Best way to stop clocks from waking us during the night.

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by paddy2042, Apr 26, 2017.

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  1. paddy2042

    paddy2042 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2017
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    I am sure I am not the first person to be faced with this dilemma. I have several chiming and ringing clocks (and a cuckoo, the most annoying of them all!) which tend to wake up household members at night. In the evening I stop them completely at around 7pm and restart in the morning at 7 am - this saves any readjustment.

    I am wondering, if I want them to keep time and keep ticking over night and not chime, am I able to either take the weight off the chimes or simply not wind the chimes when the weights get to the floor. Will this disrupt the mechanism and will the clocks chime correctly when either rewound or the weights replaced? I am suspecting that the loss of either spring or weights will cause the clocks to misbehave when the chimes are reinstated.

    Any thoughts on this.

    Patrick
     
  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Not winding the strike trains up is the easy fix. Some clocks even have a switch to make it silent. Even some cuckoo clocks do.
     
  3. scottmiami

    scottmiami Registered User

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    Depends on the household member.

    If it's a kid who refuses to get a job & move out... let 'em run!

    If it's your spouse, you may want to consider a divorce, as you are clearly not compatible.

    Otherwise.. perhaps move your chiming / striking clocks to another part of the house & start looking for some timepieces to take their place(s).
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    isn't the real answer that it depends on the clock?

    Countwheel strike means you can not wind the strike side or if it is a continuous Huygens drive system then put a clothes peg on the fly.

    If it is a rack and snail strike then it is possible the mechanism can be damaged by not allowing the strike to take place where the big step on the snail is between 12 and 1. That's where strike/no strike levers are used to prevent the strike.
     
  5. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    Yep it does depend on the type of clock and you could always remove the bell or gong but of course the best solution is don't have striking or chiming clocks.
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    MOST chiming clocks activate the strike train at the end of the hour chime run. In that case, you can remove the weight from the chime side and silence both the chime and strike without effecting the clock (except that it may take an hour to readjust itself). To test it, wait until 11 or 12 and listen for the sound of the rack falling. If it occurs before the chime starts, forget it. Otherwise, you'll hear it fall at the end of the chime and that's ideal.
    Striking (only) clocks work in one of two ways. Either they have a rack (you'll hear it fall as described above a few minutes before the hour), or they have a countwheel. Both types will cause issues. If you stop the countwheel from activating, the count will be off and would need to be adjusted every morning. If you stop a rack/snail type, they will still activate from the time train, and could damage the rack tail between midnight and 1:00, and/or stop the clock.
    The easiest way to silence a strike only clock is to prevent the hammers from falling on the strike rod/coil. Tie them up, or use the bars supplied with some of them to keep the hammers up out of the way. That way nothing is ruined and everything will start normally when the hammers are released.
     
  7. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    We have a rule in our two story home, no striking or chiming clocks on the second floor.

    Ron
     
  8. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    A lot of the grandfather style chiming clocks have two levers for holding the two sets of hammers back out of the way.
     
  9. paddy2042

    paddy2042 Registered User

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    It is on a couple of Wall Regulators and a Comtoise. I thought of taking the end off the hammer on the regulators but the flywheel and mechanism make enough noise on their own! The Comtoise/ Morbier I don't know how to deal with either.
     
  10. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    A heavier oil may slow down and quieten a noisy train. A wad of felt shoved between hammer and gong can effectively dull the strike.
     
  11. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    only a few of my clocks are allowed to strike.

    simple enough to hang a paper clip (or piece of wire bent into a little j-hook) off the fly to silence the others.
     
  12. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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  13. mlschlot

    mlschlot Registered User
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    The old tallcase clocks won't let you get by not winding the strike train, and I like to run both trains to even out the wear and tear anyway. Personally, I put bumpers on the bells, or shrink tubing around the gong rods/coils. That allows the clock to strike, but all you hear is a dull thump. That keeps the wife happy. The only clocks I let strike are my ship's bells. The wife can't convert the watch bells to house strike, so she falls back to sleep. :)
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Depends what you mean by old. 17th Century and early 18th Century 8 day English longcase would often have countwheel strike. Although the rack strike was a 17th century invention it was not adopted immediately. However my two earliest 8 day clocks both have rack strike, one internal one external, I only have one 8 day with a countwheel and that is about 15 years later in date.
     
