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Grandfather Curvy Windows

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Hello. I just received a fancy Ridgeway grandfather clock from 1993 with all the bells and whistles. The sides are slanted - that is, the front of the case has a smaller width than the back of the case. The bottom side windows are glass and they are "S" curved. The top access window are also curved, but made of flexible plastic. They are replacements - as I was told the originals broke (at least one is replacement for sure). They have a knob in the middle to be able to remove them for access to the movement. However, they do not fit properly and it seems that they are hard to remove (impossible to remove?) for that easy access to the movement. Does anyone have experience with such type of access windows? Need ideas on how to make good fit and be easy to remove and put back.
 

wow

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Hello. I just received a fancy Ridgeway grandfather clock from 1993 with all the bells and whistles. The sides are slanted - that is, the front of the case has a smaller width than the back of the case. The bottom side windows are glass and they are "S" curved. The top access window are also curved, but made of flexible plastic. They are replacements - as I was told the originals broke (at least one is replacement for sure). They have a knob in the middle to be able to remove them for access to the movement. However, they do not fit properly and it seems that they are hard to remove (impossible to remove?) for that easy access to the movement. Does anyone have experience with such type of access windows? Need ideas on how to make good fit and be easy to remove and put back.
Usually those little windows are held in by slots on the bottom and top, but are also secured with plastic tabs which have to be turned to allow removal. Is that what you are dealing with? Are the glasses beveled? A replacement glass with a knob can be made but you would need a special glass cutting drill (diamond) to make the hole.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Happy hunting ...

Be sure the movement is good before throwing a lot of time and money into the glass problems.

Willie X
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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The access windows are a flexible plastic (perhaps a thin Plexiglas). The slots the access windows fit in are S curved.
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Usually the access windows are made for easy access. In this case the access is not easy at all. However, I was able to get them seated properly. If I need to adjust anything, may have to find another solution.

New question: It has a lighted pendulum bob. As mentioned, many bells and whistles. I am trying to figure out how to apply the electricity to the bob. Wires to climb up the pendulum and I see some wires hanging in there, but it is not obvious how it connects. Does anyone have experience with a lighted bob?
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Yes, the pendulum hook and leader are insulated using little phenoic circuit boards to make the electrical connection. Two very fine wires go from the lower 'eye' part of the leader upwards along the leader and over the pendulum post, with lots of slack, up to a small AC transformer, probably 12V but I'm not sure. You would have to check the bulb number to be sure. Willie X
 

shutterbug

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Often, the windows are held in by a wooden latch which can be turned by hand to release. If you can't see inside, slip a hand in the main door and see if you can feel anything. Usually on the top of the side doors.
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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As for the access side windows, there are no latches. The design looks similar to non-curvy rectangular windows with grooves on the top and bottom for the glass/plastic window to fit into. Lift up and out. It is just the the curve makes it very difficult.

As for the light, thanks Willie, as I have taken the dial and movement out to see what is going on. Below are photos. There are two wires hanging from the ceiling of the clock with metal strips at the ends. The wires do go to a transformer. The main cable in feeds the case lights as well as the transformer. I am trying to figure out how the make the electrical connection with what I have. Other photos are there showing wires on pendulum and leader. Does the metal strips form a bridge from leader to pendulum? Perhaps the strips are held mechanically on the leader. Then extend to connect electrically to something on the pendulum top.

dangling wires.jpg leader other side.jpg leader.jpg pend close.jpg pend other side.jpg pend.jpg
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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I've worked on about 5 or 6 of these, probably in the mid to late 1980s, most were new. I never had to actually work on the light circuit. I just remember the small wires and the little circuit boards where the contact was made. The contact springs could have been broken off pretty easily and the upper wires could have been broken when someone removed the movement without removing the leader first. Good luck, Willie X
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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The contact springs (metal strips) are there, but they do not snap into the holder on the leader. May have to glue them on. I checked to see if the light would work when connected and it did not. I checked the voltage at it as zero coming from the transformer. Further tests showed 120vac on the input, but 0 on the output. The transformer output should be 12 v ac. The cabinet light works.
 

shutterbug

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12 volt AC might be a little hard to find. DC would be a cinch.
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Yes, it is not an easy find - but they do exist. If I can find one, then the cheapest would be about $20 (China, if new). I was thinking to change to power supply (transformer + AC to DC conversion), then have 12v (or whatever) power a DC light bulb.
 

shutterbug

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A cheap and reversed power inverter for an automobile might do that for you. There may also be cheaper methods ;)
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Try looking for a 'filament transformer'. Nearly all are 12.6 volts across the secondary, with a center tap. You can ground the center tap and get 6.3 volts at either end. Also, any doorbell transformer, Malibu lights, pool lights, will use a low volt isolated AC transformer. Just make sure you can get a bulb that matches the transformer. Yes, conversion to LED would be a good thing, IMO.

The little springs on one board just press lightly against the contacts on the other board. Nothing locks together except the normal pendulum hook.

Willie X
 

ChimeTime

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I would advise a simple "wall wart" power supply as has come with every calculator and electronic toy for the last 2 decades. Your local GoodWill will have a bin full of them for $1. The output voltage and current is inscribed on the supply. Or, buy a new supply off Amazon which is output voltage selectable for $12.

