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MrRoundel

ETA 955.114, quartz movements in general?

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Greetings all.

Thanks to Mark Lovick's video on cleaning an ETA quartz movement, I was able to service an ETA of a different model (955.114). It was nearly identical to what he worked with. Unfortunately, after the service, it still did not run. Since, after cleaning, I could no longer blame a piece of dirt or other debris, I'm guessing that it must be a problem with the electronics. There are no visible breaks in the coil wires. In this model, the coil is integrated into the circuit board. Given that there are no mechanical problems, are the odds in my favor that a good new circuit board will get the watch running, or should I just get a new movement for about 2 X the price of the board/coil?  I don't have any quartz watch testing equipment outside a digital multimeter. Thanks in advance. Cheers.

 

 

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In case you're curious about what the tests are for this particular watch PDF attached. So as a couple of things you could check with your meter like are you getting pulses out of the circuit which is test 2.  Although you can use the digital meter analog meters work better here. The problem is the pulses Are very short And on digital meters they just don't have enough time to capture.. Then test 4 you can check the coil resistance because you can't always tell by looking at it whether the coils good or bad. It's one of the problems with quartz watches you can't look at the circuit you really need all of various test equipment.

You're probably flip a coin on this one purchasing a new moment everything is new might even have a warranty everything's going to work. Purchasing the circuit probably will fix the problem as long as there are no other mechanical problem still lurking somewhere.

955.114.pdf

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It may be worth you getting a battery tester with watch test function, this will give you the basic diagnostic of hearing a beep every time the circuit sends a pulse to advance the stepping motor and drive the watch.

The only thing I'm questioning is where you'd get a circuit/coil individually, ETA stopped supplying most circuits individually a long time ago, including the 955 circuits. I thought maybe there were sellers on eBay taking them apart and selling the components but I don't see anything.

Edited by Ishima

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7 hours ago, Ishima said:

It may be worth you getting a battery tester with watch test function, this will give you the basic diagnostic of hearing a beep every time the circuit sends a pulse to advance the stepping motor and drive the watch.

The only thing I'm questioning is where you'd get a circuit/coil individually, ETA stopped supplying most circuits individually a long time ago, including the 955 circuits. I thought maybe there were sellers on eBay taking them apart and selling the components but I don't see anything.

There is a seller who has what look to be individual NOS circuit boards for a decent price. And I'm sure you're right that I should by more equipment if I'm going to make a habit out of working on quartz watches. Thanks. Cheers.

 

 

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A thing to consider is if you are going to be doing more quartz repairs, this is the most common 'higher end' series of quartz module, having one to salvage parts from may very well benefit you multiple times in the future. buying the parts individually costs about £6 a time. It can pay off having one or two of these movements and having a sort of 'scrapyard' draw.

Edited by Ishima

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10 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

Then test 4 you can check the coil resistance because you can't always tell by looking at it whether the coils good or bad.

 

955.114.pdf

Thanks, JohnR725. The coil test showed that the coil, while looking OK, was open. I may roll the dice and get the circuit board. As I said, everything else looked, and moved, fine after the C&O service. Cheers.

 

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The problem with quartz watches is unlike the mechanical part of the watch where you can look at it we can't look at the electronics. So beyond the casual repair watch test equipment is required. Then along with test equipment knowledge of quartz watches required I have a link to a PDF below. Even though their test equipment is expensive it's a nice for learning. Then Starting on page 22 of the PDF is a troubleshooting guide.

https://www.witschi.com/assets/files/sheets/Knowledge Quartz Watch.pdf

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I have a nice digital multimeter that's made for troubleshooting car electronics. It happens to have a millivolts/Ms pulse setting. When on that selection I get what looks like a pulse of ~34 millivolts per second. This meter seems to have good "reaction time". Still, the coil did show that it was open, so there is an issue there.

I'll take a look at the quartz link you provided, JohnR375. Thanks.

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Well, since the thread's title includes "Quartz watches in general", I'll add this here so as not to clutter the field with my posts.

These quartz movements are challenging, to be sure. They seem to just stop for no, at least visibly, apparent reason. Last night I was going to listen to astronaut Terry Vert speak on his experiences aboard the space shuttle, as well as a flight and reentry on a Soyuz rocket. Before I left, I decided that my Swiss Army quartz chronograph would make a good astronaut-like watch. I reached for it, and the darn thing was stopped. Dang, and I just put a NOS ETA 251.272 movement into it a year ago.

