• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Post your quartz clock matters here

Tinker Dwight

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Tinker had mentioned that most of the stepping motors used are not Lavet and used some type of ratchet mechanism. Maybe I was wrong about them being Lavet motors. I took apart several standard quartz movements and ran them with just the rotor installed. They all rotated in one direction. This must mean that there is no ratchet type mechanism to give it a preferred direction.
Actually I didn't say they didn't have a Lavet motor, I said they
had a ratchet like device to ensure they go the right way.
Tinker Dwight
 

lmester

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1968 quartz master clock electronics

1968 quartz master clock electronics.

This has been sitting in my junk box for several decades. I'll bet that this was probably one of the early clocks with solid state electronics. Does anyone here know the history of this? When was it first made? Date codes on the board show that this one was from 1968.

This is the circuit board from a Simplex master clock. It provided drive to a 50Hz synchronous motor.

All done with discrete components. No IC's on this board!

Three plug in boards make up the divider chain. Each board has a five stage divider using two transistors per flip-flop.

The round can is an OCXO (oven controlled crystal oscillator).

The two transistors with the black heat sinks and two transformers provide the 50Hz power to run the clock motor.

a 1.6384 MHz clock from an OCXO is divided by 2^15 to get 50Hz.

Here are some pictures.

The name on the board is "Quasar" A good name for a precision oscillator.

As you can see from the scope the OCXO and divider chain are working. It's putting out a 20 ms (50Hz) waveform. Unfortunately, the the transistors on the motor drive are bad. It's not putting out the motor drive voltage. Probably why it was replaced.

TCXOBoard 001.jpg TCXOBoard 002.jpg TCXOBoard 003.jpg TCXOBoard 011.jpg TCXOBoard 012.jpg
 

Tinker Dwight

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

HP used to have a solid state frequency synthesizer.
If had phase locked loops tuned to 1/10 the previous
decades frequency. This way it didn't need flop dividers.
Much more reduction in circuitry. From the your dates, I'd say
yours used germanium power transistors. Most likely PNPs.
Tinker Dwight
 

harold bain

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Luke, these boards were used by Simplex from around the mid-60's to power their 93 and later 943 master clocks. The motors were A. W. Haydon synchonous motors, 115 volt 50 cps, .025 watts. The 93 masters used wiper boards for their contacts, while the 943 had the same contact arrangement as the IBM 91 master clocks. I recall servicing a 93 master on a great lakes ship back around 1969, the contacts not being affected by gravity making them suitable for ship life.
I have a few of these old masters in my garage, likely would still run if fired up. They used a 12 volt DC input, with a 6 AH backup battery under charge during normal use. In the 1970's a much smaller board was used that could replace these older units. By around the early 1980's these masters were replaced with fully electronic masters.
 

Movementman

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I did some tests tonight. I powered up the motor several times with only the rotor installed. It was starting randomly in either direction. I used my magnivisor and looked closely at the rotor pinion. I see the bent teeth that you mentioned. I believe that I'd mentioned before that a Lavet motor needs some dead time for the rotor to come to rest. I didn't see how it could work when the rotor was constantly turning. This now makes more sense.

Tinker had mentioned that most of the stepping motors used are not Lavet and used some type of ratchet mechanism. Maybe I was wrong about them being Lavet motors. I took apart several standard quartz movements and ran them with just the rotor installed. They all rotated in one direction. This must mean that there is no ratchet type mechanism to give it a preferred direction.

I also have several quartz movements That I've removed the electronics from. I drive them with pulses from a microcontroller chip. I slowed down the drive pulses so you can see the operation of the motor. The second hand goes to one position when power is applied and a different position with no power. This is definitely a Lavet motor.

Here is a short video. When the red or yellow LED is lit power is applied to the coil. Both off for no power.

[video=youtube_share;WGwEL-rr4PA]http://youtu.be/WGwEL-rr4PA[/video]



It looks like the low speed rotors are Lavet and the faster rotating ones are not.




Also, You said that you've been running these for several years. How are they holding up? With plastic bushings and pivots I'm wondering how long they'll last. There is much more motion than in a standard quartz movement.
They are different motors that use a similar design to a Lavet motor but are more stable at a higher drive frequency and a higher speed. I have not found much on the though.

They seem to hold up fairly well but they do get pretty noisy over time. The seem a bit more accurate than the Lavet type movements, though. They are pretty reliable even once they get noisy, but I do not see them lasting for more than a few years because of the plastic pivots, but they seem to be very hard to lubricate because these motors have almost no torque at all. I would say that they should easily last 5-10 years as long as they are taken care of. Also, some get noisy after only a few weeks and some may never get noisy, it is really hit or miss with long term problems.

You will know when the battery gets low because the second hand will "jump" as it moves instead of being a fluid movement, although it will still keep accurate time.

Also, the one that I am looking at right now will sometimes start in the wrong direction and run until the bent teeth grab and cause the motor to reverse, usually a second or two.
 
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lmester

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Luke, these boards were used by Simplex from around the mid-60's to power their 93 and later 943 master clocks. The motors were A. W. Haydon synchonous motors, 115 volt 50 cps, .025 watts.<snip>
Thanks for the info!

I decided to do some troubleshooting and see if I could get the board working. The problem ended up being an open circuit in a connection to the transformer. The transistors were good. Very lucky because I'd probably have a hard time finding replacements.

You said it takes a .025 watt motor. That's much less power than the ones I have . Mine are all rated at 2.5 watts. I tried one and the board couldn't provide enough power to run it. My motors are also rated for 60Hz. Running at 50Hz they'll be drawing a little more power and be running slow.

I also trimmed the oscillator. I was surprised that I was able to get it set to the correct frequency. It's also nice and stable. Amazing for an oscillator that's getting close to 50 years old.

