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  1. #1
    Registered User lmester's Avatar
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    Default Post your quartz clock matters here

    I've seen several different fake torsion pendulum systems. Fake because the pendulum is not used for keeping time. The best one that I have worked with is shown below. It uses only one battery to run the clock and It's hard to damage. Your grandkids can spin the pendulum around like a top without any damage to the mechanism.

    It's rotation also looks like the real thing. It slows down at each end of it's rotation. I've seen some that rotate at a nearly constant speed and then abruptly slow down and reverse direction.

    There was no maker shown on the clock. When I took the cover off of the movement I saw that it was made by Haller.

    The worst pendulum drive mechanisms that I have seen look like a generic quartz movement with a black plastic case. They take a single AA battery and have a shaft on top to drive the pendulum. They must wear out quickly. I buy used modern quartz anniversary clocks to get the glass dome for use on older mechanical clocks. I've not yet bought a used clock with this type of pendulum drive that was still working. The quartz movement is OK but the pendulum drive was dead.

    I was also going to post a picture of one of those junky pendulum drive mechanisms. I can't find one. I think I tossed them all in the trash...
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: lmester)

    Hi
    I assume that if a kid spins it, it just runs
    of the end of the rack?
    Tinker Dwight

  3. #3

    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: Tinker Dwight)

    I inadvertantly ended up being the owner of an all plastic 400 day look alike. It was a sight unseen purchase with no return rights. It had no glass or brass parts. Full size gold plastic movement, pendulum, base and plastic dome. I keep it displayed in my mud room to remind me of the 'stuff' that is floating around out there. Fortunately it was under $10 but in it's prime is not worth even that.
    A glass dome would have helped me lick my wounds and feel pretty good, but alas, scratched up clear plastic.
    I really don't think my grandkids would be interested in it as a target. I hope I don't come across as a curmudgeon. I love mechanical clocks.

  4. #4
    Registered User lmester's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Right. It just goes to the end of the rack & slips. When it stops spinning it goes back to the center. If there was just some way to do something to protect real torsion clocks from this problem it would be great. I guess then I wouldn't find so many of them for sale that just need a new suspension spring!

  5. #5

    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: lmester)

    These units are available through Lorichron in Asheville, NC. I think they were made by Haller.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: David B Pendley)

    I have one of these in my small collection of inexpensive quartz anniversary clocks. The two slender white levers that you see in Mr. Imester's picture are very flexible and are joined at the common pivot seen at one end The two levers are rigid enough to operate the pendulum if no interference is presented. I concur with Mr. Tinker Dwight and Mr. Imester in that if the pendulum is needlessly spun, the rotary pendulum operating gear simply runs off either end of the rack and the flexible levers accommodate this disturbance without damage. By the same way, if the pendulum is needlessly stopped, the timing portion of the clock is neither slowed nor stopped; keeps on running. My clock is brand labeled Seth Thomas. This appears to be a very clever design from Haller who are still in the business of selling clocks. In addition to other advantages of a quartz clock this one is quite insensitive to the lack of a perfectly level locating surface.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: Cheezhead)

    The best I've seen is the Kundo quartz movement, which is much simpler than the Haller shown above. Its action is natural, and mimics the behavior of a "real" pendulum quite well, because it works the same way.

    Attachment 148888Attachment 148889

    It has a regular suspension spring, but instead of a fork it has a single pin projecting from the spring into the movement. The pendulum is impulsed in one direction only by a single-toothed wheel (red arrow) that is spring-loaded, and gives a push to the pin on the suspension spring. The only difference between the Kundo and a "real" pendulum is that the impulsing force is independent of the time-keeping part of the movement.
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    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  8. #8
    Registered User etmb61's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: bangster)

    I have one of the Kundos as well. I do not think that is a quartz movement, rather a electro/magnetic balance wheel.

    Mine has a mechanical pendulum (#75) exacly like those used on the key wound clocks, complete with the locking lever, hanging from suspension 49.

    You can't tell it's electric until you get up close and hear the fast ticking.

    Eric

  9. #9

    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: etmb61)

    The one I have now says "quartz" on the dial.

    I think it's a matter of how the magnetic impulses are timed, that makes it quartz.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: bangster)

    The first electronic versions were not quartz. They were an offshoot of the swinging pendulum versions of the Kundo and Junghans electromechanical clocks. They used a magnetic trigger to impart a maintaining impulse on the balance wheel and were timed very much like any other hairspring clock. Most of these type used an additional such system for pendulum movement. In all but one Kundo model I've seen, the pendulum wasn't actively participating in the timing for the clock. But I admit to having limited exposure to the full cadre of types.

