Troubleshooting - can't regulate wall clock

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Triptin, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Hi, thanks for having a look at my thread!

    Facts:
    * I've bought a second hand unmarked wall clock.
    * Regulated it to 7200 beats per hour (or 2Hz), and got it within about 30 seconds a day with a phone app (see image).

    Problem:
    * Now as it's running it seems to be about half an hour a day too quick, despite the timing on my phone showing only about 30 seconds a day.

    What I've tried:
    * I've tried checking the regulation again and again.
    * I've checked the phone app against a computer generated 2Hz beat, and it checks out fine.
    * I've checked that the clock is fully wound.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, to be honest I'm totally flabbergasted.
    Could it be that there are some clocks that have some wierd beat of less than 7200 per hour, but more than 3600?

    20190624_133503.jpg 20190624_231520.jpg 20190624_231529_HDR.jpg
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    9,112
    470
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Clocks can have almost any beats per hour depending on the maker's design. The most accurate way to determine what the BPH is supposed to be is count the wheel and pinion teeth and the center gear and work out the rate mathematically. Otherwise forget the beat meter and simply adjust the clock until you get it to keep time over a week. If it is off by a half-hour per day or something that bad, fully wind the clock and set it again after one day. Once you get close, go for a full week before making a change. Once you have it keeping time, read it with your timing app and see what it is.

    RC
     
    disciple_dan and Triptin like this.
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,134
    604
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If your app has a counting option, you can mark where the minute hand starts, set the app to count, start it at that point and let it count until the minute hand hits that spot again. That number will get you very close to where you need to be for BPH. More revolutions will get you more accurate average counts, but that will get you very close.
     
  4. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    #4 Triptin, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    Thank you, I didn't know that.
    I thought clocks come in only a few common frequencies.

    I'll try what you say; perhaps with the addition of the app measurement.
    That is to say, if I measure the clock gains, say, half an hour a day, I can calculate the correct beats-per-hour:
    (desired beats) = (beats now) * [1 - (hours gained per day)/(total hours in day)]
    Or
    7050 = 7200 * [1-(1/2)/24]
    Maybe if I make the measurement accurate enough, I could get by with just one iteration of doing that.

    Thanks!!
     
  5. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    hmm, good idea!
     
  6. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,572
    580
    113
    What RC said ... "forget the beat meter".

    One half hour fast in a day will take an initial adjustment of around 3/8" longer on the pendulum. This will be something like 10 to 15 full turns of the rating nut in the down direction. So, make this large adjustment and then continue from there making small daily adjustments of about one turn of the nut. When this gets you to within about a minute per day, go to weekly adjustments. Make very small adjustements of about 1/4 turn each week, making sure your are going in the correct direction :) When you get to a rate within a minute or two a week, your clock will be doing about as good as you can expect. Good luck,

    Willie X
     
    disciple_dan likes this.
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    9,112
    470
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Your clock tuner has several presets and attempts to detect which one is the closest but the presets are pretty useless for clocks. You can add a preset for your clock if you count wheels and determine what it should be.

    RC
     
    Triptin likes this.
  8. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Turns out that it does say something on the back of the movement:
    D.R.G.M No.916380
    34 cm


    would that tell me the beats per hour?
     
  9. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    3,453
    308
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    No, DRGM refers to a kind of German patent. 34 cm is the pendulum length.

    Uhralt
     
    Triptin likes this.
  10. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,572
    580
    113
    You seem determined to do it the hard way. :) Willie X
     
    Triptin likes this.
  11. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    9,112
    470
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Jeff Hamilton's "The Clock Maker's Beat Book" lists a Kienzle wall clock like or similar to yours with 34 cm and a beat rate of 6876.73 which is probably correct for your clock. On your Clock Tuner app, Touch the Target Frequency box to open the table of preset beat rates. Touch Add and enter 6876.73. Run the Clock Tuner app. again and it should automatically select 6876.73 as the target frequency, if not, then use the "Up" "Dn" buttons to select 6876.73. Adjust the pendulum until you achieve that rate and I believe your clock will keep time. Knowing the pendulum length and the corresponding beat rate for a clock with that pendulum make the instrument method a good choice, otherwise follow the previously described manual method.

    RC
     
    Triptin likes this.
  12. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Perfect, thank you!
     
  13. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I've found out in the meantime that this appears to be some sort of simple Haller & Benzing model, circa 1925-1935. It's chiming mechanism only has one hammer, but this seems to be a later repair.

