Date   

Synchronome Clock no.4

James Kelly
 
Edited

For those interested in early numbered Synchronome clocks

Our newest member Jonny Flower has kindly uploaded a file of images (aa Synchronome clock no.4)  to the photos section of Synchronome number 4, this clock which is housed in an early slim architectural case is believed to have come from the Rugby Transmitter station.

Of particular interest is base plate of the movement as you can see how using brass cocks and bridges the movement was laid out, this clock supports the conjecture that an initial run of 50 castings was made as clock number 41 is of similar construction whilst clock numbered 62 is of the layout and design that is normally encountered (i.e. Mark 1 movement on plain casting with matt finish) the casting having been altered to include additional stub pillars, which did away with the need for brass cocks.

Attached images of clock 41 and clock 62 movements for comparison, I know Jonny would appreciate your comments and opinions on clock number 4 and if any member has any images of similar low numbered Synchronome clocks I know members would be delighted to see them uploaded to the photo section.

Looking forward to your comments and opinions and hoping you enjoy the images of this interesting clock

regards

Jim Kelly



Re: Impulse Driver

John Hubert
 

OK, thanks.

The standard Synchronome type (as Bob Miles book) doesn’t have a relay ‘between' the master and the board.  I use an emitter follower (removable without trace) to limit the master contact current to the usual 300-350 mA with my 6 channel Synchronome board.

Gents boards I have seen work in a ‘conventional’ really form with the relay coils (one for each circuit) in series driven by the master, and each relay contact set acting as the ’switch’ in independent circuits.

John

On 22 Mar 2021, at 10:27, Peter Torry via groups.io <peter.torry@...> wrote:

Hi John,

Yes, I think that they are all much of a muchness and differ only in the circuitry employed.  This example has a medium size relay as the interface between master and distribution outputs plus some spark suppression components.

Peter


On 22/03/2021 09:34, John Hubert wrote:
Hi Peter,

That looks very similar to the Synchronome type.

John

On 22 Mar 2021, at 09:27, Peter Torry via groups.io <peter.torry@...> wrote:

Good morning all,

Following your request I attach an image of a six circuit Gillet and Johnston distribution system for your information.  The jack plug stored at the top of the unit can be removed and inserted in any of the other circuits to display that circuit current on the meter and the rheost adjusted to give the required current in that circuit.  To advance a particular circuit the toggle switch is moved from normal to advance and the push button next to the meter depressed as required to bring the circuit to time.

Kind regards

Peter  UK


On 22/03/2021 06:52, Simon Taylor wrote:

With GPO clocks, you have a GMT relay set so that you can power several clock circuits in large buildings.

With Synchronome, you have a distribution board, which does the same thing. It just allows expansion so that a really huge enterprise can run hundreds of clocks. From memory, County Hall in London was fitted out by Gillet & Johnston and had 1200 clocks running in it.

I would have loved to see the distribution system used there!


--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html

<G&J001.jpg>



Re: Impulse Driver

Peter Torry
 

Hi John,

Yes, I think that they are all much of a muchness and differ only in the circuitry employed.  This example has a medium size relay as the interface between master and distribution outputs plus some spark suppression components.

Peter


On 22/03/2021 09:34, John Hubert wrote:
Hi Peter,

That looks very similar to the Synchronome type.

John

On 22 Mar 2021, at 09:27, Peter Torry via groups.io <peter.torry@...> wrote:

Good morning all,

Following your request I attach an image of a six circuit Gillet and Johnston distribution system for your information.  The jack plug stored at the top of the unit can be removed and inserted in any of the other circuits to display that circuit current on the meter and the rheost adjusted to give the required current in that circuit.  To advance a particular circuit the toggle switch is moved from normal to advance and the push button next to the meter depressed as required to bring the circuit to time.

Kind regards

Peter  UK


On 22/03/2021 06:52, Simon Taylor wrote:

With GPO clocks, you have a GMT relay set so that you can power several clock circuits in large buildings.

With Synchronome, you have a distribution board, which does the same thing. It just allows expansion so that a really huge enterprise can run hundreds of clocks. From memory, County Hall in London was fitted out by Gillet & Johnston and had 1200 clocks running in it.

I would have loved to see the distribution system used there!


