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  1. #1
    Administrator Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Seth Thomas K&O ATO

    I recently purchased this lot:Click image for larger version. 

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    I don't know whether it runs or not - YET. The battery is dead. I'm amazed that it still shows about 1 volt. I'm tempted to gut it & install AA/AAA's.
    I have a couple questions.
    Look at the photos of the coil. The coil cover is loose, and when closed, it looks asymmetrical. It seems as if there should be a slot in the wide cover, similar to the one in the narrow cover to allow it to close more completely over the mounting bracket/wires. It doesn't seem to close far enough to be secure. It was hanging loose, touching the arc when I picked it up. Is this normal? What am I supposed to call that thing I've called an "arc"?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    What should I do about polishing it?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Bill Stuntz; 02-08-2017 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Bill Stuntz)

    The housing does not have slot for the wires. This is normal.
    Toy could is suppose to be mounted on the back piece such that the
    arch can swing freely.
    You might show a picture of the suspension spring. Many fabricate
    something to replace these but they are available from places like
    Timesavers.
    It is best to us a single AA cell. Paralleling them on such a slow drain
    usually doesn't extend the battery life much.
    Your clock uses the external electronics. You might want to disconnect the
    coil at the PC board and test it with an ohm meter.
    The dimple on the coil cover is suppose to be at the top of the coil to
    use as a balance pointer with the pendulum.
    Tinker Dwight

  3. #3
    Administrator Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Tinker Dwight)

    I have the pendulum restrained at the moment, but the suspension spring looks OK. The coil cover had come loose and the end had tilted down until it touched the pendulum.
    When I rotated the cover as you suggested, I found the slot that I hadn't seen but thought SHOULD be there:Click image for larger version. 

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    I had even looked for it, but it must have been rotated into a position that obscured it.
    Here it is, properly installed:Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	332096Symmetrical now!
    The cover looks as if the brass has split or been cut:Click image for larger version. 

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    The way it's curled up leads me to believe it's been cut, but I can't imagine why.
    I wonder if I can re-form it so it's at least flush/concentric. Should I even try? Or am I likely to make it look even worse?

    The coil measures about 3K. Does that sound right?

    As I said, I'm tempted to gut the old battery and install a fresh battery inside the Kundo box. Would that be sacrilegious?
    I want to keep it as original as possible, and a modern extra battery under there would just LOOK wrong to me.

    Any idea about the age?
    Am I correct in calling it an ATO? It's the first one I've even seen in person, although I've seen them in posts here.
    Last edited by Bill Stuntz; 02-08-2017 at 11:08 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Bill Stuntz)

    Hi,
    the cover is split by its internal tension, put in on manufacturing the tube. This happens quite often. I repaired mine with a strip of transparent tape round the cover, nearly invisible.

    Frank

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: praezis)

    As Frank says, this splitting is common on formed brass. Some
    have tried soldering on the back side with some success.
    As for the slot, I thought you meant a slot to run the wire
    to the center. I was sure you'd seen the cutout for the mount
    and wire.
    Putting a AA cell inside the old case is fine and for most, the
    right thing to do.
    I've not had an original battery to rebuild and have just put a
    AA cell clip on with tie wraps.
    The coil sounds like it is OK. I'd expect it to work fine.
    As for ATO, I have no issue with it. As I recall Kundo started
    making these without the proper paper work to allow them to
    use the ATO design but later got it.
    Their design is slightly different but I think the original ATO
    patent was vague enough to cover any swinging magnet and
    coil arrangement.
    Tinker Dwight
    Last edited by Tinker Dwight; 02-09-2017 at 10:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Administrator Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Tinker Dwight)

    I was sure you'd seen the cutout for the mount and wire.
    I can't believe I didn't see it at first, either. I actually looked for it and didn't see it. It just about had to be down & difficult to see because of the base. I didn't think to rotate it while I was looking for it because I was having trouble manipulating it with my fat fingers.

    IT WORKS!

