Atmos 528-6

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Hi,
I cost got the above atmos at an auction.
I have two questions.
First I think the bellows is not functioning.
By reading in this forum it appears the chain coming out of the bellows is all the way out.
It is wrapped all the way around wheel.

Also how do I manually wind the clock to see if the movement is functioning?

Thank You 313818.jpg 313819.jpg
 

etmb61

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All the way out is good! It shows that the pressure in the bellows has overcome the large spring inside the motor housing. If you lower the temperature around the clock, the spring should pull back inside the motor, and wind the clock. If the mainspring is fully wound the chain will stay out.

Eric
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Sorry,

Forgot to mention issue.
It runs for about 10 minutes then stops.
It is level so not sure of issue :(
 

Ed O'Brien

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Quite possibly either a fork that needs to be poised or adjusted, or a dry mainspring. The ten minutes is just the torsion spring twisting to a stop. Appears there is no transfer of power from the mainspring to the fork. Very common in my experience to find the m/s dry, but normally there is at least a little power to run for a few hours.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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What is the best way to lube the mainspring.
I have been repairing clock movements for years but am not familiar with the atmos.
 

new_hampster

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Aug 3, 2006
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All the way out is good! It shows that the pressure in the bellows has overcome the large spring inside the motor housing. If you lower the temperature around the clock, the spring should pull back inside the motor, and wind the clock. If the mainspring is fully wound the chain will stay out.

Eric
It depends. It MAY mean the bellows is good, or it could mean the bellows is bad and someone wound the mainspring by pushing the rear chain spring by hand. Once wound, the chain will not extend until the mainspring lets down irregardless of what the bellows is doing. But whatever the current condition of the bellows, the clock should run as it sits if everything else is OK. If it doesn't run, it could still be a power problem, but it may not be because of the bellows. Of course, if the bellows is bad, the clock will stop running after the mainspring lets down.

With one exception (I hate those) - normally, when a bellows fails, it goes flat. But I have seen a couple where when they failed, they would NOT collapse. If you happen to have one of those, then the chain might indeed extend if the bellows is removed.

I see a twist in the chain. A single twist like that doesn't usually cause failure, but it could. If the chain is stuck, the clock will not wind. It also means that the clock has been tampered with by someone inexperienced with the Atmos. Pop the bellows housing off (2 acorn nuts), and it will tell much. I would not start messing with the time train until I fully understood the condition of the power train. If it is not getting power, nothing you do will make it run longer than the current 10 minutes, and will likely make things worse.
 

Ed O'Brien

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To clean and lube the mainspring, the clock and the movement must be disassembled. Not something to be done without the proper tools (very expensive, as you will almost certainly break parts, beginning with the center wheel) and knowledge. Disassembly actually begins at the bellows end, so if there is a problem there it will become apparent immediately.
 

TQ60

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Before doing anything with tools READ AND LEARN things.

Go to atmos man's page and read everything then come back here and search for more.

What to do...

First we suggest observing the beat.

Watch how the escapement works as well as where the pendulum ends and where the roller stops at each end of swing.

Unless something real odd we can assume bellows is good enough for now and that mainspring is fully wound.

It could be dry and sticky but let's assume good for now as the clock looks clean so even if somewhat dry it should still be able to transfer some power.

It runs for 10 minutes so 20 beats...out of beat likely.

sticky mainspring or other friction or power loss usually runs what looks great but dead in the am.

watch the fork interact with the roller and if it snaps it is fine for now.

The amount of power transfer to the roller is about as much as you can push with an artists tiny paintbrush with all but one hair trimmed away.

For setting the beat or doing any other work you will need to modify your screwdrivers to properly fit the screws otherwise they will be damaged.

If you need more than beat adjustment the hands need to come off and a puller is required so consider ordering one.

Get oil and service notes while you are at it.

long winded....Enough for now so read up observe and report back before doing any work.
 

Ed O'Brien

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What is the dimension from the flat edge of the bellows (at the hole) to the center of the surface on the bellows. Photo appears to show it okay - should be approximately 22mm at 70 degrees F.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Its at about 17mm.
So billows may be ok.
By pushing in on the disk attached to the chain i am trying to wind the clock by hand but it doesn't seem to be working.
Can't tell it the mainspring is totally wound or not at all .
How can I tell?
What is the proper way to manually wind this clock?
Thanks for all your help.
This site has helped my a bunch over the years and keeps me interested in this hobby.

THANK YOU !!!!!!
 

etmb61

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It should take about five compressions of the disk to fully wind the mainspring.
 

