Atmos 528-6

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by term789, Aug 17, 2017.

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  1. term789

    term789 Registered User

    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
     
  2. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Oct 25, 2010
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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
     
  3. term789

    term789 Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
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    Ok,

    So power I guess isn't the issue, anyone have any clues from the attached pictures?
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. term789

    term789 Registered User

    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 :(
     
  5. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Registered User
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    Nov 30, 2009
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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.
     
  6. term789

    term789 Registered User

    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.
     
  7. new_hampster

    new_hampster Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
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    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.
     
  8. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Registered User
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    Nov 30, 2009
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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.
     
  9. TQ60

    TQ60 Registered User

    Sep 15, 2016
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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.
     
  10. term789

    term789 Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
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    Ok took off bellows and here's what I have.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Registered User
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    Nov 30, 2009
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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.
     
  12. term789

    term789 Registered User

    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 !!!!!!
     
  13. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Oct 25, 2010
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    It should take about five compressions of the disk to fully wind the mainspring.
     
  14. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Registered User
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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.
     
  15. new_hampster

    new_hampster Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
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    #15 new_hampster, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
    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.
     
  16. James McDermaid

    James McDermaid Registered User
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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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  17. TQ60

    TQ60 Registered User

    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.
     
  18. term789

    term789 Registered User

    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?
     
  19. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Oct 25, 2010
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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
     
  20. term789

    term789 Registered User

    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 :)
     
  21. TQ60

    TQ60 Registered User

    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.
     
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