View Full Version : Simplex 91-5 Clock

ibm clock
09-23-2007, 12:40 PM
Ok, what is this?I have figured it out it is a program timer. I assume the bells are hard-wired to it. It also has the optional transformer and selenium rectifer intalled. Optional as in the schematic shows it as a dotted line and says the dotted line is for options provided on each order. Trcing it out, it appeard the dc is feeding the program motor,a master relay, and then it goe to three terminals that would go out to accessories. It is labeled A B C . On the schematic is is labeled either 24 or 48 v dc. Is this meant to operate the correction coils on the 3 wire Ibm/simplex slaves?

Because if it is I can change the correction coil on my electronically corrected slave. Or find a different clock.

I'll try and post pics once I take some better ones.

ibm clock
09-23-2007, 01:06 PM
Ok, what is this?I have figured it out it is a program timer. I assume the bells are hard-wired to it. It also has the optional transformer and selenium rectifer intalled. Optional as in the schematic shows it as a dotted line and says the dotted line is for options provided on each order. Trcing it out, it appeard the dc is feeding the program motor,a master relay, and then it goe to three terminals that would go out to accessories. It is labeled A B C . On the schematic is is labeled either 24 or 48 v dc. Is this meant to operate the correction coils on the 3 wire Ibm/simplex slaves?

Because if it is I can change the correction coil on my electronically corrected slave. Or find a different clock.

I'll try and post pics once I take some better ones.

ibm clock
09-23-2007, 01:15 PM
Ok.here are the pics.

In this pics, the program drum and transformer are removed. It arrived to me slightly damaged. The clock face is bent at the 6,, and the relays are seprated from the grommets. I'm missing 2 relay armatures. The rest need to be re-attached.

On the terminal board acrosss the top from L-R are


harold bain
09-23-2007, 04:38 PM
IBM, what you have is NOT a 91-5. It is a 91-4, a 6 circuit master clock that will run 24 volt dc minute impulse slave clocks, when equipped with a transformer and rectifier. It is not equipped to run your electronic slaves, which are equipped with 110 volt ac motors.

ibm clock
09-23-2007, 04:47 PM
Thanks Harold. I finally saw the metal id tag on the base with the 91-4 on it. The sticker in the door says 91-5 pluggable program, as does the id tag on the door. So I assume I have the 91-4 master clock with a 6 circuit progamer added? One of ths pics shows the transformer and the program unit removed, just to makesure we're on the same page.

What are the PFB terminals for?

When you say 6 circuit, what exactly do you mean? I want to find all the right information on this.

Now it's time to find a 24 v clock.

Do you have any info on this unit? Glad to pay postage and copy fees.

harold bain
09-23-2007, 06:42 PM
IBM, the 91-4 comes with the 6 circuit program, so it is not something added later. PFB is short for power for bells. Your programmer has 6 circuits that are programmable for bells. You could ring bells in 6 different areas at different times.
The model 91-5 was not a full master clock, it only rang bells, and drove the program with a motor and shaft from behind the dial. The label you found on yours does not belong with this clock. It may not have its original door.
What info do you need? Sounds like you have a schematic for it on the door.

09-23-2007, 09:37 PM
Harold my old IBM books show that both the 91-4 and 91-5 have a bell programmer(803)(550). The 91-4 has 3 wire impulse and the 91-5 is listed as having a 2 no. 14 24vdc plain impulse clock circuit noted (if required).


harold bain
09-23-2007, 10:44 PM
Jim, I see that in my book. The 803-5 is driven by a rotor and field, which also has a set of duration contacts off it. The dial is also driven by this motor. I think the impulse slaves would be non-corrective, driven by the duration contacts. I have also seen one bell circuit used for hourly sync clock correction, using a duration relay.

09-24-2007, 07:05 AM
Yes Harold I agree, a lot of adapting was done to to some of these masters. I remember that the branch was not allowed to stock a lot of masters and sometimes it would be months before a master could be built and shipped from the factory. Customers did not want to wait and sometimes it would be a billing issue. I know that at the end of the budget year some schools would order a master just to use up the cash and it had to be shipped and payed for before the new year, so that was another factor in converting masters. It was a bit easier when the electronic masters came out, not so much re -wireing, but plugging in a new board.


ibm clock
09-24-2007, 10:46 AM
Harold and Jim, is there any other information you need to try adn determine exactly what I have? I would like to find a couple of secondary clocks to run off this, and need to knwo which ones to get, and how to determine which clocks are what.

There are wired connected toeach A B C terminal, if that helps.

There are two syncron rotors. One to run the clock and one to wind, I assume. there are 3 wafer type relays and two solenoids on the movememnt.

There is nother motor running the program drum. I have a bunch of program strips, mostly punched out, but a few unused ones as well.

A few more questions. How many clocks and bells can one run off this thing? Are the bells hardwired to it, or is it meant to operaate a relay to operate a number of bells on one circuit? Max number of bells on one circuit.

Literature request.

Set-up instructions.

Schematic for master clock portion.

Maintence instructions or tips.

I could use 2 relay armature leafs to replace broken/missing ones.

Many thanks Harold and Jim. I was begining to think I would never figure this thing out.