Also, were quartz crystal oscillators common in master clocks? I'd think this would be overkill for most applications. Much simpler to just directly connect a synchronous motor to the power line. I have an old Cincinnati Time Recorder master clock that does this. It has a DC motor that takes over if the power fails. It keeps excellent time. I only need to set it twice a year when the time changes.

You'd mentioned servicing one of these on a ship. Using a crystal oscillator would make sense there. Since they generate their own power the frequency may not be very stable.

I trimmed the frequency last night. You can see from the picture that it was right on the correct frequency. I checked it tonight and it's only changed by about .3 Hz.

QMBoard 004.jpg
 

lmester

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

HP used to have a solid state frequency synthesizer.
If had phase locked loops tuned to 1/10 the previous
decades frequency. This way it didn't need flop dividers.
Much more reduction in circuitry. From the your dates, I'd say
yours used germanium power transistors. Most likely PNPs.
Tinker Dwight
I've been doing some research on early quartz clocks.

The earliest ones used vacuum tube electronics. A 15 stage divider made with flip-flop circuits would be insane. 30 triode tubes would be needed. You could also use the clock to heat your house! I found that they also used PLL's like that HP frequency synthesizer. That would get it down to a reasonable number of tubes.

At first, the quartz clock was an expensive custom designed piece of equipment. They replaced pendulum clocks for national time standards and were later replaced by atomic clocks.

Once transistors were available, crystal oscillators were used in industrial equipment like my Simplex master clock circuit board. There were also some expensive domestic consumer clocks and watches available in the 1960's. They only became a common inexpensive consumer item when integrated circuits with the required electronics were available.


The earliest consumer quartz clock that I've found so far is the Junghans Astro-Chron from 1967.


Here are some pictures.

astrochron-b.jpg astrochron-f.jpg

This clock uses transistor flip-flops like my simplex board.

Here is a link to a web site with detailed info on this clock. The language is German. Electronics units and schematics are standardized. You can still get a good idea of how it was designed. It has a 12.8KHz crystal oscillator feeding a ten stage divider. This feeds a 12.5Hz signal into an electromagnet impulsed balance wheel movement. This is most likely a modified ATO balance movement. The mechanics look nearly identical to some old ATO balance movements that I have.


http://www.hwynen.de/jgh-astrochron.html



I'm going to gather up the documents, URL's and pictures that I've found and post them on this board or possibly on the web. I'm sure others would be interested in some quartz clock history.
 

harold bain

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Thanks for the info!

I decided to do some troubleshooting and see if I could get the board working. The problem ended up being an open circuit in a connection to the transformer. The transistors were good. Very lucky because I'd probably have a hard time finding replacements.

You said it takes a .025 watt motor. That's much less power than the ones I have . Mine are all rated at 2.5 watts. I tried one and the board couldn't provide enough power to run it. My motors are also rated for 60Hz. Running at 50Hz they'll be drawing a little more power and be running slow.

I also trimmed the oscillator. I was surprised that I was able to get it set to the correct frequency. It's also nice and stable. Amazing for an oscillator that's getting close to 50 years old.

Also, were quartz crystal oscillators common in master clocks? I'd think this would be overkill for most applications. Much simpler to just directly connect a synchronous motor to the power line. I have an old Cincinnati Time Recorder master clock that does this. It has a DC motor that takes over if the power fails. It keeps excellent time. I only need to set it twice a year when the time changes.

You'd mentioned servicing one of these on a ship. Using a crystal oscillator would make sense there. Since they generate their own power the frequency may not be very stable.

I trimmed the frequency last night. You can see from the picture that it was right on the correct frequency. I checked it tonight and it's only changed by about .3 Hz.

224174.jpg
These were used often in places that had generators for power, where frequency might not be well controlled. They did also show up in many schools. It is a 4 wire motor with a small capacitor between the windings. I would also advise, don't run it for any length of time without having a 12 volt battery connected
These were quite common in the 1960-70's as being the latest technology from Simplex.
 

flynwill

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

I've been doing some research on early quartz clocks.

The earliest ones used vacuum tube electronics. A 15 stage divider made with flip-flop circuits would be insane. 30 triode tubes would be needed. You could also use the clock to heat your house! I found that they also used PLL's like that HP frequency synthesizer. That would get it down to a reasonable number of tubes.
Or 15 dual triodes. I've seen 4-tube decade counters before.

There were also some cool tubes that implemented a decade counter (or more) in a single unit:

http://www.decadecounter.com/vta/tubepage.php?item=15

I remember coming across some 1950's test equipment (I think it was an HP frequency counter) that utilized these years ago.
 

lmester

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

These were used often in places that had generators for power, where frequency might not be well controlled. They did also show up in many schools. It is a 4 wire motor with a small capacitor between the windings. I would also advise, don't run it for any length of time without having a 12 volt battery connected
These were quite common in the 1960-70's as being the latest technology from Simplex.
Right now I'm running the board from an unregulated dc power supply. I'm assuming that the battery was used for voltage regulation. I've seen some circuits that use the battery as a regulator. I should at least get it connected to a 12v regulated power supply. After spending the time to get it working it'd be a shame to have a power spike kill it.

The heater for the crystal oven requires AC voltage for operation. It uses an SCR for switching. Do you know what voltage the heater was designed to use? I tried 6VAC and it didn't get hot enough to go into regulation. I'm now running it on 12VAC and it's maintaining temperature.

Also, this must have been a top of the line master clock. Right now my board is running about .015 second per day or 5.7 seconds per year slow. Amazing for 1960's technology. I could probably get it adjusted more accurately if I wanted to spend the time on it. It has a nice system for trimming the oscillator frequency. There are two trim capacitors. One for coarse adjustment and one for fine.
 

lmester

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Or 15 dual triodes. I've seen 4-tube decade counters before.

