Quartz Mechanical Bim Bam Chime Rods

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by powerwindow, Mar 16, 2017.

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  1. powerwindow

    powerwindow New Member

    Mar 16, 2017
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    I am not a clockmaker. I am a woodworker that has made clocks. Several years ago I made a mantle clock that used a mechanical movement and gong that would strike the hour and half-hour. However, the movement is no longer available at an economical price. I was wanting to try and use the quartz mechanical unit in the photo; however, there are a few issues I am concerned about this movement.

    First, I liked the rich sound that the mechanical unit with the gong provided. I'm worried the chime rods won't provide the same rich tone. I noticed that the chime rods are screw-in. Would it be possible to replace the rods with longer rods to produce a richer/deeper tone? I assume longer rods make a lower tone.

    Second, I liked that the mechanical unit only had one strike, and not a bim-bam strike. Would there be any issue with removing one of the chime rods so the quartz mechanical only had a single strike? I'm not sure if this would cause any undue stress on the movement shortening its lifespan. I'm also not sure if the mechanics of the second "ghost" hammer would be audible enough to make the case unpleasant.

    Thanks so much for any advice provided. Had I known the $40, 14-Day, Hermle Movement option was a limited time offer, I would have purchased several more. Now I am left with trying to improvise.

    quartz bim bam.jpg

    Tom
    Bellingham, WA
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Yes, the rods can be exchanged, they are the smaller 6 1/2 mm viarity, actual head diameter is 6 mm.
    The interior of the case has to be at least 6 1/2" wide.
    Willie X
     
  3. powerwindow

    powerwindow New Member

    Mar 16, 2017
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    That's what I was hoping. Am I correct in that a longer rod will produce a lower tone? Also, I notice, if I keep using two rods, the lengths differ by about 1/2". This also appears to be the case when looking at chime rod bar assemblies. However, it doesn't appear as if the rods are sold in 1/2" increments. Do you just purchase two at the longest length you want and cut one down a 1/2", or is there a certain amount needed to be cut off in order to make the proper note?

    These considerations can be neglected if I'm able to just use one rod and have the second hammer strike air. Without having the movement yet, as I stated in my original post, I'm not sure if this is bad for the movement, or if the mechanics would be annoyingly loud and a distraction.

    Thanks for any other advice.
     
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    It needs two rods that play a cord. You can tune them to any chord you like, or play two identical notes in unison. The older models had a button that changed the clock from a bing bong, with one note following the other, to a 2 note chord. As of about 10 -12 years ago they strike the 2 note chord only, no bing-bong.
    Willie X
     
  5. powerwindow

    powerwindow New Member

    Mar 16, 2017
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    Hmm, this is interesting. I guess I just need to get the movement and check it out. I have looked at many suppliers and listened to their mp3 examples online of this movement, and they all have it sounding like ding/dong or bim/bam. In other words, the hammers are not striking at the same time. If it performs as you say, that's preferable to me.
     
  6. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    There are probably different manufacturers. I used to buy them from Ronells, now I buy them from Merritt's.
    Willie X
     
  7. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    Carson City, Nevada
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    I have silenced one hammer for customers with no bad results and very little "ghost" noise. I usually just rotate the hammer 90 degrees and move it up a bit to make sure it does not hit the rod or the other hammer. Also, as a wood worker, I am sure you know that a deeper, richer, tone (but not a different note) is partly a function of the density and thickness of the sounding board to which the rods are attached.

     
  8. timepast

    timepast Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
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    If you are positive you don`t want the second rod chiming you can just snip /cut off the second chime hammer at it`s base. The ghost sound from the second hammer hitting dead air would be impercepible.
     
  9. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    These don't have conventional hammers and wires that can be turned or adjusted. The hammers are fused or riveted to thin springey steel arms. You may be able to snip one off but I can't see the point in doing so.
    Willie X
     
  10. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    Hmmm - I had enough room to rotate (twist) the hammer a quarter turn and move it away from the rod and the other hammer. Maybe on some other models there is not enough room to do that.

     
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