For the bulb, you might look at SuperBrightLEDs.Com in their "Vehicle" section. They have the tiny #74 dash and instrument bulbs in 4 or 5 colors. The advantages being more light, longer life and smaller wire gauges.

Hope this helps.
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Another unknown for me at this point is if the existing bulb is good or not. I am leaning towards a power supply (120 vac to 12vdc) such as one like this: Mean Well LED Switching Power Supply - LPV Series 20-100W Single Output LED Power Supply - 12V DC | Super Bright LEDs And then changing the bulb to a 12v LED. I will probably stay with white light, but other colors may look good as well. I like the power supply in that link since I can hook up to existing wiring scheme. A wall wort is a great cheap idea, but I will have to interface plug to the two wires - perhaps add a socket to plug into. However, the jack on the DC side would be good as I can have a single connection plug to the pendulum light as opposed to two. I still must figure out how to attach the two stripe to the pendulum leader firmly.
 

shutterbug

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Garage door openers use a 12 volt battery which might work as an experiment device.
 

Rod Schaffter

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If there are simply light bulbs in the circuit, they don''t care whether the power is AC or DC.

If you have a multimeter, the bulb can be tested using the resistance function; if it is burned out, the resistance will be infinity...

Cheers,
Rod
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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I am still trying to figure out things. The existing bulb seems to have a short in it for some reason. The bulb is not marked. The previous own wrote down that the bulb is 11 watts. The bulb is similar to a car light bulb that is a push in type. However, this bulb is smaller than the typical automotive ones: 1 3/8 inches tall and the part that is pushed in is 3/8 inches across. Does anyone know what numbered bulb these are and where I can find one?
 

Rod Schaffter

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I am still trying to figure out things. The existing bulb seems to have a short in it for some reason. The bulb is not marked. The previous own wrote down that the bulb is 11 watts. The bulb is similar to a car light bulb that is a push in type. However, this bulb is smaller than the typical automotive ones: 1 3/8 inches tall and the part that is pushed in is 3/8 inches across. Does anyone know what numbered bulb these are and where I can find one?
Maybe this one...
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Yes, I just went out to a chain auto parts store and matched the bulb to a 922 product. 12.8v, 12.5W, T5 shape, wedge base. The 921 is the same, but 18W. The higher wattage will draw more current and produce more lumen. There is one with less wattage with less lumen. The HD site is impressive as it gives the technical numbers I would expect when choosing a component, such as brightness (lumen) and shape (T-5) and overall dimensions.

There are also LED versions (less wattage, less current draw, but same or more lumens). The wattage is about 2.5W.
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Update on my light situation. The light bulb may have been good. I was testing it with a power supply that was limited at 1/2 amperes. The light bulb is 12v with 1W, thus about 1 ampere draw. I replaced the bulb with a new one from the auto store, but not a LED one. Then I went to a surplus store that had piles of electronics and found a 120 vac to 12.6 vac transformer (about 2 watts on the output) on a small board. The actual voltage is about 14.3 volts. So, I stayed AC and kept the same type of bulb per the original design. Not an energy efficient design, but I imagine the light will not be turned on much - perhaps only when showing off the clock. I glued the light wires to the pendulum hanger in the proper location. They would not stay in position mechanically so had to glue them. In the end the pendulum bob is capable of being illuminated - as well as the case (120vac bulb). Such a pendulum is rare, but beware that it will take you much more time to work on such a clock that has a lighted pendulum bob - if it is not working.
 

shutterbug

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You can test a light bulb with at resistance test you know :D
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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Yes, the light bulb was blackened, but the filament was not broken - thus not an open circuit (no resistance). The ohms were about 1-2 ohms depending on the bulb.
 

kinsler33

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Solder three LED's in series, stuff them into wherever the old light bulb would go, and run them off a six-volt transformer. They'll flicker a bit with the AC, but it won't hurt them. Or see if your electronics surplus store can find you an automotive LED lamp and run it off your original transformer, if it still lives, or from any 12v source, AC or DC. LED's are diodes, and they seem to be pretty good about handling reverse voltage.

And please post a photo of this lighted pendulum. If you really want to challenge conventional tastes, note that you can also buy LED's that change color automatically.
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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As mentioned, the lighted pendulum may require extra work if it is not quite right. However, my initial post dealing with the wavy glass top side doors are very very very hard to deal with!!! To install one requires 4 maybe 6 hands. My wife and my 4 hands worked for half an hour to get one in - her hands on the inside, mine on the outside conforming the Plexiglas to fit in the curved slots. And, it is still not quite right.

Anyway, some photos attached. light left.jpg Light slight rt.jpg P6060001.JPG P6060002.JPG P6060003.JPG sl left.jpg Transformer.jpg
 

kinsler33

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Is there any possibility that you could use one of the unbroken windows to make a form, and then heat the plexiglass and the form in the oven such that the warmed plastic settles into the form? It doesn't require much heat.

Mark Kinsler
 

MuensterMann

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Mar 23, 2008
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I was told that one of the side access windows was a replacement. It makes me wonder if the original one was Plexiglas or regular glass. And perhaps the both windows are replacements.
 

shutterbug

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Probably. At any rate, I'm glad that one is your problem :D
 

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