There were also some cool tubes that implemented a decade counter (or more) in a single unit:

http://www.decadecounter.com/vta/tubepage.php?item=15

I remember coming across some 1950's test equipment (I think it was an HP frequency counter) that utilized these years ago.
It looks like flip flop circuits were not commonly used until transistors were available.

The earliest quartz clock that I've found used a phase locked loop circuit. It had four triodes.

Here is a link to the document:https://archive.org/details/bellsystemtechni27amerrich The Bell System Technical Journal.

The article on quartz clocks starts on page 510. Page 538 has the schematic of the first quartz clock. It's some interesting reading.
 

harold bain

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Right now I'm running the board from an unregulated dc power supply. I'm assuming that the battery was used for voltage regulation. I've seen some circuits that use the battery as a regulator. I should at least get it connected to a 12v regulated power supply. After spending the time to get it working it'd be a shame to have a power spike kill it.

The heater for the crystal oven requires AC voltage for operation. It uses an SCR for switching. Do you know what voltage the heater was designed to use? I tried 6VAC and it didn't get hot enough to go into regulation. I'm now running it on 12VAC and it's maintaining temperature.

Also, this must have been a top of the line master clock. Right now my board is running about .015 second per day or 5.7 seconds per year slow. Amazing for 1960's technology. I could probably get it adjusted more accurately if I wanted to spend the time on it. It has a nice system for trimming the oscillator frequency. There are two trim capacitors. One for coarse adjustment and one for fine.
We didn't do much with these in the field, as it was too easy to just swap them out when there were problems, then ship them back to head office. I might have a schematic around somewhere for these, but it will take a bit of looking. Don't know what the voltage would have been for the heater, but 12 volts is likely, as it could be taken from the AC side of the charger. Running without the battery would show about 14 volts charging voltage, which we always assumed would be bad for the circuitry if used that way for any length of time. Any time a battery died, unplugging it would be the test to see if the board is good, but if we left it in that condition to keep the system running, we would bring a spare board with us when we changed the battery, just in case. I'll have a look around tomorrow to see what I might have in the way of schematics.
 

eskmill

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Thanks Luke and Harold for bringing up the subject of the Simplex quartz master time piece. There's one under my bench that I would like to spend some time with although, years ago, I did "fiddle" with it long enough to see the motor run the hands.

I notice that the oscillator has a three-terminal thermostat connected to a solid state device in the board. What I do not have, like Luke, is knowledge of the service voltages and their external connections.

I'd like to enclose the timepiece in a steel box of the '60's era.

My very best, Les
 

Tinker Dwight

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

These transistor circuits were more forgiving for over/under voltage
then later IC would be. It is more an issue of better regulation
of the frequency of the oscillator then damage to the circuit.
The amount it is off is about 1 part in 10^-7. With a crystal oven,
it should do better than 10^-8. If the frequency counter you're
using is not calibrated recently, it can be that or more off.
WWV signal is still broadcast but without some special circuits,
it wouldn't be of much direct use to the clock. I have use it
to calibrate frequency counters. With a scope and XY inputs,
one can do reasonable.
Tinker Dwight
 

lmester

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Thanks Luke and Harold for bringing up the subject of the Simplex quartz master time piece. There's one under my bench that I would like to spend some time with although, years ago, I did "fiddle" with it long enough to see the motor run the hands.

I notice that the oscillator has a three-terminal thermostat connected to a solid state device in the board. What I do not have, like Luke, is knowledge of the service voltages and their external connections.

I'd like to enclose the timepiece in a steel box of the '60's era.

My very best, Les
Les,

The device on the board is an SCR. It switches power to the heating element. The gate of the SCR is driven by a mechanical click type thermostat switch in the oscillator.

Look at my post #102. The first picture is of the bottom of the board. The connector is on the right. Counting from the top of the connector here are the connections.

1 Clock motor
2 Clock motor
3 Oscillator power supply ground.
4 Heater power supply (12VAC ??)
5 Heater power supply (12VAC ??)
6 Oscillator power supply +12VDC


To get the board running you only need to connect +12V to terminal 6 and ground to terminal 3.

Warning! The clock motor outputs have high voltage on them when the board is running.

The board will run without the heater but accuracy will be poor.

Because of the SCR switch, the heater power supply requires AC. I had to guess at the heater voltage. 6VAC was too low to run the heater. It's running at about a 25% duty cycle with 12VAC applied.

The heater takes nearly an amp with 12VAC applied. Make sure your power supply can handle that.

There are two gold plated test pins on the top of the board. These provide the oscillator frequency that goes into the divider chain. There is also a pot on the board. It is on the output of the divider chain. It adjusts the signal level going into the motor drive circuit.
 

harold bain

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Re: 1968 quartz master clock electronics

Looking through my service manual, no schematic, but some interesting information. The whole board was called a "Quasar unit". It was designed to provide 115VAC, 50 CPS (regulated) to the drive motor. Uses a 3.2768 MHZ crystal and an oven to keep the crystal heated to 75 degrees C or 167 F., controlled by a thermostatically controlled SCR. When power is applied to the Quasar unit (recified ac during normal operation and standby battery during power failures), the crystal generates a low voltage high frequency signal which is fed through frequency divider boards. Each board contains 5 flip-flop circuits to ensure accurate frequency reduction. From the last board, the signal is applied through a potentiometer, a wave shaper circuit, a presignal amplifier circuit, and an output transformer. The three divider boards are constructed identically, but are not interchangeable. The signal from the output transformer is applied directly to the motor.
Service hints:
If the power is off for 24 hours, the oven will also be off, and the clock will gain 7-8 seconds.
If the clock runs slow, make certain all contacts have an RC network to suppress any transients that may affect the Quasar unit.
These units came with a metal cover to keep any RF noise away from the circuit boards and prevents any physical damage to the boards.
A fully charged battery will be at 14 volts DC. Adjust the output so that at 12 volts DC, it is 100VAC. 12.5 volts, 106 VDC, 13 volts, 108 VAC, 13.5 volts, 110 VAC, and 14 volts, 115VAC.

I recall these metal boxes that came with the circuit boards were often removed by servicemen over the years, with no ill effects.
 

Dave T

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Trying to make something out of nothing! A (friend)? asked me to take a look at this Chinese plastic quartz anniversary clock. the clock works, the Westminster chime works, but the pendulum does not. The following pictures are looking at the bottom of the clock where the pendulum is activated by a hairspring which has detached from the lever that pulls the pendulum around for each cycle. The little white lever on the left is working properly and driven by the clock mechanism. But the end of the hairspring is detached. Not sure if the lever it attached to is broken off or not. I've never seen another to compare it to.
I'm trying to figure out a way to re-attach the hairspring end.
And the other problem is... how to I remove the plastic back cover. I'm tempted to pry it off, but not sure if I'll break it. Does it pry off?
Any help, thoughts, experience by others greatly appreciated.
Anniversary Quartz hairspring pendulum1.jpg Anniversary Quartz hairspring pendulum.jpg
 

John Arrowood

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I have 3 quartz clocks with receivers for the NIST time signals and one of them is consistently 3 minutes ahead of the other two. One is one of those 'shine on the ceiling' kind, one is just a digital alarm, and the fast one is in a model that detects outside and inside temps and does something with barometric pressure that I haven't bothered to learn about. They have been like this for months.
 

Cheezhead

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Re: Nine Year Quartz Clock Battery?

attachment.jpg

This is a preliminary update to my post #53 speculating that a lithium AA cell might power my small German travel alarm clock for 9 years. The lithium battery, installed on Feb 20, 2012, at 5 years on February 20, 2017 was still powering the clock as of today, February 27, 2017. I did not check the initial voltage of the battery but I recently checked two new Ultimate AA lithium batteries to get an average voltage of 1.833 volts dc open circuit. The 5 year old battery in the clock presently measures 1.758 vdc oc.

According to a graph on Energizer's web site, http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithiuml91l92_appman.pdf , a new Ultimate Lithium cell has an open circuit voltage of 1.8 vdc that immediately drops to about 1.72 vdc with an applied 1 ma. load. The graph shows a lithium battery depleted down to 1.4 volts as having a sharp voltage dropoff after that. It seems fair to believe that the clock will run for a while after 1.4 volts because the clock will still run at 1.35 vdc as determined with a nearly depleted alkaline cell.

The meter that I used was a Velleman DMM that some time ago I was able to compare to a Beckman DMM that had been calibration checked against a standard traceable to NIST. Using the two volt dc scale the 20 dollar Velleman meter showed good accuracy as it measured only 0.4% higher voltage than the Beckman. It is possible, of course, that the Beckman meter was not perfectly accurate as is so with any meter. This is the best that I can do regarding voltage accuracy without spending some money to have my Velleman DVM850BL checked at a scientific instrument calibration facility.

Conclusion: At 1.758 vdc oc, the Ultimate Lithium AA battery voltage is still very near the voltage when new so it appears possible as of now that the battery will continue to run the clock to 9 years. Time will tell, so to speak.
 

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lmester

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Re: Nine Year Quartz Clock Battery?

https://mb.nawcc.org

According to a graph on Energizer's web site, [URL]http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithiuml91l92_appman.pdf[/URL] , a new Ultimate Lithium cell has an open circuit voltage of 1.8 vdc that immediately drops to about 1.72 vdc with an applied 1 ma. load. The graph shows a lithium battery depleted down to 1.4 volts as having a sharp voltage dropoff after that. It seems fair to believe that the clock will run for a while after 1.4 volts because the clock will still run at 1.35 vdc as determined with a nearly depleted alkaline cell.

The meter that I used was a Velleman DMM that some time ago I was able to compare to a Beckman DMM that had been calibration checked against a standard traceable to NIST. Using the two volt dc scale the 20 dollar Velleman meter showed good accuracy as it measured only 0.4% higher voltage than the Beckman. It is possible, of course, that the Beckman meter was not perfectly accurate as is so with any meter. This is the best that I can do regarding voltage accuracy without spending some money to have my Velleman DVM850BL checked at a scientific instrument calibration facility.

Conclusion: At 1.758 vdc oc, the Ultimate Lithium AA battery voltage is still very near the voltage when new so it appears possible as of now that the battery will continue to run the clock to 9 years. Time will tell, so to speak.[/QUOTE]

From page 3 of the energizer Document A good battery has an OCV of >1.74v. A dead battery is <1.70v. At 1.758V you definitely have some life left in the battery.

That 1mA discharge graph (Fig. 14) has a sharp voltage drop to 1.6v at about 60% depleted (2000 hours). You could put a 1mA load on the battery and let the voltage stabilize. If the voltage is above 1.6V you'll know that you've not yet reached the 60% discharged point.

You already have 5 years from the battery. If it's not yet down to 60% discharge, you'll have a lot of life left! Assuming that you just reached 60%, it'll still take about 3 more years to drain it.

I'll be waiting patiently for your report on when the battery finally dies zzz

The Energizer lithium has about 3Ah capacity with a low drain load. Alkaline varies from about 2-3Ah. Not a huge difference in capacity. I'd expect that the extra battery life will come mostly from the lower self discharge rate and lower internal resistance of the lithium.

