Program for timing clocks clockmaster.com

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by John P, Jun 1, 2016.

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  1. John P

    John P Registered User
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    #1 John P, Jun 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
    I purchased a app from clockmaster.com for $9.99 that has some really great
    features. It runs on a apple phone or tablet.
    I don't have the correct pick up recommended for the app but have ordered the one they recommend. A guitar pick up.
    I have been using the same one I use with my beat amp and it works ok but im hoping the new one will work better.

    This app has the potential of being a very useful tool to aid in timing a clock out in minutes instead of days or sometimes weeks.
    It will show if the clock is in beat, determine the BPH and then show
    how fast or slow the clock is. All in ten minutes or less.
    You can then import the results into a spreadsheet program.

    Has anyone seen this or tried the app out? If so please respond and let us know how it works for you.

    john
     
  2. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    Hello John,

    I see some issues with using the app (not specific to this one):

    - clocks have no standard beat rates like watches have.

    - measurement "in minutes instead of days" can show the rate that a clock runs in these minutes, but this rate is more or (with luck) less different from the daily rate!

    That is not possible. :)
    You can determine the BPH at rate=0
    or
    determine the rate if you know the exact BPH.

    Please see also: Timing clocks for free

    Frank
     
  3. John P

    John P Registered User
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    #3 John P, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    OPPS, I mean BPM not BPH. I have timed 3 Ansonia visible escapement clocks with this program and 2 keep really good time but one is way out. Got more experimenting to do for sure.
    I need a way to time a movement real close after a rebuild. I can get it in time after several days or a week but I was hoping to cut that down to an hour with this program. I don't mind spending days or more working out the bugs like one bent trudle that rotates and hides itself or some other damage hard to find but Im impatient when it comes to timekeeping issues.
    One thing that helped was using the tablet mic to pick up the tic tock after I amplify it with my guitar amp. This allows a better calibration before you begin the time test. I also bought a piezo guitar pick up Im going to modify with a spring clip so it will attach to the movement better. Its supposed to produce a cleaner sound.
    Hopefully they are still working with the program to produce an BPH instead of average P6020070.jpg BPM.
    When I get the APP working right, I will post the results.



    john
     

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  4. John P

    John P Registered User
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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    There is a picture in my last post, of the tablet testing an Ansonia clock with visible escapement.
    That clock is 3 weeks running now without a speed adjustment. The clock that you are testing with this app must be in perfect beat, not close but perfect. Not one bent tooth on the EW. If the clock is right, the test will be right.
     
  5. David Robertson

    David Robertson Registered User

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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    John,

    How does the app know the correct BPM for the clock... different pendulum lengths have different "correct" BPM for the clock to keep time. I don't see anything on the developer's web site that indicates you input or otherwise determine the correct BPM.

    Until this issue is addressed, the app will be useless, except for whatever single, "correct" BPM is built into the app.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on how the app deals with this variability.
     
  6. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    David,
    From the description on the App store:
    [FONT=&amp] BPM - Automatically figures the beats/tick per minute of the clock or allows a manual entry of BPH (beats per hour) if known

    [/FONT]
    There used to be a review of this app on Youtube by Al Takatsch, but it appears to have been removed.
    Allan
     
  7. Firegriff

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    #7 Firegriff, Jun 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    I have tested this app with a Pizeo pickup it works well and will not pickup as much background noise it will pick up cable movement so you still have to be careful. check out the large auction site search for beat amplifer and one should come up. also you have to make sure you get the correct plug in or an adapter for Android and apple products they use a 4 contact plug and you may need a special adapter the 4 contact plug is easy to get but it needs a resistor put in the correct leads i don't have my diagram that shows the proper resistance or wiring guide but on a previous chat in this form this subject is discussed and there is a wiring diagram you may be able to get a pre-made one from the above auction site. Sorry but all my watch tools and info is packed up for a ongoing move or i would send you the info
     
  8. John P

    John P Registered User
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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    I am using my beat amp (12 in. guitar amp) to pick up the sounds from the movement and the microphone in the Tablet to run the app.. This seems to work well because I can turn down the amp volume and set the sensitivity on the app to just high enough to run correctly and get the beat perfect. measures beat time much closer than the human ear can detect. .
    I tried the pizeo pic up but not happy with having to tape it to the movement and it moves around.
    I have been using it as much as my wife will let me have her tablet, cutting down the time to get a clock in time to just hours instead of a week.
     
  9. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    How does this program automatically determine the correct beat rate?
     
  10. metaphorz

    metaphorz Registered User

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    @Mark: I just purchased this today and so do not know how the app works, but if I were writing software for such a purposed, I'd probably do a Fourier transform after reading the signal for some period of time. The acoustic signature of the tick-tock, escapement, etc would need to be known or one might use the strongest signal peak and assume this is the correct frequency for beats. Not sure if that would work...
     
