[time-nuts] Regulating a pendulum clock

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 10 01:30:55 UTC 2010

Bob Holmstrom wrote:
> Food for thought.
> I find it interesting that no one has suggested alternatives to 
> improving the performance of a pendulum clock other than controlling it 
> with a higher performance clock.  If the goal is a better clock why not 
> attempt to understand the source of the errors and work on methods to 
> control or compensate for them?  Teddy Hall has been taken to task for 
> using a quartz controlled oscillator to measure the amplitude of a 
> pendulum in the control loop of his Littlemore clock.
> Tom Van Baak has developed techniques for analyzing the performance and 
> hence potential error sources of pendulum clocks - perhaps he will share 
> some of his work here.
> Horological history is full of many attempts at solutions to the 
> problem, but it would seem that the creativity of this group might 
> generate some new ideas that are more in the spirit of better 
> timekeeping than attaching the pendulum to a better oscillator.

Perhaps you really mean "better pendulum (or mechanical) timekeeping", 
because by pretty much any measure except aesthetics, vibrating rocks or 
atoms does a better job.

Mind you, I think that this is a worthy goal, because complex mechanisms 
that work well are a thing of beauty.

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