Gillett & Johnston Master Not Running

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Benet, Jan 22, 2017.

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  1. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    Hello all. I'm new to this, but I have a Synchronome master clock which doesn't run. I've done all I can find from the internet but I'm still stuck - after about 20 minutes the pendulum doesn't swing far enough to rotate the main wheel. Surely if there's enough power to lift the arm, then it should sustain?

    Perhaps someone can view the attached slo-mo and tell me what's wrong?

    [video=youtube;6sGCFkVXx0E]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sGCFkVXx0E[/video]

    Thank you for any and all help!
    Benet
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    Re: British Synchronome 1950s not sustaining

    Looks like you have an old screwdriver stuck in there....
     
  3. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    #3 Tinker Dwight, Jan 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
    Re: British Synchronome 1950s not sustaining

    It looks like the contacts might be too close. You are not getting enough
    impulse before it resets.
    Almost all of the other running ones I see on youtube have the roller
    wheel almost at the end of the slope before energizing the solenoid.
    Yours is getting energized at about 1/3 of the slope.
    I suspect it is a little too soon.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  4. rogerj

    rogerj Registered User

    Dec 21, 2014
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    Re: British Synchronome 1950s not sustaining

    Benet....I can't claim to be an expert on Synchronome but I am an enthusiast with five of my own. In additional I have the Miles book on the history of Synchronomes .
    Your clock does not look like any Synchronome I've ever come across and it would be of great interest to see more images of it and to hear why you believe it to be a Synchronome...here is a link to a YouTube video of the mechanism that is basically similar to all Synchronomes from 1910 to 1980 approx .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U961TNPP3AE
    Roger

    ss
     
  5. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    Not-a-Synchronome!

    Thank you for your replies. Indeed, rogerj, it does seem to be not-a-synchronome, and I'm trying to find out what it is by trawling images on the internet, since it has no markings except 'Made in England' and a number like 3.14159 (not exactly that one, but 3.something) punched into the rear of the clock.

    So, does anyone have any ideas?
     
  6. Snapper

    Snapper Registered User

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    Re: Not-a-Synchronome!

    Could you please post some photographs. Overall views and details too?
     
  7. rogerj

    rogerj Registered User

    Dec 21, 2014
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    Re: Not-a-Synchronome!

    Your clock is interesting because it looks Synchronomesque...The count wheel has the the wire actuator and there looks to be an interpretation of the N,R,A arrangement at top left. The "chassis" on which it's built looks like it might be a modified Synchronome one..There are other similarities..we must see it !!
    As Tinker says, the reset is happening too soon. Are the contacts under that NRA plate at top left ?...And as Snapper says...more pictures please ...Roger
     
  8. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    Mystery not-a-Synchronome!

    Pictures attached as requested. Of course, I'd still appreciate ideas on how to make it run...

    Thanks
    Benet
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  9. rogerj

    rogerj Registered User

    Dec 21, 2014
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    Re: Mystery not-a-Synchronome!

    I've identified your clock as a Gillet and Johnson. But it appears to have been fitted with a Synchronome dial..
    This should help your further internet searches : http://www.mridout.force9.co.uk/GJ/index.htm.
    I do not know this make but you need to find the contact that closes when the weighted arm begins to fall. Possibly that horizontal piece above the arm. There may be a screw adjustment.
    You could try posting again with a new title relating to the G&J..
     
  10. rogerj

    rogerj Registered User

    Dec 21, 2014
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    Re: Mystery not-a-Synchronome!

    Further thoughts....you could email Martin Ridout as he gives his email address on his homepage and seems to invite correspondence : http://www.mridout.force9.co.uk/ He might have found instructions for setting up the G&J master clock..Also..This type of master clock, with very heavy pendulum bobs, were never intended to be free standing as yours seems to be. There are two screw holes at the top of the case (either side of the pendulum support bracket) where it is intended to be securely screwed to a masonry wall. Some believe that even fixing to a stud wall is enough to cause troubles, but free-standing may be part of the reason why yours stops.
    You seem to have a very nice collectable clock...take care...it can become addictive.. :) Roger
     
  11. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    #11 Benet, Jan 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2017
  12. rogerj

    rogerj Registered User

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    #12 rogerj, Jan 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2017
    Good luck with the search..In some searching I did I discovered that Synchronome bought out the clock section of G&J in 1958..As many of these clock systems were originally maintained by company engineers it is not surprising that the dial unit was replaced with a Synchronome one. It's probably pertinent that your dial is not marked "Synchronome Electric" as most were when fitted to Synchronome clocks.
    I note that G&J still exists: maybe an email to them might secure a setup .pdf ! http://www.gillettjohnston.co.uk/
    In my earlier post I mis-spelt "JOHNSTON"...sorry..
     
  13. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    #13 Benet, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2017
    Hello mods. Please can you rename this thread once more to correct the spelling? It should read "Gillett & Johnston" which would help people searching.. Thank you!
     
  14. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Have you found the adjustment of the electrical points yet?
    Tinker Dwight
     
  15. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    Hello Tinker. Yes, I found that adjustment - a screw on the underside of the gravity arm, and tightened it by 3/4 turn to give a longer fall before it resets. I could go further with this one. Thanks for your help!
     
  16. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    I mounted the clock to a solid masonry wall over the weekend, adjusted the gap between the contacts, checked for 6V and tweaked the jewel arm.

    It still doesn't run though. Does anyone have any other ideas? Shall I post another slo-mo video?

    Thanks again
    Benet
     
  17. Snapper

    Snapper Registered User

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    Without videos we can't see what adjustments you have made but the gravity arm should reset just a tad before it reaches the end of the slope on the gathering arm.
     
  18. John UK

    John UK Registered User

    Mar 25, 2006
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    The G&J is a fine clock and will run reliably and (relatively) quietly when set up right. The critical things are similar to all clocks:

    The countwheel must be as near friction free as possible; clean and very sparingly oil its pivots and associated holes. Teeth must be clean and dry - no oil. Other pivots are less critical, but still need to be clean and lubricated.

    The impulse pallet/slope and roller must be clean and dry - no oil. The roller axle should be sparingly oiled.

    The crutch piece movement should be free and the pivot clean and lightly oiled.

    The gathering jewel should engage the countwheel just sufficiently to 'gather' a tooth cleanly, but not so deeply engaged to drag and give recoil.

    Overall, the system has a fine balance in having sufficient energy to run reliably with a steady quite narrow arc, so keeping that friction and energy loss minimised is critical. Oil used should be very light horological type and very sparingly applied - forces are very light - there are no 8 day spring reserves here!
     
  19. Benet

    Benet Registered User

    Jan 22, 2017
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    Hello again my helpful experts. The clock has now been running for eight hours. We've had one false dawn before, but I'd like to thank everyone for their help. I'm sure it's not the end of my journey...
     
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