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Can anyone ID this master clock

harold bain

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Welcome to the message board, Gregory.
It sure is something different. Looks heavy duty enough to be a tower clock movement, perhaps a slave clock driven by a master clock.
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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Early electric street clock movment Can anyone ID ??

We are trying to restore this early electric street/lobby clock movement and need help
Can anyone ID a possible maker?
How do we start to figure how many volt system this was? 33333333333.JPG 22222222222222.JPG 111111.JPG
 

eskmill

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Harold is correct. It is a slave movement for a large dial. The drive to the hands motion works would have been through a wall using a drive shaft connected to the large universal joint extending from the dial.

The whole works appears to me to be the work of an ambitious inventor owing to the wood back plate and use of "off shelf" bearing blocks and available gears. Indeed it might have been operational at some point in its life.

You ask what voltage? More to the point is what kind of huge storage battery was needed to drive the "ratchet motor" that drives the works. I would guess that a low voltage of from six to twenty four volts DC was needed to impulse the huge electromagnets which have to index the ratchet at least once every minute.

The master clock would have been remote and connected to the electromagnets via a heavy duty relay controlling the current from a battery or a motor-generator set.

The electrical contacts on the back side would have been used to control some other circuit on the hour or half hour; perhaps to charge the battery or to ring a large bell.

Objects like this don't just "fall out of the sky;" where did it come from? Someone knew its history at some point in time.
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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thank you so much for your input We feel that it is a master clock driving slaves In the third photo you will notice a cam with two sets of points. I am in the process of getting more history will update later
 

Tinker Dwight

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No, not a master, it was a slave. The switches are to run a chime or
bell system. You'll notice that they are on the minute arbor to strike on the
half and hour points.
It has no timing keep method so it can't be a master!
The universal spider would indicate that it was probably used to run
a large clock face, on the front of a building or wall.
The large coils would be driven by a external master clock.
Tinker Dwight
 

Tinker Dwight

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Re: Early electric street clock movment Can anyone ID ??

I am curious about the large ratio of the gearing between
the minute shaft and the coil. I see a worm gear and then
two levels of reductions. It makes me suspect that the coils
may be driven from an AC source rather then a master clock.
If you could count the teeth I could give you an idea of
what it was.
Please give the following counts:
1. Wheel on the minute arbor
2. Pinion meshed to the minute wheel
3. Wheel on the arbor of number 2
4. Pinion meshed with the wheel of number 3
5. spear gear on the arbor of number 4 that is engaged with the worm gear.
6. Is the worm gear a single of double spiraled tooth
7. number of teeth on the ratchet wheel driven by the coil.
With that information, I can tell you the frequency of the signal
or voltage to the coil.
If AC, it may have been 50 or 60 Hertz but most likely
not a line voltage. It would most likely be 24VAC or what
is supplied by a bell transformer.
Tinker Dwight
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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I really appreciate the help Yes now that makes more sense because with the cam activating the two points at two separate times it would not have ran other clocks I hope to have more info on where it was located later today I do know it was in NJ. I have tested it for resistance thru the coils with one lead on the wire in the back and the other on the connecting nut on the side of the coils. It measures 3.0 and when I engage the points at the head of the coils the meter stops beeping and goes to zero to show no resistance. Also if I manually move the mechanism to move the clock it takes more than 400 movements to advance the minute hand 0ne minute. So it seem that this coil and points just constantly activated/opened and shut :???::???: to advance the movement at the one minute pace. Any thoughts??
 

Tinker Dwight

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I would like to correct my earlier statement, I think this may be a
master clock. I was thinking that the switched were on the minuter arbor.
A closer look at the pictures, I see it is on the arbor that is driven
by the worm gear.
As I posted in the other thread, the gear count ratios would tell a lot.
Tinker Dwight
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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Re: Early electric street clock movment Can anyone ID ??