One thing that's on my to-do list is to measure the power use of a quartz clock. I now have the instruments needed to do this. This would allow me to estimate the battery life. I'll know how much power the clock uses. With the self discharge rate and capacity of the battery I should be able to get a reasonable estimate.
 

mountaintimer

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Re: Nine Year Quartz Clock Battery?

I found these two non-functional quartz anniversary clocks in a thrift shop a week or so back. I now have both in working condition.

The Schatz square head, That was very easy to get running again after cleaning the badly corroded battery compartment:
attachment.jpg
The B 8825 Bulova "Festivity", which came with all the parts, but the suspension spring had either broken off of the top hanger, or had slipped out of it.
I was able to remove the hanger pin, but still could not get the two tiny brass squares apart. Instead, I opted to try a top hanger from a kit that I purchased from Timesavers a couple of years ago when I was tinkering with German 400 day clocks.
After a couple of length adjustments on the suspension spring I was able to get it functioning correctly:
attachment.jpg

The Hermle movement is basically like this one that was posted in a Westclox by Cheezhead in post #18 of this thread, except the fork is brass instead of clear plastic.
attachment.jpg
Ron
 

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Berry Greene

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I've seen several different fake torsion pendulum systems. Fake because the pendulum is not used for keeping time. The best one that I have worked with is shown below. It uses only one battery to run the clock and It's hard to damage. Your grandkids can spin the pendulum around like a top without any damage to the mechanism.

It's rotation also looks like the real thing. It slows down at each end of it's rotation. I've seen some that rotate at a nearly constant speed and then abruptly slow down and reverse direction.

There was no maker shown on the clock. When I took the cover off of the movement I saw that it was made by Haller.

The worst pendulum drive mechanisms that I have seen look like a generic quartz movement with a black plastic case. They take a single AA battery and have a shaft on top to drive the pendulum. They must wear out quickly. I buy used modern quartz anniversary clocks to get the glass dome for use on older mechanical clocks. I've not yet bought a used clock with this type of pendulum drive that was still working. The quartz movement is OK but the pendulum drive was dead.

I was also going to post a picture of one of those junky pendulum drive mechanisms. I can't find one. I think I tossed them all in the trash...
Hi. There is another electronic pseudo torsion pendulum that you didn't mention. It's an H Samuel but West German movement I think. It has a brass skeleton assembly driven electronically by a single AA battery. Mounted in a lantern style case I guess you'd call it a mantle clock. The second hand arbor has a six point star-wheel mounted at the rear. This engages with a "fork" pin mounted in the usual way on the suspension spring which it is ready to ping every 10 secs. It incorporates a clutch so that it can wait for the back swing to commence and impart some energy to it by twanging the spring. The ball type pendulum over rotates 1.5 times (360 + 200 deg) and the cycle takes all of 16 secs. It's a pretty clock in lacquered brass and with a brass chapter ring with Roman numerals. It keeps spot on time and surely must be a quartz source judging by the loud tic. No visible plastic. I'll try to get you a picture soon. The battery is underneath with wires running up inside a brass column to where the quartz motor is hidden beneath the going train. Yes it's rather cute this one. Rgds, Berry G.
 

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Braun Wall Clock This, an elegantly simple eight inch diameter clock, has some unusual thought in its design. It is easy to read from a distance and at an angle as the hands and numbers are black on a white face with no glass cover. The lack of a glass or plastic face cover permits a knurled adjustment knob on the minute hand for a time reset without removing the clock from the wall although a time reset is unnecessary for months at a time due to nearly perfect accuracy. There is no seconds hand to interfere with reading the minute and hour hands. The design was the work of a German named Dietrich Lubs; dates back to the early 1980s but this version was released in 1985 when the number of body parts was reduced from eight to one single injection plastic molding, making it possible to return production from Asia to Germany. If I ever discard wall clocks, this one will be a keeper.

Clock3.jpg
 

Berry Greene

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1968 quartz master clock electronics

1968 quartz master clock electronics.

This has been sitting in my junk box for several decades. I'll bet that this was probably one of the early clocks with solid state electronics. Does anyone here know the history of this? When was it first made? Date codes on the board show that this one was from 1968.

This is the circuit board from a Simplex master clock. It provided drive to a 50Hz synchronous motor.

All done with discrete components. No IC's on this board!

Three plug in boards make up the divider chain. Each board has a five stage divider using two transistors per flip-flop.

The round can is an OCXO (oven controlled crystal oscillator).

The two transistors with the black heat sinks and two transformers provide the 50Hz power to run the clock motor.

a 1.6384 MHz clock from an OCXO is divided by 2^15 to get 50Hz.

Here are some pictures.

The name on the board is "Quasar" A good name for a precision oscillator.

As you can see from the scope the OCXO and divider chain are working. It's putting out a 20 ms (50Hz) waveform. Unfortunately, the the transistors on the motor drive are bad. It's not putting out the motor drive voltage. Probably why it was replaced.

View attachment 245436 View attachment 245437 View attachment 245438 View attachment 245439 View attachment 245440
Coming in late to the party here!
How fascinating! I would have said back then that you should look up Smiths Englsih clocks for the arguments about sychro starting. I think I can remember correctly. Most of their clocks did not self start. There was a gadget attached to the the time set knob that would spin up the motor in the CORRECT direction as you let go. So the motor had no need to self start in any direction. Advantage? Mains power interruptions results in stopped clock and NOT the wrong time display!
Rgds, BerryG
 

Berry Greene

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Re: Nine Year Quartz Clock Battery?

