Brocot headache

clarke

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Oct 25, 2009
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I have a problem getting a Fritz Marti (attachment A) going train to run

Background:
It’s Brocot escapement has always run beautifully.
But the chime train stopped working except for on the very tightest wind. I figured the spring was set so took the clock apart and based on the measurements of the springs that I took out (don’t know if they were original), ordered a new one. Since I was in there, I decided to replace the time side spring as well. The measurements of the old springs led me to order from Timesavers:
Strike #16826 77.224-53/64 x .011 x 45 ¼
Time: #17495: 77.186 – 45/64 x .011 x 49
Also put in new suspension spring (# 11070) to replace the existing one which was horribly deformed.
Remember, the time side ran well before these replacements.

The problem:
It’s all back together. The chime side is now very healthy. But I can’t get the time side to continue running.
I don’t think the escapement assembly was changed during the disassembly/reassembly, but it’s possible. Making adjustments to the eccentric and the pallet body in relation to the crutch, the pallets AT REST, with the pendulum completely vertical, are positioned with the escape wheel exactly as indicated in the diagram of Steven Conovers’s “Repairing French Pendulum Clocks”.
The train initially runs and the beat sounds perfect. BUT the span of the pendulum arc slowly decreases and it dies – this happens in only about two to three minutes.
It would seem to be lacking power, but I put the exact same spring (measurement wise) that was working fine before. Plus, with the pallets removed, only a quarter wind sets the time train running wild.

The movement is very clean. No bushing problems. Pivots clean. The pallets have not rotated from their original position.

I’m getting very discouraged by this. Any thoughts? Thanks for listening.
 

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Scottie-TX

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Well, I'm wondering why, if the movement was running fine before disassembly - I'm wondering why you'd alter drops and locks to restore operation. No matter. You did and they can easily be restored to proper setting. Just be VERY careful if them pallets are garnet. They do NOT accept, "OOPS!".
I do not suspect insufficient power due to wrong spring but I DO suspect insufficient power due to another reason - perhaps the reason it stopped. Did you replace any bushings? Did you check for endshake in all wheels. I'd try to eliminate all sources of power loss or load first. If ultimately you decide power is ample, then return to escapement for proper adjustment, but when you do, I'm sure you know that setting these adjustments by trial and error will rarely succeed and if it does, most often will not result in optimal performance. Optimal performance of ANY deadbeat begins with ENTRANCE drop and proceeds from there.
 
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Mike Phelan

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chime side
:confused:

Did you clean and lubricate the new springs?
What lubricant did you use?
These movements almost never need any bushing, BTW.
Does it still stop if you remove the motion work?
 

clarke

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Thanks for your response.
I'm an amateur and have indeed used the "trial and error" method (unsuccessfully). Could you please expand on your last sentence, "begins with entrance drop..."?
c.
 

shutterbug

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If you cleaned the pallets in an ultrasonic or even in a chemical soup, chances are you loosened the jewel pallets. They need to be tight, and in the exact positions shown in your illustration. Check that first :)
 

ckerr365

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I have had issues with these myself, and found that adjusting the anchor escapement sometimes works. It is usually pressure fitted on the arbor, so it can be manipulated. Also, be sure to check the pivots on the arbor. A bent one can stop the clock as well. Good luck!
 

oldticker

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I had trouble with one of these once when the escape wheel arbor was touching the dial slightly.

Sounds you are losing power. Take the pallets out and see if the train runs ok.
 

Scottie-TX

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Please understand and I'm sure you do, but he TICKR doesn't mean to physically remove the pallets, but to remove the pallet body complete with arbor for train testing.
 

Scottie-TX

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CLARKE, I dislike bein' picky but lighting is poor on the entrance pallet - LEFT side. I see perfect lock on EXIT, but what bothers me most is pallet looks a tad thick. I know you said it was previously running but still I question that the pallet seems to take up too much space between teeth. Ideally, measurement across "DEE" shape of pallet should occupy 40% of the gap between the teeth. Is that what you see and mebbbe another pik with better lighting on LEFT side?
Sorry ta be so picky but all this stuff impotent! THANKS!
 