Ed O'Brien

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If the bellows measured 17mm, and seeing the position of the chain on the ratchet assembly in earlier photos, I'd guess the mainspring is fully wound. I would not recommend forcing it. You are at a point that just about demands disassembly - maybe a dry mainspring that won't provide power, maybe a need for cleaning. It could be a problem with the poise on the balance or poise of the fork. Balance could be out of beat. Screw securing the roller and spring assembly could be loose. Fork could be bent or twisted, or the tines too tight against the roller. Every issue I mentioned and its correction requires disassembly of the clock. This may not be much help, but my approach with any Atmos I work on for the first time is complete assembly, cleaning, microscope inspection (especially the jewels - both hole and cap), poising the fork and balance (not necessary always for the balance unless no other problem shows up), light lubrication as prescribed by LeCoultre, assembly and run testing before putting back in case.
 

new_hampster

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Can't tell it the mainspring is totally wound or not at all .
How can I tell?
When you push the backspring in and it does not come back out, then the mainspring is wound as far as it will wind. And if everything else in the power train is good, the mainspring will be fully wound. And ideally, you should not push the backspring any further than the bellows would push it, determined by the depth of the bellows when the room is at its warmest temperature. I cover the spring guide (disc) at the rear of the backspring with the cap from a can of spray paint to keep from pushing too far.

Keep in mind that when the backspring does not come back out, the bellows will no longer have any impact until the mainspring lets down some. PULLING the backspring to force additional winding does NOT duplicate the action of the bellows, and leads to bad data on how well the clock is running.

Also keep in mind that the mainspring of an Atmos does not get wound all the way up like in a wall clock. It only winds to the point of equilibrium with the action of the bellows as delivered through the backspring. The intent is to maintain consistent power delivery. Since the mainspring is wound only on the collapse of the bellows, equilibrium is largely determined by the strength of the backspring. This points out the importance of the length of the chain and where it is pinned on the spring guide. The distance from the spring guide to the rear movement frame should be 45-48mm when the mainspring is all the way down. But to make this measurement, the movement must be removed.

Because the chain is twisted, we already know the power train has been tinkered with. I encourage you to avoid making any adjustments to the time train, fork/roller, etc, until the power train is validated. Removal of the movement is simple, but you must hold the intermediate wheel to prevent rapid let down of the mainspring. Reinstallation is also simple and provided the movement, particularly the fork, is treated with care, will make no change in the condition of the clock.
 
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James McDermaid

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Apr 29, 2011
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I bought a DVD on "Servicing the Atmos Clock" from American Watchmakers - Clockmakers Institute which plays about two hours. It goes into detail on how to take it apart and the special handling it needs, as well as special tools.

I myself have no immediate plans to tinker with my Atmos. (it is running fine).

I have been taking clocks and watches apart since I was 3 years old and it only been the past 20 years I can get them back together and keeping time. I be 75 now.

I would recommend you start with the DVD and not the clock :)

Jim
 
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TQ60

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Sep 15, 2016
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The clock is fully wound so carefully put it back together.

Get it started and watch how the fork interacts with the roller as well as looking at where the roller stops at each end of the beat.

To start the clock lock the pendulum then with a pencil eraser end or sock over your fingertip rotate the disk in the direction the fork is from center until the roller is directly in the back of the clock then slowly let down the pendulum and now check the beat as well as confirming level via looking down through the clock to confirm the pendulum is centered.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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What is the best way to let down the mainspring?
Just hold the intermediate wheel and let it down that way?
 

etmb61

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The bare minimum information you will need to tinker with an atmos is in the Atmos Repair Notes from JL. You can pick up a copy for about $10. It will save a lot of frustration and could lessen the chance of damaging something.

Eric
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Thank You James I will order the DVD.
I am 56 and I also have just started to repair clocks correctly, been collecting for 20 years :)
 

TQ60

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Sep 15, 2016
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Cannot see photos anymore and thought we saw the photo with bellows off and winding s] ring not compressed against the back plate held there by the mainspring.

Thought we replied but we have eaten since then....

Check for actual power as the bellows may be working but spring not winding.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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I suspect the spring may not be winding.
How can I check to see if the mainspring is wound and has power?
 

TQ60

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Sep 15, 2016
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If clock is assembled you can perform the normal starting operations and simply observe how the fork interacts with the roller.

If it has power the fork will snap over to push the roller as it passes.

If no power the roller will push the fork across as it passes.

This is the simple without touching thing.

If you read everything at atmos man's page there are tips about observing the winding chain to determine position of bellows.