View attachment 402219

This is a preliminary update to my post #53 speculating that a lithium AA cell might power my small German travel alarm clock for 9 years. The lithium battery, installed on Feb 20, 2012, at 5 years on February 20, 2017 was still powering the clock as of today, February 27, 2017. I did not check the initial voltage of the battery but I recently checked two new Ultimate AA lithium batteries to get an average voltage of 1.833 volts dc open circuit. The 5 year old battery in the clock presently measures 1.758 vdc oc.

According to a graph on Energizer's web site, http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/lithiuml91l92_appman.pdf , a new Ultimate Lithium cell has an open circuit voltage of 1.8 vdc that immediately drops to about 1.72 vdc with an applied 1 ma. load. The graph shows a lithium battery depleted down to 1.4 volts as having a sharp voltage dropoff after that. It seems fair to believe that the clock will run for a while after 1.4 volts because the clock will still run at 1.35 vdc as determined with a nearly depleted alkaline cell.

The meter that I used was a Velleman DMM that some time ago I was able to compare to a Beckman DMM that had been calibration checked against a standard traceable to NIST. Using the two volt dc scale the 20 dollar Velleman meter showed good accuracy as it measured only 0.4% higher voltage than the Beckman. It is possible, of course, that the Beckman meter was not perfectly accurate as is so with any meter. This is the best that I can do regarding voltage accuracy without spending some money to have my Velleman DVM850BL checked at a scientific instrument calibration facility.

Conclusion: At 1.758 vdc oc, the Ultimate Lithium AA battery voltage is still very near the voltage when new so it appears possible as of now that the battery will continue to run the clock to 9 years. Time will tell, so to speak.
I have owned a Lorus quartz digital dispaly watch for 35 years. Its first lithium button battery lasted 18 years. The seond is still going as it too enters year 18.
Lithium batteries have fantastic shelf life and the small drain current means you get a long life. BTW the off-load terminal voltage of these batteries is inclined to be high. If your meter imposes almost neglidgable load it will give you a false result. You need to measure it carrying the load which in this case is the clock. You really need a scope to see if pulsed extracts make the voltage dip down. A fresh cell won't dip very far. It is in fact a measure of the ageing & rising internal resistance of the battery that best indicates its state.
 

Cheezhead

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Thank you Mr. Greene for your reply. It's remarkable that your watch ran so very long on one battery. Can you reveal the battery type? I have comments and a question for you.

Any battery and nearly any power supply will display a no-load and a loaded voltage. For consumer grade batteries, no-load is the easiest to indicate the state of battery charge as most folks do not have an oscilloscope although o'scopes are becoming increasingly inexpensive on EBay and elsewhere. A simple, inexpensive o'scope can be constructed with an app. or a program using a desktop sound card microphone connection for inputting voltage.

The first commercially available lithium ion battery was released by Sony in 1991 although the battery type was not mentioned on Wiki. If your watch battery was first used in 1991 and lasted 18 years and the second is near its 18th year, that would not reconcile with 35 years from 1991. Can you please clarify?
 

roughbarked

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I've said it before. I introduced a load test by wiring a digital watch LED light into my multitester battery test circuit. Via a button switch, I can load the battery under test. This is the biggest drain that can be applied to a watch battery in situ anyway.

I've seen a lot of nine year attempts at making the battery last. In most instances the corrosion has gone too far.
 

Berry Greene

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Thank you Mr. Greene for your reply. It's remarkable that your watch ran so very long on one battery. Can you reveal the battery type? I have comments and a question for you.

Any battery and nearly any power supply will display a no-load and a loaded voltage. For consumer grade batteries, no-load is the easiest to indicate the state of battery charge as most folks do not have an oscilloscope although o'scopes are becoming increasingly inexpensive on EBay and elsewhere. A simple, inexpensive o'scope can be constructed with an app. or a program using a desktop sound card microphone connection for inputting voltage.

The first commercially available lithium ion battery was released by Sony in 1991 although the battery type was not mentioned on Wiki. If your watch battery was first used in 1991 and lasted 18 years and the second is near its 18th year, that would not reconcile with 35 years from 1991. Can you please clarify?
Oh you have just given me a fright. I could not find the paperwork!

OK now I have it AND the original battery which, you might be surprised to learn is now DEAD! The watch was bought for me 24-12-1983 from a jewellers here in Chichester. I can attest to this with the guarantee & instruction booklet. I have written "battery swap 27/12/2001 18 years!" on the doc. I have also written in a different ink "reset calendar 02/01/2017 {DD/MM/YYY}.

The original battery is marked BR2016. The instructions say Matushita BR2016 or CR2016. The spent original battery is indeed a Matushita BR2016. I don't know the difference between these types.

I do know that it shook me at the time and I wondered if I had tripped up and forgotten a change. After all 18 years is a very long time. I feel vindicated in my claim now although (I think) it's in its 17th year now not 18th as I claimed. The watch is an LCD type (of course) and is still permanently running but out of use and in my watch collection. I did NOT use the back-light button of course.

I stand by my battery test procedure. Some sort of "appropriate" load is needed. Even exhausted, (especially Lithium), batteries can sometimes hold a high EMF. It's the PD that you need in order assess the condition. That means the voltage when delivering the required current of the task in hand. However, you can bet that little micro-chip doesn't take very much power. Femto - amps I would guess. That would allow the extraction of every last drip of power. In fact I think the shelf life, (from memory), of the Lithium button battery is 15 years. So I have had my money's worth. Incredible isn't it?

That Sony 1991 claim might be true for them, but this is proof that Matishuta was before them. I cannot recall the first time that I heard of a lithium battery. I can remember the beginnings of the "battery revolution" being cited way back in the daze.

