Brian Dunning's FileMaker Custom Functions


Swiss Railway Clock with bouncing Minute digit

  Average rating: 5.0 (3 votes) Log in to vote

Benjamin Fehr   Benjamin Fehr - Show more from this author
EfficientBizz GmbH

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

  Sample input:
WebViewer with SwissRailwayClockDyn
  Sample output:
The iconic Swiss Railway Clock in a WebViewer. Automatically sized, with bouncing Minute digit

  Function definition: (Copy & paste into FileMaker's Edit Custom Function window)

This is a refinement of the
SwissRailwayClock ( size )
with a authentically bouncing Minute digit.

Main credits go to Otmar Kramis - Lucerne University.
Roland Ritz (JavaScript)



MrWatson   MrWatson,
May 21, 2019
You're mad - completely MAD!

...but it is SOOOO beautiful!

MrWatson   MrWatson,
May 21, 2019
I've always admired swiss railway clocks .. but wondered about the maths of them ... Do they do 360° in 59 seconds and then take a second to shift the minute hand?
Benjamin Fehr   Benjamin Fehr, EfficientBizz GmbH
May 21, 2019
You're right with your assumption: The speed is supposed to be 58,5 seconds per Round.
see the Wiki:
Keep on mind that this clock was created back in 1944! As described, the Seconds digit runs faster than 1 round per minute, then rests until it gets a "sync" impulse from a central master-clock. Though the power supply in Switzerland runs on 50Hz. With a AC electric motor, this already makes it as precisely as the 50Hz are stable. You should also know that the power companies uses the power grid to attach some dedicated control signals for various purposes by frequency- (FM) OR Amplitude-Modulation (AM). So that's presumably the way the railway clocks get their sync-control. Back in 1944!

As I mentioned before: When the SBB announces the departure Zurich - Berne for 9 past 10, it is 10:09h sharp. They really mean it!

PS: Major credits go to Otmar Kramis and Roland Ritz! I'm just the guy who glued things together as a cf.
Menno van Beek   Menno van Beek, Van Beek Zakelijke Software
May 21, 2019
Awesome! The Dutch railways have a similar clock and always wanted one in my timecards. Thank you Otmar, Roland and Benjamin!
Benjamin Fehr   Benjamin Fehr, EfficientBizz GmbH
May 21, 2019
well, you know ;-)
Otmar Kramis   Otmar Kramis
May 21, 2019
Thanks goes primarily to Roland Rytz, I've only done some work to make it play nicely with FileMakers web viewer, open maximised and scale on size change.
The code can also be pasted direct to the web viewers url-calc-field. For the resizing to work, the web viewer's object name has to be "clock" and for accessing the time set buttons, "allow interaction..." needs to be enabled...

Log in to post comments.


Note: these functions are not guaranteed or supported by Please contact the individual developer with any questions or problems.

Support this website.

This library has been a free commmunity resource for FileMaker users and developers for 15 years. It receives no funding and has no advertisements. If it has helped you out, I'd really appreciate it if you could contribute whatever you think it's worth: