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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Cornelius NC

    Default Telechron restored,

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    I have a Telechron pre GE with H rotor. The model is called Pharoah, it is small desk clock with a second hand in a wood case. It belongs to my brother who lives in Southern Ontario, he used in his home many years and I will return it to him later this year. He loves anything old and I love anything old and mechanical, especially clocks. This clock worked fine but was a bit noisy and tired looking, the power loss alarm flag was stuck. I cleaned the movement, opened a very small hole in the rotor and injected a few cc's of oil and cleaned up the case and dial and brass parts. It really came out to be a handsome piece but alas it will go back to my brother. Note plate on the bottom that identifies as a 25HZ product, not 60 Hz.

    I have been running it on the bench timed against a very accurate quarts movement. The results are a bit confusing. it will seem to run a few seconds fast or slow from day to day, it has been as much as 6 seconds off but always seems to average out. The Telechron synchronises to the 60 hertz on the power grid as all old electric clocks did until quartz movements appeared. Utilities in the past made a point to correct the slight fluctuations by making up for lost or gained cycles (lost or gained time) and thereby keep everyone's clocks accurate. I am speaking of HZ, not voltage dips. I am not sure if that is done nowadays as electric clocks are rarely used (me and my brother excepted). The only things even slightly affected would be any device with an AC synchronous motor or voltage transformer, in our house that would be fridge, power tools, AC compressor, fans, pumps certain sound and TV equipment etc. A shift in frequency to say 59.5 HZ or 60.5 would scarcely affect these types of devices. Lighting, heating devices and electronics would not be affected at all but a Telechron clock would gain or lose time depending how long the shift lasted. A shift to 59.5 HZ for 2 hours would slow a clock by 1 second. So I have concluded that the daily time variations on this Telechron are due to slight but normal and typical speed up and slow down of the 60 HZ grid frequency. I think this clock may be working just as it should.

    An interesting back story: As a boy of 4 or 5 I have memory of when Ontario Hydro came to every house, street by street converting power over from 25 HZ to 60 HZ. Everything with a motor or transformer had to be modified or replaced. In our house that was a wringer washing machine in the basement, our table radio and of course the electric wall clock in the kitchen. In 1948 we had we had no AC, no garage door opener, no sinkerator, no TV, no stereo, no electronics an ice box fridge and a coal furnace. Even so it was a HUGE and costly project for Ontario Hydro that included the entire distribution grid across southern Ontario. It was completed by 1950. Other parts of Canada and all of the US were running on 60HZ at the time. Historically the reason for 25HZ was that the beginnings of power in Ontario came from Niagara which generated Hydro power at 25HZ. That also included Buffalo and surrounding areas. I have read that until very recently a small part of Niagara power on the Canadian side still operates at 25HZ to supply a couple large industrial customers that never converted.

    Does the grid today run 100% accurate at 60 HZ?
    Do they correct if the 60HZ time base shifts faster or slower?
    Is my brother's clock motor and rotor doing exactly as it should and staying synchronous with grid?

    David Hunter
    Hoping time is on my side
    Last edited by Bill Stuntz; 02-28-2017 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Replace BIG photos w/ expandable thumbnails

  2. #2
    Registered user.
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Calif. USA

    Default Re: Telechron restored, (By: dhunter)

    Most power companies no longer have to keep right at 60Hz.
    They do have to average 60Hz day to day.
    I suspect you are seeing the shifts that they are allowed to do.
    Tinker Dwight

  3. #3

    Default Re: Telechron restored, (By: Tinker Dwight)

    I have moved this to the Electric Horology forum.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4

    Default Re: Telechron restored, (By: Steven Thornberry)

    Just compare it to another known good electric clock and see if it stays 100% in sync.

    I hope you didn't inject a "few cc's" of oil into an H-3 rotor!! Anything over about .7 cc is way too much oil and can impact torque.

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