Clock Tuner - Mobile phone app

Nicko

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May 11, 2007
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There are "apps" for almost everything these days. Download to them to your mobile phone and you are able to do wondrous things like measuring an incline, or finding out which way is North.

About 6 months ago I came across an "app" called "Clock Tuner". It will only work on "Android" phones but it looks potentially useful to clock repairers. Its aim is to measure and give a readout of your clock's beat rate.

DSC_0323A (Medium).JPG

Here is a picture of the screen with the application in hold mode after it has been measuring for a while.

DSC_0318 (Medium).JPG

Here is another picture of the phone in the bottom of a clock that I have been setting.

The procedure is to set the sensitivity, the sample time, remain silent and wait till the beat display turns red. Then, I think, you have a good idea of the BPH,BPM,BPS or period of the pendulum.

Has any one else come across this app and used it? I would be interested to get other users' feedback.

Cheers
Greg
 

Firegriff

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Feb 22, 2013
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I have it and the Apple equivalent and they do work well if everything is quiet I have been working on a different type of pizeo pickup that will just pickup the clock/watch beat. The App called Tic-O-Print will give you the most information on a watch like the old fashion watch timers with paper readouts for $10.00 but the pickup for watches made by a third parity is $400.00 American to make a $10.00 app work so that is why I am trying make a alternative pickup rather than using the headset microphone. So far getting a quality signal to the Android or apple devise has been the hard part. I am currently modifying a Timetrax 50 beat amplifier and have almost got it working but I had to put aside for a bit due to a upcoming move.
 

Nicko

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I pretty much found the same as most other users have, ie. the pickup for watches using the internal mic is hit and miss. For clocks however I have had good results. I think it will be a very handy tool for me.
Keep us posted on your modifications to the beat amplifier. There are various suggestions on the net, just finding a pickup with sensitivity plus external noise rejection could be tricky.
 

Firegriff

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Feb 22, 2013
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It may be awhile before I can get back to it. But what I did so far was to add a mic output and made a cable with the proper jack for a Ipad , Iphone/android as they use a special 4 contact jack rather than the standard 3 contact jack but I need to add a on off switch for the amplifier s built in speaker or it feeds back through the pickup.. Also the pickup that comes with the Beat amp works great on clocks but I am still working on the pickup for watches you can make the cables and jack for around $30. I purchased a guitar clamp on Pizeo mic for use on watches but it still needs some work. The beat amp is easy to open to add the jack and a off switch for the speaker.
 

dap

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Nov 29, 2006
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Hi,

I've been using Clock Tuner for several years on my Samsung. I preferred version 1 over version 2 for several reasons but V2 allows it to be used without a data connection. I'm after the developer to put the V1 graph back, but thats a personal preference.

For eliminating background noise I have a sound proof container. I connect the Samsung headset/mic, tape or clip the mic directly to the watch, place the watch and mic in a small cardboard box, close the lid and place it between 2 pillows and start Clock Tuner.

General Clock Tuner comments
- gets confused if other apps are running so clearing the phone memory helps.
- if I set a clock or watch to the rating detected by Clock Tuner ie 18k it is often a bit slow in longer term, real time testing, its close but needs fine tuning after.
- doesn't like high beat watches ie 28k or really slow beat clocks ie 8 beat 400 day.

I use it a lot to get the clock/watch in the ball park but nothing beats time.

I also use Windows Timing Machine on the laptop, but that's a different thread. :)

Thanks
Don
 

Bill Stuntz

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Apr 6, 2012
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I also posted about this app here:
https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php...M-BPH-Beat-program-for-smartphone-or-computer. I'm now using Clock Tuner instead of messing with my own app.

I've been using clock tuner for a month or so, and it seems to work pretty well. I have 1 nit-pick: It displays "Beat Error" when what it's actually measuring is RATE error. I HAD another complaint that I bitched about in a review in addition to the incorrect terminology - it had a reasonable number of target rates, but the closest available pre-programed target rate for my ST124 was 10800, and there was no way to target the correct 10584BPH. A couple weeks afterward, an update was released that DOES implement adding custom rates to the rate table. So the author IS responding to suggestions, even though I haven't received any response to my email. I was a little annoyed that he left "Beat Error" in the display and didn't correct that, too. I also requested that he display the REAL "Beat Error" and got no response on that either. Then I discovered that true "Beat Error" is visible in the histogram as the distance between the "tick" and "tock" lines of dots, with a single line of more closely spaced dots rather than a double line indicating "In Beat." I've seen similar histograms before, but didn't know how to interpret them.

The app does require a reasonably quiet atmosphere, but seems to do a fairly good job of ignoring extraneous noises. For instance, I have a ceiling fan over my desk and a 30" whole-house fan right outside my office door, and I CAN rate my cheap Chinese skeleton watch on my desk by covering the watch and the bottom 1/2 of my phone with a folded towel, even though I can just barely hear the watch when I hold it up to my ear. The actual rate displayed seems to drift more than I'd like - a couple BPH each way - but I suspect that the drift is unavoidable due to the fact that a cell phone is not a precision time base, and is performing other tasks in the background. For a hobbyist like me, Clock Tuner at less than $5 seems to be an ideal solution, but would NOT be appropriate for professional use. The "free" version lets you verify that it DOES function on your smart phone by looking at the histogram, wave form, & tick/tock detection marks but you have to pay a $4.71 in-app purchase to see the numbers. You don't need to pay for it to find out whether it will work for you. I strongly suspect that the many negative "it's useless" reviews are due to the lack of numerical display in the free version, and the fact that it might not have had an appropriate entry in the rate table for their particular clock.

FYI, I'm running it on a 1st generation Moto X under Android 5.1
 

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