I'm going to post a close up of the movement, if that will help.

harold bain
09-24-2007, 11:16 AM
ibm, what is your goal for this clock? The number of bells that can be hooked up to this clock basically has no limit, with the addition of load relays. You do have a programming limit of 60 functions (60 program"strips").
I can't tell from your picture whether all the contacts for clock correction are still attached to your movement. Remove the 4 screws holding the silver plate, and post a picture of what is under it. You will need 24 volt DC minute impulse slaves to run off this clock.
Jim, I can remember jerry rigging a few masters to help cash strapped customers get by on a budget. I once had an IBM 8700 punch clock correcting wired sync slaves:thumb:

09-24-2007, 12:38 PM
Some strange things happened to part and serial numbers at Simplex. I had one customer with a new stuff buying freeze I built a new 6000 clock for them, called it a COMPLETE overhaul. The only thing we kept was the case. A different customer called me to look at a clock and was very sad when I said it could be fixed (but shouldn't be) He explained that he could buy new only if the old one was declared un fixable. He asked me to come back after lunch. I came back and found the same clock with a Fork lift fork rammed completely through it. With a straight face he said "Terrible accident, can you fix it" He got a new clock.
For another reason to build a master from parts go here
http://www.nawcc-mb.com/bbv2/bbBoard.cgi?a=viewthread;fid=1;gtid=246161;pagenum ber=8
I like the story of the IBM 8700 punch clock correcting wired sync slaves.

BTW IBM clock. You should be able to run most IBM, simplex, or international clocks that you see on Ebay that don't have a second hand.

BBTW How many x Simples guys are following this forum?


harold bain
09-24-2007, 03:04 PM
Frank, looks like at least 3 of us on the forum. I'm still waiting for any questions about the IBM 8500 series punch clocks. They should be collectable soon:thumb:

09-24-2007, 03:42 PM
Frank, looks like at least 3 of us on the forum. I'm still waiting for any questions about the IBM 8500 series punch clocks. They should be collectable soon:thumb:

Harold, You might be the only one who really understands them. (Smile)

It was interesting to compare the IBM / Simplex way of doing things. Sometimes the Simplex appeared better, sometimes the IBM. I still think the IBM based 561 movement was a work of art. but the 8700 was a bit of a challenge.

I am trying to remember if I ever saw a 806 that wasn't working? It seems like I just got to reprogram them. Never repair one.


ibm clock
09-24-2007, 04:08 PM
This is about the best pic I can get.

There is a set of contacts under the movement as well. 2 sets of contacts on the left, and another relay? bottom center. Winding solenoid on the right.

How many secondary clocks can be directly connected? Connected right at the ABC termnals, correct.

When I first looked at it, it was set up for 24 volt bell operation. THey tapped the 24 volt tap on the transformer for power. I since returned it to 115v. to clean up all the wires and have the programmer agree with the schematic.

I plan on just hanging this on the wall, and running it with a couple of secondaries in the house. Hopefully find a IBM/Simplex bell somewhere. These things appeal to my like of things electro-mechanical.

harold bain
09-24-2007, 06:14 PM
ibm, as near as I can tell, all the contacts you need are there on the left. Your "winding solenoid" is just there to hold the balance wheel from turning when the power is on, and release it with a bit of a kick when the power goes off. The motor on the right side winds the auxilliary mainspring, to drive the movement with the power off. The left side motor normally runs the clock when under power. The two microswitches are for 12 hour correction (one for wired sync clocks, the other for the program unit). You can run up to about 25-30 clocks directly from this master clock, depending on the size of the wire used (thin wire will cause voltage drops with a heavy load). Number 14 wire is about as thin as you would want to use.
You will have to reinstall the 24 volt transformer and rectifier if you want to run any slaves off it. The program unit is also likely powered by 24 volts DC (which runs it like a slave clock). The ABC terminal is the slave clock feed. You are undertaking a difficult job with this clock. There are many pitfalls you will likely run into.
Is your schematic for the 91-4?
Have you put power to it yet?

09-24-2007, 06:48 PM
Do any of you guys operate any payroll recorders off your masters? The best improvement in the 8500 came when Simplex purchased the company in England that was making the 8500. It had a capicator motor and Simplex started using them in the clocks made in Gardner. So we did not have to change brushes anymore. Most of the time we just changed the motor so we did not have to get our hands dirty. The improvements in the 8400 came when they purchased the company in South America that was making the 8400 and 8500 series. With the addition of the Time accumulator modul. (TAM) they finally had a great product before they stopped production.


ibm clock
09-24-2007, 07:09 PM
harold, the schematic says 91-5 and only shows the program unit. Since it's for 91-5 wire numbers for transformer also don't agree. Transformer is tapped for 24,36,42 volts. Lead to AC input to rectifier is connect to 36v tap as I found it and schematic shows connected to 36v tap.

I powered it up. The clock runs. I can hear the winding rotor buzzing, but desn't do anything. THe second hand runs, clock runs. As soon as I connect ransformer, however, clock minute hands seems to stop but second hand still sweeps. Maybe coincidence. Movement should be cleaned and lubed before any extended running. The upper left contacts seem to me like they should have tension springs or something. Are they meant to follow that cam with gravity alone?

