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  1. After servicing about six with minimal issues, I have run across a couple that stump me. I think I mentioned one before that seemed electrically sound but did not hum. I have another. All components check to the extent that I have measured them (cannot measure transistor Beta). When measured on the test set, I get a little over 25uA. This is about right if the unit is not oscillating. 1.5V and a 2.2M bias resistor with a beta of 50 would get in the ball park of 20uA. A little more beta and you are north of 25uA. This further confirms that the circuitry is functioning. The cap measures about right. I do not believe its value is too critical anyway. It mostly serves as dc blocking and not establishing resonance. I tried another tuning fork and...no luck. I am going to drive this one to the end so that I can understand root cause.
  2. OK, I have recently services four Accutron 218s and disassembled another (my first) which is now a parts watch...lol. Feeling really good about my results and my methodology. Accutron recommends OL-207 for all but jewel settings. OK, if these watches I have serviced were lubricated in this way...I am not a fan! It appears to dry and then flakes everywhere. When confined (e.g., center wheel) it seems to gum up and freeze. I determined not to use it--NO. I am using Molykote for those lube points instead. Shields up--prepared for incoming!
  3. Before I lose my mind, I could use some help with another o-ring issue. According to the case #, I have the correct o-ring (Bulova G852 for case #3423), which sits in a groove in the case. The crystal is supposed to press fit into it. The problem I'm having is the crystal drags the o-ring out of the groove when I press it in, no matter what I do. I have generously lubricated the o-ring. It does seem like the o-ring is a slightly loose fit in the groove, so maybe I need to go a size up from the factory one?
  4. The two washers that sit under the tuning fork are amusing. Anybody know the history of those things? Did they build it and then realize, "Oh damn, we need to shim this thing."
  5. Background: Somebody sent me an "Accutron" that was a gift many years ago. Somewhere along the way, the Accutron died and somebody replaced it with an NH35. It, of course was too thick, so they removed the auto wind oscillating weight. Ouch!!! Since the dial feet did not match, they cut them off the Accutron dial and used sticky tabs to attach the dial to the NH35. What a frigging abomination!!!! Anyway, this "somebody" sent me two accutron movements in hopes that I could return the watch to its former glory. OMG, these were hacked up as well. But!!! I was able to make one functioning movement. Cleaned, oiled, and soon to be adjusted. The BIG issue now is the dial. I am pretty sure I cannot solder feet on the dial. I did give it a try. No bueno. Here is my idea. Drill holes through the dial where the dial feet belong. Then insert and glue posts (feet). I checked the visibility of the dial through the crystal and the drill holes would not be visible. Thoughts??
  6. OK, I am on my fifth or sixth 218 service with great success. Once you establish a methodology, these are relatively easy. I am servicing a 218 D now and it will not hum I have verified the following -drive coils -phasing coil -resistors -capacitor -EB junction, CB junction (have not verified beta) Kind of at a loss. All connections seem to be fine. Wondering if the watch was accidentally demagnetized??? Using a compass, I verified that the tuning fork does have some magnetic attraction. Scratching my head.
  7. As noted in many other posts, I am running an Accutron repair assembly line!! I have the official movement holder that connects to the test set, but I needed others to hold accutrons that are under test and waiting to be cased. Thus I designed a similar holder to the official one.
  8. Found some rust on the pinion of an index wheel. I am at my remote facility where I don't have access to ALL of my chemicals. Here the index is suspended in L&R ultrasonic cleaning solution. We shall see!
  9. HI. Does anyone know how to remove the coil coating on an accutron? I tried leaving it in pure acertone for a whole day: the coating softens but does not melt. Thank you
  10. For the time when these were introduced, the technology was truly leading edge. The 218 movement seems solid...not difficult to service. But...and this is a BIG but, Accutron (really Bulova) fails at the non-tech stuff. While I like the two-piece back, the case quality is generally poor. The dials seem fine enough, but the hands are low quality compared to a nice swiss watch. I have one case where the crown interface appears to have been milled incorrectly. Not sure...still investigating.