    All of the "quartz" clocks I've seen keep time and move the hands via a quartz-controlled oscillator and divider circuit and use the motion occurring in that process (Usually via an unused 'seconds' shaft to impart oscillation is a torsion pendulum via a lever, cam or offset shaft.

    TIP: Many times these quartz clocks use a 'button' to cover the hand arbors This button is pressed onto a fully functional seconds shaft. If it's pressed on too hard, the clock can't run. If it had been a real seconds hand, instead of a button, it'd be trivial to catch; but as a button, it's not so obvious and you can spend a lot of time working through it and having the clock run right up until you're sure it's good and put it all back together.
    Living life at eight beats per minute.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: MartinM)

    If it calls itsownself "quartz", I'll allow as how it's quartz.

    As I said, with this type, pendulum action is independent of timekeeping. This means, among other things, that the strength of the suspension spring doesn't matter, since the period of the pendulum has nothing to do with the period of the clock.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  12. #12
    Registered user. MartinM's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: bangster)

    I wonder how the mechanical balance keeps sync with the quartz timebase?. It must be close enough that the quartz timebase simply acts as a reinforcement/correction for the period of mechanical oscillation. Sort of like a Phase Locked Loop. If it's not a pretty close match, I'd think it'd eat up batteries, fast, though.
    Living life at eight beats per minute.

  13. #13
    Registered User lmester's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    If it calls itsownself "quartz", I'll allow as how it's quartz.

    As I said, with this type, pendulum action is independent of timekeeping. This means, among other things, that the strength of the suspension spring doesn't matter, since the period of the pendulum has nothing to do with the period of the clock.
    That's a nice fake! It even has a real suspension spring.

    I agree with the other replies. I don't think this is a quartz movement. If it were quartz, there would be no reason for the balance. The quartz crystal is regulating it. The first two pictures are of similar looking movements. I've had both of these apart and can verify that they are not quartz. There is no crystal just a simple one transistor circuit. You could be sure by looking at the circuit board on your movement. If it's quartz there will be a crystal and an I.C. to divide the crystal frequency down to get 1 second pulses. In newer movements the I.C. is just a blob of epoxy on the circuit board.

    I can't imagine why the manufacturer would label it as quartz?

    The last picture is a Haller with a real pendulum. It's not quartz but is electromagnetically impulsed. The pendulum is used for timekeeping. I'd think that this could still be called a fake torsion clock. When I look at the design I'd say it basically works like a Hermle floating balance. It has a flat wound hairspring instead of a torsion spring. Also the flat wound spring keeps the pendulum floating in between two jeweled bushings. No end thrust on the arbors.

    I think it's interesting to see all of the different designs that have been used to simulate a real torsion clock. Im sure that if we keep looking we'll find even more ways that it was done.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: lmester)

    The GTB is another one that uses a hairspring arrangement.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen. (By: shutterbug)



    Here is another "fake" torsion pendulum drive to add to what Mr. Imester has started and includes a detailed description of the mechanism that operates the rotary pendulum a single AA battery powered German Linden quartz anniversary clock.

    The pendulum is suspended by a vertical flat wire which has attached to it a flag whose edge is visible just above the gray star wheel. The flag is given a periodic push to the left at its bottom end by the CCW slowly rotating star wheel. The star wheel is connected to the step motor gear train through a slip clutch that permits the timing portion of the clock to continue even though the star wheel is periodically stopped by the white lever and to some extent, the flag. The white lever, suspended by a horizontal pivot pin that is not visible behind the black upper suspension wire holder, adds to the pendulum's amplitude by holding the star wheel stationary until the flag is better ready for another push. Visible at the lower end of the white lever is a horizontal extension that stops the star wheel which is held stationary until the pendulum is at a point in the return direction to where the flag pushes the visible tab on the left side of the white lever to the right, unlocking the star wheel to permit it to rotate again and give the flag another push.

    The pendulum's rotational excursion was running at about 450 degrees. As an experiment the white lever was held out of play and the pendulum's rotation continued and did not decrease appreciably. The white lever has an extension to the left at the top which may be a counterweight to reduce the force that the lever imposes on the gear train to reduce battery power consumption. Visible to the right of the upper suspension mount is an extension of the white lever that is confined between two fixed surfaces to act as limiting stops in both directions. The thin horizontal flat spring is part of the upper suspension spring mount and acts as a shock absorber for when the clock is handled roughly. The purpose of the white lever's upper stop is not apparent but the lower stop appears to keep the white lever from dragging against the star wheel to minimize friction and save battery power.

    It may be reasoned that the stiffness of the pendulum suspension wire, the inertia of the pendulum and the speed of the star wheel must be carefully coordinated. There is no protection against damage incurred if the pendulum is needlessly spun and the force to operate the pendulum does not appear to be as positive or robust as the Haller design described previously but in fairness, it works as intended.

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