Connected transformer. Main relay(closest to transformer) for dc will not pull in. I think the coil may be shorted, as I'm getting goffy resistance readings. Need to further isolate coil from circuit. Jumping relay contacts, a solenoid in the program unit clicks, and I can measure voltage around 36 volts on the A or B to C terminal. Program rotor doesn't seem to want to run.

Lacking a description of how it all operates, I'm stuck right now. Bell relays close when pressing toggles. I'm probably going crazy trying to figure it all out, as the schematic is for 91-5, I have 91-4 and most likely isn't show ing certain important connections on the program unit to the master clock.

Do you have the specs on that selenium rectifier? In the radio hobby most of us automatically replace those because of increased forward resitance with age, and well,they smell bad when they burn up. Maybe replace with solid state diodes?

I need instructions on how to set this all up so it's in sync to start running.

I work third shift and spent most fo the day playing with this when i should be sleeping.


harold bain
09-24-2007, 09:03 PM
Jim, the last run of IBM clocks (made in Canada up to 1964) also had capacitor start motors. They were bullet proof. Never had to replace one. There was also a British 1 RPM motor used on the 8500's that never quit! The Tam module came out after I left, but I did service a few clocks with these (the newer consecutive space models).
Ever work on an 8400 with a bell ringer? Worse than a cuckoo for setting up.
ibm, look on the relays to be sure they are all 24 DC. Should say on the coils. I advise you to switch the transformer tap to 24 volts, as this should be all you need. They are sometimes upped to 36 volts if a lot of slave clocks and bells are being operated by it. The contact activators are just gravity. Need to be clean and oiled.
Likely need a new wind motor. Is the other motor turning? I wouldn't worry about the rectifier, I have never seen one of these fail.
Clean the contacts and make sure they are opening and closing when required to. There is one set of contacts behind the movement that closes every 2 seconds. That is for rapid advance of slaves. The bottom switch (impulse run/advance) is to use this set of contacts to advance the slaves. The relay beside this switch is the impulse relay. The other 6 relays are for the bell circuit.
The solenoid in the bottom of the programmer should work a lever that will close a set of contacts when the solenoid is released. This will start the motor to advance the program 1 minute at a time.

09-25-2007, 08:08 AM
Harold my second most embarrasing service call was on an 8400 bell ringer. The customer was a non contract customer who I had never been to before. He put in a call to have the ribbon replaced and clock serviced. The clock was in a small hallway where everyone passed by. Everyone who passed by said the same thing . Do a good job that clock has not been serviced in years and it had not been. The mistake I made was I got out my spring hook and picked out all the old hardened grease that was on the cams. When I got finished the the bell would not ring. I had cleaned the duration cam so well there was not enough surface on the cam without the grease to ring the bell. Since I had never worked on one before let alone seen one I could not believe that it was working before I got there. When I got it figured out what I had done I had to got and tell the customer what had happened and that he would have to buy a new clock as we did not have the parts to repair it. He ended up with a K clock with a bell ringed.
What was the numbers for the motors for the 91? I don't remember if one was right hand and the other was left. I think one was a short shaft motor the 292-073. I think I carried the 292-041 and cut the shaft off the same as I often did with the 8400.


harold bain
09-25-2007, 03:19 PM
Jim, the drive motor was a 292-042. The wind motor doesn't matter, as it will wind in either direction. I have an 8400 somewhere in my garage with a bell ringer. It is from 1948. They were lots of fun to overhaul, with the pinions between the typewheels. The police department here used to use about a dozen of them to log calls (before they had computers to do this). That was one customer that kept me busy:o
Computers really have killed the punch clock business, for all intents and purposes.

ibm clock
09-25-2007, 06:32 PM
Just a little progress report.

Clock runs and keeps time. Didn't have nut tight that holds hands in, so minute hand was just idle, giving me impression it wasn't working.

Still not sure if clock is winding back-up spring.

Work on cleaning and setting up program unit next.

Find a slave clock or two and enjoy.

Thank Yous to Harold and Jim who answered questions and provided information.

harold bain
09-25-2007, 08:15 PM
ibm, watch the winding motor cam for any activity. There is a cam follower that rides on it. You can move this up and down to wind the movement manually. When the mainspring is fully wound, the cam follower won't fall back onto the cam, so it stops winding, but the motor is always turning while power is on. Shut the power off, and the balance wheel should start up when the solenoid holding it drops out. These are neat clocks for the mechanically and electrically minded repairman. Reliable and durable when properly maintained.:thumb:

09-26-2007, 08:58 AM
Well Harold if you ever need parts for an 8400 let me know I have everything except parts for the bell ringer . Yes computers did put a dent in the clock business. I kept all my customer lists for most of the time I had worked at Simplex up until a couple of years ago when I dumped them. It was amazing how many customers were lost to computers. Just about anyone who processed cash needed a time or date stamp.

