Need advice for upgrading a slave clock setup

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Gary Myers, Sep 14, 2018.

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  1. Gary Myers

    Gary Myers Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 14, 2015
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    I had the very unique opportunity of dismantling a International Time Recording master clock setup and 15+ slaves from a 1930's seminary here north of Seattle . Two of the slave clocks are double sided that were suspended from the ceiling, a bear to dismantle from such a height. The master is a 5 ft tall clock that we had to break into because we had no key and it was locked, long story but a happy ending..

    The seminary is being restored in a six month restoration project. The curator wants the slave clocks re-installed and running but they won't be under control of the original master clock, they will run standalone. The 24v wiring will be tore out so there will be not wiring between the slaves.The master clock is up in the air whether it will go back into the seminary or be sold off.

    My partner who volunteered me to help suggested some sort of atomic movement setup to correct the time in place of the old 24v pulse correction movement. He took a modern generic atomic clock to different parts of the building to verify signal strength. He found no issues of running these clocks off radio signals.

    The question is what can we dive this clock that will drive these big hands, also keep minimal modifications to the original? We would like to use a radio signal for correction if possible.

    We have members who have salve clocks that use a DC driver from Ken's Clock Clinic. That good for driving a couple of slaves connected together but driving 15 separate standalone clocks require a different approach.

    Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
    Gary Myers
    Chapter 50 Puget Sound WA, NAWCC


    ITR_Double.jpg ITR_Wall.jpg ITR_Mvt.jpg IRT_Label.jpg St Edwards Clocks5.jpg St Edwards Clocks4.jpg
     
  2. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Sep 27, 2008
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    Good evening, Gary!

    Important to think about: Budget constraints have caused the National Institute of Standards and Technology to propose shutting down its "radio-controlled" (or, as some say, "atomic") clock broadcasting services. If that happens, all of these commonly available radio-controlled clocks will cease to deliver accurate time.

    I have been advocating that NAWCC members petition their representatives and senators, and there is even a petition to the White House to keep this service in place.

    Here's a link to that discussion: WWV Losing funding? What about our 'radio controlled watches and clocks?

    There is, at present, no readily available substitute. If the service continues, there are some of these quartz movements that can support large hands, and when carefully balanced, it is sometimes amazing how small a movement can be successful. GPS-sourced time might work, but I am not aware of any movements or clock systems that would work for you.

    If I understand correctly, you do not want a system that relies on physical wiring from a master to the slaves.

    I will also look up a couple of possible suppliers for you that might have some solutions. I believe one system uses individual movements that are synchronized via a central clock and Wi-Fi. I need to review that.

    Will respond as soon as I can.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  3. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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  4. Gary Myers

    Gary Myers Registered User
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    Oct 14, 2015
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    Good evening Tim,

    Thank you for the links! I will take a look and make some inquires. The wireless clock system America Time has looks interesting. I have to ask the curator what our budget limit is. Guess we should have asked for that up front.

    Hard to believe that NIST would eliminate WWV. I know folks, radio astronomers who use their frequency for monitoring propagation of the earth's ionosphere for sunspot activity and gama ray bursts from the universe. Even NASA might be chiming in on that one.

    There are some folks who've successfully corrected quartz movements using GPS 1PPS (pulse per second) signals. I have to find the links but quartz might be worth looking into as well.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.

    Cheers!

    Gary Myers
     
  5. flynwill

    flynwill Registered User
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    Feb 1, 2007
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    Indeed it would be sad if they shutdown WWV.

    There are alternatives: GPS modules are now typically $20-30 and can provide extremely accurate time as long as they can receive the satellite signals.

    If there is internet connectivity, then computer clocks synchronized from the Web can also provide sub-second accuracy.
     
  6. sundy58

    sundy58 Registered User

    Aug 23, 2014
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    Any new clock you get will not be as pretty as the originals.

    I always try discourage people from going from a wired system to a wireless system. The wireless systems have many more places for problems than a wired system.

    I have access to impulse movements to upgrade your existing clocks. We can rebush the hands and they will look original.

    We also have clock systems available just like other clock manufacturers. Our website is Midwest-Time.com
     
  7. fdew

    fdew Registered User

    Jul 12, 2007
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    Please reconsider not running 24 volt wiring. Being low voltage and low current it dosn't need conduit or boxes. You can run telephone wire or CAT5 or most anything. These IBM movements will run forever. Maintenance will be ZERO.
     
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  8. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good afternoon, all!

    The point in the original post is that the wiring is going to be torn out. Can it be preserved? I don't know.

    Some of us here in Colorado worked on a Hahl Pneumatic system in a courthouse in Greeley. There, some of the pneumatic plumbing had been irrevocably destroyed over the years, and the county was not going to invest in having new plumbing put through the walls and floors. The only way to restore the timekeeping of some of the clocks was to go with new, locally powered movements (radio-controlled quartz). Also, of course, bellows and diaphragms for old Hahl movements are extremely hard to get.

    Neither ideal nor historically accurate, but sometimes, that's the way you have to go. If the wiring's gone, you may have an uphill battle trying to get someone to install new.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     

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