  11. My grandfather died back in 2004, and my mom gave me his Accutron. I've wanted to restore it for years, and finally have the experience and confidence to do so. Of course the first thing I did was slip and bend the pawl finger, but at least it's not my first rodeo and I was able to fix that. Not running with an Accu-Cell, but the index wheel is pretty grungy so I took it apart and powered the circuit without the train installed. The fork kicks up, but instead of a hum I get a pulsing vibration. Never seen that before. I checked the electronics, and the resistor reads about 990 ohms instead of the 2,200 ohms we expect. The capacitor reads 197 pF, which is reasonably close to the 220 pF we're looking for. I'm going to give it a thorough cleaning and see if it'll run, but I have a feeling I'm going to be replacing the resistor and capacitor. A much harder task on the 218 than on the 219. Edit to add in some circuit diagrams, in case anyone is here for 218 diagnosis help:
  12. When I clean the index wheel I put it in the Accutron index wheel holder. What have found is that while holding the arbor, the wheel flops around because the tweezer will not hold it in a fixed orientation. Well, I fixed that!!! I modified a set of 3C tweezers by adding a notch so that the index wheel arbor is held orthogonal to the length of the tweezer and will not wobble. The notch is on both legs of the tweezer but only one is shown.
  13. This 218 Accutron center wheel (which functions like a cannon pinion) is loose resulting losing time due to slipping. Not sure if there is a way to tighten it. Funny thing, I had a donor so I stole the center wheel only to find that it was shorter! Yes, the donor had no date, but the fixing watch is day-date.
  14. I have spoke about my remote Accutron repair center (my house in Bryan, TX). Here I will outline the cleaning methodology I will use. 1) the index wheel will be installed into the official Accutron holder (seen in the first picture). 2) the index wheel and holder will be placed in the bottom of an L&R basket and then covered (second and third pictures) 3) the two plates will be placed on top of the separator lid (not shown) 4) the compartmental holder will be where all of the wheels are placed, yoke, etc are placed (no parts shown in the pictures), and the top lid placed 5) the electronics, tuning fork, the pawl are separated out and placed into a petri dish. Using a syringe with needle, I will bath these parts with one-dip. 6) the basket will be immersed into a jar with L&R cleaner (what I show is ammoniated, but I am going to use non-ammoniated going forward (when it arrives). 7) the jar is placed into an ultrasonic machine for a short period (maybe 5 minutes) remove the basket and spin dry using an L&R spinning machine (not shown) 9) place the basket into a jar of L&R rinsing solution (not shown) and run in the ultrasonic for a short period 10) remove the basket and spin dry as before 11) place the basket into a second jar of rinsing solution and run in the ultrasonic for a short period 12) remove the basket and spin dry as before 13) the final step is to move the basket to the drying station of the L&R cleaning machine I would appreciate thoughts on this.
  15. I have a couple of these movement holders for 218 Accutrons. In order to mount the movement, the holder must be splayed ever so slightly and then released when the movement is in place. I have been splaying with a screwdriver, but this morning, I made an add-on tool that does the work for me. I turned a slight conical profile with the initial diameter equal to the hole in the holder in rest position. I turned to a larger diameter enough to open the holder enough for the movement to drop in. Then I tapped the small end and made a threaded button. The tool is mounted in the holder in a semi-permanent way. When you want to insert the movement, press the pin from the inside of the holder and it splays out. Once the movement is inserted, the outside butt is pressed so that the holder collapses on the movement. I made two of these. One is mounted on the holder with a brass button. The other I show sitting alone so that the structure is obvious. The second one uses the brass button--easier to turn and thread.
  16. OK...more like a "place" than a "center." I will be spending half my time here, so I needed some way to do horology. Since Accutrons need a subset of my tools, and I have about 50 to work on, I decided that I could setup to do just Accutrons here. I still need a cleaning setup...working on that! I have the microscope, test set, and the hand tools. Today, I took an Accutron that was not working, opened it up, adjusted the index and got it running. It needs a cleaning, but I was proving the tool set to see if anything was missing. Hopefully I will solve the cleaning methodology over the next couple of weeks.
  17. I have a Vibrograf that will time an Accutron. I have several more that I need to restore...one will go to my remote shop. A few forum members work on Accutrons so I was wondering what tool they use.