Rgds, BerryG
 
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harold bain

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Coming in late to the party here!
How fascinating! I would have said back then that you should look up Smiths Englsih clocks for the arguments about sychro starting. I think I can remember correctly. Most of their clocks did not self start. There was a gadget attached to the the time set knob that would spin up the motor in the CORRECT direction as you let go. So the motor had no need to self start in any direction. Advantage? Mains power interruptions results in stopped clock and NOT the wrong time display!
Rgds, BerryG
This clock circuit board was driven by a battery (12 Volts DC). The mains power only served to charge the battery. The motor could only run in one direction. The circuit board converted 12 volts DC to 110 volts 50 CPS to keep the clock going. These master clocks were used from the mid 1960's to about 1980.
 

Berry Greene

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Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen.

I inadvertantly ended up being the owner of an all plastic 400 day look alike. It was a sight unseen purchase with no return rights. It had no glass or brass parts. Full size gold plastic movement, pendulum, base and plastic dome. I keep it displayed in my mud room to remind me of the 'stuff' that is floating around out there. Fortunately it was under $10 but in it's prime is not worth even that.
A glass dome would have helped me lick my wounds and feel pretty good, but alas, scratched up clear plastic.
I really don't think my grandkids would be interested in it as a target. I hope I don't come across as a curmudgeon. I love mechanical clocks.
 

Berry Greene

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Re: The best quartz (fake) torsion pendulum drive that I have seen.

I inadvertantly ended up being the owner of an all plastic 400 day look alike. It was a sight unseen purchase with no return rights. It had no glass or brass parts. Full size gold plastic movement, pendulum, base and plastic dome. I keep it displayed in my mud room to remind me of the 'stuff' that is floating around out there. Fortunately it was under $10 but in it's prime is not worth even that.
A glass dome would have helped me lick my wounds and feel pretty good, but alas, scratched up clear plastic.
I really don't think my grandkids would be interested in it as a target. I hope I don't come across as a curmudgeon. I love mechanical clocks.
Who, in their right mind, would welcome the dumbing down of their cherished art and fascinations?
Plastic has become a total bore. Shall we preserve as much quality mechanicals as we can? All some people can see in a clock or watch is the time. You can't help them.
BerryG
 

Berry Greene

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This clock circuit board was driven by a battery (12 Volts DC). The mains power only served to charge the battery. The motor could only run in one direction. The circuit board converted 12 volts DC to 110 volts 50 CPS to keep the clock going. These master clocks were used from the mid 1960's to about 1980.
Thanks for your reply.
Yes I got it. Proof against mains failures for some hours. I wonder how stable the 50Hz was and how they got it there?
Rgds, BerryG
 

harold bain

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These clocks were very accurate, within a minute a year or better. For the most part, I would set them twice a year for the time change. The battery would be capable of running the clock for a week or so with no power.
 

Berry Greene

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These clocks were very accurate, within a minute a year or better. For the most part, I would set them twice a year for the time change. The battery would be capable of running the clock for a week or so with no power.
To honest this kind of clock sounds to be right down my alley. I wish I had one. Oh yes I can see there's no point to it now that we have quartz & solar panels. I don't care about that. It just sounds beautiful! Keep it going
BerryG
 

kinsler33

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Our public library has a hand-made grandfather clock. The case is lovely, made without any windows except for that over the dial. But the fellow who built and donated it has been dead for several years now, and the clock is not running. The movement is probably a Hermle--I haven't seen the inside of the clock.

There seem to be various stories as to why it's not running: (1) nobody has bothered to wind it (2) they tried winding just the time train because the clock is located in a sort of theater space and nobody liked the chimes, or (3) it stopped short, never to run again, when the old man died.

The library director and I would both like to see the thing run again, but there are enough politics involved that nobody seems to know who has the case key. It occurs to me that the best solution might be, cough, a no-chime, no pendulum quartz movement. Problem: there's a moon dial, and I don't know how to make it work with a quartz movement, or if there's a quartz movement we could buy that would run a moon dial.

I'm no more enthusiastic about quartzifying a mechanical clock than anyone else here, but I don't see any other solution. When the evil act is performed the mechanical movement will be packed into a moisture-proof bo and secreted at the bottom of the case for future generations.

Mark
 

Berry Greene

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My Newest Quartz Clock Acquisition

Here is my latest find, a nicely made, elegantly styled Swiza quartz alarm clock made in Switzerland that I picked up a couple of weeks ago at a charity resale store for only a very few dollars. It is a chunk; made mostly of brass; weighs an amazing 4 pounds or 1.8 kg. It measures 4-7/8 inches high by 4-1/8 inches wide by 1-3/8 inches deep. It can be guessed that someone discarded this clock with its perceived high quality because it uses a more difficult to find "N" cell rather than a common "AA" cell. Also, battery replacement and the time adjustment require that the back of the clock, held in place with a knurled edge threaded fastener, be removed although the timing adjustment was correctly anticipated by the designer to be infrequent due to the clock's near perfect timing accuracy. It has lost about 0.29 seconds per day, closer to "Best" than to "Typical" accuracy of the COSC watch standard for Modern Quartz non-certified as found on Chronocentric.com.

I am grateful to an unknown person for discarding this clock that is interesting to me and I anticipate others as well. It could be donated again to a charity resale store one day so another clock collector can own it for a while.

View attachment 167548
An old post I know but you sound just like me! Wow that is heavy for a modern clock. Did you keep it? Where is it on re-sale - I want it! What's an "N" cell?

I find it hard to let them go back - many from charity shops in the first place. Swiza is a good brand. My wife has a miniature oval brass 8 day mechanical by them . Oops it's a quartz/electric section! I save those too if they have a nice case. Quite a few need a replacement crystal 4Mhz/32Khz. It also seems to help to raise the coupling capacitor(s) from 22 to 47pF to ensure the oscillator keeps running. It might affect the time but I haven't noticed that. I don't believe you can drag a xtal very far off it's resonant spot anyway?? Anyone wanna comment on that?

