arduino
PWM output, so I’ve created an information PDF that can be viewed using the link below.