Author Topic: Any horologists out there? When is a chiming clock supposed to start chiming?  (Read 447 times)

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Offline DaleReid

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I have inherited a nice Emperor mantel clock, with a moon dial and chimes.
I've fiddled with getting the timing set as close as I can, but I'm wondering what is the expectation, if there is one, for when the Westminster chimes, then the hour strikes are supposed to begin?

Does the clock start playing it's four sequence of the quarter hour portion of the piece just as the local time hits exactly the hour?  Is the hour strike supposed to happen at the hour, with the preliminary chiming starting about 1/2 minute early?  Or even worse, is the hour strike sequence supposed to end as the time is at the zero second?

Curious minds want to know, or maybe just me.  I can't imagine this is left to the individual who is adjusting the clock.

Any thoughts on this important subject?
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Offline zeppline

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There are a lot Emperor clocks try to fined the manufacture and see if you can get a manual. For get the seconds hand. It should chime every quarter hour each one sounds different. On the hour it chimes all four sounds and then chimes one note the number of times of the hour. One for one a clock, two times for two a clock, ect. Some also have AM and PM. My clock stops chiming at 11:15 PM and start again at 7:15AM.      Clock are like weather station they will drive you nuts.

Offline DaleReid

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I have found that there are at least three different mechanisms that Emperor used for their clocks, with the mantel and the grand-series having mainly German movements.

I agree, clocks and weather stations are mesmerizing and will drive you nuts.

I wish I had a movement that I could silence and still have the clock run.  All the ones I have are just all plain on,no silence lever like some I've seen (and covet)

My question is a wee bit more focused.  When the clock starts playing, either on a quarter or full hour, is the beginning of any sound supposed to happen at the exact zero-second, or play the intro before playing the hour strike?  And if just playing the hour, does that start at the zero second, or finish as the time becomes x:x:00?

I know not a big deal in the world with the problems we have, but makes me wonder what the accepted way is.
Thx for the chatter.  Dale
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Offline CW2274

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I wish I had a movement that I could silence and still have the clock run. 
Obviously dependent on which PITA factor is greater, do you want to hear an incessant clock every 15 minutes, or do you take it apart and silence it yourself. I vote for the latter. 

Offline Wooks61

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This may help:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Ben
"The quarter bells play a once-repeating, 20-note sequence of rounds and four changes in the key of E major: 14 at quarter past, 512 at half past, 1320 and 14 at quarter to, and 520 on the hour (which sounds 25 seconds before the main bell tolls the hour)"

"One of the requirements for the clock was that the first stroke of the hour bell should be correct to within one second per day. The tolerance is with reference to Greenwich Mean Time (BST in summer). So, at twelve o'clock, for example, it is the first of the twelve hour-bell strikes that signifies the hour (the New Year on New Year's Eve at midnight). The time signalled by the last of the "six pips" (UTC) may be fractionally different."

So it depends if you want to emulate Big Ben... or not  :-|

Offline zeppline

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I have a Sligh grandfather clock the second hand is just a slip fit on the shaft it is not keyed to the shaft. When I clean the clock it just slides off.

Offline DaleReid

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Well, this helps.
So far I like the somewhat quiet chimes that this clock has.  I guess if it gets bad I can sew a bag to throw over the clock.  I sort of like being able to know what time it is while puttering around and not having to look.

My wife, on the other hand has begun to look at 3# sledge  hammers.  I think I should take note...
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Offline zeppline

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Have you tried to not wind the two chime springs the center hole is the clock. Just a though.

Offline DaleReid

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While I don't have that model, the manual shows a lot about how those high end ones work.  Indeed, a little lever to inhibit the chiming would help.

I had one clock years ago which we were able to do just that as far as not winding the spring which drove the mechanism.  But then during the day you have nothing.  But it DOES work when you want just the clock.

Some friends were in Germany and brought back a big coocoo clock and there were weights for the time, the coocoo and the little dancing elves or whatever they were.  He just took the weight off the two they didn't want, or just left the time an the coocoo with no other functions.  Interestingly, to me, the coocoo had a little door over it and a pin that you could pivot to shut the door and it didn't advance even when the hour was triggered.   I guess some liked to shut some of it off at night, like his and my wives did.

And I am amazed at how many homes have grandfather/grandmother clocks in them which are not running. 
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