[time-nuts] Self winding clock co. Weatern union clock

Mitchell Janoff majanoff at verizon.net
Sun Jan 31 05:07:01 UTC 2010

Corby, I've been working with and collecting self-winding clocks for about
15 years and have about 20 that are synchronized hourly to a 2 second pulse
from an Oncore GPS receiver connected to a Parallax BS2. In order for the
synchronizer to function properly, the minute hand must be mounted so that
it unlocks the synchronizer arm when the minute hand points to 12. You can
see how the mechanism works with the face off. If you have the minute hand
mounted in any of the other 3 possible orientations, it will not
synchronize. Also, when initially setting the clock, try as much as possible
to only move the minute hand in a clockwise manner. The second hand can be
moved in either direction, however, depending on the clock, it may be easier
to move it counter clockwise. 

I wrote an article in 1995 about these clocks and how to synchronize them,
using a dial up connection to NIST (ACTS). Since then I've used WWV, WWVB
and finally settled on the Motorola Oncore. You can read about this on my
website www.telechron.com along with pictures of some of my SWCC clocks.

I run all my clocks on a single 12v car battery, with voltage regulators for
winding (3v) and running groups of the clocks in series for synchronizing
(either 3 or 4 in series depending on the clocks). I've run across clocks
that require 100v for synchronizing, you have to check the resistance of the
synchronizing coil. These clocks were distributed in a tree-like
architecture, with masters, sub-masters and slaves. The masters received
synch signals once a day from NBS, they then send signals to sub-masters,
which synchronized the slave clocks on an hourly basis. There are still SWCC
clocks operating in Grand Central Terminal in NYC including the famous 4
sided glass and brass clock on the main concourse. 

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