The master clock program unit 803 did you ever come across a use for it other than ringing bells? I had a bank with a bill board clock on the roof that was controlled by an 803 it was all light bulbs. Quite a few relays as I recall. We also had them controlling traffic lights. The traffic dept would bring in the 803's when they needed to be overhauled. I only worked on one of these in the field. I had a few that controlled doors with latching relays.


harold bain
09-26-2007, 09:39 AM
Jim, I recall Simplex had something called a COP (central operations panel) that was a bank of 803's used for many different on/off functions. Never worked on one, though. Had quite a few used to turn lights on and off with "toggle" relays. One circuit for on and another for off. Intermatic and Paragon timers did the same thing much cheaper, though.
I also have lots of 8400 parts, but I can't see any future use for them, unless they start becoming collectable. Same with the 8500's and 780's.
I guess Edward G. Watkins picked the right time to sell Simplex, while it was still worth something. Was Simplex still putting out a yearbook every year when you were there? I still have a few that I have kept.

09-26-2007, 01:10 PM
Harold it was the Simplex fire alarm and security that was worth something the time recorder business was gone. Simplex had a monthly news letter called the Simplex Times that replaced the year end book. I'm looking for the one that listed all the companies that Simplex bought out over the years. I'm not sure if it was for 1988 or not since that was the year that they celebrated their first 100 years the first time . They later hired someone to research it and changed the 100 year celebration some years later. I'm trying to find out when they bought the Bundy company. I don't recall the COP with 803's I thought they had rotary scan boards in them. Possibaly this was the later Simplex version. Do you recall the Master with the rotary switches I think it was the model 93 or 943 it was made for only a couple of years and was replaced by the one with the electronic osscillator board for time keeping .


ibm clock
09-26-2007, 01:47 PM
Oh, this got interesting. Won a IBM impulse slave off of ebay. Wait and see. In the mean time, i need to order grommets for relay mounting, see if I can find replacements for the rubber shock mounts/spacers for the backplate, clean/lube movement, see why aux spring won't wind, fix items damaged in shipping, and clean and get program to work. Not needed,as I can be short two relays, but need to find 2 bell relays or relay parts. Wind motor nmay be dying, as I can see the cam work for awhile and then quit. Wait until it's cleaned/lubed before condemning the motor.

Until I find some bells, or to just stay quiet, I thought of using some light bulbs and have them light up at certain times, like when it's time to leave for work, or when the favorite tv show is on.

About how much total supply current do you think this thing is pulling in a typical installtion with all clocks running and if a fair amount of bells were connected to it. Less than 15 amp?

One more question I thought of. Are the slaves wired in parallel or series? I'm sure it's parallel, but correct if wrong.

What parts of the movement should be oiled and greased? Any parts to keep lube away from?

Was there just a plain clock mounted in the wall case? There is one on ebay that appears to have an empty case, otherwise i's missing parts.

09-26-2007, 02:07 PM
I had a school and a hospital that were set up with the COP The school had 803s and scan boards The communication between the office control and the receivers in the boiler room was electronic (wireless) This was installed in a brand new building. Apparently they thought the boiler rooms might be moved around. The scan boards with the open wipe contacts were a bit of a problem in a boiler room. The master clock in that school had the rotary scan boards as well. It was replaced after a short time with a 090 movement. A few years later when I was on my own we found that all the clocks in the building were powered by 120 volts AC coming from the master! This in spite of the fact that they were all electronic slave clocks. We removed everything and put in a minute impulse system. I couldn't get clocks from simplex so we ended up with a bipolar system (24 VDC reverse polarity each min.) I don't think I ever had a service call on it.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had Catholic schools built in the twenty's and thirties where most of the clocks had never been off the wall. When one would fail you would need to break the paint seal to get it lose. They all had the 561 movement. BTW Did any one see the NOS International slave on Ebay? It had a one coil movement and was marked 11.42 The auction is over so I guess I can post the number now. 120163716433

harold bain
09-26-2007, 02:57 PM
ibm, Timesavers has the grommets you need, part # 23495. The slaves are hooked in parallel. These masters were usually fused at 5 amps for the TOTAL load, but could be pushed up as high as 15 amps under heavy load.
Just oil the pivots, and the oil sink hole behind the movement. Keep oil away from balance wheel and hairspring.

JIm, I thought it was ITR that bought out Bundy. Yep, the 93 master had the scan boards. Used to carry plenty of wipers for these, still have some kicking around, as well as a complete master clock. This was the first master with the time standard boards and heated quartz oscillator, running off a 12 volt rechargeable battery. Pretty advanced for the late 60's.
Frank, I was watching that one. Maybe ibm was the buyer:thumb:. It had a decent looking movement in it, and great provenance with the dated label.
Back in the 70's I looked after a school board that had about 50 electronic systems that had been installed in the 50's and 60's, mostly in older schools, to save on wiring. A couple had motor/ generators to generate correction signals. I can recall replacing the bearings in these when they started howling, a fun job:thumb:
After I left the area, I heard they replaced all the wall clocks with quartz clocks to save money on maintenance:o
The newer P/A systems had bell ringing capabilty that also started the demise of the master clock system in schools.

ibm clock
09-26-2007, 07:38 PM
No, wasn't me who got the 11-42 on ebay. I managed to get a 1950's vintage one.

