Mystery mechanism

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by bayfishers, Feb 5, 2012.

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  1. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

    Feb 1, 2012
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    I recently acquired an old advertising clock. The motor runs when plugged in but the hands do not move. So I took the clock to a Clockmaker, He was intriqued but told me he could not help me because he wasn't sure how it was supposed to work. The clock looks like an old cast school clock, it has a Syncron motor that turns an array of brass gears. What is unusual is an electro magnet looking devise attached to a mini "hacksaw blade" possibly a self winding mechanism? Adjacent to that is a vacuum tube attached to a transformer. Any ideas on what I mite have?.....Thanks
     

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  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Hi Bayfishers, welcome to the mesage board.
    Very unusual movement. It does look like a slave clock that may have come from a school. The casing makes me think it's likely a Stromberg clock, although I've never run into this movement. It should run independant of a master clock, but without having it here to play with, I really don't know how it works either. The dial is a recent addition to the clock, unless it originated in an oyster factory.
    If you "impulse" the coil at the bottom, does the minute hand advance?
     
  3. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

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    Thanks Mr Bain!.....I really haven't experimented with the clock in fear I mite do some damage.....I will do some checking this evening and let you know what I find
     
  4. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Hi Bayfishers, The circuit looks interesting. In the upper left corner beside the vacuum tube looks like a inductor / capacitor tuned circuit. At the top could be some sort of transformer, perhaps to power the tube filament. Is it possible for you to get the number off the vacuum tube?
    David
     
  5. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    #5 Scottie-TX, Feb 6, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
    Velly intellesting! Hmmmm. Transformer will need to supply filament and plate voltages. Gotta be a rectifier somewhars. Maybe just not visible or tube is dual element and one side a rectifier. Circuit is an oscillator. Output of circuit goes to black box. Dunno. Normally I'd say if motor runs and hands don't turn that the output gear on the motor is stripped. Remove the motor and inspect the spur gear on the output shaft. Now; What purpose a tuned R.F. signal?
    Hmmmmm; Calendar dial and do I see two hands pointing at the calendar? Is this circuit somehow related to it's calendar function?
    O.K. "no" Hands are only painted and calendar to show Oysters' season.
    Hmmmmm; A low frequency oscillator? Could it be supplying 50hz from a 60hz source or vice versa?
     
  6. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    The circuitry reminds me of IBM's electronic correction clocks. A low voltage high frequency signal is superimposed on the building's 110 volt circuitry (3510 CPS, one or two volts) at times determined by a master clock, to trigger correction circuitry in the clock. Perhaps Stromberg tried to get around IBM's patent on this system.
    The motor is date coded, which would give us an idea of when this was made. I'm betting late 1950's to early 1960's.
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Looks like the first clock radio to me :D
     
  8. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

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    I'll take a look...I did some "fooling" with it last nite and found one side of the capacitor had come loose from the solder tab. I re-soldered it and noticed the tube arching inside. All the components seem critical to the clocks function. I was actually able to get the minute hand to run at the speed of a second hand for a short while when the "solenoid" at the bottom clicked and the mini "hacksaw" blade returned to the bottom of it's travel and the hands stopped moving.Definitely looks as though the tube-transformer powers or controls the "solenoid" at the bottom. Thanks
     
  9. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    My guess faultwise, is that tube is dual function, one being rectifier. Capacitor probably shorted or leaky causing current overload and sparking in the tube.
     
  10. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

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    Hi Scottie-TX......Thanks for your input...don't know if you can see my reply to David S but I was able to get the hands to run when the "black box" was energized...the mini "hacksaw" blade which is drawn into the "black box" solenoid or electro magnet definitely ties the motor to the hands mechanism. The vacuum tube/transformer controls the solenoid. I just can't figure why go around Robinhoods barn to move the hands...
     
  11. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Like I asked before. Is it possible to get the number off the tube?

    David
     
  12. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

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    I'll see if I can find something for you....it would be nice to know it's era....
     
