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  1. If it hasn't run "in years" there's a good chance it just needs an overhaul, no parts. My mom got an accutron (for my birth), 1973, changed batteries every 12-18 months, then I serviced it in 1998, 25 years later (I was in watchmaking school). It was impeccable, sorry to say, but I've also serviced Rolexes for friends where I'm assured it hasn't seen a bench in decades. Yes, if lube goes wrong after 5 years you can get wear. But 10 years, good watch, epilame your stuff, yeah . Accutron, you can go double service interval easy and then, it grinds itself to death. If you google "accutron service" you'll get the like 1 or 2 last dudes who do this as a passion. If they even manage to get a tiny bit of oil where needed your watch will outlive you!
  2. I have a Bulova Accutron that I got in the late 70's. It looks similar to the one below (mine is silver with a gold bezel). I would like to try to remove the back cover and replace the battery. Would anybody know the battery I would need? I've heard these used some type of mercury battery that's no longer used. And, is there a gasket I should try to buy in advance or should I be treating the threads with some type of sealant? And, to remove the back, should I use something like the Harbor Freight Tool shown (it's at https://www.harborfreight.com/watch-case-opener-91550.html). Should I also buy a holder for the watch? I've never done this before and actually am looking forward to it. Not sure if it'll work or not but I figure I should try. Anything else I should check on the watch? Sorry for all the stupid questions but I am a novice.
  3. I also came across similar jewels in Accutron 218s. I was told to leave them alone and just clean them in the ultrasound. I suspect the 3 notches are not designed for any special tool to remove them but to allow cleaning fluid to circulate between the cap and hole jewel. I oil them from the hole side.
  4. I recently picked up a late 1970's Bulova Accutron Deep Sea 19810 "devil diver" with the Caliber 242 movement. It is a very impressive movement in terms of its modular design and I would love to see it running again. I have taken apart the movement, cleaned the mechanicals and put it back together with everything running smoothly when manually manipulated. I installed a fresh battery and the stepper motor will click twice in one direction, not enough to move the seconds hand, and then reverse direction for a couple of clicks. This goes back and forth a bit then stops. Just to be sure I removed the hacking lever and checked the mechanicals and cannot find any fault. So I am guessing this is a problem with the stepper motor. I would appreciate hearing if: a. Does anyone have any further ideas about what might be wrong/ what I might try b. Does anyone have a 242 movement or stepper motor that they would sell me for this project? I have searched the web for a motor and cannot find one in stock, but that is not much of a surprise. Thanks in advance.
  5. Nice. Impressive boom. I have been playing around with different configurations for magnification and for now am using a Bulova Accutron microscope (30x). For awhile, I had a setup similar to yours (different style boom) but I never got the viewing angle and body position right. Probably should revisit that someday. Using stereo magnification just cannot be beat.
  6. Ok, just finally found it. I'll keep this up for reference incase someone asks . It is a Bulova Accutron Index Wheel Holder. I searched for quite a while and now just found it. Go figure
  7. I recently aquired contents of an old watch repair shop that shut down in the late 70s (give or take 10 years) . This clip was with some tools. Can't say I've ever seen this. Maybe a holder for led screen or something. Any help appreciated.
  8. A 344 has the same dimensions as a 343. That's what I use in my Accutron 214s. Is this an electromechanical balance watch or a tuning fork watch?
  9. I've been servicing Accutrons for some time now. But yesterday I just had an AHA! moment. When phasing the 214, I had been using the power from my Accutron 700 test meter to supply voltage to the watch. I would clip one lead to the ground strap and used one hand to press the positive lead to the battery terminal. This leaves only one hand to adjust the pawl finger. I was thinking of a way to make a battery clip hold the battery in place to make this procedure easier. Then it hit me.... All I needed to do was to flip the ground strap upside-down and use it as a battery clip!
  10. Hi and greetings I have been given the instrument shown below. It was the property of a deceased watchmaker who like myself was also a radio ham. The donor believed it might be an item of radio equipment. The instrument says VEGAL made in England. No other marks or serial numbers. When plugged in the unit hums, I don't think it's mains hum as the frequency sounds too high, the loudness being controlled by the volume knowb. The switch is marked WATCHES, CLOCKS CLOCKS + 10 and T. FORK plus various numbers. The display ("Nixie tubes" ) displays numbers, could be frequency, time etc. The jack socket is simply marked INPUT I recall back in the 60's (yes I'm that old) an acquaintance had a Bulova accutron watch who's mechanism was controlled by a vibrating tuning fork, which could be heard humming if held near the ear. SO!! flash of inspiration. 1) The insrument was owned by a watchmaker and the switch positions obviously relate to timepieces 2) It has a setting marked T Fork 3) It hums Is it some sort of frequenct standard/calibration device/diagnostic aid for tuning fork watches ? Can anyone help Many thanks in advance Geoff
  11. Found this showing assembly sequence https://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?/topic/115197-accutron-astronaut-variant-guide-and-reference-info/
  12. Hi i would be interested in this accutron spaceview but i have some doubt that it has not been converted. Could someone help me to understand if the glass, case, spheres and minute circle are contemporary with this spaceview? I have attached some photos Thank you in advance
  13. I have something similar bought off eBay. Except for the Accutron service manuals, I've not really explored the contents of the rest of my disc. But at $15.... you can't really complain much.
