Count Wheel Cuckoo Striking The Hour At The Half-Hour

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Chris M., Jan 6, 2019.

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  1. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Happy 2019!

    I just finished an antique count wheel cuckoo clock and it had been running perfectly for 1 - 2 weeks, when I noticed that it was striking the hour at the half-hour. Eg. at 4:00 it would strike once (half-hour strike) and at 4:30 it would strike 4 times for the hour strike. Coincidentally, another of my count wheel clocks that I have worked on (oh oh! I must be doing something wrong) had done the same thing a few weeks ago. I thought that when I took a look, I would find that the count wheel lever needed to be bent to the left a little (or something like that). But, when I took the clock off of the wall and put it on the test stand, the lever and count wheel looked good and tight and I couldn't get it to repeat by simply advancing the minute hand. I hung that clock back on the wall to see if it will repeat on the wall. But then, this other clock did the exact same thing and I decided I better check in with my buddies on the NAWCC message boards and get their opinions. Any thoughts or ideas about what might be happening? Thanks, Chris
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Did either clock run down? Willie X
     
  3. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Possibly on one, no on the other. What might happen in that case? Thanks.
     
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    When the strike/cuckoo train runs down and the time side keeps running, the strike will be behind when the weights are pulled up. This is more likely to happen when you wind the clock in the morning, say 8AM.

    It may seem odd but it is customary and often necessary to wind a 1-Day cuckoo twice per day.

    Adding about 6 inches of extra chain to the strike/cuckoo side will help with this problem. Willie X
     
  5. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Ok, thanks, that makes sense. Any thoughts about the other clock? i am quite certain that that clock did not run down. Thanks. Chris M.
     
  6. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    If the other clock is a one day. I would set them up next to each other and wind them morning and night for about a month. That would be 30 cycles. If you have a count problem, it should should show up in 30 cycles. If not, there might not be a problem. Willie X
     
  7. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Is the minute hand pointing in the wrong direction perhaps?
     
  8. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    LOL! I wish it was that simple! I reattached the hands and restarted one of the clocks last night and by morning it was striking the hour on the half-hour as I have described. Weird! Just by looking at the count wheel and lever, all looks good. I redid the hands again tonight and we'll see how long it lasts! Frustrating because I can't get it to repeat on the test stand.
     
  9. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Is there a helper spring on the count lever? It may be too weak or missing.

    Uhralt
     
  10. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    No helper spring. On the test stand, everything seems to be working normally so would be really difficult to actually witness the problem. So with a count wheel, if at 4:30 it is striking 4, what has happened to make that occur? Ive been trying to think thru this. I've had them not strike the half hour after striking the hour before (when supposed to strike the half-hour, it goes on to strike the next hour because the lever doesn't have room to drop), which usually means the lever needs to be bent to the left a bit (when viewing the movement from the rear). Maybe the lever is too far to the left and it is striking two half-hour strikes before it can make it to the next hour strike?
     
  11. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I think now the problem is not the count lever. If the clock is striking 4 at 4:30 it normally means that one strike period has not been released. Take a close look at the lever that brings the strike train into warning. You may have to bend it just a little bit to make sure that warning is triggered each and every time at the full and the half hour. Watch the warning mechanism closely and you may see which correction needs to be made.

    Uhralt
     
  12. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Yep. At some point, it's skipping a strike, putting the sequence off. I wonder if, left to its devices, it would eventually skip another strike, returning the hour strike to the hour, but with the wrong number of coos?
     
  13. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    That's what I would expect to happen.

    Uhralt
     
  14. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    I will watch for that and report back. Has not done that yet but it makes sense that if it is skipping a strike, then it should end up back on the hour strike with the wrong number of cuckoos. Does it matter which lever I bend to get the locking lever to be lifted higher?
     
  15. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Correction: I am not absolutely sure, but I looked at some similar count wheel cuckoo movements and I believe there is a helper spring on the count lever. Sorry about that! I did not remember a helper spring, but I think I was mistaken. Thanks, Chris
     
  16. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Give it a shot. See what happens.
     