One could remove the bellows and observe the winding spring as you remove bellows.

If it stays close to the back plate the main spring is in equilibrium with the winding spring and if it extends out then main spring not in equilibrium.

You would carefully push it towards the back plate slowly then let it out slowly and observe the action of the ratcheting spindle to see if is turning.

Be careful and ask before guessing.

Report what you see and someone here will help.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Ok so I got the DVD set which was good and the atmos hand puller.
Only thing about DVD is video quality is kind of poor and not enough close ups.
But still worth it for the commentary.
Got started with the disassembly.
I have attached pictures but I think I have a power problem.
Maybe the mainspring.
So if I wind the mainspring by hand while holding the secondary wheel I get about 3.5 revolutions of the red dot before I can hear the spring click or slip.
Also I put a dot on the secondary wheel and if I wind it by hand till it clicks or slips I get 5.5 revolutions of the secondary wheel.
Is that enough power?
Seems low to me?
P1060821.JPG P1060819.JPG
 

Ed O'Brien

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Nov 30, 2009
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Since you have disassembled successfully to this point, remove the pin to release the small motor spring, separate the plates, remove the mainspring open it and undoubtedly find it dry as a bone, wipe it clean with alcohol rag then apply a very thin film of oil to the spring and the bridle. Also make sure the barrel and lid arew clean (I lightly lube these), reassemble and you'll probably have solved your winding issue. (About a 15 - 30 minute job at the worst.)
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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How can I separate the plates without removing the staff and pendulum.
I don't want to mess with the suspension spring or balance.
I just want to get out the mainspring.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Took 2 more pictures with axle removed.
Almost looks like someone tried to remove spring and lube it.
Also looks like one loop of spring is not on notch in barrel.
Your thoughts?
Should I replace spring? P1060826.JPG P1060825.JPG
 

TQ60

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Sep 15, 2016
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You indicate may not be in notch.

If you mean the barrel end of mainspring is not connected then that is what we were suspecting some time back...spring not attached.

What is happening is the motor is operating the ratchet and winding spring but ant some point the power in spring overcomes the friction to barrel and it slips.

Some power may be available maybe but small.

You can carefully unwind the spring as it is not strong but be very careful to not tangle it up.

You have photo to help in direction.

Before pulling apart reassemble it to make sure the spring properly hooks on the shaft just in case somebody put it in backwards...make sure the direction is correct.

When out clean with lint free cloth then a drop of oil in cloth to wipe the spring to oil it.

Hook it and wind it in carefully and use a tooth pick to push the layers all flat as you go.

When assembled you can test for tension then put back in clock and manually wind via pumping the winding spring.

Good luck and report back.
 

Ed O'Brien

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Nov 30, 2009
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Remember, there are two notches in the barrel - one for bridle and one for mainspring. Bridle goes in first, then m/s hold-end hooks to barrel notch that is actually covered by the installed bridle.

Very seldom is there a need to replace mainspring.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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OK so took out mainspring and see the the end of the loop is broken.
I ordered a new mainspring unit off of Ebay.
Question is where does the loop at the end of mainspring attach?
Looks like the bridle takes up all the room on the notch? P1060828.JPG P1060827.JPG
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Sorry I answered my own question.
Looks like mainspring loop goes on opposite to bridle notch underneath the bridle.
Thanks will keep you guys posted on progress.
 

Ed O'Brien

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Since the Atmos runs with a continuously fully wound mainspring, you can safely operate with your old spring slightly shortened and with a new hole. Not like a conventional winding clock where you might shorten run time.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Update,
Got new spring put clock together and power train is good now.
Now have to look at movement.
Runs for a few hours than stops.
The DVD and instructions that came with it where very help full as well as everyone here.

Thank You
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Ok so trying to keep it running for more than 2 hours.

Here is what I observed.
Looking at the face of the clock when the fork goes to the left the escape wheel has a solid click action to it.
But when it goes to the left if just kind of drags out of the tooth, its not solid?
For awhile it didn't even seem like it was advancing but it must be to keep going for a few hours I guess.
Any advice?
 

Ed O'Brien

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Nov 30, 2009
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Two possibilities come to mind: dry mainspring preventing power transfer or the fork is out of poise. It's remotely possible you have a twisted suspension spring, but not likely.
 

term789

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Oct 19, 2016
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Ok so I think I poised the fork properly according to the DVD.
But still no luck.
Attached picture of fork.
Appears to me that jewel on right of fork is different or has no angle to it.
May this be the problem? P1060866.JPG P1060861.JPG P1060853.JPG
 

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