  13. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

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    I'll check for a number this evening....won't be able to get back to you until tomorrow....Thanks
     
  14. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    The minute hand running at the speed of a second hand indicates a correction cycle. So it definately was a slave clock, controlled by a central master clock.
     
  15. David S

    David S Registered User
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    See if you can find any component that looks like a rectifier. Depending on the age of this thing it could be selenium. It looks like a 7 pin tube so not sure that it would be able to be a rectifier as well.
    David
     
  16. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Interesting Harold. One would normally associate a master / slave set up with an institution of some sorts. For this to be an "osyter in season" clock, it woud seem like more of a resturant type.??. and would they have the master / slave set up?. The wiring is not that complicated and could be traced out I would think. I know there is lot's of speculation, but still this is intriguing.
    David
     
  17. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    David, I doubt the dial is original. It's quite possible there may be some information to identify this clock under that dial, though. Likely the original dial is still there.
     
  18. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Hi
    Wouldn't the tube be a cold cathode thyratron?
    No need for a rectifier or filament source.
    The coil next to the white capacitor is a resonant circuit
    to pick up the correction tone.
    The coil at the bottom is the correction solenoid.
    As Harold says, the clock should run after it has been
    synched once.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  19. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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  20. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    I believe it's nine pin. Yeah, guess it could be a thyratron simply acting as a switch. Just never seen a nine pin thyratron but then there's a LOT of tubes I've not seen.
     
  21. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    #21 Tinker Dwight, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
    Hi
    I think it is a 7 pin. Look at the picture again.
    I can only see 4 terminals on the picture side.
    (4 * 2 ) -1 = 7
    A close look at the numbers in the picture shows that
    it is most likely a 5823 tube.
    It seems to be the standard circuit with the tuned transformer
    to receive the tone from the line.
    The OP mentioned that he'd seen discharge in the tube.
    It is only suppose to fire when there is a tone. The
    tube may be bad.
    He might try removing the tube to see if it runs then.
    Otherwise, he'd need to open the works to see why it
    doesn't run with no synching signal.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  22. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    IBM used the 5823 tube in their electronic receivers. The tuned signal allows current to flow in the tube, activating the correction coil. Only three terminals are used for the tube, which is a gas triode, cold cathode glow discharge tube. On IBM clocks, the tube has nothing to do with the clock running, as it is powered by the synchron motor. It only activates the correction within the clock movement. The clock will run forever without the correction circuit, it just won't be corrected by the master clock.
     
  23. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Hi Harold
    I'm thinking that if there is some current flowing in the tube,
    it may partially pull in the solenoid for the correction.
    This might prevent normal action. This is why I'd suggested
    removing the tube.
    The OP mentioned that he saw some discharge in the tube.
    Without the signal, he shouldn't have seen anything.
    The tube may be partially shorted.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  24. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    You might be on to something, but if the solenoid is pulled, it should be obvious. I don't recall ever seeing these noticably glow, nor do I recall ever replacing a tube. They were very reliable.
    Simplex came up with a cheaper electronic version of the receiver, that was more sensitive, requiring less voltage for correction.
     
  25. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

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    Hi David sorry just getting back to you but I wasn't able to access this web page yesterday. Anyway I found a tube #, it's an RCA tube 5823.
     
  26. bayfishers

    bayfishers Registered User

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    I think youv'e got it. it is an RCA5823...I did find some #'s on the motor...630 110v 30513R 1-62 60cy 4w 10rpm...It's also unusual that there are no knobs to set the hands I had to turn the gears ..I think I will concentrate on fixing the direct connection between the motor and hands..
     
  27. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Well, that gives us a date for your clock. The motor was made in January, 1962. But, 10 rpm is a strange number for anything other than a correction cycle. What happens when you manually pulse the solenoid clapper? Do the hands move one minute for each pulse? I'll have to look through my Stromberg info to see if I can find anything on this one.
     
  28. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    I couldn't find anything specific to your clock, but I did find that Stromberg did indeed make electronic correction clock systems in competition with IBM. They had transmitters and motor generators. Most of what I have is sales brochures from the 1960's. They also had fire alarm systems in their catalogue, and rebadged model 8500 time recorders, which would have been from after IBM's sale to Simplex, likely sourced from England.
    I'm going to move your thread down to the electric horology forum for better exposure.
     