  11. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User
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    The problem with all the smartphone/tablet apps is getting a good signal from the time peace to the smartphone/tablet the only watch holder/sensor is made by a partner to the tic-0-Print app that is around 400$ other than that you have to make your own or buy the sensor I mentioned above that attaches with an alligator clip and attaches to a winding arbor on a clock or to the crown on a watch. I have all the apps for smartphone/tablets Kello, Hairspring, Clockmaster and Tic-0-Print the Tic-0-Print app is the closets to an actual watch timer but it is Android only the others are Apple or Apple/Android.
     
  12. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Probably by having a set of references that are more or less "standard" and then comparing the rate of the Clock to them and choosing the one that is the closest.
     
  13. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I think Mark's question it how does it know what the beat rate should be for that clock.
    For instance Microset has a mode that it detects 1 hour passed from the minute
    hand and back calculates a beat rate.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  14. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    Correct. To do an auto correct one needs, I believe, to have an optical check of the minute hand in addition to the beat check on the pendulum. However, Jeff Hamilton's Clockmakers Beat Handbook has the beat rate for a large number of clocks. Our own price lists has the beat rate for Kieninger and Urgos. The rate for Hermle is stamped on the movement in bpm.
     
  15. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I was not aware of the optical measurment check. My Chinese Witschii copy has an "auto detect" as well and it works by purely acoustic measurements. Probably by the method I proposed above.

    I Think an iPad app would work the same way. It would just assume that the beat rate that the movement is the closest to will be the one to aim for.
     
  16. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    In most cases, that would be totally useless. Even the beat rates stamped on many clocks
    are rounded numbers.
    Without knowing the intended beat rate I don't think any
    machine would know what to do, even if the clock was running
    close to the intended rate.
    I have one clock in front of me with a beat rate of 11567.02041 BPH
    I have another with 10462.5. How would it know not to time it to
    10460 or 10465?. Either is 5 minutes off per month.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  17. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I agree. I'm not saying it's precise but without manually inputting the correct BPH, or measuring it optically, how is it supposed to work?

    I Think my timegrapher can do that due to the limited number of BPHs in watches. I realize that Clocks are a whole different ball park.

    Best

    Karl
     
  18. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Makes sense Karl. Watches are usually some integer ratio
    per second.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  19. James Foster

    James Foster Registered User
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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    I have become interested in this app and want to make an adapter to use specifically for a MicroSet pick-up with an iPhone. The MicroSet pick-up is physically configured for this application and what I'm accustomed to. I would like to be able to use it with my MicroSet as well as with my iPhone w/adapter. I would ask Mr Mumford but being against his financial interest, I don't want to insult him. Has anyone made such an adapter?
     
  20. James Foster

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    #20 James Foster, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    To whom it may concern, I in effect wanted to replace my need to purchase a second clock timer with the Clockmaster app using an iPhone on house calls where I don't have control of the environment, no particle access to a shelf to rest components, etc. To elevate the problem with ambient noise impacting data collection a piezo-acustic sensor is recommended on the Clockmaster website. The possibility of successfully replacing a timer hinged on using a pick-up identical in physical characteristics to a MicroSet or Timetrax pick-up also preserving the function of gathering rate and beat error data supplied to the app without audible interference through the iPhone. After a conversation with a representative at KVconnection where Clockmaster link sends you to purchase an adapter my hopes were dashed. According to that representative, the output of most piezo sensors is approximately 2 millivolts. It typically requires 10 mv signal for an iPhone to reliable detect a mic input. The iPhone sends 2 volts out through its connector to power an amp integral in it's earbud to boost the signal for its mic. Most small simple amplifiers require approximately 5 volts, so the power from the iPhone is useless as a power source for an aux amp to make the signal from the pick-up reliably recognizable to the iPhone. My conclusion is this app will not replace a second clock timer for me.
     
  21. Firegriff

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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    We learn more each time this topic comes up one day one of the geniuses here will come up with a solution to the problem of getting a good signal to a smartphone or tablet that works.
     
  22. Dr. Jon

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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    I am no genius but I have had good results with piezo discs used as alarm watch buzzers. I got the ones I have for about $5 for a dozen. The first went onto a quartz watch. I use regular non lead solder and flux.

    These are designed to run at about 1.5 volts. For clocks, I soldered wires to the metalized disc and the brass base. I twist the wires and use fairly fie gauge wire plastic or rubber insulated wire. The other ends of the wire connect via solder to a 3mm (1/8") two contact jack with a 500 ohm resistor in parallel (across the two jack terminals). My yield is typically 3 useful ones out of 4 tries.
    I wash them with soap ad water after soldering.

    Plug the jack into microphone/earphone break out adapter made for iPhones or iPod Touch. I used these with the oscilloscope app and see about 40 mv peak to peak. I put the disc pick up in the glass sliding it between the glass and the wood on a convenient glazed part of the case.
     