--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html

<G&J001.jpg>


Re: Impulse Driver

John Hubert
 

Hi Peter,

That looks very similar to the Synchronome type.

John

On 22 Mar 2021, at 09:27, Peter Torry via groups.io <peter.torry@...> wrote:

Good morning all,

Following your request I attach an image of a six circuit Gillet and Johnston distribution system for your information.  The jack plug stored at the top of the unit can be removed and inserted in any of the other circuits to display that circuit current on the meter and the rheost adjusted to give the required current in that circuit.  To advance a particular circuit the toggle switch is moved from normal to advance and the push button next to the meter depressed as required to bring the circuit to time.

Kind regards

Peter  UK


On 22/03/2021 06:52, Simon Taylor wrote:

With GPO clocks, you have a GMT relay set so that you can power several clock circuits in large buildings.

With Synchronome, you have a distribution board, which does the same thing. It just allows expansion so that a really huge enterprise can run hundreds of clocks. From memory, County Hall in London was fitted out by Gillet & Johnston and had 1200 clocks running in it.

I would have loved to see the distribution system used there!


--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html

<G&J001.jpg>


Re: Impulse Driver

Peter Torry
 

Good morning all,

Following your request I attach an image of a six circuit Gillet and Johnston distribution system for your information.  The jack plug stored at the top of the unit can be removed and inserted in any of the other circuits to display that circuit current on the meter and the rheost adjusted to give the required current in that circuit.  To advance a particular circuit the toggle switch is moved from normal to advance and the push button next to the meter depressed as required to bring the circuit to time.

Kind regards

Peter  UK


On 22/03/2021 06:52, Simon Taylor wrote:

With GPO clocks, you have a GMT relay set so that you can power several clock circuits in large buildings.

With Synchronome, you have a distribution board, which does the same thing. It just allows expansion so that a really huge enterprise can run hundreds of clocks. From memory, County Hall in London was fitted out by Gillet & Johnston and had 1200 clocks running in it.

I would have loved to see the distribution system used there!


--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html


Re: Impulse Driver

John Hubert
 

The Synchronome Distribution Board is a system to allow clock circuits to be operated in parallel from one master clock.

A series clock circuit (such as the typical Synchronome, Gents etc) has the dials in connected in series - and needs a 330 mA (Synchronome) pulse.  To supply this current, as more dials are added, move supply voltage is needed (about 1.5 Volts per dial).  This puts a practical limit on the number in a circuit.

Therefore, for larger systems, a distribution board allowed several (the boards were built from two up to many circuits) circuits to be operated in parallel.  It also allowed for individual circuit current adjustment, advancing and pausing.  In the Synchronome versions, the master movement (i.e. pendulum assembly) could be kept running whilst all dials (including the master pilot dial) were paused such as setting the clocks back after summer time.

The operation of the Synchronome board is covered in Bob Miles book.  One notable peculiarity of the system used by Synchronome is that the master clock contact carry the current of all circuits in parallel - so a six channel set up will switch approximately 2 Amps.

Gents also made distribution boards - but used a different system where each circuit wad ‘added’ via a relay, the real coils being driven in a single series circuit by the master - thus not increasing the current switched directly by the master contacts.

On 21 Mar 2021, at 21:52, Geoff via groups.io <urjoking_uk@...> wrote:

What is a "Synchronome Distribution Board"?  I have had master clocks for years and you just need power to them, why would you want a distribution board?  Geoff Mawdlsey

On Friday, 19 March 2021, 02:15:39 GMT+6, bailey.services via groups.io <bailey.services@...> wrote:


Is an impulse driver something to buy or something to make? For someone with no skill in electronics buy would seem sensible but what would be appropriate to go with a Synchronome distribution board? And easily obtained in the U.K.

Not sure if an Aduino is something that would do the job and how easy it would be to program.

Thoughts welcome
Howard


Re: Impulse Driver

Simon Taylor
 

With GPO clocks, you have a GMT relay set so that you can power several clock circuits in large buildings.

With Synchronome, you have a distribution board, which does the same thing. It just allows expansion so that a really huge enterprise can run hundreds of clocks. From memory, County Hall in London was fitted out by Gillet & Johnston and had 1200 clocks running in it.

I would have loved to see the distribution system used there!


