ODO, not ATO, but kinda/sorta

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Tim Orr, Dec 27, 2018.

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  1. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good afternoon, all!

    Here are pix of a recent acquisition, an "ODO"-brand, French electromagnetic clock. Has a balance wheel whose staff carries a set of blades that pass through slots in the poles of a sort of horseshoe electromagnet.

    Tiny leaf switch activated by cam on balance staff controls energizing of the electromagnet and has 3 mf cap that I assume is for arc suppression.

    Anyone familiar with these? Is it an ATO cousin?

    Thanks!

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr ODO_1.jpg ODO_2.jpg ODO_3.jpg
     
    Steve Murphy and Kevin W. like this.
  2. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Tim,congrats for catching this rare "bird", I´ve dug through french brocantes for years and never found a model like that! Indeed it looks like the electromagnetic movements based on the ATO principle that were produced by many german manufacturers with plastic wheels in the 50ies to early 70ies.Either Les Leskowski or John Hubby certainly will know more.Please more pics of the balance and escape section from different angles! And a pic of the whole clock?
    Best regards
    Burkhard
     
  3. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    Rather an Eureka cousin, imho. Both are electromagnetic systems (electromagnet and armature).
    Ato however is electrodynamic (coil and magnet) which consumes much less power.

    Frank
     
  4. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good afternoon, Burkhard!

    OK. More pix. Hard to get "inside" with my camera, but here are a few more shots. Note the rings around the lower part of the balance staff that end in a sort of ramp. When the balance staff rotates, the ramp lifts the pins on the sort of "contrate" wheel to the left of the balance staff, imparting motion to the works. Sort of like a worm gear with a rising "cliff" at the end of the worm.

    There is basically no "escapement," as such. What appears to be a strip of plastic forms a cam on the balance staff that lifts the leaf switch off the post (all of which you can see in the picture). As the balance staff rotates back and forth, this cam opens and closes this leaf switch, energizing the magnet. You can see the magnet in the picture, and see that it has a laminated core through which the blades attached to the balance staff pass.

    The hairspring is adjusted to control timekeeping, and you can see that the adjustment is spring-loaded, much like a good pocketwatch, and adjustable with a screw.

    The leaf switch seems to be incredibly touchy: Too far one way and the magnet locks "on" and the blades lock inside the magnet poles. Too far the other and it won't run at all.

    Also a full view of the clock. Case appears to be chromed aluminum or zinc and is badly pitted. Back is open now, but might have had a thin wooden disk at one time, as there are currently unused screw holes in the back of the movement. And, my error before: The cap is 2 mfd.

    I'm kind of intrigued by the little weight on the end of a rod attached to the setting shaft. It appears to be there to remove backlash when you set the clock. I suppose it must consume power to move that around, but it makes setting very smooth and nice.

    Best regards!

    Tim ODO_0.jpg ODO_4.jpg ODO_5.jpg
     
  5. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Thank You,Tim,for the additional pics. I don´t understand anything of electricity , so I don´t know the difference between "electromagnetic" and "electrodynamic" devices as mentioned by Frank. I ad a couple of pics of "LIc.ATO" mvmts. of German manufacturers from the 60ies showing the same type of "escapement" to advance the "contrate wheel". The only difference between these mvmts. and Yours seems to be the way the balance wheel is made to move: In Your clock the extensions that emerge from both sides of the solenoid "embrace" the flat single steel rod attached to the balance staff and give magnetic impulse to it while in the mvmts I show the solenoid itself is placed between two steel parts connected with the balance to recieve impulse.The difference between the two systems to me doesn´t seem too big, but what do I know?
    Re the weight on the center shaft: I´d guess the funktion of it is to counterpoise the weight of the long and heavy minute hand.The force to drive the motion work is quiet small and comes only from the balance wheel advancing the little "contrate wheel".If the hands are too long and too heavy the power might not be sufficient to advance the minute hand "upwards" from 30-60 minutes .My theory would be supported if the weight arm was positioned 180° to the minute hand.?
    Anyway :a verry interesting mvmt!
    Best regards
    Burkhard

    DSCN4222.JPG DSCN4225.JPG DSCN4228.JPG
     
  6. jim.fortress

    jim.fortress Registered User

    Jan 11, 2005
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    #6 jim.fortress, Dec 30, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018

    Hi Tim

    Your clock was manufactured in France by a company called Girod and has nothing to do with ATO.

    I believe the ODO name to be a later branding by the Girod company.

    I have two similar clocks one in an identical case to yours and one in a wooden case.

    The escapement is a variation of the sully escapement, google Sully escapement for description.

    Please see attached images of the clocks I have and also some paperwork.