  15. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Only single fusees, weight regulators, and other time only clocks in close proximity to the bedroom.
     
  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    will be trying the Dutch striking longcase out in the bedroom soon but that might be just a bit too much
     
  17. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I know a lot of people who hate a quartz analog clock in their bedroom. A bit like I always hated my brain being boiled awake by the buzz of a copal clock alarm
     
  18. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Some will take a leather glove and cut the digits off. They'll slip one of the cut-offs over the hammer to subdue the sound.

    Ralph
     
  19. John Arrowood

    John Arrowood Registered User
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    It takes a short while to get used to the sounds and then you won't notice the striking at all.
    I have a Westminster chime, a French clock with hour and half hour strike, and a 3-wt Vienna that counts the quarters and hours every 15 mins in my bedroom and don't notice them at all until one stops. And I can hear an Accutron humming if I have one out on my dresser. But then I live alone and any visitors just have to cope.
     
  20. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    If you think about it, in the 18th and 19th c. people had time, and alarm clocks near where they slept. If you were wealthy, there were verge time, alarm, and repeating bracket clocks. There were hooded clocks for farmers, and other working folks that were time, with alarm. I have a Black Forest wood plate hanging piece that is time, and alarm with a painted dial (there are "postman's clocks"). Later, there were "tin can" style alarm clocks. Not to mention French and Swiss carriage clocks.

    I have a wife, so I really never considered having striking clocks near the bedroom (out of consideration and she is not always so supportive or understanding of my clocks). But the cuckoo quail clock probably should not be in the bedroom.
     
  21. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    you more usually get alarm clocks that don't also strike, but whether that was a choice or a cost consideration I don't know. I have an alarm longcase that also strikes, and I've seen alarm clocks that not only strike but chime.

    However the early lantern clocks appeared to be more alarm than strike. After that alarms don't seem to have been so popular in the UK as they were in mainland Europe. I don't know why, they must have had the same need to get up in the morning. Perhaps they relied on staff?
     
  22. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I believe most of the alarm clocks were imported into the UK, starting with "postman's clocks" in the second quarter 19th. The foreign models were cheap and popular. There were plenty of time, strike, and alarm clocks all over the USA and Europe...these clocks were not intended to be in a bedroom, perhaps a parlor or location near where people slept. But I like the simplicity of time, and alarm clocks.

    Here is one of my faves. Not old, early 20th c. But very good quality, built to last and perform reliably. (W+H) Curiously, the dial says, "Made in Berlin", which it probably wasn't.....not sure if it's a marketing trick.
     

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  23. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I've always fancied one of those alarm clocks with a rotating disc music box on the top. I think they were german.
     
  24. paddy2042

    paddy2042 Registered User

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    When one lives in a tiny, inner city, single story terrace, it is difficult to move the clock far enough away from the sleeping quarters. They would need to be put out in the lane in order to get the sort of distance that one would get in a large suburban home. I always seem to go for the least practical hobby!!!
     
  25. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    For a pretty penny you can get noise cancelling technology. These devices generate a sound wave 180 degrees out of phase with all the noises that come to its microphone. Shifted 180 degrees the generated noise cancels the real noise as far as your ear is concerned and all you hear is some white noise hiss or hum that many find very conducive to sleep. The noise cancelling headsets use this technique, but you cannot sleep in them. So you have to pay a pretty penny for a floor or desk model with speakers to be mounted near your bed. You also won't hear your soulmate talking in their sleep, the phone, the fire alarm or the doorbell - so be warned. Also, cheap ones do not work well.

     
  26. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    We live in a smaller house. I ran a cuckoo quail clock about 20 feet from the bed, but on a wall around the corner in the next room. You certainly could hear the clock, but not directly and slightly muffled. The bracket clock has a straight sound line to the bedroom door, but it is across the room some distance. Just outside the bedroom are time only clocks. I bet you could improve the situation with some tinkering. Of course there are simple, cheap earplugs in addition to noise cancelling technology, I'm sure there are space saving, noise reducing panels as well.
     
