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Angstrom Temporus Clock Written Review

OreKehStrah

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Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
265
My Angstrom Temporus Clock Review

Hey everyone, it's been a few weeks, and I thought I would write up my review for the Temporus clock before they release batch 2 that they are working on.
So to be completely transparent, I orignally bought two clocks, and when I recieved them, the black 3D printed frame on one was broken, but otherwise fully functional.
I contacted support, and they sent me a brand new one for free. As a result, I have 3 different Temporus clocks, so I am fortunate enough to be able to write this review and compare the consistency between the clocks.

One last disclaimer, I'm not a clock specialist. I'd say I'm decent at clock, averaging around 10-12 with minimal practice. Just keep this in mind.

First I want to discuss the pros of this clock.

1. This clock is very fast to turn once it is broken in. The clocks are very slow and sluggish out of the box but after around 150-200 solves, it became reasonably fast.
This is one of the best aspects of this clock. Because it is still based on the LingAo, you can still have the pins and gears move around slightly in the case where you have to quickly jiggle a clock for a set to be able to press a pin down. This isn't really a big deal since all current clocks do this, but I wanted to make sure you know that this clock isn't immune to this problem.

2. This point ties back to pro #1, but the special axles that each clock gear turns around are very nice in this clock. I took apart the clock that came broken, and put the internals in a normal clock casing to see just how big a difference the special axles make, and the clock instantly became very slow and resistant to turn because the gears would turn around the normal clock normal plastic axles. The difference is very apparent.

3. The magnetic pins are great. The magnets are all internal so you will never have to worry about magnets falling out during normal use. You would have to take the clock apart to take the magnets out. The sound and feeling of the magnetic pins is great, and more importantly, the pins are very consistent. They all feel the same, and have a very quick and responsive feeling.

4. The aesthetics of the clock are pretty nice imo. The black and white scheme looks pretty clean. Not much else to say here lol.


So now let's talk about the cons I've noticed. Some of these are nitpicks, I'll admit, but at $75 for a clock we should nitpicking.

1. Durablity. After seeing how the frame of one clock was broken on arrival despite the many layers of bubble wrap, durability of this clock is very concerning. I am not at all convinced that any of the 3D printed parts are going to hold up if you drop this beyond onto a table like in comp, if it falls on a hard surface. This means the frame and potentially even the pins, are subject to breaking. I used to have a 3D printer, and having worked with 3D printing myself, I would be really careful not to drop this clock! I have tried cutting the frame with an Xacto knife and it takes quite a bit of sawing to cut into the frame appreciably.

2. Physical feel and appearance- Let's talk about the appearance first. The special plastic faces are not as impressive as I thought they would be. The first thing I noticed about them is they do scratch, pretty easily actually. All 3 of my clocks have a lot of microscratches on both faces. Some were on the faces when they arrived. This is not a huge deal, as you can only really see them if you hold the clock under a bright light and look in the reflections. However, I don't have any reason to believe this material is any better at resisting scratches compared to a normal clock casing. It does hide them better though. This is certainly not a deal breaker by any means.
As far as how the 3D printed frames appear, they look fine. This is a nitpick, but I wish they would polish and smooth out the frame pieces in future models. I'm pretty sure this is made from PLA, so it would be great to see a switch to ABS plastic so it could be polished with an acetone vapor. As it currently stands, you can see where every layer was printed. Again not a deal breaker, but it would be a good thing to improve for the future, if any cubicle employees see this.
Another minor detail to mention is that you can see the blue color of the dials from the side of the clock if you look at the areas that you actually physicaly turn. It would be a nice touch if these were painted black since it just looks weird to have the black and white scheme, with these random blue accents. I might try painting one of my clocks so the blue is gone.

