• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center are currently open. Please check the Visiting Schedule for Days and Hours at the bottom of the Visit Page.

Clock Motors w/ Two Coils?

bajaddict

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Jun 23, 2010
1,213
3
0
Country
Region
Hi - are these motors out of a large, commercial type clock? They look mighty beefy :?|

I was also wondering why they are painted red & green..... If one of you knowledgeable electric clock experts could help me out I would sure appreciate it :)

Thanks in advance!

DSC04807 (640x479).jpg DSC04808 (640x479).jpg
 

Ingulphus

Registered User
May 29, 2006
724
3
18
Oakland, CA
Country
Region
Your motors are early Hansen Synchron clock motors; I have two, one in an American Clock Co. clock and branded as such, and the one pictured, which is still attached to its Synchron gearset. Yours appear to be missing the small glass and brass protection for the rotor and the nuts to secure the electrical connection, but otherwise look complete. Other than the American Clock Company, I don't know what other types of clocks these were used in, nor why one of yours is red instead of green (both of mine are green); the American Clock Company made neon clocks that are in demand by collectors, as they are scarce.

I find the motors to be robust and perfectly quiet, as opposed to the more common later models of similar age, where wear in the motor capsule can cause a lot of noise.

Best regards,

Mark

Synchron 1.jpg Synchron 2.jpg
 
Last edited:

bajaddict

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Jun 23, 2010
1,213
3
0
Country
Region
Your motors are early Hansen Synchron clock motors; I have two, one in an American Clock Co. clock and branded as such, and the one pictured, which is still attached to its Synchron gearset. Yours appear to be missing the small glass and brass protection for the rotor and the nuts to secure the electrical connection, but otherwise look complete. Other than the American Clock Company, I don't know what other types of clocks these were used in, nor why one of yours is red instead of green (both of mine are green); the American Clock Company made neon clocks that are in demand by collectors, as they are scarce.

I find the motors to be robust and perfectly quiet, as opposed to the more common later models of similar age, where wear in the motor capsule can cause a lot of noise.

Best regards,

Mark

227798.jpg 227799.jpg
Wow! That is GREAT information!

Thanks, Mark - I really appreciate the help :thumb:
 

Tinker Dwight

Registered User
Oct 11, 2010
13,666
72
0
Calif. USA
My guess would be that the two coils provide
a more uniform force with less side thrust.
This would make the motor live longer.
Tinker Dwight
 

curtisclock

New Member
Sep 11, 2016
1
0
0
Country
One color coil was 50Hz. The other color was 60Hz. This motor was massive looking but had a short life and was a poor design. Curtis, Curtisclock.
 

eskmill

Registered User
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 24, 2000
7,135
34
0
Region
I do not recall ever setting my eyes on this model Synchron clock motor but I am suspicious that the pole pieces are oriented in a manner to provide for a reversing or speed control feature.

None of the photos reveal the coil leads. (except for one which suggests one common lead for both coils)

We have seen photos of a very few AC synchronous clocks sold under a trade name noted for exact railroad time standards that had circuit switches for start-stop and "jog."
It is possible that this model Synchron motor could have either a slow speed reversing capability or a slow speed advance.

Does this motor assembly show up in any old adverts?
 
Last edited:

Tinker Dwight

Registered User
Oct 11, 2010
13,666
72
0
Calif. USA
A careful look at the spans of the pole pieces indicate that there was no
50/60 Hz function.
It is most likely that it was intended for 120/240 volt.
In one case the coils would be paralleled for 120 and
in series of 240.
The polarity is important though.
Tinker Dwight
 

ElectricTime

Registered User
NAWCC Business
Sep 28, 2002
245
25
18
Agreed it's an early "A" mount Synchron Motor - the coils have to be tied together - in the proper phase (which it looks like at least one lead is tied together) for the motor to advance properly.

A Mount Synchron Motor.png

Here is the the link to the current product.
 

coldwar

Registered User
May 20, 2009
266
3
18
www.hoagsclockshop.com
Country
It's pretty safe to term the motor seen as pre-war, the earliest I have seen these in dated clocks is 1939. Hansen redesigned their line during WWII and brochures reflect this, with a eye towards post war uses. Other makers such as Haydon, Haddon, International Register did likewise resulting in similar appearing units. The specs on drawings and pamphlets include DC and 400hz designs so some defense or military use with a standardized footprint might have been spec'd in wartime. Was surprised to read here they were considered unreliable, I never observed or had trouble with a two coil design Hansen motor other then long use wear failure.
 
