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  1. #1
    chasbaz
    Guest

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    Hi,

    I'm asking this as a complete newbie in the field of electric clocks, though a comparative 'oldbie' on the mechanical clock board, so please bear with my elementary questions.

    Our local museum has a very fine looking British Synchronome clock, donated by a geological institute. I think it was used for accurate timekeeping rather than a master/slave setup. From my board searches it seems that these can be run using 1.5-volt 'hobby' batteries or by an AC/regulator setup. My main question, not being at all electically-minded, is - are all Synchronomes 1.5-volt? If so, is it a fairly straightforward matter of connecting the battery? If not, I can post some pics of the clock and its movement and circuits.

    It is a gorgeous clock and I would like to get it running for them.

    Many thanks,
    Charles

  2. #2
    chasbaz
    Guest

    Default Synchronome power supply?

    Hi,

    I'm asking this as a complete newbie in the field of electric clocks, though a comparative 'oldbie' on the mechanical clock board, so please bear with my elementary questions.

    Our local museum has a very fine looking British Synchronome clock, donated by a geological institute. I think it was used for accurate timekeeping rather than a master/slave setup. From my board searches it seems that these can be run using 1.5-volt 'hobby' batteries or by an AC/regulator setup. My main question, not being at all electically-minded, is - are all Synchronomes 1.5-volt? If so, is it a fairly straightforward matter of connecting the battery? If not, I can post some pics of the clock and its movement and circuits.

    It is a gorgeous clock and I would like to get it running for them.

    Many thanks,
    Charles

  3. #3

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    The Hope-Jones Synchronome "Time Transmitter" will usually operate well from a low voltage direct current source; as low as 1-1/2 volts. However, if there is a pilot dial, an additional cell is needed and for each additional remote, secondary or slave dial, yet another cell is required.

    All electromagnets in the Synchronome system are series connected including the master time transmitter, it's pilot dial and any attached remote dials.

    The inventor is quoted, "Dry cells may, therefore, be considered the best source of energy. The correct number for any given circuit may be found as follows:--- Two cells for for the transmitter and one dial, and two more cells for every additional three dials in the circuit, or roughtly 1 volt per dial."

    The above recommendations apply to the simplest configuration. Some may be found with an adjustible resistance inside the case to accomodate a higher voltage such as 12 or 24.

    The synchronome is a delightfully simple but extremely accurate timepiece and easy to understand by simply watching it operate.

    Too, it is a very efficient system energy wise as well.
    H.J. (Les) Lesovsky, Alhambra California

  4. #4
    chasbaz
    Guest

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    Hi Les,

    You nearly lost me there, but I think that means I could try a 1.5 volt. There is only one dial. If I can't work out how to connect it (quite likely!) I'll post pictures. I can already see that the toggle (assuming that is the pin which advances the 'scape wheel) is on the wrong way round and is pointing forward.

    Many thanks for your help, much appreciated.

    Charles

  5. #5

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    In electrical terms, series connection can be likened to a daisy-chain; that is with all the elements connected end-to-end. If the elements are dry cells, then their potential is additive. Thus two 1.5 volt flashlight cells in series connection have an electrical potential of 3.0 volts.

    In the illustration below, locate the two round electrical binding posts on the lower right side. Disconnect any external wires. To these two binding posts, temporarily connect a 1.5 volt "D" size flashlight cell. The electromagnets should energize and reset the gravity arm after it is released and the roller has traveled down the slope of the palet.

    Note that the pilot dial and any other dials or elements are out of the circuit and will not operate with this simple, temporary connection.
    H.J. (Les) Lesovsky, Alhambra California

  6. #6
    chasbaz
    Guest

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    Les,

    Thanks a lot for your very clear instructions. I shall have a go at getting this clock working.

    Have a great day!

    Charles

  7. #7

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    I run mne from a Nokia phone charger. It provides around 3.5V for the gravity arm solenoid and the integral slave dial. Seems to be OK

  8. #8

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    Chazbaz,

    You can find some animations and info...

    Google

    Ralph

  9. #9

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    The early elctrical systems were series connected. Battery, switch to control, to load and return. Parallel circuits where not as common. (This was Edison's great insights for his lighting system, the use of parallel circuits.) Series circuits are current dependent.This is important. Parallel circuits are voltage dependent. Tha is why today our light bulbs are marked 120 volts. Not 1 ampere.

    There is one item that should be born in mind to early electric clocks. Early synchronome, Gent and even Standard Electric Time master clocks where understood to be series current operated (series connected) devices. You should be concerned with the correct current, not necessarily a specific voltage. In other words, these early clocks are meant to operate at a specifc current level for proper operation. What does this mean? The Synchronome early clocks were not a 1 1/2 volt or 12 volt or even 60 volt clock. Synchronome clocks are actually designed to operate at a specific current setting not a particular voltage. So in setting up a clock, circuit conditions may be different, but the power supply must be adjusted to a specific current draw. The correct current for Synchronome clocks is 330 milliamperes. This is about 1/3 of one full amp.

    To correctly set this current you short out the switch on the gravity arm of the time transmitter, and then adust a series resistor or if you wish, the voltage of a adustable supply so that your millamp meter reads 330 mA. This is very important so that your clock operates correctly.

    Now it is true that most likely you will find that the clock needs about 3 volts for just the Synchronome time transmitter. This is the time keeper in the case, no time dial on the door being considered. If your clock has a pilot dial in the door, then you must add at least another 1 1/2 volts for it and each exterior time dial in the series circuit.

    I hope this is clear. If your clock has a dial the the correct voltage is about 4 1/2 volts just for these. If you fit another slave clock then add another 1 1/2 volts and so on. Of course check the current when all is wired up by again shorting the switch and reading the current to make fine adjustments. The reason for shorting the switch on the movement is that the operating impulse is very short, and your meter will not respond correctly.

    One other fact that most owners of these clocks report is that it seems they "like" to have a few slave clocks connected, which they report improves their time keeping ability. Evidently the impedance of more coils is in some way benificial.

    I suggest checking out of the Library, Frank Hope-Jones book "Electrical Timekeeping" it is very helpful and a good read for the techinical minded.

    One other point you might be interested in is that the Synchonome system has two current settings to be considered. The slave clocks (time dials) were set to respond to a lower current than the time transmitter. This was in the event that the batteries began failing, the dials would not scatter. The time transmitter would stop first.

    I have some more information if you need help. Please write or call.

    Henry Weiland

  10. #10
    chasbaz
    Guest

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    Many thanks, all, for this very helpful information. I now have permission to have a go at getting this clock going but time is rather limited at the moment. I now at least have enough basic knowledge to make a start, plus a useful guide to adjusting these clocks. It's when I subsequently discover how much I do not know that I might have to come back to you.

    Since it seems that 4.5 volts will do the job, I shall look for a 4.5 volt battery, which I hope most closely imitates the original dry-cell. Not sure how you would connect a phone-charger - would you just solder wires on to the contacts?

  11. #11

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    Connecting the phone charger is a piece of cake. Cut off the phone connector and you will find that the outer casing of the cable is just a tube through which the two independently insulated wires run. Strip them to reveal a suitable length of wire, and connect with whatever connectors you like to the cables which run to the clock (and to which you intended to connect the battery). Polarity isn't an issue.

  12. #12
    chasbaz
    Guest

    Default Synchronome power supply? (RE: chasbaz)

    RMW,

    Thanks, looks fine. I notice my phone charger gives 4.2 volts - probably I have one or two old ones lying around anyway. Otherwise, I bought a variable-output adaptor for a keyboard a while ago - that would be pretty good I expect.

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