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  1. #1

    Question Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock

    Hello! I am trying to convert a darkroom timer into a wall clock. The only problem is I know very little about clocks.

    Ideally I will find a motor that is battery powered and has continuous movement.

    The darkroom timer had an existing motor on it but is obviously not meant for continuous movement forward. Below is a photo of the gear on the original motor and the gear hole in which I would ideally be able to affix in some kind of motor with the same size gear that will keep time continuously.

    What do you all think is the best thing to do?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: darkroomclock)

    The motor itself will run continuous if it wasn't wired
    through the switch at the end.
    Tinker Dwight

  3. #3
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: Tinker Dwight)

    I think he means continuous versus a stepper motor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    The motor itself will run continuous if it wasn't wired
    through the switch at the end.
    Tinker Dwight
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  4. #4
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: darkroomclock)

    There are quite a few sources for electric clock motors. Most motors similar to yours are plug in not battery and are quite pricey. The trick will be to find one that has the same diameter gear and tooth count. Usually those gears are pressed on and can be a bit difficult to swap out if you need to keep the one you have. You will also have to worry about RPM and the mountings.

    If you want to go battery, you might find it better to keep the case, dial and hands, discard the rest of the innards and put in a quartz battery movement to drive the hands directly. These battery quartz movements also come in continuous and stepper versions, so research the options and specs before you buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by darkroomclock View Post
    Hello! I am trying to convert a darkroom timer into a wall clock. The only problem is I know very little about clocks.

    Ideally I will find a motor that is battery powered and has continuous movement.

    The darkroom timer had an existing motor on it but is obviously not meant for continuous movement forward. Below is a photo of the gear on the original motor and the gear hole in which I would ideally be able to affix in some kind of motor with the same size gear that will keep time continuously.

    What do you all think is the best thing to do?

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  5. #5

    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: darkroomclock)

    Continuous sweep battery movements are available from the usual suppliers. You can also get the large stick hands and paint them white, if you want to keep the lab timmer look.
    Willie w

  6. #6

    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: Willie X)

    What is the RPM of the current motor? I would assume you could bypass the timer switch, and make the clock continuous that way.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: darkroomclock)

    Buggs,
    They normally have only two hands and time events from one second up to 60 minutes. They have a unusually heavy duty minute hand and second hand and are set with a big knob at the center of the second hand.
    If you could find a 12 hour, or 24 hour one, that would work in the manner you are thinking, and it would make a very nice clock.
    A single pole double throw switch could probably be added to switch it from timmer to clock?
    Willie X

  8. #8

    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: Willie X)

    Thanks all! I will probably do what THTanner suggested and just gut the clock, keep the hands, and somehow affix them to the new mechanism. There are many problems with keeping the original gear mechanism I'm realizing -- I would need to find a new battery powered gear motor that has the precise RPMs to keep the clock turning in time, and I just have no idea even where to begin looking for parts for that. Wish I could keep the original motor, but it spins the clock counterclockwise, since it's meant to count down to 0 and not move clockwise forward.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: darkroomclock)

    The motor is a shad pole phases motor.
    I don't know about this one but on those with an outside coil,
    one can just flip the coil over and pole pieces over to revrse
    the motor.
    Tinker Dwight

  10. #10

    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: darkroomclock)

    After thinking about finding a 12 or 24 hour timer, I don't think you could easily make a dual purpose clock/timer. It wouldn't be easy to make a lab timer into a clock, using the original mechanism.
    Willie X

  11. #11
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: Willie X)

    Stick a quartz in it.

    Just curious, is this kind of a reminder of the old photo-emulsion days..?
    The bitter the challenge, the juicy the reward.
    Conquest->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV0F_XiR48Q

  12. #12

    Default Re: Converting Darkroom Timer into Wall Clock (By: darkroomclock)

    All camera buffs would have a darkroom back in the 60s and 70s. I still have my ole Gra Lab timer and use it for other things occasionally. They still make these timers but they are expensive and used mainly for lab work and other commercial applications. When you flip the switch whatever is plugged into the timer will run for the set time and cut off. Simple and very dependable + or - a fraction of a second.
    Willie X

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