• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Time Machine rolling ball clock

Realshep

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I know questions about this clock have been asked before. There were a couple of variations. I have the plastic, 'Time Machine' model. I need a schematic for the PCB or just a photo of the soldered side. The battery clock just stopped working....which is a separate issue probably involving a replacement. But on the PCB, some of the small wires were pulled off and I put them back were I thought they might have gone.

There's a small magnetic pick-up under the seconds dial that allows the motor to move the arm only at the 60sec mark(which is really zero). Cam on the ball arm shaft activates a micro switch which allows the motor to run. I don't think I got the wiring correct. I did find a great pic of the circuit board online, but it's not the same board I have....same clock though. I expect they had changes in their production run.

Hate to throw the clock away. On the off chance could someone take a pic of theirs(working or not doesn't matter if the wiring is original)?

Kevin
 

shutterbug

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Could we see a pic? I've seen a couple types of those, but the motor was always in constant motion, moving the pickup arm. I heard about one guy who built one in his basement - using bowling balls! Can you imagine the noise? :)
 

Realshep

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Sure, let me take a few pics. I got the clock to run a long time well previously and gave it to my grandson. But the micro switch failed and they have it molded/glued to the gear case internal wall. So I took the gearbox apart and dunked the slab in a USC for half an hr. Switch worked fine after but the cheap quartz clock died. I found one on eBay that should work that looks/measures identical. I'm hoping that seconds wheel dial shaft is not something proprietary that they had the Asians make for them....that's entirely possible. My hope is that I can sub in the old parts inside the new quartz movement if I have to.

I'm down to one wire I have no idea where it's soldered, The wire is so small I can't see any remnants in any of the board tracing solder blobs. I can hold the wire lead in question(comes from the micro switch), with a magnet near the seconds sensor and get the gearbox to reset(which means the arm would be moving), but that happens in one of three places. If I had to, I supposed I could temp solder it to all three places for best effect. Seeing a pic of the right wire soldering order would prove immensely effective.

I'm sure the bowling ball model would be noisy....lol! If you read the history on these, the inventor made a giant one I believe he did for the town he lived in with something similar to bowling balls. After he died, his children took up the torch of building them again on special order(wood)....for $$$. I'm not enamored with them that much to spend that kinda money. Just this plastic model working and not all scratched up can bring $150 on eBay! Boomers and their obsessions of youth....lol.

Pics coming later.......thanks for your interest.

Kevin
 
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Realshep

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OK, here is a pic of the PCB. The yellow wire on the left is the one I need to find a home for. I'm pretty sure the rest are in their proper places.

The two yellow wires are for the micro switch. The two green wires(you can barely make out the second green wire way up to the left) go to the magnetic pickup. Magnet in the seconds dial runs over the pickup and starts the arm cycle....cam on the arm shaft runs over the micro switch and the arm gets power to move......then arm comes to rest after its cycled. This was a nice feature versus the arms that are always in motion. However, on this unit, everything is cheap and the soldering poor.....so longevity is moot. Now dealing with replacing the clock too.....not sure it's worth the aggravation.

Kevin

Ball clock PCB.jpg
 

shutterbug

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I'm not a good one to advise on boards, but it looks like there's so much solder there that it might be connecting things that should not be connected.
 

Realshep

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Yeah, I thought of that but remember, everything was working as it should. Only thing changed was when I moved stuff around to get to that micro switch...some of the wires snapped off. The solder job is awful, and this was not a 'kit'. Some entity built it this way and sent it off for resale.

The clock stopped working too, but is typical of those cheap quartz movements for less than $10.

I just need a pic of this same solder board in place and working in an identical clock. I haven't found a club or forum yet for these clocks.

Kevin
 

shutterbug

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Let me move this to electric horology for you. Maybe one of those guys can help.
 

Troy Livingston

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As luck would have it my sister offered one of these clocks to me the day you posted. I have the clock now but sadly my circuit board is somewhat different than yours. The two smaller gauge black wires appear to go to the micro switch. One connects to a pad that leads to to middle lead of one of the transistors (base?) the other to a 4.7k resistor. At least by my admittedly rusty calculations. (The last two bands are an odd color that seem to be brown.) Your solder connections appear to be done by a ten year old building his first Heath Kit. I'm sure that makes sorting out the connection pretty difficult. The connections on my clock are a little better but still pretty bad. I've attached some photos of my clock in the hope that it is of some use. Hopefully, with magnification this will help you to decipher where that wire belongs.



IMG_2005.JPG IMG_2008.JPG IMG_2011.JPG
 

Realshep

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Thanks for posting this! PCB is different etc. If I had any PCB background, this would be a lot easier. Probably near child's play to have someone versed in this look at both sides of the board and tell me what has to go where. But.....having no schematic doesn't make it a walk in the park either.

If this happens at all, it will be process of elimination. Not so worried because it's DC voltages. At this point, I have really nothing to loose. Hoping I can convince someone who has the same board to post pics....still looking for a collector's site of these clocks.

Kevin
 

Troy Livingston

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It might help if you post a photo of your clock so people will know which version you have. I guess there have been several versions over the years. I am a little surprised at what they are selling for these days. The original manufacturer is apparently producing them again and gives a bit of history on their web page.
Idle-Tyme. The Original Rolling Ball Clock
 

Realshep

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'Time Machine' was a specific, plastic iteration not to be confused with the original wooden rolling ball clocks. As I said earlier, the wooden clocks are still being made on a custom order basis. I have the original box it came in and I've seen them sell on eBay as the 'Time Machine' (as named on the box).

Yeah, I'd love to have the wooden one, but not at those insane prices they get. It's nothing more than a novelty clock and as many novelty clocks go, you can't expect longevity from them.

I think I picked mine up at a garage sale for $3...if that. As far as I know, there were two mechanical iterations of the 'Time Machine'....both functioned the same. I don't know which circuitry was used first;mine or the other pictured above by Troy.

Kevin
 

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