When I got back, I opened it up and changed the battery. Still nothing. Eventually after pulling the crown out a few times and moving the hands it showed some life, but it was minimal. I could see both the fly-back (?) seconds hand and lower seconds register hand twitching back and forth a bit. Does anyone know what that might indicate? A speck of dust that got caught up in there somewhere? It was working fine a month or so back. Any hints are appreciated. I'll perform a few tests on it before popping in another NOS movement that I bought in a group. One year out of an expensive quartz movement is a bit less than I expected.  Cheers.

 

Edited by MrRoundel

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51 minutes ago, MrRoundel said:

NOS

What is the definition of NOS? Could it be new old stock? Then old how old?

So going to the ETA website technical library  datasheets instruction manuals etc. but I was looking for when were they generated? So the instruction manual was 2005 if your new old stock movement was fresh out of the factory in 2005 it needs to be serviced. But looks like I spoke too fast it wasn't made in 2005 potentially. So technical guide how to service your watch but they also have the manufacturing sheet this as all sorts of interesting technical specs including on the back page the revision dates of the manual. So it's earliest date is August 14, 2003. Then weirdly enough the technical communication has August 2008 As its earliest date.

Oh and on the website it indicates this movement is being phased out. It doesn't tell us on the website when they last manufactured them unfortunately. A lot of times there is date codes on the movement but would have to figure out what they are as are usually not published.

So we have a interesting problem purchasing something new but having zero idea when it was actually made. Time is bad for lubrication's improper storage temperatures will make things worse. So unfortunate problem purchasing your brand-new shiny watch from the jewelry store the watch shop whatever its new comes a new box but doesn't mean that it was freshly manufactured.

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Those ideas have crossed my mind, JohnR725. I may have just been lucky to have had it work for one year after purchasing. Before ordering this batch of NOS (Yes, new, old stock.), I had cleaned and oiled the one that came in the watch. Unfortunately, it had some staining and other signs of damage, so the service didn't get it working. These quartz chrono's are a bit of a bear to work on, as they have at least two stepping motors, maybe three, to contend with. If it wasn't for those little buggers, they wouldn't be so bad.

I may just try to hit the pivots with some watch oil (hopefully it will be thin enough without having to purchase the special quartz oil), and see if it helps. Feelings?

This is when it would be nice to have one of those Turbo tools to get the train moving. Someone once told me of a way to use a soldering gun for this, but I don't know exactly how, or whether he was yanking my mainspring. Thanks for your input, as usual. Cheers.

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Most people never service quartz watches (actually a lot of people never service mechanical watches either, unless they present a problem). Unlike mechanical watches, accuracy is rarely affected, all what happens is that they draw a bit more current so battery has to be replaced more often. Like it or not, one has to admit that that quartz movements are a major progress, not to mention solar.

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Status report: After messing with this movement for most of the day, and never really being able to figure out, or perhaps get to operate, the chronograph functions, I finally got it started up. I looked at another of the "NOS" movements that I bought last year and one looks like it had some grease applied to the center arbor at the back of the watch. I applied some clock oil to the center arbor and gently manipulated a wheel or two to move things around. Eventually it started running, and is running now 6-8 hours later. I'm not thrilled that the chrono functions don't seem to be operating properly, but I can live with that I suppose. At least it's running.

I did learn a bit more about working on quartz watches so the day was not a total waste. And someday I would like to mess with a working chronograph to see exactly how they're supposed to work. I'll have to keep my eyes out for another.

Just a quick snapshot of the little devil. It's an OK looking watch.   I took it in "eclipse" style in honor of last week's lunar eclipse. :blink: SAK watches with this style bezel may have been the most popular Swiss Army watch ever sold. The non-chronographs are ubiquitous. They made a couple of other dials for this model. One was a dark blue with gold registers. I like this one much better. Cheers.

 

DSC06055.JPG

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3 hours ago, MrRoundel said:

Status report: After messing with this movement for most of the day, and never really being able to figure out, or perhaps get to operate, the chronograph functions, I finally got it started up. I looked at another of the "NOS" movements that I bought last year and one looks like it had some grease applied to the center arbor at the back of the watch. I applied some clock oil to the center arbor and gently manipulated a wheel or two to move things around. Eventually it started running, and is running now 6-8 hours later. I'm not thrilled that the chrono functions don't seem to be operating properly, but I can live with that I suppose. At least it's running.