  29. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    #29 harold bain, Feb 15, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
    Stromberg wall clock.jpg Stromberg wallclock 2.jpg Stromberg wallclock 3.jpg Stromberg wall clock 3.jpg
    Here's some pictures of one of the Stromberg brochures I've found, that date to 1960. I suspect they've picked up on this technology from ITR in England after Simplex bought IBM's American time division, but didn't buy their worldwide time division. I don't think they were very successful in marketing this product line, as they don't seem to turn up on ebay. In 1966, General Time sold Stromberg to Mite Industries, New Haven Conn. They must have put a lot of research and development into trying to compete with IBM/Simplex with carrier current equipment.
     
  30. nbarret

    nbarret New Member

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    Total newb here... but this thread is exactly what I was after (I think). I have a Stromberg clock like the one discussed here (well, only it has a plain Stromberg face, not the cool Oyster one!). My father had it in our basement when I was a kid, and I've thought off and on about getting it working again. I couldn't read the numbers on the tube, so couldn't even see if I could find one. But now I have some ideas on other paths to check before abandoning the project. It would be very cool to get it going though.
    Did this discussion continue elsewhere?
    Thanks
     
  31. Talyinka

    Talyinka Registered User

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    The operational life of an electrolytic capacitor is around 10-15 years at best. Why don't you start by replacing the 'lyte and see what happens then?

    The tube might be a double diode, one site working as a rectifier and the other as a bistable multivibrator. The number on the tube will tell. I still have data books from that period.
     
  32. Tinker Dwight

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    I don't think there are any electrolytics in this circuit.
    The tube is a thyratron and is triggered by a tone sent over the AC lines.
    It then pulls the solenoid that synchs up the clock.
    The size of the original tone generator is not something you'd want to
    put in your house.
    The clock would otherwise run without the need to use that part of the clock
    and would just need manual setting. Just use it as a regular AC clock
    and not worry about the extra circuit.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  33. Talyinka

    Talyinka Registered User

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    Thanks, Tinker, I see now that I had missed a whole lot of posts.
     
  34. mxfrank

    mxfrank Registered User

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    The clock will run as a normal AC clock, but there's really no mechanism for manually resetting the hands. If you can force it into correction mode just at the hour, you might be able to get it set. Simplex clocks can be forced to into correction by holding them with the "9" upright until the reset mechanism clicks, maybe this one works the same way.
     
  35. nbarret

    nbarret New Member

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    Got to inspect the my version of this clock some more, based on this. The clock motor is by Haydon (ie. not Synchron) similar to (not the same) as this one ==> https://mb.nawcc.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165225&d=1360627637 but the specs seem about the same 115v, 60c, 5w, 10 rpm as discussed in this thread. Removed the motor and tried to turn it by hand... seemed stuck and then broke free. Plugged it in and it now spins. Yay! Gears all look ok. I plan to get further in and lube the motor, just because who knows how long it's been? But what should be used? Is something like Tri-Flow OK? Or 3-in-1? Or...? I'm looking around on this site to see what I can find as well.
     
  36. David S

    David S Registered User
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    I recently took a telechron motor apart because it would only run for a few minutes. It turns out the out put shaft was in a long bushing and the oiled had hardened causing a very tight shaft. When I used alochol to clean the bushing and shaft, I just lubed it with #20 oil. All of the internal gears and pivots / bushings were in great shape.
     
  37. nbarret

    nbarret New Member

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    Thanks David!
    Some more info on the Haydon motor... just for grins.
    Left side of the "window"
    A2312A
    115V 60C
    5W
    10 RPM
    15
    R

    Right side of the "window"
    FS73-Y
    815450 (the "8" may be a "6")
    DEF
     
  38. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Your motor is likely a replacement. I'm pretty sure the original would have been a Synchron, as in the original poster's clock. They are likely still available from Synchron.
     

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