Mechanical WW Timegrapher Watch Timimng Machine - How Good?

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by DaveyG, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    Mar 21, 2005
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    My old Bandolin watch timer is starting to show its age and I'm no longer convinced of the accuracy of the prints, so, I'm considering buying one of the (I assume) Chinese made Timegrapher 1000 machines that are all over ebay for around about £130 sterling (currently around $200 ish). Is anyone prepared to venture an opinion as to whether these machines are good things to use? I have read several posts that seem to use the more advanced & more expensive machines but I think that the simple one will suffice for me. Additionally, I note that the amplitude readout is dependent upon the lift angle of the movement being timed and seems to be set at a default of 52 degrees. Is it possible, from any source, to determine what the lift angle is for a watch movement (from antique/vintage pocket to vintage wrist watch) so that the amplitude reading can be reliably used?

    Thanks folks.
     
  2. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

    Mar 14, 2008
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    I have one of these Timegrapher 1000 and I am very satisfied. Now, I have not had any other machines to compare with but as an advanced hobby watchmaker this machine is a very good for my needs and very price worthy!

    I have compared with my friend's USD3000:- pro machine and I see no need for to pay the additional money for my use......

    The only problem I have with the machine is that I get so much more information about the behavior of the movement and watches I considered running very nicely actually are way off in beat error and accuracy.... But I understand this comes with being an owner of one of these timing devices.....

    Lift angle has been the subject of discussion in another thread here on the forum. Do a search and you should be able to find some further information......

    I have not seen any tables or similar but I read somewhere a brief description on how to determine the lift angle.... It dealt with checking the angle of the balance wheel that was involved in moving the fork between its end positions..... I never investigated this any further.....
     
  3. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2011
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    yes my aging B200 motor stopped spinning some weeks back, no one here left here to fix it so needed a new machine, I did have a look at the 1000, 2000 and 5000, these are all newer machines, other older machines will only time trains from 18000, 19800, 21600, 25200, 28800 and 36000, nothing else so that old english pocket watch with a 16200 train cannot be timed.

    the newer machines like the 1000, 2000 and 5000 can auto select
    12000、14400、18000、19800、21600、25200、28800、36000、43200

    and manually select

    3600、6000、7200、7380、7440、7800、9000、9100、10800、11880、12000、12342、12480、12600、13320、
    13440、13500、14000、14040、14160、14200、14280、14400、14520、14580、14760、14850、15000、15360、
    15600、16200、16320、16800、17196、17258、17280、17786、17897、18000、18049、18514、19332、19440、
    19800、20160、20222、20944、21000、21031、21306、21600、25200、28800、32400、36000、43200

    all the machines seem to have the same functions, only real difference is the screen sizes and mono or colour displays, and more buttons.

    the 1000 has 4 buttons to control all the functions, you have to scroll through the menu to change and set the options, the 2000 and 5000 have a separate button for each function.

    I bought the 5000, cost me US$680, colour screen, the power supply is internal so no plug pack, multivoltage 50/60Hz.

    it works well, the lift angle only affects the reading of the amplitude, one of the vibrograf books that came with the B200
    shows a lot of lift angles for various movements, not so much for vintage stuff however, that being said you can compare the amplitude by sight and what it says on the timer and adjust the lift angle to get the reading to more or less match.

    build quality is quite good, the microphone is not bad, doesn't have the same free range that I am used to on the B200 because the cable moves with the head, this mic is more complex than the old B200's, it has a small preamp board inside where the vibrograf's is just a simple crystal pickup.

    basically you place a watch on the clamp, it takes a couple of moments to figure out the train count then starts showing the rate.

    the machine has already paid for itself in the 5 weeks I have had it, certainly a lot easier and simpler to use compared to the microset timer, because it works much like the B200 with the added feature of the amplitude, never bothered to buy a gradoscope but have used them in service departments that I worked in for a while.

    the 1000 would be fine, the display is small but uses the same microphone and has the same range of functions, I just preferred the larger screen this has and separate buttons for the functions and no plug pack, by the way the power switch on this machine is a real power switch, it actually turns the machine off, not on standby, same for the plug pack machines, the power switch is in the power lead to the pack.
     

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  4. klevay

    klevay Registered User
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    Jan 24, 2010
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    I'm using the Timegrapher 1000 for over a year now and can highly recommend this timing machine. It's been very reliable so far and my only wish it could collect and/or output the data of watch timing over several hours.
    As for the lift angles, there was an extensive database with a lot of vintage movements data. I'll search for a link and post it here later.
     
  5. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    Mar 21, 2005
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    many thanks everyone - looks like these machines are the way to go. My feelings are that, very much like Skutt, as an advanced hobbiest that the 1000 would suit my needs, although the difference in screen size is a useful fact to know, but I am a bit of a tool geek so might consider the higher spec machine if and when funds allow. Thanks for that detailed help and also for the photos dAZ57, really gives me something to go on.
     
  6. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Can this machine be used with clock movements?
     
  7. Moebius

    Moebius Registered User

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  8. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2011
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    only if the clock has a set train like of one those I mentioned in post #3, carriage clocks, small clocks and the like are fine, but you cannot program a train count in, for that use machines like the Microset that do a direct reading in beats per hour.

    a clip on microphone option for these timers would be nice, seeing it can read 3600BPH you could use it for grandfather clocks or other seconds beat clocks
     
  9. bbodnyk

    bbodnyk Registered User
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    I have both a Timegrapher MTG-1000 and a Microset 3. I purchased the Timegrapher initially and have it set up next to my work area for quick checks. I decided to get a Micoset later to be able to do long rate timing and be able to save the rate data to my computer. I've done quite a bit of exploration into trying to analyze rate data using fast fourier transforms.

    Attached is a pdf of a timing run where I let my Hamilton 992 run from a full wind for over 38 hours. My plotting software maxes out at 9999 data points so the plot is only showing about 33 hours. While I have developed my own software to generate these pdf reports, similar plots can be done using Microsoft Excel including generation of a FFT.

    I've also attached a pdf of the results from timing an Elgin 214 for 15 hours. Note the distinct pattern in the changing of the rate. You would never be able to pick up on this using the Timegrapher.

    If you just want a timer to be able to perform quick checks, I highly recommend the Timegrapher. On the other hand, to get a true picture of a watches performance requires watching it over a length of time and with the ability to interface to a computer, the Microset timer works great for this.

    Bruce
     

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