What amazes me is that you can run so many clocks off this, and still be drawing less than 5 amps. So that means each clock is only drawing milli-amps. I have figured each clock would be drawing about 1 amp or so.

harold bain
09-26-2007, 10:31 PM
You got it ibm. It doesn't take much current to pull an electromagnet. But voltage loss due to having a long run of wires can affect the performance of the clocks furthest from the master.

09-27-2007, 11:17 AM
And they only use the power for 2 sec. easily adjusted to one sec.

I always thought minute impulse was a better way because the clock is not even running most of the time. Less parts, less power less ware out. does any one know how long the Synchromone pulse is? I know they are very short.
I have heard of people running a master and one slave on a couple of D batteries for a year.


09-27-2007, 01:44 PM
Simplex enthusiasts - do you know anyone who could order a current Simplex part for me and save me from paying the regular price?

Regards, Steve

harold bain
09-27-2007, 02:29 PM
Steve, I don't get any discount, but if it is something I have in stock, might be able to help you. They tell me my volume sales are not high enough for a discount:?|

09-27-2007, 06:47 PM
What part are you looking for Steve?


09-27-2007, 06:57 PM
Harold I think you are right about ITR buying Bundy. I have an old Bundy Time Stamp . I would still like to find that list of company's that Simplex bought out over the years. I'm sure I have some motors for those 943's kicking around somewhere.


harold bain
09-28-2007, 08:30 AM
I recall someone had a pretty good webpage with the history of Simplex on it, but I can no longer find it. Lost it when I replaced my computer a few years ago. I also have quite a few of those 4 wire 943 motors. I don't recall ever replacing one.

09-28-2007, 10:31 AM
It isn't much, but I did find this.

In 1916, new directors were elected to the board, including Dr. Robert Watkins, E.G. Watkins' brother from New York City, who became Simplex's sales manger. With new funding, Simplex acquired WH. Bundy Time Recorder Company of Binghamton, New York and Syracuse Time Card of Syracuse, New York. Both operations were moved to Gardner, giving Simplex a complete line of time clocks and cards, including card recorders, watchman's clocks and payroll recorders. While the Bundy line added little to manufacturing, it did enhance the customer base and sales staff. Simplex was growing.



09-29-2007, 08:12 AM
Thanks Frank that gives me an idea how old my machine is. I read the article with interest. When I was with simplex we celebrated the first 100 years in 1988. Sometime later they hired someone to research the company and we celebrated the 100 years maybe in 1994 or there abouts. The story that was told in the Boston office was that Heywood was manufacturing the time clocks and selling them before Watkins purchased the rights. I think this maybe true because did service a wood case clock with Heywood on the dial. I only saw and serviced it once and did not know anything about Heywood until years later. I wonder if anyone else ever came across one with Heywood on it. I wonder if Simplex or IBM would do custom clocks and put the name of the company on the dial instead of their own logo. Has anyone any knowledge of this?


ibm clock
09-30-2007, 08:18 AM
Are parts for these masters still comercially available?

I have questions on the contacts. The minute contact is on the top left. Below it, is the 35 second and the 50 minute contact. The two second contact is behind the movement But, behind the minute contact is a set of contacts. What is the name of these, and what is the function? As to the 12 hour correction microswitches, there are two switches, but only the front one has 2 wires connected. I understand this is the 12 hour program correction. So this clock has no clock 12 hour correction?

I still can' t get the master relay to close, but I'll figure it out. Still think coil is shorted, but haven't removed from circuit to compare resistance with other relay coils. All bell and master relays are marked 115 volt.

09-30-2007, 03:26 PM
Are parts for these masters still comercially available?

I don't think so, I had a school contact me because they had been told there were no parts available and they needed a new master. They needed a relay. This was many years ago

I have questions on the contacts. The minute contact is on the top left. Below it, is the 35 second and the 50 minute contact. The two second contact is behind the movement But, behind the minute contact is a set of contacts. What is the name of these, and what is the function?

These are Dur1 and Dur 2 they are bell duration relays and are in series with contacts in the 803 program unit.

As to the 12 hour correction microswitches, there are two switches, but only the front one has 2 wires connected. I understand this is the 12 hour program correction. So this clock has no clock 12 hour correction?

One switch was for the 803 12 hr connection, the other for 12 hr correction for syncrous wired, and electronic clocks so it is not used on your clock.

Yes, there were 12 hr correction impulse clocks but very rare.

I still can' t get the master relay to close, but I'll figure it out. Still think coil is shorted, but haven't removed from circuit to compare resistance with other relay coils. All bell and master relays are marked 115 volt.

This is true, therefor you can swap them around. The easy way to check the relay is to put the run advance switch in the advance position. Then you only have the 2 sec switch in series with the coil. You can CAREFULLY
short the contacts and the relay should energize. If it doesn't, put a test light or a meter there. If the relay is dead, I would swap it with one of the bell relays and call it fixed. (It is unlikely that you will ring 6 different bells at different times

If any contacts don't work, you can make sure that they look like they are closing, then turn off the power and take a nice clean $1 bill and pull it through the closed contacts. You may need to lightly hold them togeather while doing this, to get them clean This repair was difacult to do on the day before pay day.

