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  1. I was hoping that with your vast servicing experience that you would be able to tell me how to do it. I've read all the instructions for phasing the 218 and 224. I have the Accutron test meter but I don't have the 224 movement holder with the IC phasing test probe. I can't seem to find any good photos of this test probe. I can't tell from the blurry photo in the 224 service manual whether it is a simple probe connection or whether it has a bias resistor connected to it. I've tried phasing it by connecting the +ve and _ve leads of the Accutron meter to the movement. I can get the index wheel to run but I can't get it to "run-stop-run" as stated in the Bulova service manual. Tonight I'll try balancing the forks first, then connect the +ve test clip to the test point and see what happens. Wish me luck!
  2. 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?
  3. Aloha All , Here's a trio of Accutrons I just received . I got the "Bowtie" in one auction and the other two watches in another... First off is the Accutron Bowtie...it's stamped M7 on the back which dates it at 1967 . It was running when I received it but have not yet removed the case back to check things out so I'm not really sure what the movement # is , but it is a date only . It has the tuning fork second hand . I had a new Accutron Teju Lizard strap that I installed on it ,... the strap has a gold Tuning fork emblem on it . It's a Long size and a bit too long for me so I am going ask an acquaintance that works with leather if he can size it for me . It's nice . Next is a really nice looking Woman's Accutron . Gold with a metallic Orang y dial with Gold indexes , and a 10K gold filled case . It has a snap on case back and is stamped N2 which dates it to 1972 . It was advertised as a mans watch ,...but it's not . The mesh band is part of the watch and not installed with spring bars . It has a 2183 movement ,...no day/date and no second hand . Last but not least is a kind of different character . I think it does not have the original case back as it does not have the date stamp that I can see and is stamped Swiss on the inside of the case back . It has the 2182 day/date movement with USA stamped on it , but it is skewed so that the stem is at 3 o'clock instead of 4 o'clock....this movement was probably re-cased . It has an accutron dial but there are a couple of small letter "T"'s by the 6 o'clock index . Still , it is a nice watch ,....a bit larger than other Accutrons .
  4. I just picked up this Accutron last weekend at an estate sale. This is my first and have a question. It is not running and I'm assuming the battery needs replaced of which I have ordered. It is a 218 movement. Am I OK to just install the battery and see if it works or should I completely service it before installing the battery? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. 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
  6. I have a problem. Ive got this Slava Transistor watch--the one the Russians ripped off in the 60's of the American Bulova Accutron 214.... Its a fairly close match,-- visually they look identical, quite an achievement IMO... My issue is this. Its third wheel has a rusted off pivot, fairly common on the Accutron version due to moisture or batt leaks and there's fair evidence of a leak in this one.. The Accutron 3rd wheel wont fit--2nd Moscow Watch Co (Slava, Seconda, Vostock etc) in their infinite wisdom made their staff smaller in diameter than the Americans, no idea why... My only solutions as trying to find a correct good third for this mega-oddball are near impossible, are- 1/ machine down Accutron third wheel pivots.... 2/ Replace the jewels but dont know if plate holes are the same size and I dont have the equipment to deal with jewel replacement anyway. So--Anyone good with the watchmakers lathe fancy having a look?
  7. Found this showing assembly sequence https://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?/topic/115197-accutron-astronaut-variant-guide-and-reference-info/
  8. Hello, I am new at this forum, and I have a question right at start. I have got an accutron for a year, and I looked into it with a microscope first time (only with loupe earlier). I found out that fingers are dirty, looks like oxidation. I put photo of them. Is it possible to clean them without disassembling the movement? I have read that someone has applied naphta to the index wheel while running... Thanks in advance for help! BR Jukka
  9. Hi, Brad Kuhn here. I really appreciate a well designed and well made device be it mechanical or electrical, cars, machines, or watches. I am completely new to the watch repair world, although I have worn and appreciated a Rolex for many years. One reason I am here is that the Accutron 2181, given to my father in 1976 as a retirement gift, no longer hums, and I want to try to repair it myself. The other reason is that I found the discussions on this forum (that I read) to be congenial, informative, encouraging, and free of rancor. I am starting pretty much at zero, although I do have an Accutron 218 movement holder, some seemingly decent tweezers and screwdrivers. Although I do not intend to become a fully qualified watch repair man, I do have the Accutron repair and two other movements that I could improve. My initial thoughts are: what tools are necessary? What book/books should I read? What online courses should I take (would rather not take a course)? Anyway, here I am, not sure how to start. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, Brad Kuhn
  10. 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.
