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SETTING THE BEAT - WHEN IS IT OKAY TO WALK AWAY?

NEW65

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Just a query... my job involves selling used floor clocks and delivering/setting up nationwide, in customer homes.
I have been in this job for 30 yrs now and spend way too much time trying to put the clocks into what I consider near on 'perfect beat' This can be a very tedious and time taking job to achieve! I do not always manage to set the beat exactly as I want but have to walk eventually!
I just wondered if there are many other clock repairmen on here who are similar ? I guess when you deliver a clock several hundred miles away its natural to try and ensure that the beat is set as accurately as possible.
I would like your views on beat setting and how important it is to achieve the ideal adjustment?
(I am not talking about the more modern movements with automatic adjustment)
Thanks as always
 

bruce linde

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my mileage may vary because i am a long-time professional bass player with tons of recording studio (and live) experience playing to click tracks (like a metronome) and/or drummers... my internal time is really good and it's easy for me to tell immediately if a clock is or isn't in beat (and if there's any irregularities in the ticking due to EW issues).

that said, you could use an app (like clock master for the iPhone) or a physical device like a microset or timegrapher. don't 'know if there are any equivalent apps for non-iphones.
 
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Willie X

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Just a minute (or maybe two) for me. Do this at minimal pendulum amplitude, this will increase your accuracy a lot. At low pendulum swing, sounding like a metronome, I be walkin away. :) Willie X
 
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Elliott Wolin

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Total amateur here, but I seem to walk away when it sort of sounds uniform and the clock seems to run forever. I suppose there might be some excessive wear or lack of running time, but all my clocks seem to run and keep time just fine.

I'll look into the Android app since it sometimes takes me a while to get my clocks adjusted properly.

Just remembered, for long pendulums I often use a scale to measure the left/right asymmetry, this works well and takes little time. The problem is with short pendulums.
 
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Tim Orr

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Good evening, all!

The late lamented Bernie Tekippe told me that according to Rawlings and others, since beat has no effect on timekeeping, you just need it good enough that it sounds nice to the uneducated ear (NOT Bruce's) and runs the full length of its rated wind cycle. No need to go OCD on it.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

wow

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Good evening, all!

The late lamented Bernie Tekippe told me that according to Rawlings and others, since beat has no effect on timekeeping, you just need it good enough that it sounds nice to the uneducated ear (NOT Bruce's) and runs the full length of its rated wind cycle. No need to go OCD on it.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
Tim, I have a 50 year old grandfather clock that started running fast on it’s own. Couldn’t figure out why. Listened carefully and found it was out of beat slightly. Set the beat perfectly and the clock began keeping perfect time as it had before. As long as I keep it in beat, it keeps good time. :???:??

As far as New’s query, I cannot stand to let any clock run “out of beat”. I have about 20 or so running in my shop most of the time. If one is out of beat, I notice it immediately and have to fix it. I have a musical background so a steady beat is a must.
 
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shutterbug

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I think in your position, spending 15 minutes with the clock after setup and beat setting is finished would be reasonable. If you listen to it run for that long, you'll likely hear any issues it has. If all is well after that, and you have good over swing, it's more than likely safe to walk away.
As a precaution though, I'd recommend setting up the clock, give the owner your personal cell number, and then go to a local restaurant for lunch. If they don't call by the time you finish eating, you're good to go ;)
 
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NEW65

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Thanks everyone for your views on this, glad I ran it by you now.
Sometimes I set the beat correctly immediately, other times it seems to take for ages. Its a frustrating activity as its so easy to almost get it right and then spoil things again!
I was asked to call in to check a movement out that I had sold 4 years ago - when I got there I could not believe how far out of beat it was! How it ran I do not know!!
Clock owners have a tendency to gradually knock their clocks out of beat. They catch the pendulums when rewinding, knock the clocks around when polishing the cases/cleaning the glass, do not hold the clocks still when opening and closing doors, allow clocks to gradually move off any packing that was initially put in place when it was first set up etc. They then of course are on the phone saying that their clocks have stopped, pretty much blaming me for it!
I have to say that generally I do not hear from any past customers. When I do, the biggest issues are chains that have slipped off or weights that have been wound too high and got caught up in the seat board thus no drive! This has still happened when chain rings have been fitted!
Thanks chaps, will check the app too.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Good evening, all!

The late lamented Bernie Tekippe told me that according to Rawlings and others, since beat has no effect on timekeeping, you just need it good enough that it sounds nice to the uneducated ear (NOT Bruce's) and runs the full length of its rated wind cycle. No need to go OCD on it.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
One of the most accurate longcase I have ever had running would go in and out of beat on its own, i assume the escape wheel was uneven, however it ran to a minute a month, probably a bit better, as it was a 30 hour I never stopped it and would correct it perhaps every 6-8 weeks. Used to annoy the hell out of a clock repairer that used to visit but it did the job it was set to do 250 years ago when it was made.
 
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Willie X

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It's one of those things that should never change but it does ... somehow? Willie
 
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