Here you go Mr. Dwight :)

wheel on min arbor---114
pinion to min wheel---14
wheel on arbor #2 ---92
pinion meshed with #3wheel ---12
spear gear--------20
I believe worm gear is single
and just for your info the small wheel on the other end of arbor with the worm gear has 72

I sure do want to thank you in advance for all the help By the way Tinker if you look at this months Bulletin the tower clock
on the cover is mine and with the help of Donn Lathrop and others in a few months we had it running I'm fascinated with these things now!!
And with the help from people like yourself I guarantee I will have this electric clock running and post a video of it when we get it going.
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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Yes now that I looked again you are right the cam is no on the min arbor My feeling are this was movement to a bank or business clock with a a large outside clock on the street and then running two other clocks in the bank or business I hope to have it's location nailed down soon I gave you the tooth count on the tower clock blog

Also for others interested in this conversation we have it going on in the tower clock blog also I did not know where I might find the best help ---thanks to all
 

Tinker Dwight

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Can we have a closer picture of the cam/switches and also a shot of
the side with the coils.
I'm thinking that I may still be wrong about it being a master clock.
What I'm thinking is that the clock received a two phase signal through
the two switches and the coil/ratchet assembly runs as a buzzer to
advance the clock until the switch opens.
A shot of the cam/switches would confirm that.
Tinker Dwight
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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Hi Greg
The ratios confirm what I thought. It comes out to 24.971285714 cycles per second if
it were continuous. Not a likely number.
This would indicate that it was used with a two phased, non-overlapping, master clock.
At about 1 minute. See below.
I think the teeth counts are incorrect.
I believe you'll find the smaller wheel is 72 teeth and the one on the minute
arbor is 140 teeth. Or, the pinion was 12 and not 14 with the wheel being 120 teeth.
That would make the arbor, with the cam, turn once per minute. That would
make a lot of sense.
With the ratios you've listed, it would be driven at a rate of 0.9611 minutes.
More likely 1 minute with ratios fixed.
Tinker Dwight
 
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harold bain

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If it was a master clock it would have it's own source of power to keep time, such as a mainspring, or weight, or motor, along with a pendulum if needed. If it requires another clock to pulse it to advance the time, it is a slave clock.
It measures 3.0 and when I engage the points at the head of the coils the meter stops beeping and goes to zero to show no resistance.
I can't imagine why there would be contacts that short out the coil circuit. You will need to figure out the timing of the activation of the contacts to determine their possible use.
Having two threads running at the same time only creates confusion so I'm going to merge them to this forum.
 

Tinker Dwight

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Hi Harold
It looks like you dropped Greg's
First message about the measurement of the resistance.

I think it is part of the buzzer.
It most likely has two contacts. One that opens when
the coil energizes and one that shorts the coil to
extend the time the coil holds the armature.
I otherwise agree with you.
Looking at what was said in the quote, it looks
ambiguous. It was noted that the sound stopped
and reading when to zero. I'd think that if the sounder
stopped, it would go to infinite.
That would make sense as a buzzer like function.
Tinker Dwight
 
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harold bain

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I'm not following how shorting across the coil could extend the time the coil holds the armature. But it would prevent back EMF problems. :whistle:
Having the coil shorted when the pulse comes to draw in the armature would prevent it from working at all, and also short out the source of the pulse, unless there is also a series resistor somewhere.
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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thanks Harold you are right two threads is confusing when looking at the coils and points to me it appears that shorting out of the contacts
along with the four springs two on each side throw the lever back and forth to act like a high rate of speed pendulum to run the movement I am hoping to have a short video for you by tonight It will better explain it as to my lack of knowledge is not helping :)