--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html


Re: Impulse Driver

Geoff
 

What is a "Synchronome Distribution Board"?  I have had master clocks for years and you just need power to them, why would you want a distribution board?  Geoff Mawdlsey

On Friday, 19 March 2021, 02:15:39 GMT+6, bailey.services via groups.io <bailey.services@...> wrote:


Is an impulse driver something to buy or something to make? For someone with no skill in electronics buy would seem sensible but what would be appropriate to go with a Synchronome distribution board? And easily obtained in the U.K.

Not sure if an Aduino is something that would do the job and how easy it would be to program.

Thoughts welcome
Howard


Re: Impulse Driver

John Haine
 

There is an Arduino library called EasyButton which I have used for debouncing a clock contact, seems to work fine.

https://www.arduino.cc/reference/en/libraries/easybutton/

I've got a couple of clocks with Arduinos for control, one of which is Nome derived.  Both regulate the clocks in the code by omitting one dial pulse every N (set N to match the rate).  In one it's slightly different, it omits one every N except every M x N which gives another fine adjustment.  You have to set the pendulum slightly fast.  Displayed time is accurate to +/- 0.5s when the right values set.


Re: Impulse Driver

Darren Conway
 

Hi

Yes the Nome input will require debouncing and yes this will take more than a few lines of code.  Especially since I will be adding features to advance/retard the clocks by a minute or an hour (day light saving).


Regards

Darren Conway
36 Orr Crescent
Lower Hutt
New Zealand
ph +64  (0)4 569 1963

On 20.03.21 2:17 am, John Haine wrote:
I think basically the Udine clock (from the photo that someone posted here recently) uses a Lavet stepper motor as used in quartz clocks but bigger and operating on a higher voltage.  The latter are trivial to drive from an Arduino, as you say you just need a bridge driver that can run on 48 V and few lines of Arduino code - mind you if it's getting pulses from a 'Nome initially they might need some debouncing first.

Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: Impulse Driver

Howard
 

Yes that would work but I thought the piece of kit would be useful and fun to have. Regards Howard


Re: Impulse Driver

Ian Richardson
 

Call me stupid if you like, but if all you want to do is to test the distribution board, couldn't you just apply an appropriate supply and switch it on and off?  A 12vdc or similar supply and a suitable resistor to limit the current to 330mA would do the trick.

Ian R



-----Original Message-----
From: bailey.services via groups.io <bailey.services@...>
To: synchronome1@groups.io
Sent: Fri, 19 Mar 2021 20:00
Subject: Re: [synchronomeelectricclock] Impulse Driver

Thanks, i wanted to bench test the distribution board away from the master clock. So was looking for easy way to generate a signal. The Arduino sounds like it needs other bits with it and some knowledge of computing and electronics to make it work, in which case I need to buy something ready made. Any recommendations?
Howard


Re: Impulse Driver

Howard
 

Thanks, i wanted to bench test the distribution board away from the master clock. So was looking for easy way to generate a signal. The Arduino sounds like it needs other bits with it and some knowledge of computing and electronics to make it work, in which case I need to buy something ready made. Any recommendations?
Howard


Re: Impulse Driver

John Haine
 

I think basically the Udine clock (from the photo that someone posted here recently) uses a Lavet stepper motor as used in quartz clocks but bigger and operating on a higher voltage.  The latter are trivial to drive from an Arduino, as you say you just need a bridge driver that can run on 48 V and few lines of Arduino code - mind you if it's getting pulses from a 'Nome initially they might need some debouncing first.


Re: Impulse Driver

Darren Conway
 

Hi

Fortunately I have knowledge of electronics so that has steered me towards a Arduino based solution.  The availability of super cheap modules from China is also an influence.  I used to make my own PCBs and circuits, but these days it is cheaper/faster/better to buy something ready made.

There is absolutely no danger of finding a Synchrome distribution board in New Zealand.  Making an equivalent version would be more expensive than an Arduino version.  I would still have the problem of driving the Udine flip clock. 

The Udine clock requires a 48V pulse that reverses polarity.   Each pulse drives a motor to turn 1/2 revolution only.  You can see an explanation of how it works at this Youtube Link. 
The easiest way to drive the clock motor is with a cheap Chinese motor drive module that plugs straight into a Arduino Uno board. 



