Favag Have you ever seen this clock?

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Ant, Sep 9, 2013.

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  1. Ant

    Ant Registered User

    Mar 16, 2013
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    favag.png

    Hi all:
    Does anybody knows this clock? There is not very much information around, it's described on the internet as a bench clock, but I can't find anything else.
    It has a nice and heavy metal case sealed with a rubber ring. Inside there is a electric motor. It´s sealed because it's filled with oil, very similar to car oil in thickness, color (redish) and smell :)
    I would like to know which is the working voltage. I suppose it's a one second pulsed signal which toggles every second, but which voltage?
    Does anybody knows about such amount of oil?
    It has also a little hole in the upper zone. I suppose it lets the air get inside, but I think it forces always a stand position, screwed over a table or leveled surface to avoid a leak.
    This image is from the internet, because mine is dissasembled (sorry, I have no patience :) ), but I could post more photos if somebody has interest or just curiosity.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    Favag master time systems is or was an old and well established Swiss manufacturer of precision time measurement equipment.

    Their train station platform clocks are well recognized in Europe. They are unique with the minute hand waiting at the last minute of the hourfor the last few seconds of the minute. At the last few seconds both the second hand and minute hand proceed to the "top-of-the-hour."

    Not much is known about Favag clock systems in the US but except for the schemes used on train passenger platforms, the traditional system, widely used in Europe thirty or fifty years ago was an alternating polarity, low voltage impulse of thirty seconds.

    The photo you provided and the fact that it is oil bathed suggests the clock in the photo is powered by a higher voltage alternating current of 50Hz and using 220 volts.

    Some detailed photos of your disassembled example would help provide more informative guesses.
     
  3. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Sep 27, 2008
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    I saw some Favag clocks in a radio station in the USA a number of years ago. I suppose they have supplanted the old Western Union Self Winding Clocks of my day.

    Interestingly, I have the sense that accurate timekeeping seems less important to the broadcasting business than it once was. There is a fascinating story in a biography of Ed Murrow about how CBS "simulated" a global hookup right before the war. The questions and answers were rehearsed and precisely timed, then broadcast using accurate clocks. The result was that it seemed that Murrow and William L. Shirer were carrying on a conversation between New York and Berlin, when no such conversation was actually occurring.

    Nowadays, on satellite radio, I hear "echoes" of half a sentence to the last few words of a radio spot coming through the network because the whole system is obviously not accurately timed.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  4. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    It is true Tim and all. Accuracy in public radio and television broadcasting entertainment and news program starting and ending times are no longer punctual.

    The content that is presently accurately timed is advertising; that's where broadcasting money is earned.

    IBM made some very accurate electronic analog (not digital) computers for early industrial and mostly scientific use during and after WWII. The product line had a short but useful life owing to the odd programming scheme that was not amenable to numeric control

    One of the last IBM analog systems I knew of in actual service as late as 1990 was employed in a Canadian Broadcasting Network station used to control magnetic analog tape recordings of ads interspersed with pre-recorded programming.
     
  5. Ant

    Ant Registered User

    Mar 16, 2013
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    Thank Eckmill and Tim for your quick responses.

    Eckmill, according to your guessing, and taking into account that the clock came from the USA, it should be 120v 50Hz.
    Now it's clear to me the reason for the fifty teeth wheel. It moves really fast then!
    Is that the reason for the big amount of oil? Which kind of oil could I use to refresh old one?

    And at this speed, maybe it's a bit noisy..., I dont´t know. I´ll drop a message in the forum if I can get it to work again.

    Here are some pictures from the inside:
    DSC_0068.jpg DSC_0069.jpg DSC_0073.jpg
     
  6. Ant

    Ant Registered User

    Mar 16, 2013
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    Sorry, I meant sixty teeth, 110V and 60Hz.
    Does anybody knows what type of oil would fit for filling the clock?
    I would love to make it to work.

    Thanks in advance
     
  7. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    Ant. I suspect you are guessing that the clock and its movement were used in the US and it may be true.

    However, your photos showing the leads to the movement are far too small in wire gauge to have been intended to be used with 120 VAC as for US Domestic usage. The leads are of the gauge used with 220 VAC.

    You ask about the kind of oil needed to refill. Did the old oil have any color or odor that you could identify?

    In the absence of any knowledge about the more modern Favag clock system, I would recommend a few ounces of automobile automatic transmission fluid......any kind.
     