Mike Phelan

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If you cleaned the pallets in an ultrasonic or even in a chemical soup, chances are you loosened the jewel pallets. They need to be tight, and in the exact positions shown in your illustration. Check that first :)
Good point, SB, that I missed. Looking at the pic, it seems that the pallets are fitted correctly, though. FWIW I would not put one of these in a US cleaner, as it only saves about 5% of the overhaul time.

I have had issues with these myself, and found that adjusting the anchor escapement sometimes works. It is usually pressure fitted on the arbor, so it can be manipulated. Also, be sure to check the pivots on the arbor. A bent one can stop the clock as well. Good luck!
Careful - these pivots are glass hard! :eek:

I had trouble with one of these once when the escape wheel arbor was touching the dial slightly.

Sounds you are losing power. Take the pallets out and see if the train runs ok.
I think he's done that and it runs OK free. It could well be that the pallets are not free for some reason as you suggest.
Mike: new springs. lube w/ mobeius 8200.
oldticker: w/o pallets assembly, EW runs strong with 1/4 wind of key.
Scottie: here’s your pik.
thanks you guys
Hmmm ... interesting!
 

bkerr

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FWIW - if it ran fine before then I'd look for the change. No bushing change right? So count that one out. Was the movement disassembled? Well it's back together right? Check the plates to see how "snug" they are. Maybe back off a half turn or so (unless it is pinned). There may be a slight binding now that was not there before. Did any thing get dropped, ew tooth bent? Bent arbor somewhere now that was not there before?
Also a touch of good light oil on the ew and stones will help also.

There's two more cents. Hope you find it!
 

clarke

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As always, thanks for all the imput.

bkerr:
No bushing change.
Disassembled and back together
Plates are pinned
No structural damage.

Scottie
I live in Hong Kong and found this clock covered in dust in an old Chinese junk shop in (what was then the Portuguese colony) Macau. That was in 1984.
Don’t know if the pallets are the right size or not, but for 25 years, they’ve worked fine, so…. if it ain’t broke…
On the 13th, you wrote “Optimal performance of ANY deadbeat begins with ENTRANCE drop and proceeds from there.” Could you please elaborate? Is there a sequence in which to adjust things?
I hope the new pic is more informative.

thanks
 

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RJSoftware

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Here are the steps.

With movement in the case, clock as normal.

Step 1.

The entrance palette is adjusted by setting the clock "in beat".

"Lean your clock till she ticks with pride, then adjust her crutch to that high side".

So, you can lean the clock, by staking under one side various amounts of playing cards and see if you can improve the beat. (more even tick-tocks and/or quicker beat).

Experiment and see which side left or right improves the beat (if at all).

If there was improvement then push/bend/adjust the crutch (crutch pushes pendulum) slightly toward the high side you established when leaning the clock.

Make very small adjustments, a little goes a long way. Listen closely, leaning the clock in one direction may make the clock stop quicker. Leaning the other may make the beat stronger. If the crutch is a solid connection try to make the bends in spots already bent. Often times just a small push is all that is needed. Crutches that are connected with a frictional fit joint are nice because you only need to push, no bending.

You adjust the crutch toward the high side so that when you place the clock level the beat works better.

Step 2.

The exit palette adjustment.

The exit palette is adjusted by moving the anchor arbor closer or further away from the escape wheel.

A. Turn the concentic bushing CAREFULLY inward till the anchor palettes touch/bottom out in the ew teeth.

REMEMBER BE CAREFUL WITH THEM JEWELS..!

This position would be fully locked. 0 drop, 100% lock. Ew can't turn.

B. Then slowly turn the concentric outward a bit at a time. Touch the pendulum to test when the ew is allowed to once again to turn.

Continue to turn the eccentric a touch bit more. This extra clearance is to address the fact that all ew teeth may not be exactly same size. A little extra clearance is needed.