  23. James Foster

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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com



    Dr. Jon


    I've never repaired quartz watches and am not familiar with the piezo discs you refer to but I would like to try and understand.

    First, I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say "these". Are you saying the the piezo discs require a 1.5 volt potential applied to operate? Does that mean that you are using the 2 volts supplied by the iPhone to power the discs?


    Putting that aside, I am picturing a disc that has two isolated faces and you attach leads to them such as in the poor drawing below:


    View attachment piezo.pdf

    I assume you are saying this design or method only works 75% of the time. Could you epoxy a alligator clip to the disc and clip it to the movement and get good results?

    It surprises me that the pickup works not physically connected to the movement. Does this mean the pickup is an audio device or mic? Or, does it mean it so sensitive that it picks up the tick vibration through the case?

    Please, please understand I'm not being argumentative or challenging you in any way, I'm just trying to understand. I don't find any used Microsets on eBay, no one has posted a reply on the sticky where I've solicited for a used one. My alternative is spend $295 to get a new one from Bryan Mumford. Thanks for your reply.
     
  24. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    Hi Jim,

    The Piezo effect works in two ways; if you apply a force to the crystal, it generates a voltage, so that it is in effect a microphone. If you apply a waveform voltage to it, it generates a force, in effect becoming a speaker. We're using it in the microphone mode here. The electrical connection has to be good enough, and you can buy these discs with short leads already attached, so no problem with the connections. These pickups will detect a signal from any part of the case that's vibrating sufficiently.

    IMG_0203.jpg

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  25. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    Hi Jim,

    instead of pondering I recommend learning by doing:
    Get the mentioned parts, solder and see if it works. Cost will be pennies.

    E.g. Dr. Jon's circuit will work.
    However 500 Ohms is much too low, it reduces the signal and shifts the passband to ultrasonic regions.
    5k to 10k should be ok. This resistor is needed by some smartphones to recognize an external microphone.

    If you want higher sound level (10-30 times of a disc only), use the circuit that I showed here. Though it is very simple, it amplifies and has the same function as above mentioned resistor. Shown plug is for a microphone jack, for smartphones you will need the 4-pole headset plug.

    Frank
     
  26. James Foster

    James Foster Registered User
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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    Graham, Frank,

    Thank you both for shedding some light on this for me. Again, my goal is to have a method to use beat information in a customer's home. The Clock Master app will provide adequate analysis of the information collected. The obstacle is obtaining a pickup that is durable, collects reliable non-erroneous data, is convenient to use and interfaces with an iPhone. The most convenient physical connection interface I am aware of is an alligator clip. The MicroSet pickup is my standard for comparison and if plugging it in an iPhone worked I would simply purchase an extra but it doesn't.

    Frank, if I could determine if it is a plug and wiring issue or what was missing or extra in the MicroSet pickup relative to your schematic preventing it from working, I would simply make those alterations. If the transistor and resister components were available configured as per your schematic in a single small component to be fitted into the base of a connector (â…›" plug base) then would epoxying an alligator clip to a piezo disc work? Even then I don't know a convenient way to provide strain relief for that connection (epoxy putty I guess). I would still need to know which conductor on the 4 conductor â…›" plug corresponds to the mic input on an iPhone (and the common for that matter). It seems you are not powering the amplification of the signal. I have a preconceived notion that there would need to be a power source for amplification. I can conceive the notion that physical vibration can be converted to an electrical potential but then to increase that signal intuitively seems would require power input unless like a transformer there is some sort of tradeoff and loss (my interpretation of conservation of energy in this application). Is there ample power generated by the piezo disc to manipulate the potential without decaying all the signal? What I know about electronics was learned 40+ years ago in a radio and TV repair class and kind of dated.

    I am also trying to rectify the schematic with the information from the rep at KVconnections I spoke with. He indicated in some applications the adapters he sales have a capacitor to block the 2 volts DC supplied by the iPhone to power it's mic in their earbud. Is that a concern?

    Frank I did hear your advice to learn by doing and I don't mean to ignore it but the words of an old fellow were ingrained in me many, many years ago who said; "If it works I want it to be on purpose, not a damn accident.", so I tend to try and know where I'm going to put something down before I pick it up.

    Thank you both again,

    Jim
     
  27. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    Re: Program for timming clocks clockmaster.com

    Hi Jim,

    of course I did not tell you all the details in the background :cool:, thank you for inquiring...

    Kindly all modern mic jacks of tablets, smartphones etc. contain the 2.5V voltage source and an internal 2.5k load resistor (approx.) which are needed to complete my circuit.

    Here comes the wiring for a 4-pole plug:
    piezo_amp2_e.gif

    The transistor can be any NPN small signal type.

    Regarding your microset pickup: Try it with the mentioned resistor (1...10k) in parallel. The phone may see it then.

    Frank
     

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