    It also seems to live very happily at 6920 BPH or about 1.922Hz

    Thanks again for all the help!!
     
  14. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,572
    580
    113
    You really won't know until you run it for a few weeks. A clock that's been dormant for a while takes a while to settle down. I have a few that have never settled down. Willie X
     
    Triptin likes this.
  15. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I'll wait, and when I know for sure I'll post it here, maybe it'll help someone with a similar piece in the future
     
  16. Triptin

    Triptin Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    8
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Update
    After letting it run for a few weeks I found out the following
    * It's true beat is almost certainly 6912 BPH; I've also found that number being mentioned in other places (Horological Times 6/1997 p.33, Horological times 7/1991 p.23) as an example in beat calculation, which makes it seem like it's one of the common clock beats out there.
    * it runs for around 18 days on one full wind.
    * Left to run all the way down It'll lose about 12 BPH; that is to say, I've observed that fully wound and regulated to 6920 BPH, it'll gradually slow down and 18 days later it'll run at 6908 BPH just before stopping.

    I'll probably wind it weekly, and regulate it to 6917 or thereabouts.
    Thanks!
     
  17. Phil G4SPZ

    Phil G4SPZ Phil
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 18, 2018
    246
    25
    28
    Male
    Retired Chartered Electrical Engineer
    Bewdley, Worcestershire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I use a combination of methods - an iPhone 'app' and the calculation described by Triptin in post #4, which gets me pretty close pretty quickly, followed by a longer period of fine tuning as described by Willie in post #6.

    Phil
     
  18. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    21,311
    156
    63
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    When i am trying to regulate a clock, i usually dont do it, until the clock has been serviced.
     
  19. Organist

    Organist Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 29, 2010
    198
    18
    18
    Male
    Retired
    Ohio
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Don't rely on technology for something like this. You'll dull your other, necessary, senses. My ears have yet to fail me on putting a clock into beat. Maybe being a musician has something to do with it. Likewise, watching the time on a clock from day to day, then for a week has never failed me. It worked over 100 years ago...
     
  20. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,572
    580
    113
    You will also waste a lot of your valuable time.

    Electronic timers are great for several things like replacing a lost pendulum, replacing suspension springs on 400 day clocks, and long distance work like where you are 40 miles from your shop working on a new clock that's not keeping time, etc.

    An analogue atomic clock is all you need to do fine rate adjustments. And, there is no need to go to the extreme on this, unless the clock is in the customers home and installed in such a way that it cannot be moved.

    Electronic time keepers and mechanical timekeepers are like: apples and oranges, oil and water, yeng and yang, you know. :)

    WIllie X
     
  21. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    9,112
    470
    83
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    In order to have any real success fine tuning a clock's rate with an electronic timer one must know what the exact rate is supposed to be as determined by tooth counts or published data that was determined by tooth counts. The second requirement is that the timing device only counts the ticking of the escapement and never detects sounds such as a crutch slapping the suspension rod, the strike train going into warning, or an occasional tooth bounce off the verge, or the dog barking or whatever. The Microset timer has an optional optical pickup that ensures the rate detected is free from extraneous sounds picked up by acoustic timers. Finally, the instantaneous beat rate will change as the clock goes into warning and as the spring runs down, but these are normal events in the life of the clock, so the best one can hope for is to measure the BPH with 50% spring wind with a device that can record a running average over several hours, as opposed to a device that just samples fresh every 10 seconds and does not average. The Microset-2 has the ability to average over a long period of time, not sure about the others..

    In the end you will end up making the final fine adjustment based on the clocks actual running over an extended period of weeks. It helps to plot a graph of +/- how many minutes the clock is off each day. The ultimate goal for most clocks is to have the clock "one time" at the end of the run period (usually 7 days for an 8-day clock etc.) Once that is achieved, one can evaluate the variance in the graph and set the time a bit fast or slow such that the clock will be closest to the actual time on any day of the week.

    Me, I don't waste my time chasing beat rates and the like. Whatever my clock says that's what time it is in my house and the rest of the world is off!

    RC
     
  22. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,572
    580
    113
    There ya go ...

    Ever notice that someone new to clocks always says, "I try to have them all strike/chime at the same time". While someone who's had their collection for a long time says, "I enjoy listening to the clocks strike/chime separately".

    Willie X
     
  23. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,134
    604
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I spend a little time with each customer showing them how THEY can fiddle with the time keeping. Close enough is close enough for me.
    :emoji_arrow_down::emoji_arrow_down::emoji_arrow_down::emoji_arrow_down:
     

Share This Page