  27. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    one of our loudest is in the conservatory, it is a posted frame single hander from around 1700. Being posted frame means it has a huge bell as the hammer strikes from the inside.

    You can here it two gardens away.
     
  28. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    #28 Les harland, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
    Has any one tried ear plugs?
     
  29. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I assume the neighbours have as they never complain.
     
  30. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Reminds me of the great Masterpiece Theater show "The Nine Tailers" where the murderer tied his victim in the clock bell tower right next to the huge bells and after a few hours of tolling the intense sound killed the poor victim.


     
  31. tkmc37

    tkmc37 Registered User
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    I typically do not wind all of my clocks for the various reasons stated. That being said, I have a Ansonia crystal regulator on the mantle that I would just barely wind the strike side as when it looses power it will continually strike much like an alarm until it is wound again... I found this feature particularly amusing when trying to motivate my adult children that decided to move back home that they needed to be productive.....

    Tim
     
  32. lovinwatches

    lovinwatches Registered User

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    This answer kind of beats around the bush, but I have three loud chiming clocks in my room and I can't hear them with my fan on. :chuckling: But I agree with what others have said, putting something that mutes the sound on the chime(s) or hammer(s).
     
  33. mcarp

    mcarp Registered User

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    I am curious how is it that the rack drops onto the snail if the rack hook hasnt been lifted. How does the rack hook get lifted if the train gears do not spin around? That is, if the weight is off the chain or cable. This assuming that the train is not already in warning, for example 1:05.
     
  34. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Perhaps I misunderstand your question, but the strike is initiated by the time train. The rack is released by the action of a lever on a time train wheel, the rack then moves either by gravity or by spring action. The rack tail rests on the snail and then the continuing movement of the time train initiates the rotation of the gathering pallet to count the strike and brink the rack back.

    The only bit of this that doesn't happen if the weight is not acting on the strike side is the gathering pallet does not rotate and the rack does not get counted back as the strike takes place. So the tail ends up in contact with the snail
     
  35. mcarp

    mcarp Registered User

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    #35 mcarp, May 2, 2017
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
    Well I took the dial off my regula 25 pre 1970 and did a bunch of strikes. Most of the time with the strike weight off, the rack was held up by the gathering palette after the rack hook was lifted. It seemed that the gear train had wandered slightly backward with the weight off. Weight on and the gathering palette was steady not on the rack hook. At some point I was able to have the rack drop with the weight off as the gathering palette hadnt drifted backwards with the weight off. So it seems that it was unreliable whether the rack would drop with the weight off. This one has the taper that would make the rack tail slide behind the snail, but for some reason, it never dropped with the weight off at the 12 oclock wall.

    *edit*

    I think I've concluded that I dont like the take the weight off method for a long term solution either way.
     
  36. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The gathering pallet was probably set wrong, and interfered with the rack dropping. They should be set so the last strike falls as the train stops.
     
  37. mcarp

    mcarp Registered User

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    Does that explain why the gathering palette is in the exact perfect position when the weight is on?
     
  38. paddy2042

    paddy2042 Registered User

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    From a couple of regulators I unscrewed the hammer head and removed it and the arm just 'strikes' without any sound. The only problem now is the infernal mechanism of whirrs, clicks and clacks that is almost as loud os the actual strike!

    I removed the bell from the Morbier and again the hammer strike in mid air but the mechanism is really noisy. I am going to make a leather pocket to go over the hammer head and see if that improves matters. At least it should mellow the bell.
     
  39. stewey

    stewey Registered User

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    Paddy, sleep during the day and those pesky, dagnabbed, infernal machines won't keep you awake at night. Nutjob
     
  40. paddy2042

    paddy2042 Registered User

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    I just knew someone would come up with the ideal solution.
     
  41. stewey

    stewey Registered User

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    It is amazing how the enveloping shroud of darkness intensifies the sound of striking and chiming clocks: My wife refers to them as "bangers"...No appreciation whatsoever.
     
  42. isgus

    isgus Registered User

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    My wife has several names for them, none of them 'bangers'. She does however use the word 'bang' in the same sentence as 'baseball bat'
     

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