Atmos Balance Staff Wobble

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by Kevin Knauss, Sep 10, 2017.

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  1. Kevin Knauss

    Kevin Knauss Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 18, 2016
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    I picked up my first Atmos Clock model 528-8 in what appears great condition. It is keeping prettying good time, running a tad slow. I have leveled it using the spirit bubble level.

    However, I have noticed that balance staff will wobble back and forth occasionally. It doesn't look like it is hitting the bridge during the rotational wobble. Is this wobble common?

    When I lock the balance wheel, it seems to bring it back to center over the bridge plate, indicating to me that either the clock is not level or the balance staff is bent somehow. I don't want to attempt to adjust the Fast-Slow adjustment until I determine if their might be another problem.

    The serial number is 220650 which I believe puts it manufacture date around 1966.

    Any comments relating to experience with this wobble would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ally

    Ally Registered User

    May 30, 2014
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    Hi Kevin
    I'm no expert on these though I do have a 1990's model, which refused to run when I got it home. Had it cleaned by professionals and it now works fine. If your balance staff is bent surely the pendulum is wobbling with it? or am i talking nonsense??
    Ally
     
  3. Kevin Knauss

    Kevin Knauss Registered User
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    Jan 18, 2016
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    Thank you for the reply. From my observations, I'm tending to think the staff is not bent, but the clock is not in level. There are time when there are no wobbles at the top of the balance staff. I'll do some additional tinkering with the front posts.
     
  4. new_hampster

    new_hampster Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
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    Rather than use the level, using the front adjusters, center the lower stop collar in the hole in the lower bridge. If the level shows someone other that 'level' when the stop collar is centered, the level needs to be adjusted, which is a simple task on the 528-8.

    The Atmos suspension is very delicate. The balance will wobble with the slightest vibration, normal. If the balance is suspended properly, it will not make contact with anything and will continue to run. If you get excessive and/or frequent wobble, I would suggest moving the clock to another location that is less prone to vibration and watching it for a while. If the suspension wire has been replaced, it is possible that the balance was not poised properly and with slight wobble, the top of the balance will hit the regulator clamp, which can slow the clock down. But this would be the -result- of wobble, not the -cause-.

    It is possible the balance has too much amplitude. If the balance rotates more than about 700 degrees, the roller will hit the back side of the fork, and that can cause some wobble. You can easily observe the amount of rotation to see if this is possibly what is happening. Each chevron on the 528 balance represents 30 degrees; count from start of rotation to end. Note that while this condition can cause the balance to wobble, it usually causes the clock to run fast, not slow. But the wobble and the slow period may be unrelated to each other.
     
  5. Kevin Knauss

    Kevin Knauss Registered User
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    Jan 18, 2016
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    Thank you, good information. I purchased the clock from Fontain's Auctions in Massachusetts while visiting. I don't think the clock has been ever serviced from the looks of it. I had it shipped to California, but they did an excellent job of securing and padding the clock inside and out. But that doesn't mean something may not have been bent or tweaked ever so slightly.

    Before I take it in for servicing, I will employee your suggestions to eliminate as much guessing as possible.
     
  6. TQ60

    TQ60 Registered User

    Sep 15, 2016
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    These clocks are more sensitive than your ears in worst hangover...When you can hear snails crawl...

    Example is we have a 2 story shoo with a bench upstairs we use for clock work.

    Floor is 1 1/8 thick 47 inch span rating on 15 3/4 centers on steel joists.

    You can do jumping jacks mid span and nothing moves or other noises but no matter how gently we walk up the stairs and sneak up on the bench the disks on the atmos running on that bench will move around a bit.

    If your floor is not a slab or there is any movement the atmos will pick it up.
     
  7. Kevin Knauss

    Kevin Knauss Registered User
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    Jan 18, 2016
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    Good observations. I may need to move the clock, but I really enjoy watching it next to my reading chair.
     
  8. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Oct 25, 2010
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