Pocket Watch timing machine

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by piedmontg, Apr 14, 2019.

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  1. piedmontg

    piedmontg Registered User

    Jun 14, 2009
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    Hi
    I searched around and did not see much at on the Timegrapher type of timing tool. I see some software types available but need to build a sensor.

    I looked at the various Timegrapher but some of the advertisement state "not for pocket watches". And since they all look alike I guess these are out.

    I see there are older tube type models out there, not sure I want to try that .

    Any advice on type - not specific model, just where should I head at the getting started side - timegrapher, software and build, ??

    Thanks

    Bob
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Apr 11, 2002
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    There are some good machines out there, Microset is one of them.
     
  3. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Forums Administrator
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    Feb 11, 2005
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    I use the Microset. I also have a Vibrograf B200A, which is solid state and works well. Basically, I use the Microset when I am adjusting the timing in positions. It's quick for that. I use the Vibrograph when I want a quick 'picture' of the beat error and anything else that might be happening.
     
  4. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Mar 17, 2005
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    If you will be working on a lot of watches, a dedicated machine will be a good investment.
    However, if you are only working on a few watches, you might want to try a less expensive alternative. The Watch Tuner Timegrapher is an iphone app that works very well. I purchased it for $12.99 and have used it on wrist watches, pocket watches and clocks with platform escapements. Just place the watch next to the bottom of the phone where the microphone is located. Some people say to use an external microphone, but I have had better results using the internal one. The room needs to be fairly quiet to reduce interference from outside noise. I have found only one wrist watch that it would not pick up, a Seiko 6R15 movement which I can barely hear with the case pressed against my ear. Opening the case may have helped but I did not try it. Pocket watches are plenty loud enough. Having timed about 12 watches over the past year, I have found it to be very useful and accurate.
    Allan
     
  5. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Apr 11, 2002
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    Is not a cell phone quite magnetic to placing next to a watch movement?
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Bob,

    I can recommend the eTimer software from Delph Electronics. It's very comprehensive, it runs in Windows and the demo version is free to try; to use that you just need to record in something like Audacity, (also free), and play it back in eTimer. If you buy it, it comes with a choice of microphones and costs far less than you'd have to pay for a dedicated machine with equivalent features. One useful item is the ability to specify the exact beat rate without being constrained to a limited selection, but it also allows you to do very comprehensive analysis of a watch or clock escapement.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  7. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Cell phones are not magnetic. In fact, the motion sensor contained in most iphones are very sensitive to magnetic fields and are capable of detecting magnetic fields in the microTelsa range.
     
  8. piedmontg

    piedmontg Registered User

    Jun 14, 2009
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    Thanks for the input. Lots to think about. I found a software package called Open Source Timing Software on a site called watch central, if I can build a decent mike looks like a try also, anyone use this?

    Bob
     
  9. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Apr 11, 2002
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    Allan trying to understand this. So a cell phone has a speaker in it, thats not magnetic, there is no magnet in the speaker?
     
  10. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    I use the Weishi (cheap Witschi knock off) and I'm happy with it. No scope function though, and I'm not sure it handles escapements other than levers very well. It can do pin pallets but I've never run a cylinder in it. I'm also doubtful that it will handle co-axial escapements.

    It's cheap, it does what it's designed to do. I think the "not for pocket watches" may be down to the size of the holder on the pickup. I use mine with the movement in a holder and that way I have more parts to grab on to than just the circumference of the movement.

    Regards
    Karl
     
  11. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Kevin,
    From the link posted above:
    "Speakers in cell phones are generally piezoelectric speakers which are solid-state and do not have magnets in them. A magnet big enough for a speaker is too big for a cellphone. There are no permanent magnets or voice coils in a cellphone speaker. "
    ask.metafilter.com/170862/magnet-phones-how-do-they-work

    Hey, if it is on the internet, it must be true; right? :cool:
     
  12. piedmontg

    piedmontg Registered User

    Jun 14, 2009
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    Karl

    I communicated with one of the sellers. They said the maximum the unit could hold is 50mm, which would not hold a 16s watch. I checked with others and got the same answer, no surprise they are all the same just different name.
    Are you saying you do not use their holder? ie you use a movement holder. Did you adapt the mike to your holder?

    Thanks
    Bob
     
  13. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Alan i did not read the link, and i had no idea a speaker could be made without a magnet. Guess i am old fashioned as i am not putting my cell near my watch. Thanks all for the insight and getting more knowledge here.
     
  14. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    I
    I do use their holder but in using a Bergeon vise style holder I can grab that by the compression screw in some cases. A Little precarious in setup sometimes and you have to be careful with Heavy movements. But as long as there is a solid Contact between holder, movement and pickup, there will still be a good conduction of vibration.

    Regards
    Karl
     
  15. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
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    Just a note on that cell phone link. Im not sure what phones they are talking about. Metal has always stuck to the speakers on all my phones.

    1555726772726-1071905389.jpg
     
    Kevin W. likes this.
  16. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
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    I should show this as well. This is how i used to use the various app timers like clock tuner and tickoprint on watches without a mic. Hey it worked. Lol

    20190419_212656.jpg 20190419_212436.jpg
     
  17. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
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    The same speaker out of the phone. While there is piezo speakers the quality of sound from them probably isn't good enough for a smartphone. Piezos are actually what they use in the pickup mic for the machines I've had to replace the one in my old greiner.
    I was thinking of very cheap mic made with a singing birthday card (cheap source of piezo disc) and a cheap smartphone headset.

    1555740236374624445809.jpg 15557404032062973580.jpg
     
  18. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

    Sep 29, 2004
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    When my second pick-up microphone for my Microset cratered on me, I took a cheap door alarm from Dollar Tree ($1), took the piezo out of it, and soldered it up with new microphone wire and a 1/8" microphone plug. Very sensitive, and has worked great since.........................gary
     

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