Mechanical/Case Assembly Instructions For the Ultimate Useless Machine
Note: we’ve updated the motor-mount bracket and the new assembly instructions are here.
If you purchased a fully soldered Machine follow the assembly instruction on this page.
If you purchased a KIT proceed to the Soldering Instructions first!
Remove the protective film covering the acrylic pieces. The film protects the pieces from getting scratched during shipping.
Notice that the motor has a shaft on two sides. One side of the motor has a small bump by the motor shafts. You can see the bump in the photo in the following step.
Note: We’ve switched to a new motor that only has one shaft.
Use a #1 Phillips screwdriver to attach the motor, with the bump-side towards the acrylic motor-mount bracket, using the two longest screws.
Tip: Be careful that the motor wires do not become pinched between the motor and the acrylic bracket, causing a finger alignment problem later.
On the other side of the bracket, attach the micro-switch using two of the smaller screws.
Attach the finger to the cam disc using two small screws.
Mount the finger and cam assembly to the motor shaft using the last small screw.
You may need to depress the lever on the micro-switch in order to clear the bump on the cam.
Understand how the mechanism works:
When the toggle is pointing to the left (the OFF position), then the green LED is lit and the motor turns clockwise until the micro-switch is activated by the cam, cutting off power to the machine.
When you switch the toggle to the right (the ON position), then the micro-switch is bypassed, the red LED lights up, and the motor turns counterclockwise.
The arrow in the picture indicates where the bump on the cam is depressing the micro-switch lever.
When the toggle is in the OFF position and the micro-switch is depressed, then the machine should be powered off completely; there should be no power, no lights, and no motor movement.
Test your assembled mechanism:
With the toggle switch in the OFF position, put two AA batteries in the holder. The finger should turn clock-wise until the cam touches the micro-switch. The micro-switch is wired so that when pressed, the switch is open (or off), opposite from way most push buttons work. The green LED should then turn off.
Flip the toggle briefly to the ON position, and then back to the OFF position.
Warning: Be careful as the machine is not fully assembled so, if the toggle is left in the ON position too long, the motor will keep turning counterclockwise until the finger hits the micro-switch in the other direction.
You will want to flip the toggle back to the OFF position quickly.
If the motor turns in the wrong direction, then you have either installed the motor backwards or the batteries are in backwards.
Remove the batteries before proceeding to the next step.
Place a nut it the T-Slot on the motor bracket, as indicated by the arrow in the photo.
Tip: You can use a small piece of tape to hold the nut temporarily in place.
Carefully place the top cover plate on the tabs on the top of the motor mount bracket.
Carefully insert a bolt into the hole on the top plate. Thread the bolt into the nut and tighten it.
Notice: Two rectangles were laser-etched into the top plate on the other side of the center hole. Do not try to remove or punch out these rectangles as they are cosmetic and meant to balance the appearance of the real tabs of the motor mount bracket.
Drop a bolt into the hole between the rectangles and secure it from beneath with a nut.
Note: The protective blue film on the finger in these two photos is only to make the finger easier to see in the photo. You should have removed the protective film from all your acrylic pieces in the first step for assembly.
Remove the top hex nut on the toggle-switch.
Insert the toggle switch into the center hole of the top plate with the LED’s facing the finger.
Place the top hex nut back onto the toggle switch and carefully thread the hex nut on. Tighten the hex nut with a 5-16″ socket or pliers.
Warning: Be careful not to scratch the acrylic while tightening the nuts.
You can insert batteries and fully test the mechanism. You should now have working innards for the Ultimate Useless Machine.
Remove batteries before proceeding to the next step.
Attach the lid as shown in the photo. If you prefer having a blank ‘mystery’ box without “The Ultimate Useless Machine” text showing, then flip the top plate over and assemble the plate with the writing down.
Note: Pay attention to the orientation of the hinge plate. If you install the hinge with the wrong side facing out, you will have trouble fitting the lid into the case and the lid will not move freely.
Attach the sides of the case.
Note: Make sure the engraved lines on the front and side plates face out.
Then press the side plate into position and install the last two nuts and bolts.
Tighten the other nuts and bolts.
To keep the battery holder from moving around in the case, cut the velcro strip in two and apply the hooks side of the velcro to the bottom of battery holder.
Stick the fuzzy sides of the velcro to the corresponding locations inside the case. Position the battery holder away from the acrylic finger, along the right side.
Lower the Toggle Plate Assembly into position on the top of the case and bolt it in place.
Stick the rubber feet onto the bottom of the machine. You are done!
Check for loosening of any nuts, including the one securing the toggle-switch.
To clean the acrylic case use a soft cloth and soapy water. DO NOT USE PAPER TOWELS on the acrylic case, it will leave small scratches!