Elgin quartz Westminster anniversary mystery setup

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by kinsler33, Dec 21, 2018.

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  1. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    Here are 3 views of this wretched thing. It has a black button that makes the loudspeaker emit a ping and a red button that stops the clock. There's a trimmer capacitor adjustment, a volume control, and a setting knob.

    I have been trying without success to set up and synchronize the chime, time and strike. It chimes the quarters, and I have repaired the bogus pendulum's suspension spring. There seems to be no source for a manual, and no model number either.

    Has anyone had experience with these? There's no indication that this is a mechanically-switched trigger movement. Time runs fine, and occasionally the sounds come to life when you fool with the buttons enough.

    Oh: the other picture is from a mercury refinery in Spain. If you sit in a meters-deep vat of liquid Hg you won't sink, as demonstrated here. The picture was in amongst my clock photographs, so I included it for no reason.

    IMG_5294.JPG IMG_5295.JPG IMG_5296.JPG pool of mercury NatGeo'72.jpg
     
  2. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I have not worked on that exact setup, but on one similar, the process was to take out the battery, set the hands to noon, hold in the stop button, put the battery back in, then release the stop button and then push the test button. No idea if that will work on yours, but you might give it a try.
     
  3. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I shall try it and report, and thanks. Prior to that, however, I have to correct some errors committed due to the fact that I didn't know what I was doing regarding the bogus pendulum drive. I thought the problem was in a slip clutch that allows the clock to keep going if the pendulum is somehow jammed, but it turns out that I didn't position the pendulum-stop spike correctly, and this is critical.

    This particular version is a sort-of copy of an Atmos, which I personally find hysterical. I like it better than a real Atmos.

    Mark Kinsler
     
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  4. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Is that you floating on the Mercury?
     
  5. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I worked on a quartz Elgin a month or so ago, but it was not as complicated as yours...no chimes, etc. As for the movement, it wasn't at all like an Atmos. It had a suspension spring which connected to the pendulum...it functioned more like a 400-day clock.

    Kurt
     
  6. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    My guess is that the fellow relaxing in the mercury bath is one of the officials at the mercury smelter, which was located in Spain near the cinnibar mines. The liquid isn't particularly poisonous, but the vapor will kill you outright and various salts of mercury will do the same.

    Liquid mercury will dissolve gold, and so the Swiss used to gild brass parts by applying mercury/gold amalgam to said watch parts and then heating them to drive off the mercury in the form of vapor, thus promoting brain damage. Swiss watches were a cottage industry: each family would work on a portion of the watches over the winter and then be paid, maybe, by the manufacturer's subcontractor in the spring. It is said that if you look at the mountain crags that loom above watch-making villages you can find globules of liquid mercury lurking in cracks in the rock.

    Mark Kinsler
     
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