Please bear with me

If you had to guess do you feel this pre 1900s ??
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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I'm not following how shorting across the coil could extend the time the coil holds the armature. But it would prevent back EMF problems. :whistle:
Having the coil shorted when the pulse comes to draw in the armature would prevent it from working at all, and also short out the source of the pulse, unless there is also a series resistor somewhere.
If it does short the coil, there would need to be an external current limiter
( such as a resistor ).
Normally a buzzer has a contact that opens when the coil energizes.
This could be different.
Without a shunt resistor, this would cause arcing of the contacts. By shorting
the coil, it would do two things.
One is that the current flow through coil would continue through the shorted
contacts and decay slower than if the current were interrupted ( time of decay
is proportional to inductance divided by the resistance). The other is
that the voltage that the contacts switch would be low ( no arcing ).
Once the current was below the holding of the armature, the contacts
would open, allowing current to build in the coil again.
The buzzing action is needed to advance the ratchet wheel.
Tinker Dwight
 

eskmill

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Personally, I'm not ready to agree that the device illustrated is nothing more than an ingenious slave clock. As shown it has no timekeeping function.

Consider that it is possible that the "ratchet motor" has its own period of oscillation partly controlled by the operating voltage and the load of the gears and clock hands. The machine could slowly advance the hands for a short period of less than say thirty seconds or until one of the two make-break contacts opens. The the machine would remain motionless waiting for an impulse from a master clock to continue to advance the hands. The connection to the master clock would be enabled via the opposite set of contacts on the minute cam.

A similar tower clock slave movement made by the Pacific Electric Clock Company, uses a similar scheme but using a large DC motor which runs until a clutch disengages the motor. Then the movement waits for a one-second impluse to initiate the sequence again.

I am confident we will learn how this works as I am confident in Don Lathrop's research abilities and exactness.
 

Tinker Dwight

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Hi Les
I think we've all come to that conclusion. I took back my first
master clock thoughts.
The buzzing coil is just to advance the time, as you've said.
Tinker Dwight
 

Tinker Dwight

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Went measuring with your ohm meter, connect one lead to the
thumb nut and the other to the wire that crosses the movement.
See what it does then?
Tinker Dwight
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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Just a quick update I have ordered a variable DC power source and hope to have a video soon of it running.
Also we are following up on the possible bank in Caldwell NJ where the movement may have come from
 

Tinker Dwight

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It won't run on straight DC. You need a clocked source.
You need two signals. They need to be about 15 to 25 seconds
and 1/2 minute apart.
At the coils, there looks to be two contact, one at each end of the
armature. Make sure they are both clean.
I'm not sure if the coils are paralleled together and the contacts
are redundant or each coil uses one contact. If they are independent,
it may require a higher voltage to actuate, with only one coil
being energized.
The common lead to the supply should be connected to the thumb
nut at the coil.
The two switched source leads should go to the two wires connected
to the switches on the back.
Tinker Dwight
 
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Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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We have the clock running. We used a DC power supply with
current-limiting capabilities to avoid any problems with coil burnout.
Started at 6 volts, for lack of a better idea. Clock ran too fast.
Lubed the movement (synthetic 5W-40) and progressively dropped the
voltage because the clock was running too fast. It finally stabilized
at 1.2 volts, running quietly and fairly accurately. No external
voltage pulses are needed, just a stable source of DC voltage. We think
we know where the clock came from, and are looking into the possible
existence of the outside dial.

The switches driven by the cam on the back of the movement actuate at 30
second intervals, there could have been a source of synchronization for
a remotely located dial(s).

Loading the universal yoke manually slows the action of the movement.
Therefore, we conclude that the voltage has to be adjusted with all
outside loads connected to the clock to achieve accuracy.

We'll keep you posted. If anyone finds anything at all on this clock,
we'd like to hear about it. Thus far, the US Patent Office has drawn a
blank.