Now steps A and B are actually more specific for recoil type escapements and does not address "dead beat".

Dead beat escapements have specific landing spots for the ew teeth to contact.

The dead beat has a lock area and a lift area. So when adjusting the distance you want to make sure that in the operation the teeth hit both areas.

It is incorrect for an anchor's palettes to land on the lift area, even though the clock may still operate. This is true for both recoil and dead beat.

There are some arrangements where the lift area is on the anchor's palette ends.

In both cases, the tooth lands on the flat locking area, slides up the tooth and then is pushed up by the lift area.

Keep in mind that the closer the anchor is the wider the pendulum must swing in order for escapement to release. You can look at it as forcing a wider swing.

Some of the finer clocks have a very small swing.

The concearn over drop is (to me) sorta a non issue.

Drop is when the ew turns releasing the palette to the next. Some see it as inefficiency. Where less drop is more desirable because it is a loss of energy.

I suppose one could tune out as much drop as possible by tweeking the distances between palettes.

Lock and drop are opposites (inverse?). Where more lock equals less drop and vice versa.

I don't know the exact method to determine how to calculate the distance betwen palettes but basically I go by sight/ear. I bend in a little or bend out a little till I get the desired results.

Works for me...!

RJ
 
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Mike Phelan

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Sorry, RJ, I have to comment on some of these points. :)I'm not trying to have a moan at you.
If there was improvement then push/bend/adjust the crutch (crutch pushes pendulum) slightly toward the high side you established when leaning the clock.
Please don't bend the crutch; apart from the fact it looks awful, the split collet can be moved on its threaded arbor to set it in beat.
Continue to turn the eccentric a touch bit more. This extra clearance is to address the fact that all ew teeth may not be exactly same size. A little extra clearance is needed.

Now steps A and B are actually more specific for recoil type escapements and does not address "dead beat".
This is a dead-beat, so this might confuse the OP. As for the eccentric, leave it alone unless another "repairer" has been messing.
Dead beat escapements have specific landing spots for the ew teeth to contact.

The dead beat has a lock area and a lift area. So when adjusting the distance you want to make sure that in the operation the teeth hit both areas.

It is incorrect for an anchor's pallets to land on the lift area, even though the clock may still operate. This is true for both recoil and dead beat.
All the pallet faces on a recoil anchor are what you term as a lift area, but not relevant for this clock or other DB escapements.
Keep in mind that the closer the anchor is the wider the pendulum must swing in order for escapement to release. You can look at it as forcing a wider swing.
Remember that moving the pallet staff on a DB will also change the drops; more so the wder the span of the pallets are.
Some of the finer clocks have a very small swing.

The concern over drop is (to me) sorta a non issue.

Drop is when the ew turns releasing the pallet to the next. Some see it as inefficiency. Where less drop is more desirable because it is a loss of energy.
It is inefficiency, but on a DB like this, the only way to change it is by altering diameter or width of the pallet pins.
I suppose one could tune out as much drop as possible by tweaking the distances between pallets.
No! Never do that! A DB escapement has ony one specific point in its design where the tooth hits the dead face of the pallet; as little as possible between it and the impulse face. 400 day clocks need more as the locking is not so safe due to the torsion on the suspension and fork clearance.
 
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Scottie-TX

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Thank you CLARKE for the excellent picture that is much move visible.
Now I can see that pallets DO appear correct thickness - no surprise.
Second I see that EXIT pallet, right, has a proper lock. You see that the tooth has landed apx. midway in curved portion. Portion below center is impulse, you see. Teeth MUST not land below center.
Then I note the angle of the pallets. Ideally, a line drawn thru the flat of the "DEE" should intersect the escape wheel center. Note that a line drawn thru the EXIT pallet falls considerably below EW center - ENTRANCE, a tad below. No matter. This is not critical. Close is good.
You can readily see that even with the line below center that the EW will still unlock when it departs the radius regardless of location ofplane of DEE flat.
OK? Let's proceed and keep it simple.
Only two adjustments are possible. Gap between pallets which will alter entrance drop and exit lock.
Second - raising or lowering pallet body, which will alter both drops and locks equally.
Now, since you never changed gap between pallets and clock ran previously, let's omit that adjustment. You've only raised or lowered pallets.
Our goal is to have MINIMUM drops with safe lock.
So lower pallet arbor with eccentric until escapement will no longer unlock.
Then raise pallet body until escapement JUST unlocks, leaving minimal drops.
This should also provide safe lock. Observe that locks are full on radius.
It should now run!
 