Regards

Darren Conway

New Zealand


On 19.03.21 9:15 am, bailey.services via groups.io wrote:
Is an impulse driver something to buy or something to make? For someone with no skill in electronics buy would seem sensible but what would be appropriate to go with a Synchronome distribution board? And easily obtained in the U.K.

Not sure if an Aduino is something that would do the job and how easy it would be to program.

Thoughts welcome
Howard

Virus-free. www.avast.com


Impulse Driver

Howard
 

Is an impulse driver something to buy or something to make? For someone with no skill in electronics buy would seem sensible but what would be appropriate to go with a Synchronome distribution board? And easily obtained in the U.K.

Not sure if an Aduino is something that would do the job and how easy it would be to program.

Thoughts welcome
Howard


Re: Master Clock contact duration?

Darren Conway
 

Hi

Thanks for all the info.

The problems with the 555 timer option for me are:

  • it would need a custom PCB or a strip board for mounting the components.
  • the Solidine clock requires a bipolar pulse.

So for me, the simplest/cheapest option is to use a Arduio Uno and a 2 channel motor drive shield.  To reduce noise sensitivity and switch bounce, I am using opto-isolators between the Sychronome master and the electronic interface.  This is combined with a couple of cheap switch mode power supplies will provide the system I need to drive both standard slaves and the Solidine.

In addition, I will add a couple of switches that will allow me to advance/retard the clocks either a minute or an hour at a time.

I will print an electronics enclosure on my 3D printer. 


Regards

Darren Conway
New Zealand


On 17.03.21 9:36 pm, Frank Chadwick via groups.io wrote:
Hi Darren,

Have you thought of buffering the synchronome pulse with a monostable circuit? There are two benefits from doing this; you get a repeatable clean pulse as your input and you can set the pulse width to what ever you wish.

Frank C

Sunny Saddleworth UK.


On 17 Mar 2021, at 02:23, Darren Conway <darren.conway@...> wrote:

Hi

I am making an Arduino interface between a Synchronome master clock, slave clocks and a slave Solidine Cifra 12 flip clock that requires a bi-polar 48V pulse.

Does anyone know the typical pulse ON duration of  Synchronome?    That info will be relevant for software programing.


Regards

Darren Conway

New Zealand



Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: Master Clock contact duration?

Simon Taylor
 

I guess the duration depends on how long the gravity arm takes to reset? I would imagine that different clocks would have small differences, maybe power supplied, type of reset arm, strength of coils, the gap between them and the armature, etc. I don't really know them well, but I can imagine that different individual clocks could have a range of impulse durations between them.

I have the same difference on GPO hipp toggle clocks, but it depends on the decay of the pendulum arc. If the contacts operate just after a hipp driving impulse, then the duration is longer than if the contacts operate just before the toggle operates. Indeed, the specification for a pulse is between 200-500mS .
--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html


Re: Master Clock contact duration?

John Hubert
 

I was puzzled about why the first two images posted in jpg and the third in heic.  I posted all by dragging the image from “photos” into the e mail being written.  I think probably the reason may be that I cropped the first two images in “photos” on the Mac, but cropped the third in “photos” on the iPhone.  That is the only thing I can think of that I did differently.  The key message is that the Synchronome system doesn’t have particularly closely controlled impulse duration, which varies considerably from master clock to master clock.  I an not sure if there is a particular reason, but I have noticed that early clocks usually have a more ’snappy’ action.  The pallet shape is slightly different …….

The triangle movement clock has a different pallet altogether.  This is the early clock;

and this (below) is the later clock;


On 17 Mar 2021, at 10:46, Simon Taylor <smktaylor1@...> wrote:

.heic, is a much more compressed format,about half the size of a JPG which still produces full quality images. A bit like jpg was to bmp.

here is a screenshot of heic vs. jpg.

I expect microsoft will catch up in the next update...

<Screenshot 2021-03-17 at 11.43.35am.png>



--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html



Re: Master Clock contact duration?

Simon Taylor
 

.heic, is a much more compressed format,about half the size of a JPG which still produces full quality images. A bit like jpg was to bmp.

here is a screenshot of heic vs. jpg.

I expect microsoft will catch up in the next update...





--
Simon GPO Clocks

http://www.lightstraw.uk/gpo/clocksystems/index.html

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