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  1. #1

    Default Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods

    I am not a clockmaker. I am a woodworker that has made clocks. Several years ago I made a mantle clock that used a mechanical movement and gong that would strike the hour and half-hour. However, the movement is no longer available at an economical price. I was wanting to try and use the quartz mechanical unit in the photo; however, there are a few issues I am concerned about this movement.

    First, I liked the rich sound that the mechanical unit with the gong provided. I'm worried the chime rods won't provide the same rich tone. I noticed that the chime rods are screw-in. Would it be possible to replace the rods with longer rods to produce a richer/deeper tone? I assume longer rods make a lower tone.

    Second, I liked that the mechanical unit only had one strike, and not a bim-bam strike. Would there be any issue with removing one of the chime rods so the quartz mechanical only had a single strike? I'm not sure if this would cause any undue stress on the movement shortening its lifespan. I'm also not sure if the mechanics of the second "ghost" hammer would be audible enough to make the case unpleasant.

    Thanks so much for any advice provided. Had I known the $40, 14-Day, Hermle Movement option was a limited time offer, I would have purchased several more. Now I am left with trying to improvise.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tom
    Bellingham, WA

  2. #2

    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: powerwindow)

    Yes, the rods can be exchanged, they are the smaller 6 1/2 mm viarity, actual head diameter is 6 mm.
    The interior of the case has to be at least 6 1/2" wide.
    Willie X

  3. #3

    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: powerwindow)

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie X View Post
    Yes, the rods can be exchanged, they are the smaller 6 1/2 mm viarity, actual head diameter is 6 mm.
    Willie X
    That's what I was hoping. Am I correct in that a longer rod will produce a lower tone? Also, I notice, if I keep using two rods, the lengths differ by about 1/2". This also appears to be the case when looking at chime rod bar assemblies. However, it doesn't appear as if the rods are sold in 1/2" increments. Do you just purchase two at the longest length you want and cut one down a 1/2", or is there a certain amount needed to be cut off in order to make the proper note?

    These considerations can be neglected if I'm able to just use one rod and have the second hammer strike air. Without having the movement yet, as I stated in my original post, I'm not sure if this is bad for the movement, or if the mechanics would be annoyingly loud and a distraction.

    Thanks for any other advice.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: powerwindow)

    It needs two rods that play a cord. You can tune them to any chord you like, or play two identical notes in unison. The older models had a button that changed the clock from a bing bong, with one note following the other, to a 2 note chord. As of about 10 -12 years ago they strike the 2 note chord only, no bing-bong.
    Willie X

  5. #5

    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: powerwindow)

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie X View Post
    ...
    As of about 10 -12 years ago they strike the 2 note chord only, no bing-bong.
    Willie X
    Hmm, this is interesting. I guess I just need to get the movement and check it out. I have looked at many suppliers and listened to their mp3 examples online of this movement, and they all have it sounding like ding/dong or bim/bam. In other words, the hammers are not striking at the same time. If it performs as you say, that's preferable to me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: powerwindow)

    There are probably different manufacturers. I used to buy them from Ronells, now I buy them from Merritt's.
    Willie X

  7. #7
    Registered User THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: powerwindow)

    I have silenced one hammer for customers with no bad results and very little "ghost" noise. I usually just rotate the hammer 90 degrees and move it up a bit to make sure it does not hit the rod or the other hammer. Also, as a wood worker, I am sure you know that a deeper, richer, tone (but not a different note) is partly a function of the density and thickness of the sounding board to which the rods are attached.

    Quote Originally Posted by powerwindow View Post
    Hmm, this is interesting. I guess I just need to get the movement and check it out. I have looked at many suppliers and listened to their mp3 examples online of this movement, and they all have it sounding like ding/dong or bim/bam. In other words, the hammers are not striking at the same time. If it performs as you say, that's preferable to me.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  8. #8

    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: THTanner)

    If you are positive you don`t want the second rod chiming you can just snip /cut off the second chime hammer at it`s base. The ghost sound from the second hammer hitting dead air would be impercepible.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: powerwindow)

    These don't have conventional hammers and wires that can be turned or adjusted. The hammers are fused or riveted to thin springey steel arms. You may be able to snip one off but I can't see the point in doing so.
    Willie X

  10. #10
    Registered User THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods (By: Willie X)

    Hmmm - I had enough room to rotate (twist) the hammer a quarter turn and move it away from the rod and the other hammer. Maybe on some other models there is not enough room to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie X View Post
    These don't have conventional hammers and wires that can be turned or adjusted. The hammers are fused or riveted to thin springey steel arms. You may be able to snip one off but I can't see the point in doing so.
    Willie X
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

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