  17. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    With both of these clocks, I had to bend the J-wire some to get it to strike at straight up at the hour. Do you think that could have caused it? Also, one of the clocks does the "peek" routine when going into warning (I have seen that a lot in these old clocks but didnt know what caused it). Is it the J-wire that you are talking about me bending or the lifting lever or the warning lever? Or does it not really matter? Just need to lift the locking lever high enough that it lets go of the pin? Thanks, Chris
     
  18. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    When you bent the J-wire you might have caused that the lifting wire doesn't lift high enough anymore. Don't bend the J-wire or you may get the strike to occur too soon or too late. I would work on the lever that is easiest to be reached and bent. As you say, the important thing is that the locking lever unlocks reliably. Keep in mind, you only need a minimal correction.

    Uhralt
     
  19. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Ok, I will try adjusting the J-wire. Thanks.

    A couple more questions if you don't mind. 1) On a count wheel cuckoo movement, does the minute hand arbor cam lift the J-wire a different height for one hour strike vs. the half-hour strike as in a Regula movement or does it lift the J-wire the same height at half hour and hour strikes? 2) If I want to stop the "early peek" what lever/wire do you think would be best to bend down. I guess just enough that it will still go into warning. Thanks for your patience.
     
  20. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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  21. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I suggested NOT to bend the J-wire in order to avoid that your clock strikes a few minutes early or late. Bend one of the other wires, To your questions: 1) In a count wheel movement The J-wire is lifted the same for the full hour and the half hour. The slot in the count wheel determines the strike, half or full. 2)I don't know what you mean with "early peek". Please explain.

    Uhralt
     
  22. Chris M.

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    The "early peek" is when the cuckoo door opens some before the strike, allowing the cuckoo bird to "peek" out of the door. It happens as the movement is going into warning but before the J-wire drops off of the cam. This is a flaw in adjustment of a cuckoo movement. Not sure of the best way to correct. Thanks.
     
  23. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    I am having a new count wheel problem with one of these clocks. I noticed today that one clocks was striking the hour on the half-hour again, but this time it was ahead 30 minutes and not behind 30 minutes. I just put the clock on the test stand and the count lever literally hops out of the slot on the count wheel and continues the strike and instead of locking. Then it keeps striking and sometimes it locks and sometimes it hops right back out of the slot and continues the strike instead of locking. Do you think that the maintenance/locking lever is not "grabbing" the maintenance cam as it should? Or something else? Bending the count lever left or right does not seem to fix. Thanks for any opinions or experiences. Chris
     
  24. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Here are a couple of photos

    Edelweissstrikeprob2.JPG Edelweisstrikeprob1.JPG
     
  25. Chris M.

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    With no other suggestions, I guess I will take the movement apart and see if I can do a better job of getting the lock lever, the maintenance cam and the lock pin all together. Not sure if that is the problem though.
     
  26. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I had a similar problem with a similar movement. It came down to a count wheel that was a bit warped. The lever would catch against one place on the wheel at the end of the 10 o'clock strike,. bounce back up, and strike the 10:30 strike along with the 10 count. It was impossible to see until I took the count wheel off and put it on a lathe with a throw out gauge. A bit of anvil work and the wheel was true and the problem went away.
     
  27. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Yikes, don't own a lathe. I will take the movement apart and reassemble. I will take a look at the count wheel as you suggest. Not sure what I did to this thing, but I suspect I bent something too far or the wrong way when I was adjusting after reassembly. Thanks. Chris
     
  28. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I think your count wheel might come off with just that one screw? and it looks like there might be a scratch mark from the lever pointed to by the red arrow? Hard to tell from a picture. It may be as simple as bending the blade of the lever just a bit further away from the count wheel ??

    Edelweisstrikeprob1.JPG
     
  29. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    From the pics, I don't see a helper. Usually they had a piece of spring wire that pushed down on the count lever.

    15501194590686064581610785652636.jpg
     
  30. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    It's there. I thought that might be the answer too, because initially it really wasn't applying much downward force to the count lever, but after I adjusted, the problem persisted. Thanks though. Chris
     
  31. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Yeah, in the picture I posted, that return spring is pushed up. It is properly positioned now.
     
  32. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Ahh, I do see it there. But it doesn't seem to be touching the count lever. I guess that was the before adjustment pic.
     
  33. Chris M.

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  34. Peter John

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    The spring wires is usually back towards the base of the countwheel lever. It may be exerting too much pressure where you have it and it may stall the cuckoo.
     
