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  1. #1

    Default Atmos "Just stopped working"

    I recently acquired an Atmos 528-8 at a garage sale where the original owner said that it was working fine until one day it "just stopped".

    The bellows/motor seems to be fine and the mainspring is fully wound. The lever assembly/fork, however, seems to be riding low. The top of the fork appears to hit the impulse roller mount, thus not allowing it to properly engage the roller.

    Everything I have read on this message board about Atmos care and feeding, cautions not to bend the fork. My question(s) can the fork be gently adjusted/bent upward so that it will clear the roller mount? What would cause the fork, in a previously running clock, to lose it's position? Does a low riding fork suggest other problems?

    Many thanks,
    Rick

  2. #2
    Registered user. etmb61's Avatar
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    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Hi Rick,

    I'm no expert, but from what I've learned, the Atmos works like a very much like a large watch balance. Because of the length of the staff between the fork and the escapement, any errors you introduce at the fork will be exagerated at the escapement. If the staff is also twisted, it will be out of beat and it won't bank correctly. The clearances at the fork are 0.15mm to 0.40mm depending on where you're doing the measuring.

    So, yes, the staff is ductile so you can bend it. Will it work afterward? Maybe. Will it be reliable? Maybe. I know if you break it, it can be a $400+ repair.

    As for how it got bent in the first place, my guess is human intervention.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  3. #3

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Thank you Eric. There doesn't appear to much on these clocks that are very forgiving.

    I have yet to touch anything. I've been reading everything I can on Mike Murray's excellent site, watched Tony Montefusco's DVD (thanks to the NAWCC library...I thought the DVD photo quality was marginal but the content was great), and read all the repair guides I can get my hands on; yet nowhere does it describe my situation where the top of the fork either hits or rides directly atop the roller mount.

    Thanks again Eric!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Here are two pictures that I just took that will hopefully show you what is going on. They are from both sides... The top of the fork looks too low and it will not allow the pendulum to rotate.

    Rick
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_6128.jpg   IMG_6129.jpg  

  5. #5
    Registered user. etmb61's Avatar
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    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Hi Rick,

    Compare the fork in this picture to yours. Nice and perpendicular from the escapement arbor to the first bend. Just like it looks in the repair notes. Also look at the difference in the pins descending from the upper bridge. I know they should be bent slightly to clear the fork, but left one (from the front) on yours seems overly bent as well. It's obvious someone had their way with your clock.

    Cheers,

    Eric
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails atmos104.jpg  
    Last edited by etmb61; 11-06-2010 at 08:44 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Yikes! Even the very last bend in the fork at the top looks curved rather than straight. I guess it's worth a shot at trying to form this correctly (or do you think this fork is a lost cause?). There are really only two bends to deal with; everything else looks like it should be straight. Of course, that assumes the pivots are okay.

    Thanks Eric, your picture is a huge help!

    Rick

  7. #7
    Registered user. etmb61's Avatar
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    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Hi Rick,

    I don't have the expertise to say if the fork is a lost cause, except what Murphy's Law tells us: "If you mess with something long enough, eventualy it will break".

    Cheers,
    Eric

  8. #8
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_D View Post
    Yikes! Even the very last bend in the fork at the top looks curved rather than straight. I guess it's worth a shot at trying to form this correctly (or do you think this fork is a lost cause?). There are really only two bends to deal with; everything else looks like it should be straight. Of course, that assumes the pivots are okay.

    Thanks Eric, your picture is a huge help!

    Rick
    Rick, I believe your fork can be made right again but it should be removed from the movement before working on it to first check the pivots to see if they haven't been bent. Also, this allows you to make the bends to put it back to original shape without any stress on the pivots. If you follow Eric's photo it should be possible to get your clock to run again; after straightening everything out first be sure the fork and fork arm centerline are aligned with the fork arbor; then check the roller clearances in the fork and make sure the escapement action is good.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Thank you John.
    I had the afternoon off today and decided to dive in and see what I could do. Once inside it became clear to me that my clock, as Eric so correctly pointed out, has had someone who has "had their way with it". One of the studs holds the motor to the movement has been sheared off and the cap nut is missing. (The guy I bought it from was the nicest grandfatherly man who said "it just stopped working")

    Feeling like I have very little to lose, I removed the hands and dial and noticed that the fork had virtually no lateral clearance for the roller. I used a technique that I saw on Gerald Jaeger's video about using a wire loop on each arm of the fork to gently open it. Much to my surprise, the clock is running on it's own power as we speak and has been running for about 2 hours! I've learned from my work on watches that getting something to tick is quite satisfying but it is a long way from getting it to work properly and keeping time.

    I'm going to let it run for now and then do a complete cleaning and attempt to straighten out the fork.

    Assuming I can get the fork in correct alignment, then I need to tackle the broken stud on the motor mount.

    Has anyone dealt with a sheared off stud on the motor mount?

    Many thanks again John and Eric for your thoughtful replies!

  10. #10
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_D View Post
    Assuming I can get the fork in correct alignment, then I need to tackle the broken stud on the motor mount.

    Has anyone dealt with a sheared off stud on the motor mount?
    Rick, I recommend that you contact Mike Murray for advice (http://www.atmosman.com/). I've not encountered this problem but Mike has probably seen just about everything that can happen. Good luck with your service and repair.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Dear all

    I'm desperately trying to buy Tony Montefusco's DVD "Complete Overhaul of the ATMOS Clock" (duration: 100 min.). I'm in the process of repairing an ATMOS Cal. 519 and this video would really be quite helpful to avoid errors! I tried to send mail to Tony himself, but his E-Mail address (AMontefusco@msn.com) seems not to work any more. Also, because I'm not a member of Carolina Chapter #17, nor of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, I was not able to order the video (as a DVD) from http://www.nawcc-carolina17.org/Library.htm.

    It would be nice, if I would have an E-Mail Address, or a web-Site, where I could order the Video as a DVD.

    Thanks a lot for any help and best Regards



    Thanks for any hints

  12. #12

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: jfb)

    Xiaou,
    You might get a better answer to your question by starting an new thread. As for the Tony Montefusco DVD's, I think you are making a good argument for joining the NAWCC. I'm not sure if your location makes it impractical, but by joining the NAWCC you will have access to thousands of technical references and instructional guides from the lending library. I'm a regular user and when you consider the price of the borrowed references that the library sends right to your door, it virtually pays for your membership.

    A quick Google search for Mr. Montefusco's dvd's lead me to http://ubr.com/clocks/education/cloc...ontefusco.aspx The site looks active but I think it is the site you already found.

    Good Luck

    Rick

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Rick_D)

    Tony was in my NAWCC chapter. He died last year. Don't know what happened to his estate.

    You need to make sure your fork is poised. It is secured to the movement with a bridge, so is easily removed. It may have gotten bent by adjusting of the hands backward.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: Ed O'Brien)

    Check with Jeff Hamilton. He can probably point you in the right direction.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Atmos "Just stopped working" (RE: shutterbug)

    @rick: yes, I already knew about ubr.com ... but I don't know how to order the video there! I will be a member of NAWCC in a few days (as soon as the payment via Paypal is verified).

    @Ed O'Brien: The fork was completely bent and not poised at all. I bent it back and it is currently in quite good shape. Should'nt the lever of the fork be parallel to the anchor (pallet lever) because otherwise there is a timing problem with the impulses from the escape wheel?

    @shutterbug: I contacted Jeff Hamilton ... hope he can help me

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