Another puzzle is this: What sort of logic is it that can operate from 1.5V ?? {As in single cell}. I save old quartz movements and have had some success transplanting the electronics pcb complete when the logic is blown in a quartz. You just keep the original coil & motor. That way no issues with the mounting and more particularly the hands. BTW - play it safe with anti-static precautions when you go near these clocks. I'd say it even makes sense to discharge yourself before fitting a new battery - so I would.
Enjoyed your post. Thanks.
Sincerely, BerryG
 

jchang76

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Not familiar with how to post but i think imester or tinker dwight can help me. Any other comments welcome.
2 clocks w issues:
Chrometron 2000 i have two of these, one no tick at all, the second ticks double speed (i have not timed it but it feels double)

Jaz tuning fork with broken coils wires (one of two coils between the forks had come undone and was loose) definitely broke the 2 hair thin wires that pwr that coil. It's the green one, both were just glued to the plastic plate, so unrobust for such a robustly built clock.

I tried attaching 3 photos, not sure if successful...

Any advice / help appreciated.
Jc
 

jchang76

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Not familiar with how to post but i think imester or tinker dwight can help me. Any other comments welcome.
2 clocks w issues:
Chrometron 2000 i have two of these, one no tick at all, the second ticks double speed (i have not timed it but it feels double)

Jaz tuning fork with broken coils wires (one of two coils between the forks had come undone and was loose) definitely broke the 2 hair thin wires that pwr that coil. It's the green one, both were just glued to the plastic plate, so unrobust for such a robustly built clock.

I tried attaching 3 photos, not sure if successful...

Any advice / help appreciated.
Jc
20190718_180601.jpg 20190718_170102.jpg
 

Berry Greene

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Sorry for delay - Events outside my control have been governing all I do!
Even so I cannot be of great help. Given everything else is OK but the coil is broken, you still might have insurmountable problem. The outside wire you may be able to pick up and unwind slightly. However if the inner wire is broken you will be lucky to find it let alone repair it. The only thing then is to rewind it. You need to unwind, count the turns and re-wind same number with exact same wire gauge. Very few but a fool would attempt it. I am such a fool! A manual hand drill to spin (slowly) the bobbin, and cradle to feed the wire from a spool. Skill needed in layering and keeping the tension without breaking it. You need to arrange suitable terminating anchors if none there. To solder, the varnish needs removing. Acetone might soften it. Some artistes use a flame but thin wire will probably melt unless you are very quick. Practice on spare piece first. You can also use fine abrasive paper. Lay wire flat and stroke lightly. Then tin with solder which will soften the rest of the varnish. This is tricky; Even for a fool!
When you have done all this and its year 2021 and the world has expired - what's the betting you find another snag? Check all the plastic wheels etc first. Try to make sure it is only the coil. I see a lot of electronic bits in your photo. Transistors can be checked. But do I see IC's there? The ripple through count-down divider probably. Check such parts are available BEFORE you start.
Best advice really is DON'T START!! But good luck if you do!
Rgds, BjG
 
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jchang76

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Wonderful wonderful! I am such a fool. Im pretty handy with solder (more along the lines of brazing and lead soldering antique magicians apparatus, and soldering simple electronic switches, relays and such. Gigantic stuff compared to circuit boards snd coil wires. I take fools route- find the ends snd attempt to unwind, then attempt to lay and solder said end s without further breakage. Pretty busy to be playing with clocks even though I wish I could all the time but will update when I do. Fortunately the coil seems in tact snd the two ends were glued down to the plastic "board" and sheared off seemingly clean.
Also, note that there are pics of two different movements, might have been confusing...
 

Berry Greene

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It doesn't take much to confuse me that's very true! Sometimes being a magician would be handy with these clocks, especially the watches!
TIP! Well 7/16ths of a tip.
To avoid strain on what is left of the coil ends try and rig a piece card across the bobbin anchored to something more rugged. Maybe use super-glue. Then fix your prepared & tinned tails to that via slits to take the strain & weight. Bend the ends carefully so that they are touching the coil wire ends. With a light iron or silvered paint - attach to the broken ends. If possible leave that extra construction in place.
{Silver paint - for repairing PCB copper tracks or rear heated windows of cars. It's on E-bay or, if you can fly over to UK, sold in Halfords. They import it from the US!}.
This paint is conductive and for the small currents, {its good for quite high currents actually}, involved ought to work in your clock. There being no heat required is a definite advantage.
I know just what you mean about finding time to fiddle with clocks. I'm retired now and I still struggle with that. I need two pairs of glasses as well which hardly helps.
Good luck with it when you get there.
Rgds, BjG
 

kinsler33

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Allow me to recommend Oatey "Instant Solder," part # 53019. A tube cost me seven dollars US at the local home improvement store, and the only virtue of this stuff is that it will allow the soldering of stainless steel. Now, the solder lugs on the battery holder of most quartz clocks these days tend to be made of stainless steel, presumably so they don't corrode from battery juices.

However, the solder that joins wires to the battery holder _will_ corrode from battery juices, thus allowing the wires to fall off. To solder stainless you need the right flux (supposedly Tix flux will do it, but it didn't work this night) and a solder devoid of lead and cadmium. This is what seems to be in Oatey Instant Solder. It doesn't work all that well on copper pipes, though I did get it to work once or twice, but it got the battery holder solder lugs on this quartz clock tinned well enough to solder leads back on.

You have to clean off the residue, which I do with a shot of non-California Walmart carburetor cleaner.

M Kinsler
 
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