  35. Chris M.

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    Noted. Thanks. Actually this clock's problem is that it won't stop striking (the strike train fails to lock and it continues to strike) sometimes. This is occurring with or without the return spring touching or not touching the count lever. Whatever i have done to adjust the count lever to solve this problem has actually made matters worse. It used to function normally with a rare mistake (not locking after a strike) but now it rarely locks after a strike and just keeps on cuckooing! Chris
     
  36. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I think this is the right thing to do.

    Uhralt
     
  37. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    On that movement, I believe there is a stop pin that has to encounter the stop lever just as the lever enters the deep slot. If it's a little late, it will bounce the lever out again, just as described above. unfortunately, the plates need to be separated to disengage the stop wheel and position it correctly.
     
  38. Jeff T

    Jeff T Registered User

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    Check the end of the lock lever where the pin hits some times it gets worn on the end and doesn't catch the pin... you may need to file it or add brass to get the correct shape to catch the pin each time and not bounce over releaseing the cam. Also check the holes in plates for the lever are not worn allowing the lever to bounce over stop pin from the movement vibration when striking...This may help
     
    Chris M. likes this.
  39. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    This movement was super frustrating to fix, but I think I finally figured it out (with all of your help!). At first I thought that I just didn't have the locking pin, the maintenance cam and the locking lever/maintenance lever locked closely enough at the time of reassembly, so I took apart the movement and got them all lined up as tight as possible and reassembled. This did not fix the problem. The locking lever would still occasionally bounce back up and allow the strike to continue instead of locking like it should. So then I looked at the pivots again on the strike side and decided that some of the pivot holes had too much wobble, so I took the movement apart again and re-bushed two more pivot holes to reduce some wobble on that side. ... didn't work. So then I thought I would try Jeff T's suggestion to change the shape of the lock lever so it would do a better job of catching the pin. So I took a round file and made the end of the locking lever a slight cup shape (see pic) to catch the pin better and prevent the pin from sliding off. This helped, but occasionally the locking lever would still bounce up and cause the movement to continue to strike instead of lock. Then I took a really close look at the the maintenance lever portion of the lock lever. This is the portion that runs around on the edge of the maintenance cam and then falls down into the notch of the maintenance cam at precisely the same instant that the locking lever catches the pin and the count lever falls into a notch on the count wheel. Note: these German count wheel movements have a locking lever that is integrated with the maintenance lever - i.e. they are not separate levers. The maintenance lever portion had a sizable bur or "shelf" formed on the front edge, where over many years, the softer cast brass of the maintenance lever was worn down unevenly as it ran around in contact with the maintenance cam during a strike (did not get a photo of this, unfortunately). I simply filed off the bur/shelf on the maintenance lever portion that had formed from wear and that fixed the problem! The movement locks like a champ now!

    This one really pushed my buttons! Thought I might have to take up a different hobby, like harmonica playing or something. Fixing it was really satisfying. Thank you for all of your help. Time to start another clock. Chris

    edelweissstrikeprob3.JPG edelweissstrikeprob4.JPG edelweissstrikeprob5.JPG
     
  40. Jeff T

    Jeff T Registered User

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    Great glad you got it!
     
  41. shutterbug

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  42. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Update: now that the problem of the movement continuing to strike (therefore the number of strikes is ahead of the hands) has been fixed, I am back to the original problem where the number of strikes lags behind the hands (e.g.. the clock's hands are set to 11:30, but it strikes 9 times). I can not get this to duplicate by running the minute hand around the dial - strikes normally every time. The movement goes into warning successfully and stops striking/locks beautifully. The problem happens when I take the clock off of the test stand and hang it on the wall. A few days or weeks later, I notice that the clock is no longer striking properly. I reposition the hands and it repeats days or weeks later. I am sure everyone is sick of me and this clock at this point, but if you have any thoughts about how this could be happening I would like to hear the suggestion(s). Thank you. Chris
     
  43. shutterbug

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    Often that issue comes about because the strike side mainspring winds down before the time side does. That creates a gap that continues until you adjust it. The solution is to either wind it more, or wind it more often. I find that as folks get older, they are not able to fully wind their clock, or they are afraid of the false claim that they can be "over wound".
     