  8. Ant

    Ant Registered User

    Mar 16, 2013
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    Thanks Eckmill for your response.
    Oil transmission fluid seems to be very appropiated.
    Original one from the clock is red in colour and the smell..., well it's really disgusting, I suppose than thrirty years or so inside a metal box turns anything rancid :)

    Here is a picture. Thanks god, it doesn't smell :)

    DSC_0075.jpg

    By the way, the original quantity of oil inside the clock was twice of this in the bottle, do you find it appropiate?
    Best regards
     
  9. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    Once you have the hole open, an easy way to fill it
    is to submerge it in a small jar. Heat it a little
    with a hair drier. Let it cool and repeat until
    the bubbles stop.
    Don't heat it too much.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  10. Ant

    Ant Registered User

    Mar 16, 2013
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    Sorry for this piece of art, but to clarify things....
    Your procedure seems like this?
    (a picture is worth a thousand words) :)
    oil_filled_clock.jpg
    And by the way, which is the correct form to set the time?
    Just moving the clock hands with your fingers?

    Thanks
     
  11. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    I like the picture ;)
    There should be a nob on the center back to set the time,
    someplace.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  12. CTS

    CTS New Member

    Jun 3, 2019
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    Hi Ant - this is a long shot as your post is six years old now... however... I hope you didn't hook the terminals on the movement to any of the aforementioned voltages!
    I have some limited experience with these movements & they were all 24V DC.
    To get it to operate you would also need a master control module to supply the 24V DC impulse - I'm not sure of the current though.
    Unfortunately there seems to be an infuriating lack of technical (or any other for that matter) information regarding Favag movements, despite the fact they must have been a major clock system manufacturer up until around the early 90's
    The only way I could adjust the time on the clocks with these modules was to set the hands up manually, about a minute or two ahead, connect one of the terminals & dial up the talking clock & quickly connect the other terminal
    The time may be a second out because of incorrect polarity in which case I'd repeat the above process & swap the wires around.
    Good luck!
     
  13. ElectricTime

    ElectricTime Registered User
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    Sep 28, 2002
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    Correct - this is most likely a 24VDC reserve polarity movement - I wonder if the oil fill - was to keep the mechanism quiet in a broadcast studio?
     
  14. CTS

    CTS New Member

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    Hi ElectrictTime
    I believe you are 100% re the oil bath movement for silencing (& possibly longevity) as this is where I had involvement with these clocks/movements.
    I'll post a pic backing up our 24VDC in a minuteif I'm able to as a newbie.
     
  15. CTS

    CTS New Member

    Jun 3, 2019
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    If you notice just below the terminals & oil filler screw, there is a faint 24V printed there.
    A word of warning Ant - be extremely careful with the coil wires. If you break them then (in my experience) kiss the thing goodbye.
    These I'm guessing were probably made around the mid 80's so any parts are long gone...

    IMG_20190604_004441[1].jpg
     
  16. RODALCO

    RODALCO Registered User

    Mar 27, 2006
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    I have an older version of this FAVAG bench clock which has a 24 Volts movement. (and also no oil in it)
    These clocks need to be driven with a ±1 second impulse of alternating polarity, every second. so +24V , -24V, +24V, -24V and so on.
    The oil was used to dampen the noise for a quiet environment like a Radio Station.
    The movement with the fibre gear wheel with 60 teeth is a newer version then the one I have. The current is around 7 mA at 24 Volts.
    Some FAVAG movements also work at ±12 Volts.
    Don't put main voltages on the clock coils as they will burn out.
     
  17. RODALCO

    RODALCO Registered User

    Mar 27, 2006
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    Hi Ant, just to follow up on this post.
    I took four pictures of my 24 Volts 2.4 mA 1 second FAVAG bench clock, and two pictures of my 24 Volts 7 mA 1 minute FAVAG clock in our house.
    2019-06-18_19-04-17.jpg 2019-06-18_19-04-52.jpg 2019-06-18_19-05-25.jpg
    24 Volts FAVAG bench clock with 1 seconds movement.

    2019-06-18_19-08-44.jpg 2019-06-18_19-19-55.jpg 2019-06-18_19-20-27.jpg

    The two pictures on the right hand side are from a 24 Volts 1 minute FAVAG impulse clock with exactly the same 60 teeth gear wheel and the so called Zweigetrieb (in German) or two drive sprocket. The seconds version of this clock has an extra set of gears in it to reduce to 1/60 for the minutes.

    This Zweigetrieb system was also used in railway clocks with Schleichenden Sekunden, on which a 110V or 220V 50 Hz synchronous motor drives the seconds hand for the stop and go clocks in Germany and The Netherlands.
     
  18. CTS

    CTS New Member

    Jun 3, 2019
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    Nice ones Rodalco :)
    Just with your oil bath movement - the oil wasn't just for making the unit run quietly but also for lubrication. I wouldn't run it without the oil!
    Die zweigetrieb should be positioned at the bottom of the enclosure with the terminals on top & the oil level needs to cover the zweigetrieb. If you do this you should have many years of trouble free (silent) ticking.
     

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