    Regards

    Jim

    girod 2.jpg girod 2a.JPG girod 2b.jpg girod poster.jpg brochure 1-1.jpg brochure 1-2.jpg girod.jpeg girod mov.jpg girod papers.jpg
     
  7. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    with all respect I dare to contradict: Odo was a clock factory founded by Odobey, Léon; founded La société Odo in 1924 , while Girod -as seen in the ads provided by jim- was founded by members of the Girod family , so afaik two different factories.HTH
    Burkhard
     
  8. jim.fortress

    jim.fortress Registered User

    Jan 11, 2005
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    Hi Burkhard

    You are of course entirely right about the two companies being two separate entities, it is probable that ODO bought in and branded the clock as theirs for retail. I have seen images of at least six of these clocks branded by Girod but this is the first I seen branded as ODO. In any case the ODO movement is identical to the Girod movement and has nothing to do with the separate company ATO

    Regards

    Jim
     
  9. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    maybe both Odo and Girod bought the movement from a third part supplier ?? In germany,the same movement can be found in cases/with dials signed by different "manufacturers". Any marks on the movement itserlf ? I agree the clock in question has nothing to do with the ATO company , but -as seen on the Junghans mvmt.- the concept is that of an electromagnetic balance swinger licensed by ATO.
    Best regards
    Burkhard
     
  10. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good evening, Jim!

    Fascinating pictures! I can't see a capacitor in the one you show in your 8th picture. Is it hidden, or doesn't it have one? Is it using something else for the function performed by the cap?

    Is it, in the 3rd picture, for arc suppression?

    Have you any tips on adjusting the leaf switch?

    What's your opinion regarding the weight on the setting shaft?

    Do you think the blades ever get magnetized and need to be degaussed?

    I'll look up the Sully escapement.

    Thanks! I can see that I am missing a movement cover. My movement is screwed to the case with multiple screws, so I'm guessing the spring clips at 12,3,6 and 9 wouldn't be needed on mine.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  11. jim.fortress

    jim.fortress Registered User

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    Hi Tim

    The one in the 8th picture hasn't got the capacitor, the capacitor is used for arc supression to prolong the contact life, I imagine there may be some wear in the leaf spring I have never attempted adjustment and I don't have either of my clocks running they just form part of my collection. Your clock seems Identical to mine apart from the branding, the weights on the hand setting shaft are counter poising for the hands but mine doesn't have them fitted on the Aluminium cased clock.

    Happy new year

    Jim


     
  12. jim.fortress

    jim.fortress Registered User

    Jan 11, 2005
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    Yes Burkhard

    There is simarlarity in that both Ato and many other clock movements ( Eureka) use magnetic swingers and those ATO movenents also use an invereted Sully escapement, The Ato license applies to the use of transistor switch if my memory serves correctly, there are many swiss movements also with magnetised balances which is why these transitional clocks are so interesting.

    Jim
     
  13. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good afternoon, Jim!

    Many thanks for your post in answer to my questions! I wondered about that counterweight on the setting shaft (I originally guessed it to be some sort of anti-backlash thing for setting the minute hand), but I think I have a clue: The entire motive power of these clocks comes from the motion of the balance wheel, imparted to it by the electromagnet. That's not a lot of power. You don't want the electromagnet to "drive" the balance, just to give it a kick. Pendulum ATOs at least have a reasonably weighted pendulum – so some momentum, some kinetic energy. Regular balance wheel clocks and watches are actually driven by mainsprings, with the balance wheel supplying regulation to the "escape" of that potential energy.

    In these clocks, the whole thing comes from the balance wheel rotating back and forth. I noted that every time I set the clock, I had to shake it to restart the balance. My guess is that there's so little driving power there that even the weight of a 10.5 cm aluminum minute hand could seriously load down that balance wheel. These clocks kind of resemble those ATO-like wristwatches, and those little ATO clock movements you sometimes see.

    I wonder if these, like many ATOs and Atmos, Barr/Poole, etc., should NOT be lubricated. Ideas?

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  14. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Tim,I´ve seen a similar arrangement with an arm and an adjustable weight to counterpoise a (relatively ) heavy minmute hands on several tower clocks.
    Burkhard
     
  15. jim.fortress

    jim.fortress Registered User

    Jan 11, 2005
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    Hi Tim
    Yes I think you are correct oil is not needed as the moving magnetic balance a very simple form of electric motor and drives the clockwork or indexing, the exact opposite of all mechanical clocks were power source weight spring gravity etc drives the escapement
    Jim
     
  16. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

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    I just picked up one of the ODO wall clocks from a French auction website.

    The clock is pretty much identical to that posted by Tim. It does have the minute hand counter-weight. One interesting difference is that the fibre insulation is on the LHS of the movement, rather than on the RHS (as viewed form the back).

    The leaf spring has a brass backing support which will limit movement is one direction. The other direction of the leaf spring is limited by the silver contact post. I have rotated my contact post through 180 degrees to expose a clean contact face. I suspect that the brass support for the leaf spring makes it easier to set the contact gap geometry (an issue raised by Tim in an earlier post).

    The top and bottom bearings of the balance are jewelled bearings. The pivots are pretty sturdy to support the weight of the large balance.

    I have also included a picture of the back cover. You will see that there is a perspex window which covers the balance. Attached to the window is a thin strip of spring steel. This allows the user to flick the cover and give the balance a small "kick" to get it started. A very similar arrangement is common on the LIC-ATO movements referred to in an earlier post.

    The movement has a scratched repairer's mark dated 1962. My guess the clock dates from the late 1950's.

    The clock is now "ticking" away nicely with a good balance oscillation. The nature of the movement means that is creates an unusual ticking sound.

    Peter

    ODO 1.JPG ODO cover.JPG ODO leaf spring.JPG
     

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