Last edited:

John Lippold

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Feb 2, 2011
83
5
8
These double coil Hansen motors were also used in ITR/IBM electric synchronous motor driven program clocks, such as models 681-5, 682-5 and 683-5, in the mid to late 1930's. There were four motor configurations available.

110 volt, 60 cycle
110 volt, 25 cycle
24 volt, 60 cycle
24 volt, 25 cycle
 

eskmill

Registered User
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 24, 2000
7,135
34
0
Region
25Hz electrical power distribution is an old system in the US originally used for electric railroad service and rarely used heavily today except in some industrial areas.

Why was it used is something of a mystery to me and I can only guess that the massive iron transformer cores used at 25 Hz were less expensive as a "first cost" than those made for 50 Hz which would have smaller, lighter but with higher quality iron core material requirements.

Remember too, that the early Niagara River power was, I recall said to be 40 Hz with most of the US electrical power then at either DC or 50 Hz. Only when the TVA was built, most of the US electrical grid was standardized at 60 Hz.

Then too, beginning when aircraft needed electrical power for radio and electrical use, 400 was universally used owing to the smaller and lighter motors that were made with smaller copper and high quality iron having low magnetic retentivity. The large industrial computer systems made by IBM, used 400 Hz AC supplied from a 25 HP motor-alternator using 208 or 240 Volt three phase AC 60 Hz input.
 

novicetimekeeper

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
10,524
767
113
Dorset
Country
Region
Harmonising frequency and indeed voltage took a while here too. There was a point when people had to go round to every house and change equipment to match the new harmonised supply. Fortunately people didn't have too much at the time.
 

ElectricTime

Registered User
NAWCC Business
Sep 28, 2002
245
25
18
25Hz electrical power distribution is an old system in the US originally used for electric railroad service and rarely used heavily today except in some industrial areas.

Why was it used is something of a mystery to me and I can only guess that the massive iron transformer cores used at 25 Hz were less expensive as a "first cost" than those made for 50 Hz which would have smaller, lighter but with higher quality iron core material requirements.

Remember too, that the early Niagara River power was, I recall said to be 40 Hz with most of the US electrical power then at either DC or 50 Hz. Only when the TVA was built, most of the US electrical grid was standardized at 60 Hz.

Then too, beginning when aircraft needed electrical power for radio and electrical use, 400 was universally used owing to the smaller and lighter motors that were made with smaller copper and high quality iron having low magnetic retentivity. The large industrial computer systems made by IBM, used 400 Hz AC supplied from a 25 HP motor-alternator using 208 or 240 Volt three phase AC 60 Hz input.
Some good links on this - and yes it seems like the lower frequency was used because of the lesser quality iron and issues with the speed of the generators.

This link is from a physics forum.

This link from the Niagara Power house - which was a 25HZ station.
 

coldwar

Registered User
May 20, 2009
266
3
18
www.hoagsclockshop.com
Country
This topic of AC for municipal power was decided with the Niagara Falls Tesla/Westinghouse system, driving a stake through the heart of Edison's DC municipal distribution systems. Tesla's system was 25hz, advanced and further developed by Westinghouse. The sometimes bitter rivalry of the 25cy Tesla/Westinghouse designs against the Thomson et al GE 60cy designs is very well documented with lots of fascinating reading on the topic, of which I will post a few. Also some terrific 100year old books which discuss the technical aspects in detail are pretty easy to find.

25 cycle clocks from the Buffalo NY area still turn up regularly, as well as other frequency design specific appliances, such as radios and really anything using a induction motor. GE and (as I recall) Seth Thomas offered kits to convert clock models to 60cy operation once the implementation of user side 60cy power became standard. I have many types of GE/Telechron, Seth Thomas and even Sangamo 25cy assemblies, and even DC Sangamo clock motor assemblies.

Most common overviews of municipal power history omit Henry Warren's patents and historical designs in accurate timekeeping relating to AC frequency with the known master clock systems on the generation side and capsule motor assemblies. We must keep that information known and assert it's relevance which in my opinion is undeniable. General Electric knew Warren was a key player on the AC side and it's successful future. Can you imagine his reaction when approached by GE, like a visit from the Godfather.

Great interesting reading, 'shocked' :excited: to read 25cy power on the customer side in use to 2006(!) totaling 111 years, see the IEEE doc:

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=4412948

http://teslaresearch.jimdo.com/niagara-falls-power-project-1888/

http://ethw.org/Early_Electrification_of_Buffalo

http://www.edisontechcenter.org/Niagara.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_Power_Plant_Transformer_House

http://www.niagarafrontier.com/power.html
 
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Find member

Latest posts

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
162,493
Messages
1,411,291
Members
84,141
Latest member
watchmakersid
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,856
Last edit
Waltham Watches by Clint Geller