Regula 34 dancer vs no dancer movement differences

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by nsc5, Feb 4, 2017.

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  1. nsc5

    nsc5 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2017
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    How does the Regula 34 movement differ between the dancer and non-dancer versions? I have a problematic 34 movement with dancers and access to a new 34 movement with the same pendulum length but it doesn't have the dancer platform. From photos it appears the movements are the same except one doesn't have the dancers and its twin mounting screws attached but is there something else I am missing? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
    NAWCC Life Member NAWCC Member

    Jul 4, 2009
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    Diistributor of movements and movement parts.
    Muscatine, Iowa 52761
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    There are two basic differences and the dancer table cannot be transferred over. The movement with the dancer table already installed must be ordered
     
  3. nsc5

    nsc5 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2017
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    Thanks for the info Mark!
     
  4. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Dec 9, 2006
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    I found the same thing as Mark said so I decided to dismantle and clean mine. As a hobbyist, it made sense since a new one is about 50% more than just the movement alone. Good luck!
     
  5. nsc5

    nsc5 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2017
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    Thanks Vernon and repair of this movement is an option but it obviously had a repair attempt by a previous owner (second wheel strike side has a bent shaft and star lift wheel was also bent although fortunately the plates are still flat, also the verge appears to have been "aligned" extensively). These parts are inexpensive and there appears to be no noticeable wear to the movement so it is probably a repair candidate but given my experience with repairing complex gear trains while restoring vintage communications receivers there are often hidden problems so a simple replacement was tempting. At least with common cuckoo clocks new movements are available while with older communications receivers that isn't an option and repair is the only option. I spent several hours Friday rebuilding the gear train including setting up the proper anti-backlash tension on a 1940s era communications receiver so I was thinking about taking a break from the mechanical side of restoration for awhile :)

    Rodger
     
  6. nsc5

    nsc5 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2017
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    Before replacing the movement I decided to see if it was worth repairing. I believe most of the problems were due to a previous owner and not dirt or wear. The star wheel and second gear on the strike side were both bent from a repair attempt before I got it. The verge had also been heavily "adjusted" to the point that the pallet would never be adjustable cleanly to its original shape so I replaced it also. The note with the clock stated the initial issue is it would only run for a short time before stopping and this explains the attention paid to the verge and the damage from trying to pry off the star wheel in disassembling the movement. I took the back plate off, cleaned, oiled, and put the new parts in place and was now back to the initial problem of running a few minutes and then stopping. I found and cured what I think was probably the root cause that started the whole process of damage and that was the tension spring for the warning lever was wedged between it and the plate around its pivot bushing making it very hard to move causing the works to jam when it neared the half or full hour and I noted when I first got it that it took an unusual level of force once it started the strike setup sequence. I expect an attempt to clean and oil the clock resulted in this problem. Once I put this spring into its proper place the clock resumed a healthy tick and after a bit of setup fun (getting the music mechanism trip lever set properly) it has been running and keeping proper time for the past 8 hours.

    Mark, thanks again for the info on the movements and since I have a couple of rescue cuckoo clocks that came as part of a ham radio estate I acquired I am likely to be in need of movements from you in the near future.

    Photos below are my now working clock and one of the items from my radio restoration hobby that probably led me into cuckoo clock land, a Collins R-392 military receiver from the 1950s. Many people have stated that Collins mechanical engineers must have been inspired by Cuckoo clock makers in creating the complex system of gears and cams which operate the variable frequency oscillator, coil tuning racks, and mechanical digital frequency display. Although the setup of these is somewhat complex it is nowhere close to as finicky as a Cuckoo clock since its intended usage was in a jeep requiring it to be mechanically robust, shock resistant, and nearly waterproof :) Something else in common with some older alarm clocks and watches is that the R-392 receiver is mildly radioactive from the use of radioactive paint for its meter markings and lines on the control knobs. Radiation level from these is very low and I simply sealed the knobs with a couple of coats of lacquer to prevent paint particles from becoming airborne.
     

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  7. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    I'vealways

    I've always wanted a R390. Those I used in the service always had less noise level than
    the antenna input. The other one I'd like is the Racal.
    Both clever designs but quite different.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  8. nsc5

    nsc5 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2017
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    The R-390 is quite the receiver and a little more difficult to find than the later somewhat simplified R-390A that was produced in large quantity over a number of contracts. Both receivers are still at the top of most peoples' vintage receiver performance list. I picked up my R-390A several years ago by being in the right place at the right time and got a nice one with the covers, military manuals, original radioactive meters, and a spare set of tubes for $100. A little cleaning and lubrication followed by a full alignment put it into great working condition. In the last couple of years I picked up a R-390 and a R-391 which is an 8 channel autotune version of the R-390. The little R-392 works surprisingly well with its rather unique tube lineup that uses only 28 volts for the tube plate potential.

    The Racal RA-17 "Wadley Loop" receiver doesn't perform quite up to Collins standards but it is a very well thought out design and the story is that Racal wanted to produce the Collins R-388 under contract for NATO but the Collins engineers who toured the Racal facility informed them that they weren't up to the task. Not surprisingly the British folks of Racal didn't take that insult very well and fortunately for all of us their pride and abilities led to the Racal RA-17. Later a South African firm produced a well built solid state portable receiver using the Wadley Loop design and it is nicely designed but heavy enough to use as a weapon.

    There are definitely some common interests and skills that tie together vintage timepiece and vintage electronics and mechanical design was key to both fields. It is quite amazing what was accomplished by those skilled engineers and craftsmen of yesteryear. Being not so skilled I have decided to acquire a new Regula 25 movement for my current Cuckoo clock project rather than try to re-bush at least 4 very worn and elongated holes in the plates. I have done some very involved restorations of vintage communications gear often undoing some poor workmanship and modifications but with those there is generally no source of new parts. I also like that none of the clocks I am likely to work on weigh several hundred pounds like the old communications gear :)
     

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