Rolling ball clock motor

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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I have set up a rolling ball clock in my kitchen and it worked for three days without any problems. However, this evening the motor jammed. I unplugged the clock and unjammed the rotor which had jammed against the little toggle which holds back the fallen balls for 30 seconds after each hour-drop. I don't know how it had jammed against this, but now the motor does not turn. How can I enter the casing to fix the motor? There appears to be no screws or clips. And don't worry, I'll unplug it before trying to work on it. Failing that, is there a source for obtaining a replacement?
 

chimeclockfan

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What type of motor is this? Some of them are press fit and better off replaced.
 

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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chimeclockfan;525656 said:
What type of motor is this? Some of them are press fit and better off replaced.
It just says Netzbetriebenes Elektrisches Gerät, Kugeluhr, 220/240v~, 50Hz: 3W.

Does anyone know how to open the casing? Or does anyone know of a source in Europe for a replacement motor?
 

chimeclockfan

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If you could post photos of the motor, that would help.
 

chimeclockfan

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I have not seen a motor like this before. Unless you can find a way to safely take it apart, I would try to get a new motor.
 

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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It is an original 240v synchronous motor, as fitted to the original ball clocks. I have a feeling they were/are available from somewhere in Germany, but I have no contact info.
 

shutterbug

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Were you running at 50 cycles? That could have caused an issue if not.
What part of the world are you in?
 

Tommy Wylie

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shutterbug;525687 said:
Were you running at 50 cycles? That could have caused an issue if not.
What part of the world are you in?
I'm in the UK and voltage and frequency are correct. The motor jammed against the little toggle thing on the right of the clock, which caused damage inside the motor gearbox and has totally jammed the motor.

What I really need is some contact info for the company that made/makes these motors, in order to obtain a replacement. I've been searching on Google but have not yet found any company information relating to this part.
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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Hi
Can you picture it at some more angles.
My guess is that it has a plastic gear that has
been stripped. I doubt you can get part for the inners
as it is treated as a sealed unit.
As it doesn't work, opening by force isn't too
big a deal. Still, many of these plastic cases
are held by clips rather than glued. Pictures might help.
You might have to hunt for a more traditional motor
and make a small box to mount it in :(
Tinker Dwight
 

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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Thanks, but I'm not really willing to open the casing by force if I can't fix it and reassemble it. If I open it by force then the casing will be beyond repair. The whole motor unit needs to be replaced. As far as I'm aware, all these ball clocks had this type of motor unit before the more recent "Time Machine" ones with the seconds indicator, which I don't like at all.

I'm certain there is a devoted follwing of these clocks by avid collectors who will know something about the motor units and where to obtain them.
 

shutterbug

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I'm having a hard time envisioning a blockage destroying the motor. Usually, these are fairly weak devices, and a blockage will stall them but not cause them to strip gears. My guess is that freeing the motor from the clock will either correct the issue or allow it to be jogged backward to correct it. It shouldn't be too hard to disconnect the motor - then listen for a hum when you plug it in. If it hums, it's a good sign :)
 

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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It hums but there is no rotation. If I press it to my ear, the hum is faint but consistent, however there is no sound of gears turning, and the shaft will not turn even if I try to move it by hand. I have damaged the motor casing trying unsuccessfully to pull it apart, so even if I did succeed in fixing it, it's still a goner.

Is there anywhere on this site where I might find contact information for the company that made these motors (the European versions)? I feel that the best option at this time is to source a replacement.
 

shutterbug

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You could try Bob at Pro Clocks. I think he's listed on the suppliers sticky. Hmmmm. Maybe not. I couldn't find it there. Here's a link.
 

harold bain

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A couple of questions, Tommy. How old is your clock? Who made it? Does the motor have a pinion gear on it's drive shaft, and if so, how many leaves?
(Sorry that was three):D
I'm going to move your thread down to the electric clocks forum for better exposure. Maybe someone down there will have a source for your motor.
 

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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The clock probably dates from the 1980s. I bought it on ebay in perfect working order (which it was at the time, to be fair). I am sure it is of European origin due to the German writing moulded into the rear of the motor housing. There is no pinion, simply a thick round shaft with a flat side. I have a feeling that the vast majority of these ball clocks sold in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe had this exact same motor, but I might be wrong.

Re Bob@Proclocks... he is in the USA (and I have actually dealt with him a few times in the past... he's a decent chap), and if he has any such motors they will most likely be the US version, which is useless over here for reasons of voltage and frequency.
 

harold bain

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Without a pinion on the shaft, it should be relatively easy to source a motor. You need to know the direction of rotation, and the RPM's (probably 1 RPM). Then match the shape to fit. You might give a call to any local time recorder repair outlets, as they may have similar motors, or know of a good source for them.
 

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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OK thanks everyone for your suggestions, but what I am really looking for is the exact replacement part from the original European manufacturer. I am hoping that someone on this site knows where these clocks were made and where the authentic original spare parts may be obtained.

Alternatively, if anyone has one of these clocks which has met a grim fate (leaving the motor intact of course) then I'd be interested in the motor unit.
 

mldenison

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I suspect the motor assembly is similar to the US type. The internal gears were made of plastic. Any stoppage in the clock works caused a plastic gear to strip. You can use a fine saw to open the case along the original glue seam. I have never found a US source of motors in the last 10 - 15 years for motor replacements as the original manufacturer went out of business. I gave up on them and have since acquired several Mayenschein wooden rolling ball clocks (Idle Tyme).

If you can open it, try looking through this website for clock/motor/gear information as the gears may be the same.

http://stuartsinger.com/ballclock.htm
 

Tommy Wylie

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Jul 24, 2010
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Thanks MLDenison, I'll E-mail them later and see what they can come up with.
 

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