If the min impulse contacts are shot, you can remove one of the duration contacts and disassemble them and use the parts to make a new minute impulse contact set.

Very crude people who no longer worked for Simplex and needed to maintain a master clock have replaced the 2 sec contacts with a light pressure Micro Switch. This destroys the antique value of the master but keeps it going another 5 years.

I would replace the Min Imp relay with a solid state relay on the clocks I maintained personally. No more service calls for worn out contact. I did the same thing on the remote relays.


ibm clock
10-01-2007, 09:45 AM
Thanks to fdew,Jim,andHarold Bain who answered quesitions and provided information. I think I have all the information I need to understand how and why it works.


harold bain
10-01-2007, 02:53 PM
Frank, that is an interesting history that seems to go against what is on IBM's archive history page, as well as another page at the Bundy museum website. Syracuse Time Recorder Company was purchased in 1908 by ITR. Also when ITR was incorporated in 1902, it was with the consolidation of the Bundy Manufacturing company, Willard and Frick, and the Standard Time Stamp company.
I guess the Syracuse Time Card company may have been a different company, but I don't see anything about Simplex buying Bundy.
ibm, I can help you out with parts if you need anything. Your contacts will likely clean up.

10-03-2007, 10:56 PM
Well, Harold, I think that proves that if you read it on the internet, It must be ............. on the internet.

Your right, Most of the info I could find says Bundy was part of ITR, IBM ETC.

Both the Bundy museum and IBM seem quits sure that Bundy went to IBM.

I wonder what the history of Simplex is? Did they go it alone untill 1958?

BTW I found a press release on the sale of IBM Time to Simplex. Very complacated, IBM continued to service there customers, and sold clock systems in Europe.

BBTW see

10-04-2007, 08:15 AM
Harold and Caperace - sorry for the delayed reply. The part I am looking for is a 6400-9505 RS-232 interface.

Regards, Steve

10-04-2007, 08:31 AM
My recollection of Simplex was that sometime around the 1920/30's that Simplex purchase a number of clock companies. These were all listed in one of the year books. It always stuck in my mind, because I associated it with the depression and companies going out of business. Simplex only purchased the rights to IBM in the States I believe. That is why the 8500/8400 etc were still being made in England and South America. It was only after these machine started to turn up in the States that Simplex purchased these companies.

Also after Simplex purchased IBM in 1959 IBM continued to service the master clocks at least in the Boston area until at around 1966. And then they told ther reps that they had to be retrained on other IBM equipment and they just dropped the business and we found this out when daylight savings came around and we got all the calls to reset masters.

I wonder if Bundy had different divisions and sold off the different divisions over the years.

10-04-2007, 08:47 AM
Steve I'll look around and see what I can find. You can e mail me at lanejim@comcast.net


harold bain
10-04-2007, 09:20 AM
Steve, the only 6400 boards I have are the impulse interface boards.
Frank, some interesting patents there. I'll have to spend a bit more time looking through them. From what I have seen, there are quite a few typical Simplex design elements such as ribbon feed that were incorporated in these early patents.
When I worked for Simplex, the founder of the company was given credit for inventing the punch clock. While he was a pioneer in the industry, I think they may have embellished his importance.
In Canada, IBM continued manufacturing until 1964, and continued servicing their accounts until 1969. Our branch picked up 3 customer engineers in 69 from IBM, along with their customer lists. Simplex wasn't ready to handle the workload of the IBM customers until then, as their presence in Canada was not very large. Their expansion took off around 67-68 in preparation for the IBM customer acquisition.
I think IBM realized that if they just dumped everything on Simplex right away, there would have been a lot of unhappy customers, who would blame IBM for their problems. These customers would have still been IBM customers for other products, such as typewriters, etc.

10-04-2007, 03:10 PM
Steve sorry what I have is a 6400-9568 BCD code converter. It converts BCD to ASCII(BCD to RS232)


ibm clock
10-05-2007, 02:22 AM
Are there any grommets or spacers used to mount the movememnt?


harold bain
10-05-2007, 09:55 AM
Are there any grommets or spacers used to mount the movememnt?


No, just 3 nuts and lockwashers hold the complete assembly to the backplate, then the movement itself is held with 3 nuts and one screw.

ibm clock
10-05-2007, 10:06 AM
Ok, no grommets or spacers for movement mounting. Got clock to run on spring. amazing what a bit of oil can do. How long is is supposed to run on a full wind? It's been going almost 12 hours now.

Think I got contacts adjusted to where supposed to be. Got problem with program unit. Solenoid that advances motor, the contacts with that are burned. When contacts make, arc and smoke. So somethings not right.

Swapped master relay(open coil) with one of the bell relays. Replaced grommets on relays. Got my slave clock from ebay, so as soon as I put the master back together, I can try it out. Program unit is for another day.


harold bain
10-05-2007, 10:16 AM
Tony, these movements are usually good for about 9 hours, so 12 hours is exceptional. Remove and clean the winding parts and reoil, checking for freedom of movement. Is that wind motor turning now? These are often in need of replacement. Is yours a rotor and field or a synchron motor?
Beware of arc and smoke:o Could be something shorted. These contacts normally spark a bit, and commonly need replacing. Shorting the contacts should make the program motor turn. I have never had to replace this motor, so unless someone has screwed up the wiring, it may only be the contacts that need help.

ibm clock
10-05-2007, 10:35 AM
Wind motor does run. Both motors are synchrons.