  18. This is the same watch I have posted about under different topics. After assembly, the date does not advance. In the pictures I show the Date Trip Arm and the Date Trip Wheel in different positions. What is happening is that the hook on the Date Trip Wheel is releasing the Date Trip Arm BEFORE it moves far enough to grab the Date Indicator. Everything moves freely and I have lubricated according to the manual instructions. I wonder if the Arm or the Wheel have worn to cause this problem. BTW, before I opened this watch up for service, I noticed that the date was not working. Thoughts?
  19. I have changed this topic from slipping fourth wheel... How do you remove the pawl finger? I just broke one but I have a replacement once I figure out how to remove it.
  20. I'm sure that this has been covered before but, I have one of the Accutron watches, I seam to remember that there was a movement that could replace the 218 movement. I have one the movement is no good it's just too far gone. I'm hoping that someone will be able to help me, I'm sure it's been done before. Thanks in advance.
  21. The service manual calls for only 2 lubricants: Moebius OL219 - Synta Visco Lube Moebius OL207 - Special Lubricant with Molybdenum Disulfide I understand that they are now Moebius 9020 and 8201, respectively. Unfortunately, I don't have either in stock. I do have 9010, 9104 (HP1300). For greases I have 9501, 9415, and Kluber P125. The manual recommends OL219 on the train jewels where I'd normally use 9010, and looking at Moebius' lubrication chart that seems reasonable. In Mark's chronograph course he also notes that 9010 can be an acceptable substitute for 9020. The grease is a little more tricky. The manual uses it in some places I'd normally use 9104, like the minute wheel post, but also where I'd use 9501 like the stem and sliding clutch. I thought the Kluber P125 might be a reasonable substitute for the 8201, but I think the Kluber is thicker. Basically I'm wondering if there's a compelling reason to buy the lubricants specifically called for, or if I can use what I have here. I don't mind spending the money if I really should, but if I can get away with what I've got and not have to wait with parts on my bench, I'd love that too.
  22. The bezel on this is VERY tight even after removing the spring. I saw post elsewhere that mentions this in passing...maybe a fundamental issue with these.
  23. Hi All, I thought I would share where I am up to with my latest project. While doom-scrolling Ebay I came across a soon-to-end auction for tidy looking Bulova Accutron 2181 and chanced a bid. The seller was upfront that the seconds hand turned but the minute and hour hands did not move. I had already read elsewhere that this was a common problem and figured I should be able repair or at least replace the seized parts. This is my first Accutron... The project is a simple stainless steel dress watch with a silver face and simple baton hour markers. Should look nice on a black leather strap. On first inspection after opening the case it is obvious there has been a battery leak. It looks mostly contained to one area and Im hoping it will clean up. I checked the "fingers" and while dirty, they look ok. So far so good! I started by disengaging the fingers from the index wheel - apparently any rough handling during hand removal can cause these to break. Once I had stripped the dial side down I came across the reason why the hands were not moving. Indeed the canon pinion had seized - and properly so! The minute wheel teeth had been striped! After wrestling the centre wheel away from the movement it was clear it had rusted solid and the previous owner had attempted to free it up using force applied to the crown. I used a bit of Rodico to clean up the rust and teeth before proceeding as the forks are magnetised and will attract any ferrous material. Also of note virtually all the components were magnetised to some degree or other so will need to deal with that. A couple of shots showing just how thin the coil wires actually are! I finally made it down to the tuning fork and got stuck trying to remove one of the two screws holing it to the plate. I was putting significantly more force in to turning that screw head than I was comfortable with so decided to place a drop of penetrating oil around the screw in the hopes it will have loosened up by the morning. Now I need to start looking for some replacement parts...... I will update this thread as I progress!
  24. Just got this guy from the eBay. Purchased as "for repair." First thing I notice is the contact spring in the battery hatch is missing. My dad recently asked me to repair his non-running Spaceview and it turned out that was the entire problem with his, so I put the world's tiniest ball of tin foil in there and what do you know. Looks like a good service is all it needs! One more quick note: according to the list from myBulova, this is a factory Spaceview. Nice!
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