  44. Chris M.

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    Thanks. This is a weight driven clock and we are very careful to wind (raise the weights) all of our one-day clocks twice daily to prevent the problem of the strike side weight stopping before the time side weight stops. I wonder if it is not going into warning once every few days to weeks? Not sure why or how to catch this to prove it, when it happens so infrequently and only when the clock is hanging on the wall. I'm thinking that I might try bending the warning lift lever a little to raise the locking lever a little more during warning so it clears the warning pin by a greater distance. I know that that will give me a bigger "early peek" effect when going into warning with the cuckoo door opening some before the strike, but not sure what else to try. Thanks. Chris
     
  45. shutterbug

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    I doesn't hurt to try.
     
  46. Chris M.

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    Ok, I'm still struggling with with movement. It had been skipping some half-hour strikes. The maintenance lever portion of the locking lever would hop out of the notch in the maintenance cam and causing the movement to continue to strike instead of locking. I fixed it by further adjusting the end of the brass locking lever that catches the locking pin by filing the end so that it catches the pin better. I also adjusted the count lever so that it wasn't quite so snug when running on the count wheel during a strike. I believe this allowed the the maintenance part of the lock lever to get down deeper in the notch of the maintenance cam. Anyway, I fixed the problem where the maintenance/lock lever would hop out of the notch on the maintenance cam, causing the lock lever portion to not catch the lock pin. It now lock every time (I think).

    After this was fixed and since I already had the movement out of the case, I decided to adjust the the lifting lever to prevent the cuckoo door from opening during warning (if it lifts too high the door will open prematurely). When I bent the lift lever, I managed to bend the J-wire accidentally (it's on the same arbor). I tried to bend the J-wire back in position but now the movement does not strike straight up on the hour. I used the J-wire tutorial to adjust, but no matter what I did, I could not get the J-wire adjusted properly. I read on another post that instead of trying to adjust the J-wire, you should just epoxy a thin washer to the back of the hand and file to get the strike straight up. Do you think that is my best option at this stage? I am afraid to keep messing with J-wire - I believe I will just make matters worse. Thanks, Chris M.

    Edelweissjwire1.jpg Edelweissjwire2.JPG
     
  47. Peter John

    Peter John Registered User
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    Your “peek “ is not caused by the J wire. The peek is caused by the count wheel lever on the left edge of the movement (looking from the rear) . The vertical wire that pushes the bird out when cuckooing is touching the horizontal wire on the bird lever too soon. That is what is causing the “peek”. To fix that the vertical wire needs to be moved further towards the front plate so it doesn’t touched the bird wire as soon. A lot of your problems have been exacerbated by the bending and filing. Best policy is don’t bend it, file it or cut a piece off unless you are absolutely SURE that’s what you need to do. The thing worked for a hundred years before the way it was. Unless someone prior to you already bent, filed, cut it will probably still work with clean and bush. I am working on a similar movement right now and that was all that was needed. Peter
     
  48. Chris M.

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    Thanks. I am definitely in the camp: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". This clock was definitely not right after cleaning and bushing. Not sure it it ran for a hundred years and not sure why it ended up in a box and not on a wall. Chris
     
  49. Peter John

    Peter John Registered User
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    So, did you bend the vertical wire on the count wheel lever towards the front plate? This will give more room between the vertical and horizontal wire that is on the bird lever. This is a common problem with this type of setup. When it goes to warning the count wheel wire pushes the bird open before the hour/half hour. Watch it as it happens and you will understand better what I am trying to write. Peter
     
  50. Chris M.

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    Thanks, I will take a closer look at that. To fix the early peek, It had been suggested by another member that the lift lever that lifts the lock lever and allows the pin to drop and the clock go into warning should be adjusted so that it doesn't lift the locking lever too high - i.e. just enough for the clock to go into warning but no more. This seems to work but a real pain to access the lift lever and safely adjust (in my hands). Your fix seems easier access. I thought that your fix would cause the cuckoo to not come out as far if those wires are adjusted as you suggest? With this movement, there is no space between the vertical wire and the horizontal wire when movement is locked - the two wires are touching. Would need to bend to get them to not touch when movement is locked.

    Any suggestions for either adjusting the J-wire I screwed up or just glue washer to back of minute hand and file to get proper minute hand position at strike? I am afraid I am just making matters worse by continuing to bend J-wire. Chris
     

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