  14. Current thoughts: Power supply will be 170VDC tube rectified. The heater supply will be split off and rectified (solid state) for 5V and/or 12V depending on how things shake out. Tuning fork pickup/stimulator will be amplified via a dual triode. Preferably something readily available and in current production (though with current events...). Likely a 12AX7 of similar if I can make that work with the 170VDC (preferred by most nixie tubes). I don't know that I'll be able to handle the counter logic work and be tunable without a microcontroller... I have a handful of Arduinos, and another similar microcontroller board or two, so that should be easy. I had a neat idea to control the nixies from the microcontroller: an array of reed relays! They'll click quietly, but for different reasons than your typical clock. Additionally, there will be more information in the ticking, as there will be extra ticks every 10 seconds, minute, ten minutes, etc. It would take a total of 40-something relays (one for each number that is used, plus a few for some neon lamps) if I want to keep it simple. I might be able to figure out a way to multiplex them, but I'm not sure it really gives me any benefits. Enclosing the whole thing will bump up the temp and keep it stable to keep the tuning fork thermally stable. The point of the microcontroller counter is to be able to reduce the frequency being counted to account for this AND any manufacturing variances. Both of these factors will be unknown until it's done and in service, so the ability to control it on the fly is necessary for any accuracy. I'm hoping to be able to figure out how to suspend the tuning fork, pickup, and stimulator magnetically. I know it can be done actively, but I'm not sure it can't be done passively. If it can't be done passively, I'll use a series of springs or something. Total mechanical isolation, so the only way the hum can get out is through the air. Similarly/convesely, if I want the ticking relays to be audible, I'll need to mount them/that assembly (however it works out) either to a soundboard of sorts, or I might be able to get away with just mounting them to the side of the case somehow. So... The big question is accuracy... I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get the accuracy to within half a Hz of whatever frequency the tuning fork oscillates at. 440Hz is sort of the standard tuning fork frequency, but higher frequencies obviously decrease the potential error rate. It needs to be big enough to fit the look I'm going for (I don't know exactly how it's going to work proportionally), and it needs to be magnetic (apparently, a lot of tuning forks are made of aluminum these days). Assuming 400Hz (decreasing the 440Hz for temperature and to make a round number) and spherical chickens in a vacuum, I should be able to just barely edge out an Accutron at +/-1 minute per month. I'll have a higher frequency, more stable temperature, and no motion to account for. If it is close enough that it's not meaningfully out (~+/-5 minutes) over the course of 6 months, I'll be thrilled. I'm 99% sure this is my next big project. I've got another similar project currently in the works that I need to finish to make room though, and there will be some learning curve to this. I intend to prototype a subsystem at a time, probably starting with the tuning fork pickup/stimulator. I'll copy an existing transistor based circuit to start. It's a semi-known quantity, and I'll use it as a baseline.
  15. https://hackaday.com/2021/02/13/tuning-fork-keeps-this-throwback-digital-clock-ticking/ https://www.secretbatcave.co.uk/projects/electromechanical-clock/ I stumbled on these in one of my newsfeeds the other day. Macro scale Accutron clock project. A third clock project popped up at the same time, but it's not exactly a time based clock. I guess these are cool all of a sudden maybe? Meanwhile, back at the lab, I've been learning about analog electronics. Building a 100% analog phono preamp on the side of my desk not occupied by work related detritus (watchmaking, unfortunately, commands nearly entirety of my desk surface, so it's been playing 3rd fiddle at best lately). Anyway, digging into the first one got me thinking. He mentions at the end of the video that accuracy varies according to ambient temperature, and there's some conversation in the comments about ways of compensating for that. My knee jerk reaction to an image of the final project was that the 7 segment displays could be replaced with nixies. The schematic for the tuning fork regulator part of the clock could easily be done with a simple and readily available dual triode. I'm not sure about the rest of the circuit yet, but those are bridges that can be crossed. The interesting thought involved the intersection of the analog electronics, the heat they produce, and the regulation of the tuning fork. The heating elements in the tubes put off a lot of heat. Especially if the entire thing were to be executed in analog circuitry (rectification, amplification, display, and I haven't figured out the totalizing/counting aspect of it yet). If all of that could be crammed under a double walled glass bell, there'd be some serious heat in there. Possibly enough to cause problems. BUT I think it might be self regulating.... As the heating coils get hotter, resistance drops. If the ambient temperature is higher, they consume less power, yadda, yadda, and I think you'd end up with a pretty stable, albeit high, temperature to keep the fork humming along at a pretty steady rate. That rate would NOT be the rate stamped into the side of the fork though, so there'd need to be some means of tuning that regulation... Not really sure about that yet. Not sure I'm going to do this yet. It's a pretty tall leap to get from basic AC rectification and signal amplification to a totalizer circuit of some sort, but I haven't had time to do anything more than read that article/watch the video. I recall having seen another guy on youtube (handle has to do with rabbits in Japanese or something) that might have done something along the lines of a counter/timer. Might be worth looking into that. Videos require less eye strain and concentration than reading, and my toddler likes videos on daddy's computer, meaning I stand a chance at being able to do such a thing. Anyway. Thought I'd drop this here to see what the horological hive mind thinks on the subject.
