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Should I replace or repair this Telechron movement

Gage_robertson_collector

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May 4, 2021
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This is my first electric clock. I got it for about five dollars. I already refinished the case, and it cleaned up very nice and is in great condition. The movement seems to have had the electrical cord cut from it, and the coil seems to be in rather bad condition. I am asking whether it would be better to replace the movement with a quartz movement, or should I try to repair this original movement? If I should attempt to repair it what steps should I take to do that? Or what sites should I look for parts? E.t.c. Thanks.

- Gage
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Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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A new coil and cord might get you back in action but it will likely need a new rotor too. So, all this can get rather expensive now, with most of the old stock parts no longer available, or available at a very high price. :(

Looks like a judgement call will be in your near future.

Willie X
 

Dick Feldman

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The coil itself does not look bad. The connections look pretty sour. You should be able to test the coil with an ohm meter for faults.
The rotor is what generally goes bad. They can be rebuilt or there are places that sell rebuilt rotors. The numbers stamped on the rotor are important.
I have dealt with the following place many times with good luck.
He has a bunch of helpful hints on the page above.
One is to check out the condition of the mechanical part of the clock movement.
I am kind of sentimental about Telechron clocks as those were used in schools when I was a kid.
That tells how old I really am.
Besides, they have a red dot in the dial to let you know the electricity went off.
Best,
Dick
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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These clocks often ran for 40 to 50 years with zero trouble. I used to repair lots of them when replacement parts were inexpensive and readily available.

I remember when the S-T capsule rotor went obsolete. I never dreamed that would ever happen, but it did. :(

Willie X
 

Gage_robertson_collector

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May 4, 2021
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The coil itself does not look bad. The connections look pretty sour. You should be able to test the coil with an ohm meter for faults.
The rotor is what generally goes bad. They can be rebuilt or there are places that sell rebuilt rotors. The numbers stamped on the rotor are important.
I have dealt with the following place many times with good luck.
He has a bunch of helpful hints on the page above.
One is to check out the condition of the mechanical part of the clock movement.
I am kind of sentimental about Telechron clocks as those were used in schools when I was a kid.
That tells how old I really am.
Besides, they have a red dot in the dial to let you know the electricity went off.
Best,
Dick
i would love to restore the original works but I have no clue where to start. I know that these are not very valuable so I probably wouldn’t be getting my money back for restoring it. My dad thinks I should just put a quartz movement in it, but I would always prefer to go the original route. My grandfather ( his father) is a top ranking HAM radio operator and lifelong electrical technician of complex machines of all sorts, so I think I will reach out to him to see if he can help me. Thanks for the website. I will take out the motor and see if I can find the reproduction motor and possibly a new coil and cord.
 

shutterbug

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As Dick pointed out, you need to run a continuity test of the coil as your first step. If that checks out, I'd add a plug and test it out.
 

Willie X

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Where I live, the main cause of failures was lightning strikes. A big spike on the power line would open the coil. I would add a 1/2 amp (pig tail) fuse when failures were persistent. Later, around 1970, I went to a snap in fuse base and a MOV (metal oxide varistor) after the fuse. Then plug-in surge protectors became available and that was the easy way to go.

The power grid is so loaded down now, those spikes don't get to far.

Willie X
 

R. Croswell

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Apr 4, 2006
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I am concerned by the potential fire hazard posed by old electric clocks, especially by clocks with open motor coils like this on, and especially in wooden cases. There have been two house fires in my town during my lifetime attributed to electric clocks so perhaps I'm over cautious. Personally, if I wanted this clock as a daily timekeeper, I would go with the quartz movement. Be aware that quartz movements are not just plug-n-play drop-in replacements for electric movements. The original hands won't fit and there is usually some "fitting and shimming" required.