    Any idea how old it is? And/or a model name?
    Last edited by Bill Stuntz; 02-09-2017 at 03:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Bill Stuntz)

    The ones with the external electronics were at the end of the
    manufacture of these clocks.
    Maybe one of our German members can give a date on these.
    My guess is towards the end of 1960 to early 1970.
    The introduction of quartz clocks made many of these pendulum
    controlled clocks obsolete as time keepers.
    Of course, what we are finding is that these clocks outlast
    most of the quartz clocks.
    Kundo had issues with their older coil clocks because of the insulation of
    the interconnect wire degrading over time and produced a corrosive
    substance that rotted the fine wire used for the coil.
    Tinker Dwight

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Tinker Dwight)

    I saw the rest of the clock on your other post. I love the dial on
    that one. I've not seen it on a regular Kundo so it may have been
    a special for ST.
    Tinker Dwight

  9. #9
    Administrator Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Sorry, I guess I should post a photo of the complete clock - with the coil cover on properly.Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Bill Stuntz)

    When you are ready to adjust the adjustment weight. Start with it at the
    bottom of the travel. If it is above about the center, the effect actually reverses
    and it goes slower. You'll go crazy trying to get it to work.
    The bottom of the pendulum can be lowered a little if it is too fast,
    with the adjustment all the way down.
    I recommend removing the suspension spring first and checking it for
    cracks near the blocks. It will also drive you batty chasing a failing
    suspension spring. They aren't cheap but available.
    Also, adjust it at the location that you intend to run it. Slight changes
    in magnetic permeability will make slight changes in the rate.
    Even a nail several inches away has some effect. Even different densities
    of wood have some effect.
    Changing the battery will also have a slight effect Try to stay with the same
    brand. I don't like the copper top ones they tend to leak before the cell
    runs down. I have had the best luck with Rayovac although harder to find.
    Tinker Dwight

  11. #11
    Administrator Bill Stuntz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Thanks for all the advice! I've gutted the old battery and ordered a 1xAA battery holder to stuff inside. I haven't actually tried to run it for more than just a few minutes while holding the wires on a AAA's terminals. Any idea what the beat rate should be?

    I haven't tried Frank's Scotch Tape suggestion on the coil cover. The cover feels pretty secure - once it's been rotated into the proper position. I'm debating about just leaving it as-is. Due to the position of the splits, they're ALMOST concealed by the dial, and are not very noticeable unless you're actually looking for them. The tape might be more visible than the splits.

    I have all 4 leveling feet, but a couple of them are missing the rubber bumpers on the bottom.

    Looking at this photo, you can see that the brass needs a bit of work. I have a can of NEVR-DULL. Would that be the right stuff to use? Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Bill Stuntz)

    I have the exact clock that I picked up at an estate sale several months back. I noticed the split casing around the coil...thought maybe I'd use some kind of glue like E6000 to get the split pieces to lay down...but I'll probably just leave it. Mine has a small plaque on the back...it was a retirement gift to someone at Southwestern Bell...I've managed to find his name in the ancestry database...born in New Jersey and passed away here in San Antonio about a dozen years ago.

    As for batteries, Timesavers still sells the dry cell battery pack that fits the spot under the clock. For the same price, The Horolovar Store has a 2-cell AA adapter that would work. Unfortunately, the adapter is out of stock...hopefully they'll have some in soon. In the meantime, I've rigged a single AA battery up on the outside just to keep it running.

    My issue has been with regulation. It's been running pretty slow, maybe off by a minute every couple of hours. I've been adjusting the pendulum, turning towards the + sign. Have turned it maybe a complete revolution by now and am not sure I'm making much progress on that. Tinker, I'm not sure I followed what you were saying about adjustments.

    Kurt

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: KurtinSA)

    Tinker, I'm not sure I followed what you were saying about adjustments.
    I'm pretty sure that what he's getting at is that the "bell" is above the center of mass of the pendulum.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Bill Stuntz)

    The beat on these is a nice 3 per second or 10800 per hour.
    They are sensitive to the thickness of suspension spring. It
    takes a long time to adjust them without a timer.
    Putting more than a single cell in them has little effect on the run time.
    Slight differences in the cells will mean that one cell will set the
    discharge rate and the others will charge it.
    If the clock is running right, you'll get more than a year from a single
    AA cell. They should be changed about every year anyway. A leaking
    alkaline cell can do a lot of damage.
    Tinker Dwight
    Last edited by Tinker Dwight; 02-11-2017 at 10:25 AM.

  15. #15
    Registered User KurtinSA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seth Thomas K&O ATO (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    The beat on these is a nice 3 per second or 10800 per hour.
    They are sensitive to the thickness of suspension spring. It
    takes a long time to adjust them without a timer.
    Tinker Dwight
    Well, I'll keep turning the adjuster, then. I don't have an electronic timer.

    Kurt

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