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Sohm Clock Co

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80 beat 33" x 16 "
Sohm Electric

American Clock co 10 " square dial for Sohm
(Same casemaker as Sohm)
posted October 07, 2003 21:30
I'm not sure of the make but its about 1900. Not like the common SWCC. It has no motor but instead has two weights as shown in the picture on the left. The normal operation is to have the two weights at 90 degrees to each other. As the clock runs both weights drop and when the lower weight gets close to the bottom an electrical switch closes, energizing a coil to send the weight to the top. At the same time the second weight continues to power the clock. If power is lost (batteries run down or a lead falls off the battery) both weights will drop to the bottom. If power is applied at this point, both weights will be reset to the top and they will continue downward powering the clock as shown in the picture on the right. When the weights have fallen to the mid point the switch closes but the relay is not in position to pull the weights up and power continues to be drained off until both weights reach the bottom. Therefore power is being applied half the time and batteries don't last very long.
If the clock does stop the solution is to manually pull only the outside weight to the top, hook up the power and start the clock. The problem is that the dial covers up what is going on with the weights and so short of using a flashlight and mirror to see what is going on the dial has to be removed.
I don't think the ordinary clock owner would put up with this and so my question is: Have I put the clock back together wrong and if so what is the solution?
This is a fasinating clock -- the power is applied for only a fraction of a second. It would seem that batteries would last for years. But not when the clock stops and the weights are not reset properly.
Thanks to anyone for help, joeZy
IMAGE1.jpg (103 Kb, 27 downloads) clock pictures
Posts: 29 | Registered: April 06, 2003
posted October 08, 2003 00:26
The mechanics of the American battery clock is described in detail in Goodrich's "The Modern clock." The book was first printed about the time of the American battery clock.
Your description is exact. If both levers somehow descend, the electromagnets don't have enough force to restore both. However, during normal operation, only one should descend to the point where the switch contact is closed and the lower lever is restored.
The clocks are well made and generally reliable provided the dry cells are kept in good condition. The proper voltage is three volts produced by two dry cells. However, I personally have had good results using three 1.2 volt nickel-cadnium cells, series connected and kept trickle charged.
Posts: 817 | Location: Alhambra, CA, Los Angeles | Registered: August 25, 2000
posted October 08, 2003 11:59
Thanks Les. Glad to hear I had things sorted out. Do you have a solution for the problem of how to restart the clock properly with the dial in place? What directions could you write down so that the owner would know what to do?
Thanks, joeZy
Posts: 29 | Registered: April 06, 2003
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