Ansonia runs backwards!

Nicko

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May 11, 2007
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It's not April 1st and I've been off the moonshine for a while now, but I swear this clock runs backwards.

After unpacking it, attaching the pendulum, set the time, I gave the pendulum a swing and it started ticking. Way out of beat and needed about 8* of tilt to get an even beat. It stopped after a minute, I glanced at the time, it was a bit off compared to my watch, just a bit of slack in the gears I guess. I restarted it and watched it again, and sure enough, the minute hand did move backwards for about a minute before it stopped again.

I slipped the movement out of the case and found a standard looking Ansonia 9 1/4 movement. The strike spring had some wire like a shipping wire wound around it, probably to disable the strike. Also the strike lever had been pulled up and tied out of the way of the gear that starts the strike.

I looked at the time side and the escape wheel spun around a few times. The verge angles looked wrong. Then I inserted the key and just took the tension off the spring ratchet to see which way the gears went. It looked ok up to the escape wheel but tracking the rotation through the second wheel to the centre arbour it was turning the minute hand the wrong way. Looking more closely at the strike side it looked like the ratchet had broken off. My guess now is that the winding arbours have been swapped between strike and time. The problem there is that they both are supposed to wind inwards, meaning that they wind up in opposite directions. Who would be dumb enough to attempt to fix a clock like that, it can't possibly work.

Wait a minute, whats been wound up here. Is someone winding me up or what? I suspect that someone, as a practical joke did this deliberately. Now that the clock has passed down a generation or two, maybe the new owners don't realise that its been "fixed". It would explain why the angles on the verge have been altered, and why the strike mechanism is wired up. I don't think this a "hall of shame" job, just an elaborate joke.
I'd like to think that I'm not being wound up, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Greg
 

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harold bain

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Could it be as simple as installing the strike arbor on the time side, and vice-versa? Does the strike run backwards as well?
 

Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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Looking at the strike ratchet and count wheel, the strike train is running the right way.

Surely it should be easy to see what is going (pun intended) on in the going train, as the centre arbor must turn clockwise, so between that and the great wheel and spring, someone has been playing!

It's going to stop when the warning should operate. :eek:
 

Nicko

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May 11, 2007
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Harold: I think that should solve the problem, a dismantle and clean, 2 x new ratchet clicks and assemble it correctly. A new verge would be in order to replace the "resurfaced" one.

Mike: Now this is what I am unsure of. Is the ratchet wheel in the time side installed correctly? My recollection of an Ansonia is that, when winding, the tops of the keys are rotated inwards. ie. The time key winds counterclockwise and the strike key winds clockwise. These wind the other way. And yes I have checked which way the centre arbour goes, and it is anticlockwise.

Dave: The strike side wont run. Refering to your treatise on this matter, the hammer lever gets jammed between the hammer pins and the maintenance cam arbour. Thats indicates to me that its is going in reverse.

I wonder if anyone out there, who has one of these type of movements, could take a good look at the way the ratchet wheels are installed.

Cheers
 

LaBounty

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Hi Nicko-

I have an Ansonia movement in my hand which is nearly identical to yours. Both wind towards the center shaft; time side winds ccw and strike cw. So, it appears your supposition is correct and Harold's suggestion should work.

The count wheel should rotate ccw so it appears yours is on correctly.

Good luck with it!
 

Nicko

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May 11, 2007
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Thanks for the confirmation Dave. I'll order the parts and get started.

I'd like to know for sure how it got to be like this, A clockmaker would know that its assembled incorrectly, and there there are not the telltale signs of "butchery".

Anyway its a nice looking mantle in original condition, so its worth repairing.

Cheers
 

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harold bain

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Nicko, maybe someone purposely set this clock up to run backwards. Tying off the strike would likely have allowed it to run, if they held up the lever riding on the strike cam.
 

Mike Phelan

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But cm10, how could you wind it, if the ratchet was left as-is?

David
Yes - of course you're quite right about the count wheel - it's probably the hammer tail we need to look at, but I think the OP has sussed out the strike train now (time difference!)
 

laprade

Registered User
nice example of a "gingerbread" clock

They have quite cheap escapements and if someone put the spring in the wrong way round, it is possible that the escape wheel could run the wrong way.

however the strike trip would jam?
 

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