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM9UDFCJlMs&feature=youtu.be
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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The message board messed up the posted URL. If you have a problem
seeing the video, go to Google, enter
"solenoidoperatedclock.mov" (WITHOUT the quotes) in the search box and
hit enter. The video will be the first item in the list that appears.
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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I don't think you understand how it is suppose to be used.
It will be a poor clock if you adjust the speed with the
voltage. It is made to be a slave through the switches
with a two phase master source, connected through the
switches.
It is not a master clock! It is a slave clock.
Tinker Dwight
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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It won't run on straight DC :???::???:

For the sake of useless argument, we will refrain from referring to this this movement as a master clock until we have fully established the uses of the two sets of points actuated by a cam on the back of the movement. On the other hand we have establish
IT WILL AND DOSE RUN ACTURATLY ON STRAIGHT DC You talk of switches and what you say is the way the movement should be set up to run. I ask with all due respect. Have you ever seen another movement solenoid driven like this? And by any other make in the past and if so who , where and when because it would be a great help in answering a lot of questions.

If there is any other actions of any kind that where to take place in the operating of the movement it has been established that know matter what they might be or do they can in NOWAY change the fact that the armature must be
activated between 400 to 500 times per minute to move the minute hand one minute.

After running the movement 16 hours we are 4 1/2 minute slow. However we are dealing with all the things associated with getting a movement back in smooth running condition therefore actuate time keeping by the movement can not be expected at this time or stage. We feel that the movement needs more resistance to run first on a higher voltage therefore running more actuate. resistance is now being applied. Update to come in a few days.

I appreciated any an all comments and or suggestions on the subject for in the search of the true on just how this movement operated Disproving possible actions is just as important as proving possible actions.

Having a great time with this thing!!!!! More Videos coming stay tuned
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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I am an engineer. I can tell you that you'll never get a buzzer
to create a constant speed to use as a master clock.
The way it is intended to be used is to apply a voltage through
one switch on the back for 30 seconds and then supply a voltage
through the other switch for the other 30 seconds. You'd alternate
that every minute. This is type of source is what is called a two phased master
clock.
What I meant by it wouldn't run on straight DC is that it would
not run at a constant rate. You'd be lucky to hold anything
like a couple minutes a day. You've already shown that.
What kind of voltage reference do you think they had when this
clock movement was made? 1 second a day is 1 part in 10^-5.
Even if one could hold that voltage level, just changes in temperature
would change the load enough to throw it off.
We aren't even talking about the accuracy of a buzzer.
Run it for a few days if you like to prove it to yourselves.
If you want to run it as it is intended to be run, you need
to have a two phased master. It can be done with a
cam, two switches and a 1 RPM clock motor.
You'd run the voltage at around 3 volts ( or at least something
more then the 1.2 your using now ).
Tinker Dwight
 

Gregory Caron

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Jul 30, 2013
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Update ---- we have come to the conclusion that the more we know about this clock --- the less we know about this clock.
It has now run for 48 hours and it now only require .7volt to keep accurate time. Dose this open up the possibility that it could have run on a bank of dry cells for a long period of time? Tinker I am open to your two phase source supply idea. I just cant rap my mind around how any outside source can affect or change what the buzzer dose. Which is control the time. As shown in the video the buzzer is the only thing that controls the time train - from the worm gear to the minute hand - no other outside source can have any affect on this. If you introduce more voltage it runs faster less it runs slower. As the movement breaks itself in we feel that it should stabilize and run a fixed voltage. :???::???:??
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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Find a double throw switch someplace ( two way light switch or some
other switch from an electronics store ).
Run the center lead of the this switch to the power supply.
Run each of the two leads of this switch to the each of the
switch connectors on the back of your clock.
The other lead of the power supply should be
run to the thumb nut on the coils ( I think ).
Set the supply to 1.5 to 3 volts.
Find someone with a second hand clock or watch.
Have them switch the switch one way at the 30 second
point and then switch it back at the minute.
You will see that the clock keeps the time accurate, as
long as someone is toggling the switch ( the master clock ).
Tinker Dwight
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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If you could take a better picture of the switches on the back, I
can show you where to connect the two wires from the external
double throw switch.
 
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