Sessions count wheel synch problems

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by bikerclockguy, Oct 22, 2019.

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  1. bikerclockguy

    bikerclockguy Registered User
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    Jul 22, 2017
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    Hello all, long time no see!
    After taking a break for a couple of years, I’ve been freshly bitten by the clock bug again. I’m finishing up a sessions time and strike clock for my girlfriend, and I’m having a devil of a time synchronizing the strike. I have done several of these, and this is the first one that has given me problems. I’m overlooking something really simple here, but I’m rusty and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I got the count and drop levers synched, but I’m running into problems with the locking lever. With the springs restrained, the count lever in a deep slot, and the drop lever seated in the cam slot, I’ve loosened the plate nuts enough to get the warning wheel pivot out of the plate and rotate it so that the pin is behind the locking lever. Everything looks fine, and the strike train is stationary and not trying to strike. Should be ready to rock n roll. But, when I wind it and lift the lever to start the strike sequence, the next time the count lever drops into a deep slot, the pin on the warning wheel is about a quarter turn shy of the locking lever. I know it’s something stupid I’m overlong here, but what? Thanks!
     
  2. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Patience, patience, patience...

    I don't know that there's any "trick" to successfully syncing a Sessions. From my experience, once getting things synced, it doesn't take much of a bump to knock things out of sync. I don't know if it's just me, but some movements do seem easier to sync than others. At the end of the day, it's just gentle fingers and patience.
     
  3. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    One may not easily be able to tell if levers have been bent but it is one thing to look at. The other may be that the count lever does need to be in the correct position in the slot. Does the lifter actually lift things high enough to unlock?
     
  4. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    I would try not to bend anything until everything else has been tried first.
    Try adjusting the warning wheel to where the pin is about a third to one half the distance away from contacting the lever.
    Check out Bangsters write up. Count Wheel Basics
     
  5. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    I wasn't suggesting bending anything. Only looking to see if levers are all in proper order.
     
  6. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    Hey Biker, good seeing you again! :)

    A photo of what you're working with is always helpful but from your description it just sounds as though you need to sync the warning/lock pin to the Lock Lever. The only wheel with a higher ratio is the governor/fan so a little goes a very long way with it. Keep making adjustments until the three conditions for lock are met: Count Lever in a Deep Slot, Maintenance Lever in the Maintenance Cam's Slot and the Lock Pin captured by the Lock Lever. Under power, the Lock Pin is really moving so timing can be tricky. Too early (in your case) and the Maintenance Cam lifts the Count Lever out of the Deep Slot. Too late and the Lock Pin gets missed or it glances off of the Lock Lever.

    You know these antiques demand patience and lots of testing.

    Good luck.

    Bruce
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    As you have observed, and others have said, the locking pin needs to be in the proper position to be arrested by the locking lever. As for something you may have over looked, first make sure the main spring is completely let down. You should be able to jiggle the main wheel back and forth to make sure it is supplying zero power to the strike train. I think the problem you are experiencing may be that the cam wheel has moved a tooth while you are positioning the stop wheel. Sometimes I have used an alligator clip to hold that wheel so it can't move while moving the stop wheel. Before loosening the plates a felt marker can be used to mark the teeth where you want them to be, and this can verify if you cot it right after everything is back. Unless the stop lever has been bent so there is not a good lock, once you get it timed so the stop lever is in place before the stop pin arrives it should be good to go.

    RC
     
  8. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    Sorry if I overreacted. I should have been sleeping at 3am. :(
     
  9. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Not over reacting at all. With a clock this old and God only knowing who has worked on it and what was done, can't rule out anything.

    RC
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It's pretty normal to have to fiddle with the stop pin a couple of times. I rarely get it right on the first attempt ;)
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    What Shutterbug said. :)
     
  12. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    I have found that the wheel with the stop pin is very sensitive to motion lower in the train. So, when you think all the wheels are engaged with a load at each tooth, sometimes that is not the case. So, it may look good statically, but after a run around the block and all the teeth are engaged and loaded, the stop pin is no longer where you think you set it.

    When setting the stop pin, make sure you apply finger pressure to the train to ensure the teeth are engaged and loaded and there is no slop in the train.

    Tom
     
  13. bikerclockguy

    bikerclockguy Registered User
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    Jul 22, 2017
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    Got ‘er synced and running like a top. Thanks to all who replied, and a special thanks to RC, who was right on the money. I was too tired to work on it last night, but when I went back to it tonight, the first thing I checked was the power in the train. I unwound the spring into a C clip as I usually do, and when the letdown key stopped, I called it good. When I checked the wheels though, there was still the slightest bit of power left in the spring, so I unwound it past the “neutral point” by hand, about another half turn, and that completely released the tension on the wheels. I did that, used the alligator clip trick, and another pointer from RC on a thread I found that was a couple of years old on this same subject. That was to set the pin on the warning wheel a few teeth short of the stop lever to allow for that slightest extra bit of travel. Everything fell into place, and it worked right on the first try. Good to be back in the clock game again, and I’m sure I’ll be back with questions soon, and I have 2 more projects that are new movements for me; a Sessions store regulator with a calendar hand, and a Sessions Banjo clock that I assumed was regulated by a pendulum, but isn’t. It has a thermometer in the bottom that sticks into the recess too deeply for a pendulum, and a glass barometer on the body. I assume it’s a hairspring type movement, but I haven’t pulled the dial yet.
     
  14. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Glad you got it sorted out Biker. I'm a little surprised that any residual power left in the Mainspring didn't "discharge" when you took the Warning/Lock Wheel out of its engagement with the rest of the Train for adjustment. At any rate, it is good practice to make sure your mainsprings are completely let down anytime you split the plates. Some folks recommend disengaging the click spring and click from the click wheel or ratchet. That's also helpful because it forces you to consider the "health" of the click setup. when it's not under spring tension. Those are two very important and sometimes overlooked parts of a gear train.
    Good luck with your upcoming projects. RC is kind of our Sessions "Whisperer". :)
    Bruce
     
  15. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I can assure you that I've had quite a few that caused me to do more than whisper. Pennsylvania isn't that far away, I'm surprised you didn't hear me.

    RC
     
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  16. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    :chuckling:
    Well, my shop is in the basement and my wife is usually up on the third floor so while I have had choice things to say to certain clocks on my bench, she usually can't hear them. If she's on the 1st Floor, however, all bets are off.

    I've got an Ansonia Sonia No. 13...lucky little thing that I think may be possessed. I will not be turning it loose on an unsuspecting customer. No...that little sucker is going to be in my collection. Fortunately it has a nice set of "Sonia" chime rods.
     

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