  16. Bought a lot for 16.00, looks to have a vintage bulova, a small accutron and one that looks to be a vintage mido multifort with a rectangle case. Should be here Thursday, can't wait.
  17. If you are really looking for a challenge, try an Accutron 214. You already have all the necessary tools for the job. I know you'll eventually succumb to it.
  18. I used to use the technique described above by Nucejoe. It was also the technique taught to me by my mentor. But in recent years, I switched to using a technique which I learnt from YouTube. Basically, you put all the wheels into the holes of the bottom plate, stand them as upright as possible, then hover the upper plate over the wheels, trying to align the holes to the pivot and drop it on. There is a chance that you'll get a "hole-in-one" and all the pivots would go home into their respective holes. Failing which, you use the back end of your tweezer and tap lightly on the movement holder while observing the upper plate. The tapping will jar the wheels and when they are all aligned you'll be able to see the upper plate drop home. Sound ridiculously ludicrous, right? But I've been using this technique for the past 2 years, with only an occasional stubborn movement which will require the poke and pray method. And for Accutron movements, mastering this technique is essential to avoid damaging the delicate index wheel. Oh yes! May I add that with this method, I can get most top plates on in under 30 seconds.
  19. Looks like you've got your hands full. But Accutrons are really interesting. They are the only watches with true burnt coils, unlike quartz watches. Quartz coils normally break when someone slips with a screwdriver and scratch the surface. Accutrons have open coils with absolutely no visible physical damage. If one can repair the burnt coils, Accutron owners will beat a path to his front door.
  20. Why not? I'm sure you'll love them. I'm stuck on one Accutron 214 at the moment. It keeps good time in all positions, except "12 o'clock high" position.
  21. I bought a Accutron 600 tester. Now I need to learn how to use it.
  22. I am in the process of building a custom tester based on the Accutron 600 test set. I choose the 600 because I have a pristine 700 and dont mind hacking the 600. I like the test set because of the huge 25ua meter! I am designing a variable battery source using a miniature digital volt meter mounted on a 3D printed module that plugs into the hole in the 600 test set (where the leads are stored). This is not a "does everything" tester either. It will let me test for low and high battery voltages, and also test pulse current. The picture shows the current state of the module--basically got the 3D print done. The electronics will be trivial.
  23. No need to scan the manual somebody else did it for us. I've attached the service manual a specification sheet and the bonus parts list. The reason I use the word bonus is that the parts list came with the boxes of the material. Siege to the various watches at least the tuning fork watches would have a box with a lot of envelopes and due to have these cards that showed you the parts. So here is where someone scanned in all the cards and made a nice PDF for us. I'm probably being nitpicky here but when I think multimeter I'm thinking analogue and if somebody use the word digital multimeter then the fluke would qualify. Accutron 218 --Manual.pdf Accutron Parts 214 218.pdf Accutron_Specifications.pdf
  24. Regarding meters...it is not easy to find a 25ua analog meter. That is why I recently bought two accutron test sets because they use a rather large 25ua FS meter. I am planning on building a test platform using one of them. I know nothing about servicing accutron and don't plan to head that way...just hijacking this thread to add my thoughts on meters
  25. https://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/VINTAGE-ACCUTRON-MODEL-700-WRIST-WATCH-REPAIR-TEST-TOOL-SERVICE-KIT-/384557962006?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m2548.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0 If you place a battery in the test clip, it will provide power at the test leads to power up the watch under test. The meter gives a reading of 25 microamps FSD. I guess you could use an analog multimeter on the 50 microamp range but then the needle would hardly move.
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