RJSoftware

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Mike. In previous post he states that he did not understand the process. I wanted to explain the overall process covering recoil and deadbeat.

It does appear also that you have not read the whole post/thread.

But hey, we all get tired...!

RJ
 

harold bain

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Ok, it worked before you took it apart, it doesn't work after you put it back together. The LAST thing you want to do is start adjusting the escapement.
But it is probably too late now.
Test. Does it escape when moving the crutch manually? Or does the anchor seem to be locking on the escapewheel teeth?
It should have a smooth effortless escape action when moving manually from side to side.
 

LaBounty

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Unfortunately, simply removing the escape wheel bridge on a Brocot escapement can cause the escapement to become out of adjustment. There is sufficient play of the bridge that it can be moved several thousandths of an inch by loosening the screws and then tightening them again. This has the effect of moving the front pivot of the escape wheel closer or farther away from the anchor, much like turning the eccentric bushing on the anchor bridge. Moving it several thousandths is sometimes all it takes to make it work... or not work :).

Good luck with it!
 

Scottie-TX

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I may have misread his opening statement HAROLD, but if I read correctly, he has already changed the pallet depth:
Making adjustments to the eccentric and the pallet body in relation to the crutch, the pallets AT REST, with the pendulum completely vertical, are positioned with the escape wheel exactly as indicated in the diagram of Steven Conovers’s “Repairing French Pendulum Clocks”.
"Making adjustments" I read as, "he made adjustments".
Am I reading that wrong, CLARKE - that you did not move the eccentric and you made no adjustments?
 

clarke

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Gentlemen,
I'm very appreciative of all the comments. Very spirited, I might add.
Now I have to digest it all.
Scottie: You are correct... I have made adjustments to the eccentric and have also altered the crutch/pallet orientation with the crutch collet.
c.
 

neighmond

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Is there sufficient play where the crutch meets up with the pendulum leader? While too much is a power drain, too little will cause binding as well.

Pretty clock! I have the same one, with green instead of red.
 

clarke

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Gentlemen,
Thanks for all your thoughts. I learned a lot.
Happy to say, the headache has cleared up...it's running.
The ultimate answer was tiny, tiny adjustments of the eccentric, a lots of patience.
thanks again,
clarke
 

Scottie-TX

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Proper and equal lock and drop are essential as you've learned.
Hopefully what you've learned will help immensely next time you face this challenge.
CONGRATS on a job well done!
 

clarke

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Proper and equal lock and drop are essential as you've learned.
Hopefully what you've learned will help immensely next time you face this challenge.
CONGRATS on a job well done!
Hi Scottie,
Don't be too hasty with the contrats. The new strike spring from Timesavers snapped in the middle (puzzling... not overwound... it just broke). Took the movement apart, ordered a new spring and put it back together. And now:???:?.... not running again.
But you're right. I did learn a lot from this thread and I'll eventually get things back on track.
c.
 

shutterbug

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Hi Scottie,
Don't be too hasty with the contrats. The new strike spring from Timesavers snapped in the middle (puzzling... not overwound... it just broke). Took the movement apart, ordered a new spring and put it back together. And now:???:?.... not running again.
But you're right. I did learn a lot from this thread and I'll eventually get things back on track.
c.
There was a recent thread about testing new springs several times in the spring winder before installing them. Your experience underscores the point.
 

Scottie-TX

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Most of these have a friction fit collet of the crutch to anchor arbor - often threaded and low friction to prefent damage to jewel pallets. It probably just needs beat re-established.
 

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