I did learn a bit more about working on quartz watches so the day was not a total waste. And someday I would like to mess with a working chronograph to see exactly how they're supposed to work. I'll have to keep my eyes out for another.

Just a quick snapshot of the little devil. It's an OK looking watch.   I took it in "eclipse" style in honor of last week's lunar eclipse. :blink: SAK watches with this style bezel may have been the most popular Swiss Army watch ever sold. The non-chronographs are ubiquitous. They made a couple of other dials for this model. One was a dark blue with gold registers. I like this one much better. Cheers.

 

DSC06055.JPG

Is it a Dubois and Depraz module in that? 

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BTW: I forgot to mention that my thinking after seeing the grease at the lower center pivot was that someone had been in this "NOS" watch. It also crossed my mind that, since this was a new-looking movement, perhaps there was a service bulletin in which ETA suggested lubricating the lower pivot. So I did. I also found that two of my other "NOS" movements had open coils. Carumba! I'm glad I didn't sell them as individual NOS movements or purchase cases to use them in. Live and learn. Cheers.

 

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1 hour ago, MrRoundel said:

 So I did. I also found that two of my other "NOS" movements had open coils. Carumba! I'm glad I didn't sell them as individual NOS movements or purchase cases to use them in. 

Have you also verified them not working? Otherwise it gets more complicated than a bad purchase.

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2 hours ago, jdm said:

Have you also verified them not working? Otherwise it gets more complicated than a bad purchase.

I verified one as working, one as not. One other is untested. I won't be selling them. That was just a thought when I first bought them. Unless, I sell them as pure parts, for the good coils, etc. It wasn't a great purchase, but did supply a timekeeper that at least shows the hours, minutes, seconds, and date. And it comes with the added bonus of looking like a chronograph. B)

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4 minutes ago, MrRoundel said:

I verified one as working, one as not.

If a multi-meter reports open coil on a working movement, then it can't be used for testing. That is not surprising,  needs very low voltage and high sensitivity, that is not present on automotive / general use instruments. For the same reason, not many  testers can measure current drawing in micro Amperes.

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Yes, I thought that was a little strange. I didn't go back and check it with the battery out once the watch started working. I should have. While I did not test for microamperes, I believe this meter does have a setting. Perhaps you can tell me? There is a separate plug for the leads for what I believe are micro and milliamps that is marked "2 A max, fused", FWIW. 

 

DSC06057.JPG

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uA setting is good to check current drawing, as well the pulse reading function is useful. For coil continuity the service sheet above specifies 200 mV testing voltage, but I doubt your instrument puts uses so little. So it can report a false open or inaccurate resistance reading, in fact the coil is put at risk with any relatively voltage. All you can do is read the manual, experiment and try to make sense of all this.

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As a reminder you need to pay attention to the data sheet when measuring electrical parameters of watches. For instance to measure coil resistance with the coil attached the meter cannot supply over  0.2 V otherwise the circuit may turn on and give a false reading. The data sheet says anything over 0.4 is unsuitable for measuring coil resistance. Normally when you're buying a meter you not paying attention to this. Occasionally some meters will have a diode symbol indicate though supply enough voltage to turn on a semi conductor device you can test.

Then I'm attaching a PDF that explains about measuring current consumption. Whether it's an analog or digital meter you need either a capacitor or capacitor and a resistor to basically average the current consumption. When the watch is not driving the stepping motor it's drawing of a very tiny current. When it's driving the coil it's a very short high current pulse and the tech sheets have the average.

microamp.pdf

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I don't have a lot of electronics knowledge, but it does look like my meter doesn't have the range to do an effective job of checking quartz watches. The microamp ranges show up as "0000" and "000.0". I wasn't trying to avoid buying a dedicated watch checker indefinitely. I just wanted to check what I could with what I have. I will probably buy the type of tester as was suggested. Thanks, all. I appreciate your sharing your knowledge with me/us. Cheers.

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I ended up ordering two of these (955.114) circuit boards from a seller on EBay.  After installing, the watch still didn't run. So I got out my meter and checked the coil for continuity. It had it. Then I looked for a pulse. There was none. I checked the battery while it was in the circuit and it read low. I put a different battery in and away she went. Sometimes it's the simple stuff. I was out of 371 batteries so I used one that was on my bench and checked out, outside the watch. I put a 373 in there until my 371's come in. It was just a bit shallower than the 371.

If anyone wants the link to the seller, PM me, and I'll provide it. I believe that have a good number of them. Cheers.

 

Edited by MrRoundel

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