homemade master dead...What's next

R

RickR

OK so I get up this morning, look at the Cincinnati slave and see 3AM but it's sunny outside! The homemade master is dead...It was built out of an "atomix" clock a friend got from Wal mart and had been dropped, I pulled the quartz movement out and removed all hands, attatching a disk with a slot cut in it to rotate on the second hand. The hour hand was redesigned with another disk and phototransistors and LEDs are mounted on both sides of the disks so the slot allows light through for about two seconds, triggering the relay sending 24V to the slaves. The quartz movement was of the self -correcting type to nist signal. Polarity reversal was used for correction. This system worked very well, and with battery backup the clocks ran for weeks without power after the hurricanes. As a fix I put in another quartz movement from a clock from the garbage. I wonder if anyone has devised a way to use a computer as a master clock, or made a homemade decoder to set their clock from the radio signal? It was nice to have accurate clocks here, but I would like something more robust than a cheap quartz movement as the master. The box the "master" is in has a clock on it as well, but it's just a slave clock which I guess is the "pilot" clock. Finding a real master is almost impossible so building one has worked for me.
 
R

RickR

OK so I get up this morning, look at the Cincinnati slave and see 3AM but it's sunny outside! The homemade master is dead...It was built out of an "atomix" clock a friend got from Wal mart and had been dropped, I pulled the quartz movement out and removed all hands, attatching a disk with a slot cut in it to rotate on the second hand. The hour hand was redesigned with another disk and phototransistors and LEDs are mounted on both sides of the disks so the slot allows light through for about two seconds, triggering the relay sending 24V to the slaves. The quartz movement was of the self -correcting type to nist signal. Polarity reversal was used for correction. This system worked very well, and with battery backup the clocks ran for weeks without power after the hurricanes. As a fix I put in another quartz movement from a clock from the garbage. I wonder if anyone has devised a way to use a computer as a master clock, or made a homemade decoder to set their clock from the radio signal? It was nice to have accurate clocks here, but I would like something more robust than a cheap quartz movement as the master. The box the "master" is in has a clock on it as well, but it's just a slave clock which I guess is the "pilot" clock. Finding a real master is almost impossible so building one has worked for me.
 

RODALCO

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Mar 27, 2006
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Look on Ebay in Germany. You can get very accurate self winding Bürk master clocks which provide 24 Volts alternating output 1 minute impulses which will drive your Cincinnati clock, as I have one of those too on my Bürk system at home.

Look under Ebay Deutschland, Haupt, oder Mutteruhr.

These are 220 Volts 50 Hz, But the pendulum controls the beat from the master.
The 60 hz makes the wind up motor run 6/5 th faster but that does not affect the accuracy of the clock.
Of course you require a step up transformer for your voltage to get 110 Volts up to 220 Volts.

Bear in mind postage to the USA will cost you too, but ask for it before bidding.

Good luck
 

swolf

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Nov 24, 2002
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I have a Burk and it came as a 220 volt clock. However the motor and transformers have dual winding which can be wired in seies for 220 volts or wired in parallel for 120 volts.

Sherm
 

skruft

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Aug 5, 2002
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It looks like you already have an excellent and creative solution to produce the Cincinnati corrections! I assume this is an impulse system.

When I made a homemade master for Standard slaves I used a regular plug-in 120v electric clock motor instead of a quartz or other battery works, mounting it on a piece of circuit board, and included a 24vdc power supply in the case. Maybe that would work for you. Of course that doesn't solve a need for real atomic-clock accuracy.
 
R

RickR

Yes it's a nice setup, but I am always thinking of ways to make things better. Being powered off a single battery, it's easy to keep the clocks going without attending to each one, changing batteries and setting. Yes this is an impulse system and other than the occasional slow clock all works very well. It's also odd to see friends always check their watches with my clocks, even though they all have clocks on their cell phones! The only bad thing about this system is the noise the clocks make every minute. I am used to it but some people can't figure it out. I had an idea to use the works from the quartz clock to trigger a digital counter. Maybe update the digital data from the radio atomic clock? Sometimes one clock is behind or a minute fast, and I would have to take the back off the clock and advance or reverse it but that's after months of use. I will take the advice and look for a master, but Fleabay is a bad source as prices seem to go wildly out of range fast. Building is cheaper and a sure thing, until the real master clock bargain comes along.

That said I have located a digital master clock in an old school to be demolished and replaced. If it's still there when they empty it out I am going to try and grab it. The homemade solution seems to work in the meantime.
 

harold bain

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Rick, all you need is a 1 rpm motor, with a cam with a high lobe, and a microswitch that will make once a minute for about 2 seconds. For rapid advance, you can work the microswitch up and down by hand, or have a second motor of a higher rpm, or more lobes on a second cam and microswitch run by the same motor, with an advance switch to trigger it. Simple solution (for me anyway with a garage full of such parts to play with :biggrin:). I could supply you with an old eletro-mechanical Simplex master, but the shipping will likely be prohibitive.
Harold
 

RODALCO

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I do say that the challenge of building a masterclock from parts is great and when it works it gives a lot of satisfaction.
I built one from old Landis & Gyr parts and that one worked perfect and I have now as a back up just in case when of the other clocks fail.
That one does 30 sec. and 1 minute pulses with changing polarity every minute. for 24 and 48 Volts.

I have to agree that the Cincinnati clock is noisy, So are the English Gents 30 seconds impulse clocks which "hammer" closed quite loudly.
They are still noisy even if you reduce the operating current and voltage to a minimum for reliable relay operation.

The European ± 24 Volts clocks are very quiet,( FAVAG, Moser Baer, ECS, Jundes, Bürk, and Ericsson to name a few) and don't suffer from missing pulses because of the changing polarity which takes away the risk of contact bounce from the master.

I'm in the process of putting a 24 Volts FAVAG movement in my Cincinnati to reduce the noise, because my wife complains about the noise.
As I always do I keep the original movement anyway so i can restore everything back to normal if required.

Hope you get your master clock sorted out.

I do find that Ebay is very expensive sometimes, and bidders with a lot of money to spend in the last ½ minute of the auction take a lot of fun away for collectors on a smaller budget.
 

Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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Originally posted by harold bain:
Rick, all you need is a 1 rpm motor, with a cam with a high lobe, and a microswitch that will make once a minute for about 2 seconds.
Or a small magnet and reed switch - the magnet or magnets can be attached to a disk from a cheap (£1 here) quartz analog clock with centre-seconds.
 
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R

RickR

I agree fleabay is often too expensive, the fun of collecting is taken away if it becomes a rich man's hobby. Getting something before it hits the dumpster or from someone who isn't looking to retire on the sale of it is the preferred way to go. When I see timepieces over 100 years old of course they are more valuable, but with things under 50 years old and mass produced you don't feel bad messing around and making improvements. None of my impulse clocks are in a place where quiet matters, in my bedroom there is the Simplex 110V clock which of course is silent. It's nice to collect something that's actually useful!
 

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