beat setting - better guided by sight or sound?

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by dandydude, Jul 1, 2015.

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  1. dandydude

    dandydude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2014
    Country Flag:

    I would like to ask an extremely rudimentary question.
    Which method is better?
    Is it better to set the beat by looking at the locking of entrance and exit palet. Making sure that the distance of lock is the same on each palet
    Or is it better to listen to the tick and tock and make a decision based on the interval between the tick and the tock.

  2. tok-tokkie

    tok-tokkie Registered User

    Nov 25, 2010
    Cape Town, South Africa
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    I do it by sound but I use a free sound recording program called Audacity.
    I poke a cheap microphone as used for Skype into the back of the clock and record it using Audacity. Record for 10 to 15 seconds. You can then measure the time for each tick & tock. I measure 5 seconds so get the time for 2 ticks & 2 tocks which I enter into Excel & get the average for each and the difference.

    Method in detail:

    1. Start Audacity. Click red button to start recording. Run for about 15 secs.
    2. To stop the recording click the square button. Pause is ||
    3. To play the recording press triangle
    4. To erase. Press Stop. Click File/Close
    5. On Track drop down menu on left choose Waveform dB
    6. Get the waveform shown. Move cursor over pulse & time is shown at bottom.
    7. You can play the recording to see where the ticks & tocks are. If they are quite similar clap your hands or make some other noise when it Ticks - that will show you which is which on your recording.
  3. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    Industry Specialist
    Launceston Tasmania
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    I set beat by ear. Is that the best way? Well, it is for me. However, the best way for you to do it is the method which works best for you.
  4. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    Magnolia, TX
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    It has been done by ear since the beginning of clocks with pendulums. As a new clockmaker I was able in fairly short order to get the beat withing 10% of left to right balance on most clocks. I know that because more recently I on occasion check the beat with a Microset. Using Microset, or a similar timing device, it is possible to get much closer to a perfect beat, but more importantly it will show other problems that may cause changes in beat, like a bad escape wheel tooth, or slightly out of round escape wheel shaft/wheel, slightly bent pivot, and similar things...
  5. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    Calif. USA
    By Sound is best. On a typical dead beat, the locks happen on
    different diameters because one is on the inside while the other
    is on the outside. The locks will always be slightly different because
    of the different radius of the anchor.
    With a longer arms on the anchor, the difference is small.
    On shorter anchors it is more noticed.
    Tinker Dwight
  6. dandydude

    dandydude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2014
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    I guess it is unanimous that it has to be decided based on sound.

    Thanks a lot friends
  7. Bill Ward

    Bill Ward Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    EE (spec. acoustics) now medicine
    A trained musician can hear something out-of-beat within a fraction of a millisecond- just listen to a good orchestra. Most people can hear it within a few milliseconds, barring aural interference (like a hundred other clocks ticking & tocking!) To get that kind of accuracy visually from the escapement would require gauging (not comparing) distances distances within, say, .0002 inches. Besides, the beat has to be set when the movement is in the case; how do you watch the escapement then?
    'Course, some people just don't got no rhythm.... I used to know a guy who literally couldn't, without the words, tell the difference between God Save the Queen and Love Me Do. He was totally tone deaf, due to having been deaf until the age of three.

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