If you want to fix your clock and keep is as original as possible, it does not look too bad. The tabs where the wires are soldered on can easily be damaged, so before fooling with the connections I would use a little epoxy glue to secure them in place. Another way to test the motor is to solder new wires to the coil and plug in and see if it runs. Leave it plugged in for an hour and then unplug it before feeling the coil. If the coil is warm it is OK. If it is stone cold it is dead. If the coil is good and the motor does not run, I can also recommend the services of telechronclock.com (post #3). They rebuilt a rotor for me and it was perfect. The movement obviously needs to be cleaned. It comes down to how much you want to spend to restore a cute $5 clock that won't be worth a whole lot more after you restore it.

One may reduce the inherent fire risk from old clocks to some degree by installing an in-line fuse holder and a 1/4 amp fuse (250ma).
 

Keith Doster

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Mar 31, 2011
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OK, I realize before I say any more that this will not be as helpful as I'd like it to be. But somewhere, somebody (that is the truly unhelpful part) has a video showing how to open up the sticky, gooey rotor (which is most likely your problem) with a lathe (and I realize you may not have a lathe, so yet more unhelpfulness), clean it up, re-lube it, and epoxy the case back together. Since your clock is truly only worth about $5 as has already been said, and if you actually do have lathing capabilities, then why not try to get that rotor apart and back together? If you could learn that skill, you'd have plenty of work and probably make a few dollars in the process! :D Just a thought.
 

Gage_robertson_collector

Registered User
May 4, 2021
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West Hartford, Connecticut
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I am concerned by the potential fire hazard posed by old electric clocks, especially by clocks with open motor coils like this on, and especially in wooden cases. There have been two house fires in my town during my lifetime attributed to electric clocks so perhaps I'm over cautious. Personally, if I wanted this clock as a daily timekeeper, I would go with the quartz movement. Be aware that quartz movements are not just plug-n-play drop-in replacements for electric movements. The original hands won't fit and there is usually some "fitting and shimming" required.

If you want to fix your clock and keep is as original as possible, it does not look too bad. The tabs where the wires are soldered on can easily be damaged, so before fooling with the connections I would use a little epoxy glue to secure them in place. Another way to test the motor is to solder new wires to the coil and plug in and see if it runs. Leave it plugged in for an hour and then unplug it before feeling the coil. If the coil is warm it is OK. If it is stone cold it is dead. If the coil is good and the motor does not run, I can also recommend the services of telechronclock.com (post #3). They rebuilt a rotor for me and it was perfect. The movement obviously needs to be cleaned. It comes down to how much you want to spend to restore a cute $5 clock that won't be worth a whole lot more after you restore it.

One may reduce the inherent fire risk from old clocks to some degree by installing an in-line fuse holder and a 1/4 amp fuse (250ma).
Thank you all for your help and advice. I ended up replacing the movement with a quartz movement because the coil was ripped, and the motor was not operational upon closer inspection. I did keep the parts from the original movement in case someone else or even myself can use them in the future if I ever decide to try restoring one of these that is in better shape. I spent a couple of hours filling the original hands to fit the quartz movement so that it looks more original. I spent a lot of time on the case cleaning it up and refinishing it. I am happy with the results of this restoration. Usually I would never even consider replacing a movement of any kind with a quartz movement, but this clock cost me 5 dollars and it wouldn’t have been worth much more than that restored based off my findings. At least now it is a functional and relatively low maintenance clock. I hope you guys understand my decision with this. Thanks again everyone you guys are great.


Here are some pics of the finished project:

(I did keep the original Telechron label on the back)

- Gage
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Keith Doster

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Mar 31, 2011
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Gage, while you may not have restored this clock to its former state, you certainly did a great job saving it from the landfill. You made a very nice looking and functional clock out of it once again. In this particular case, I'd say it was a job well done! Now you can sell it or even give it away as an attractive retro clock. Occasionally, I run across antique dealers who are willing to trade. You might check that out and trade up for another clock with a "real" (i.e. not quartz) movement in it.
 
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