  11. Although I was trying to be good and not purchase anything till I had sorted out the multitude of watches I have in the queue, I saw this Accutron on the bay and bought it for £32.49 plus about $5 postage to my sons place in LA. I had not got an Accutron 2210 up to this point in time, and to be honest the movement does not have a particularly good rep for reliability. However, the parts are comparitively cheap compared to the 214 and 218 and through a quirk of fate I have quite a few NOS 2210 parts that were amongst a job lot of 214 and 218 bits I bought some time ago. It is a 1973 movement and coincidentally that is when these were first produced and the movement is quite small, being used in lots of ladies watches which do not command the same prices as the mens accutrons - good for getting parts. I queried with the vendor the size and was advised it is 34mm excluding the crown so it is in a mans case. Condition was described as "Awesome" but I will settle for reasonably good seeing it is over 40 years old, there are some scratches on the glass and I deduce from the back that the case is gold plated which is difficult to tell from the photos, but I will take what comes. It will be a while until it is sent over to me along with some 218 coils I took a punt on but I look forward to seeing it. Was not going to buy any more repair jobs but I weakened, however, I am definitely back on the wagon for a while. Cheers, Vic
  12. Hi, my name is Mike. I have been a collector for over 20 years. I was in the process of teaching myself watchmaking when neuropathy in my hands kind of put a stop to it for the most part. I still try to tinker with my Timex watches as they are not quite as expensive if I goof. (Though that seems to be changing!). I still have a pretty big collection. I like Soviet era watches, and Accutron watches too. I have a running Soviet Slava Transistor (a virtual copy of the Accutron 214) that is one of my prized watches. I find it difficult to type so I wont be posting a bunch. I be happy to answer any questions if I can. Thanks all.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. This may help out with Accutron 2185 problems Bulova-Accutron-2185- Pages 58 to 71 Supplement for Hour and Date Settings Manual.pdf Cheers, Vic
  17. Having spent the last 45 years as a technologist, seeing novel innovations like this is exciting. However, technology for the sake of itself may be little more than titillating. So...what have they done with this new innovation? Well, they merged two established arts: mechanical movements, with MEMs ((microelectromechanical systems) technology. MEMs stands on the shoulders of 60 years of silicon (not silicone, btw) fabrication technology. All of you have MEMs in your life already. It is in every one of your phones. Some of you (on another thread) are playing with MEMs microphones for watch timers. If it sounds like I am dumping on these guys, I am not. This is clever innovation. One market served by this innovation is the one where people desire a sweep second hand in a thin, low-power watch. This is the niche where they will thrive IMO. Accutron was the early sweep solution, but there were problems. Accutron now has a high-frequency watch with a sweep second, but I think it is power hungry and thick (correct me if I am wrong...going from memory). Is there another sweep-second solution out there? I have a friend who wears a Rolex. Probably worth 15 grand. Sends it in once a year for service at $600 a pop. There is much I do not understand about this business!!
  18. I contacted a respected watch repairer to ask about repairing Bulova accutron tuning fork watches. The reply came back that parts were impossible to source so he couldn't help me. Does anyone on this form repair these watches. I have 2 that were working but now don't and I would prefer to pay for the repairs rather than go through the whole process of trying to learn how to do it myself. Life's too short to start another field, I just want to get to grips with mechanical watches. I started this thread because another member posted about receiving coils which were damaged in the post and it got me thinking.
  19. Recently I got an early 214 from 1963 that had a faulty coil. The coils on these are in two parts, a cell-coil and component coil, joined by three fine insulated single-core wires. The Cell coil had gone O/C due to water/battery leak rotting out the fine wires where they attach to the soldered binding-posts--Mainly because Bulova hadn't covered a small section of the wire with any protective varnish. A replacement cell-coil was bought from the guy in Bulgaria and the old one replaced on the coil assay. Fitting to the movement, it didn't run. It would go for about 5-10 seconds after plucking the fork, but the hum would slowly die away. I assumed the resistor and capacitor were messing round --so replaced these in the component coil side. Still the same. I checked the transistor--but it looked good in testing--I replaced it anyway, using a silicon device tacked in to test, altering the bias by changing the resistor from 3.9 meg to 2.2 meg, to accomodate the different bias requirements between a Silicon and the old Germanium device it was replacing and tried again. Exactly the same! I monitored the current using my home-made PSU, it would initially pin the meter and that would die away to 5uA, but the movement still not running and no hum either. Plucking the fork, it would run for 5-10 seconds, then the hum would die away, and no appreciable difference in current draw. The clue was the constant current it was drawing after the initial pulse. It was perfectly clear when I dragged the Scope out and checked. The coil set was oscillating at 200 odd KHz! When the fork was plucked, the 360Hz was modulating the 200KHz. I guess a Long-wave radio could have picked it up if it was close by! Fortunately,--Bulova had also run into this problem as well and on some coils added an extra capacitor to the component-coil to damp out the radio-frequency oscillations. A 0.01uF (1 Nanofarad, 1000pF) cap was installed at the point the wires from the cell-coil attach to the component-coil. Its placed between the leads of the drive coil (Red wire) and the feedback coil (Green wire). Doing likewise with an 0805 1nF SMD cap cured the issue completely and the movement runs normally, even self-starting--with lots of wires and components hanging out of it! I just now need to rebuild it all properly and neatly into the component-coil recess--Which should be fun!. I'm guessing that the inductance of certain Cell-coils must be just right to cause this oscillation so they added the extra cap on those causing troubles.
  20. Looking for a good cell-coil for a 214. original is a three-wire coil, but I can re-wire a two-wire cell coil into a three to work in place, if you have one going spare, maybe from a set with a duff component-coil. Thanks.
  21. These are the watches I acquired from a local thrift shop, I am trying to figure out what exactly they are. I will try and give as much detail as I can. There is a Seikomatic-p, a Bulova accutron, a eternomatic, a Parker, 4 different Hamilton's, a westclox pocket watch, and a Virtus twin pocket watch. Any help is appreciated,
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Update on my earlier comments about Accutron test gear. I found this picture of my Dad's watch bench (after he sold his business and was working from home). I believe that black unit is the Accutron test meter. I forgot about him having it and I do not know what happened to it--he probably sold it. Incidentally, that is the watch bench and equipment I inherited (sans the meter).
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