The program motors contact are pretty well worn. More so than the minute impulse contact.

Need back-up washers to mount transformer, as it was ripped off in shipping to me, and enlarged mounting hole on transformer. Off to hardware store I go.

ibm clock
10-05-2007, 04:13 PM

Connected slave clock. It works. Slave movement is a bit sluggish. Now I need to finish assembling it into the case and find wall space.

Program unit is next. Hopefully that works.

harold bain
10-05-2007, 08:52 PM
Way to go, Tony. You could put a bit of oil to the pivots on your slave, but sluggish is normal on some of the older movements.

10-05-2007, 10:12 PM
Did you buy the IBM slave on Ebay with the movement that looks like a donut? Black round movement contacts ride on a dlack plastic cam in the center?


ibm clock
10-06-2007, 01:16 AM
"Did you buy the IBM slave on Ebay with the movement that looks like a donut? Black round movement contacts ride on a dlack plastic cam in the center?"

Yes, that's what I have.


harold bain
10-06-2007, 09:32 AM
Tony, don't bother oiling that movement. If it works, enjoy it. This was not one of IBM's better designs for slave clock movements. Sluggishness was just one of the problems with these.

10-06-2007, 03:20 PM
One thing you can try on that movement. Gently lift all three contacts off the plastic cam, let it impulse once, If it works a lot better, then you can play with adjusting the contacts for a very light drag on the cam. Also, I used to put a touch of Teflon no slip on the cam. Didn't hurt. When looking at clocks on Ebay, look closely for the knurled nut. A knurled nut in that vintage case means that movement. Earlier ones were a different case, later ones had the hex nut and a Simplex movement.

If you get a chance to buy one, the IBM shown in the link (on the right) is the best they ever made. (In my opinion) I have some from the 20s that are still in use.

The movement on the left is a Synchronome.



10-07-2007, 10:02 AM
Frank isn't the one on the right more of a heavy duty tower clock movement rather than a wall clock movement. It look like the one that Simplex was using in it's tower clocks and heavy duty clocks.


10-07-2007, 08:40 PM
I think it may have depended on where you were (a little guess work here). There was a IBM clock on ebay with one coil and much less metal then this one from about the same period.
Here in upstate NY every IBM clock I saw before the "Donut movement" was either the one in the picture, or a older version that had a different correction switch. I even have a few 10 in clocks with this movement. Later clocks used steel plates instead of brass but were the same style. For those who are not familiar with the clock, the armature is rotated between two fixed poles. Therefor, it never touches them causing residual magnetism problems, and it is almost lifted up in it's pivots so it has even less force on it when energized then when at rest. It is a remarkable piece of engineering.

Later, after the merge, It was known as a heavy duty movement and I would see them in large open face clocks in schools ETC. BTW There was also a similar movement that had a fan escarpment. I have one of these around here somewhere. Again, I realize that the x simplex guyes know this stuff.

When I worked for Simplex if these clocks were in a school that was being remodeled, they were thrown away. I collected as many as I could in a number of cases. Paint over copper over brass, steel, wood sq and round, and more. I got so many I didn't know just what to do with them. Then our church started a school and needed a clock system so I installed them in the new rooms. They are all still there together with a lot of newer Simplex clocks put in as we expanded. I enjoy the collection as I walk around the building.


10-08-2007, 12:55 PM
Hi Frank, I was with Simplex from 1963 until 2001 when Tyco took over. I spent 20 years in the Boston office, 15 years in the New Hamphire office and the last 3 in the Worcester office. I was with the time equipment division all that time and did little with the fire alarm division. I have a number of wall clocks , mostly Simplex a few IBM. Only 1 wood case wall clock a Standard . I have some copper IBM, and regular impulse IBM's ,but mostly a lot of Simplex.
I saved most everything, however I got rid of all the mechanical masters and only kept the later models which were electronic masters (2350/6400)

My original intention was to rebuild all these and donate them to a museum, however my late wife passed away and I remarried and life is quite different the second time around.

I have kept a woodcase payroll recorder for each of my 4 son's. My main interest is in Time Stamps as a good part of my time was spent in the financial district in Boston servicing these machines.

I have a number of Simplex wall clocks that need repair and will trade if anyone has the interest, most are sync. wired. or electronic also a few IBM's I also have a number of parts for wall clocks and masters and instructions.


10-08-2007, 04:30 PM

It sounds like you had a fun carrier at Simplex. What sort of a time division did you leave behind? From the web site, it seems like it isn't to much of the business any more. I have lost track of how much Simplex is in the schools.

I am always looking for impulse clocks for our Christian School.
If you like, please email me at frank @ lbpinc.com, (Without the spaces)
Perhaps I have something that you would like in trade.

I have some odd non IBM stuff, Standard pendulum master movement only, wood bell boards, ETC. I probably need to start some ebaying.


ibm clock
10-09-2007, 08:22 AM
Would one of you gentlemen be able to spare a set of contacts for the program motor? Mine are so worn, there are no more points left on the contact strips.