Now let's talk about how the clock actually feels in the hand.
Because of how this clock is built, the black frame that surrounds the clear face is actually raised from the surface level of the plastic covers by a milimeter or two. Not a huge deal, I just want to be comprehensive so people can know exactly what they are getting. The frame feels fine in the hand. The edges on it are smoothened so the clock is comfortable to use for extened periods of time, and is no problem to x2 flip comfortably.
What I really don't like about this clock is the plastic clock faces. This is for two reasons. #1, to accomodate the special axles, there are 9 small holes on each face for the axle ends to come through, which varigates the surface. Also as a side note, the lenght of the special axles is not even on any of my clocks, so some of them had excess coming out of the clock face holes that I trimmed. The big deal about the plastic faces for me is that it gets very greasy and slick very quickly and easily, and is surprisingly difficult to get clean. This is a common thing for me to say but again, this is not a deal breaker but just another thing I want to mention.
The last weird thing about the clear faces is that they have some flex/wiggle room. You can press along the clear faces, especially the edges of it, and feel it wobble or flex downwards a bit, so keep this in mind if you hold your clocks really tightly. It's not anything I would worry about, but it is weird and I want to include a lot of minor details.

With all this said, while there's nothing really wrong with how this puzzle feels, it does take a little bit of getting used to before you will feel really comfortable holding. Also this clock has a weird smell. All three of them have a weird 3D printed smell that is noticeable if you hold it up to your face. Don't worry, it won't stink up your room or smell weird when solving normally. Just another observation.

3. Consistency. Among all three of these clocks, they have been very inconsistent.
The most inconsistent thing about them is how they have been lubed. One came very slow and sluggish, with one side being a lot slower than the other. The next clock is also like the previous clock, but a little faster, like it was lubed less and is a bit scratchier or crunchier in the turning. The last clock I got as a replacement came fast out the box and is the only clock out of the three that is roughly equal in speed on both sides. The other two are pretty close after they've been broken in, but on both of the others, the black side is slower than the white side. So the lube job is definitely pretty inconsistent between clocks for me.

This difference in lubing actually changes how the pins feel too. They all feel the same within their respective clock, but depending on how lubed the clock is, the pins feel lighter or heavier, like the magnet strength is different in them. It's weird how different they feel. The best clock has the lightest feeling pins and the worst has the heaviest/strongest feeling.

Another really weird thing I've noticed is that on two of the clocks, the two sides often don't perform equally. The black side on two of my clocks are very inconsistent. Sometimes they turn really well, and other times they turn very roughly with a lot a resistence. I've heard this might be because the 3D printed pins need a long time to break in, like longer than normal clocks so I'll keep testing.

Now I'm going to talk about one last thing, which is the design/construction of this clock.

Since one clock came with a broken frame, I decided to take it apart, and see how they built it. The frame is held together by four pins that they don't include a tool to removed, so to open a non-broken clock without breaking it you have to take a sharp knife and put it inbetween the frame, which is similar to how a normal clock is opened. You then have to shimmy the faces off each of the four pins which is tough. This clock definitely won't fall apart on its own.

The plastic clock faces are actually pretty small. They fit into this carved out area in the frame, which surprised me. I expected them to be a little bigger lol.

I like how the red on the 12 o'clock markers look, but in person I think that it is actually too dull, and so I decided to put fluoro yellow on the black side, and fluoro pink on the white side. It looks great, but it was a lot of work and here's why. The inserts they made are weird. I thought the hour markers would be printed, but actually all the hour markers are cut out so you are seeing a black/white paper underneath the top of the insert. Then the red accents are this weird red tape on the back of the inserts making it near impossible to remove the red hour marker colors without tearing the inserts. I ended up painfully measureing the side of triangle needed, manually cutting them out a little bit large and placing them over the red markers on the top of the inserts. To make this way easier to customize the clock with any color we want, they should instead place the color accent on the layer that the top insert sits on so we can just place a little sticker on top for the insert to sit on. If anyone at TheCubicle sees this, this would be a very simple, but awesome change for making customization easier!

Conclussion/TLDR:

I have absolutely no doubt that this clock is the best in the market. Once you break it in and get used to it I think your times will be more consistent with this clock. The pins are great, and overall it is a really good performing puzzle, and I think the price it demands is warranted for all the hard work that goes into this and into developing it.
However, at $75 this clock is expensive, and has a lot of weird quirks that all add up to making this a strange experience. As I previously mentioned, the clock is a good performing puzzle, but it is not the same feel in quality as something that is mass produced. The 3D printing casing should last as long as you take care of it, but it doesn't have a substantial feel you might expect from a mass produced puzzle.
I think at $75, you should probably wait for prices to fall/newer and improved versions to release, wait for a big company to put out a mass produced good clock, or just buy and magnetize a LingAo unless you are really serious about clock or you simply have the money to spend on this puzzle.

All in all, I'm glad I bought this puzzle and it is a definite main, but in its current state I would say it needs some more refinement.
If you made it this far congrats, and if you guys have any questions let me know!
 
Last edited:

OreKehStrah

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May 24, 2019
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I also wanted to mention really quickly that even the worst of the 3 clocks is still better than my previous main, which was a set up rubik's clock, which I would say is comparable to a set up LingAo
 

OreKehStrah

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May 24, 2019
Messages
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Thanks for this! It's interesting that even the worst of the 3 is still relatively pretty good. The consistency from clock to clock might be an issue, but I think I want this clock too much to wait for a V2 :p
No problem! Since I was very fortunate to end up with three, I wanted to take some time to compare the consistency, which I figured would be pretty varied since it's such a specially produced puzzle. If you think of anything you want me to check feel free to ask! Also, I know they are working on the next batch currently so if I hear when the next drop is I'll let you know!
 
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Mine was suuupeeer bad right out of the box and I was averaging more than double what I usually do, and it didn’t get any better after like 200 solves. After taking it apart (and breaking it, so I had to reprint the outer shell) it got a bit better, but is still worse than my current lingaoM
 

Kit Clement

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Mine was suuupeeer bad right out of the box and I was averaging more than double what I usually do, and it didn’t get any better after like 200 solves. After taking it apart (and breaking it, so I had to reprint the outer shell) it got a bit better, but is still worse than my current lingaoM
Agreed. I've done over 500 solves on mine and it's still worse than my magnetic lingao. It just doesn't feel smooth - some clicks require more force than others, seemingly at random, and it's hard to have any semblance of consistency with that. Maybe I'll try opening it soon - I really do like the feel of a clock without magnets glued on the outside, and if I can get the thing to turn consistently I might like it. But I've done about all that breaking in can do and it still sucks.
 

OreKehStrah

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Messages
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Agreed. I've done over 500 solves on mine and it's still worse than my magnetic lingao. It just doesn't feel smooth - some clicks require more force than others, seemingly at random, and it's hard to have any semblance of consistency with that. Maybe I'll try opening it soon - I really do like the feel of a clock without magnets glued on the outside, and if I can get the thing to turn consistently I might like it. But I've done about all that breaking in can do and it still sucks.
What I noticed really changed the feeling in one of mine was taking it apart, and taking out the special axles and checking them for flash. Something I noticed was the ends usually have some flash, and that they move around in their locations a lot, which contributes to the rough turning at times. I think they have enough wiggle room in the center of the dials that they become turned slightly at an angle that makes the turning really rough
 

OreKehStrah

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Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
265
Mine was suuupeeer bad right out of the box and I was averaging more than double what I usually do, and it didn’t get any better after like 200 solves. After taking it apart (and breaking it, so I had to reprint the outer shell) it got a bit better, but is still worse than my current lingaoM
Yeah, one of mine was really bad out of the box too. The one I got most recently is honestly way better out of the box than the other two that I had been using for a week or two, so consistency between these clocks is pretty bad and I hope they work on this. I think a lot of the mechanical tolerances need work
 

Kit Clement

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Just took apart my Angstrom clock and lubed the inside and loosened the inner shell, and I can say that the clock is markedly better than it was before. I'd say that with the proper setup this clock is on par with other magnetic LingAo clocks. I personally prefer the Angstrom, as I could never get used to the magnetic rings around the pins on a homemade magnet setup. The Angstrom just feels so much more natural to use for someone who practiced heavily on a non-magnetic Rubik's for so long, so it's easily my main clock now.

Should you spend $75 on it? If you hate the magnets being on the outside of the shell, absolutely. If you're indifferent? Probably better off with a homemade magnet setup.
 
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