Can anyone explain how all the contacts on the program unit interact with each other?



harold bain
10-09-2007, 03:43 PM
Tony, send me a PM, and I will fix you up with a set of contacts. Be aware they need to be fitted (bent) to work properly, and are not the easiest to install. Program contacts: you have 6 that correspond with the 6 circuits of bells. They are activated by the program bars on the drum. There is a set of contacts on the left that are the day contacts. If the day is not broken out of the program bar, they will be opened, not allowing bells. There is a microswitch. This is for regulation, and works with the A and B line to correct the program. There is an arm contact under the feed pawl that opens when the program is advancing, shutting the activating contacts off while it advances.

10-09-2007, 06:06 PM
Frank I tried e mailing you but it came back . My e mail address is lanejim@comcast.net


10-09-2007, 06:15 PM
I have heard that we don't appreciate the things around us that will be antiques some day. I heard stories about wood telephones, and wood slave clocks being broken up and old pendulum clocks being thrown in the trash. I couldn't understand it and never thought I would be involved. Years ago I bought a 91-4 at a flea market (We couldn't legally take home a trade in master and actually use it in a school) I installed it in our church school, and saved a few 803s and 090 movements to keep it going. When I replaced it with a trade in solid state master after starting my own business I threw away all the old parts. now, here we are with a man restoring a 803? I need to hang on to the 805s I have and even the cub cadet tractor I mowed the lawn with for 20 years. Life is interesting.


ibm clock
10-09-2007, 06:37 PM
Frank, too bad I'm using only in my house with a few clocks and hopefully a bell. I would like to actually put it too use again at my old grade school, but it has a deactivated electronic system and would have to rewire everything to make it work. But, with family members no longer working at the school, I think I'll put that idea to rest.

I find old electro-mechanical items interesting. I like the challenge of putting something back in service that hasn't worked in years.

10-10-2007, 09:17 AM
I completely understand your interest in them. They are a wonderful electromechanical device that did amazing things back when there was no other way to do it. I just laugh at my self and my indifference to them at the time. I worked on to many I guess. I had one call from a school who had two 803s They would switch one off and the other one on for assembly days. They had about 45 bells and wanted to go to a two day schedule with every other day different (a repeat every other week day) This works out to a different schedule each week
first week Monday is sch 1 ETC Second week Monday is sch 2 I told my boss that I had made it automatic be programing the 803s to run every other day. He told me it was impossible. It may take you a minute to figure out how I did it.


harold bain
10-10-2007, 12:29 PM
Frank, did you use a toggle relay to switch between the 2 803's, triggered daily? That would set it up to be on the opposite program each Monday. I got a headache thinking about this:bang:
Didn't you love programming these when every space on the program drum was full:thumb:

10-10-2007, 01:07 PM
I could never understand how the schools could use 55 or 60 bells. On the other hand, remember being handed 3 schedules that had to be collated together for a school that ran either 1,2 or 2,3 ETC for different days? That was a headache. Even as a young guy I had trouble programing them in a noisy office. more then once I would take the drum out to the car to do it.

For the every other day program I used a trick I learned from a mistake If the last bell was at 3:10 PM then I put in a bar set for 3:05 PM with no bells. The 803 would just have to sit there banging on that bar for almost 24 hrs before it could get by. Set up the second 803 the same way but put the drum in just after that bar and the two 803s were 1 day out of phase. In other words, each 803 only worked every other day.

BTW The mistake was that at least once I put a bar in out of order and I would get a call that it worked for 1/2 day then quit. (This caused a red spot on my forehead from slapping my self. (Grin)

BTW I would often take a used bar and brake out all the bells and set it for any time between midnight and the first bell the next morning. My thinking was that if I didn't do this, then the 803 hammered on that first bar all night and at a few times there was just one or two fingers keeping it from going through. I thought that if the 803 was adjusted a bit off it might jump through once in a while. I don't remember if it ever happened or if I just thought it would, but the extra bar meant it had to fail twice in one night to mess up.

ibm clock
10-10-2007, 01:33 PM
Are any of the Standard Electric clocks compatible with IBM/Simplex minute impulse? How can I identifiy which ones are, if any are compatible.

harold bain
10-10-2007, 05:52 PM
Can't help you there. I've never seen them mixed, and we didn't have any impulse standard clocks in my area.

harold bain
10-10-2007, 06:19 PM
Frank, great solution, never thought of that:thumb: your way doesn't require using a bell circuit, as mine would have.

10-10-2007, 08:17 PM
Most of the early non IBM stuff had no correction. some I have seen had a second coil that lifted the advance and stop paws from the 60 tooth "gear" allowing a weight to pull the clock to 59, or 00

In the 60s many companies made clocks that were compatible.

The only way I know of is to run one IBM or Simplex clock and then connect the other brands in parallel with the COIL after the correction contacts. That is for the 24 volt slaves, for lower voltage, use resistors in series with the non simplex slaves.

Of course this only works with minute impulse slaves. not with the European systems that used 1/2 minuet impulse.


01-03-2011, 01:46 PM
I have some of those 803 bars. Any takers?