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Simonkitch

Timegrapher microphone

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Hi

I'm looking to build a mic setup that will work with Watch O Scope software or similar software. I've tried playing around with a webcam mic and a cheap Piezo but I'm just not getting any reading. I don't fancy building a pre amp so can anyone recommend a microphone sensitive enough to hear a watch and that will plug into my PC via 3.5 or USB?

Thanks

Simon

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14 minutes ago, rogart63 said:

There is a thread in the forum about that. Can't remember the name of the thread right now. Homemade timegrapher or something like that. 

 

 

Thanks I've checked these out already but they seem to rely on you having a pre amp which I don't want to try and build.

I want a mic that will work out the box if pos.

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18 hours ago, Simonkitch said:

Thanks I've checked these out already but they seem to rely on you having a pre amp which I don't want to try and build.

I want a mic that will work out the box if pos.

https://tg.ciovil.li

Tg timegrapher is designed to work with conventional and noisy microscope. Just install the software and plug in your mic.

Works very well in a quiet room.

I tried to make a contact mic with a preamp and it totally failed...

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6 hours ago, praezis said:

What do you want to tell us with your statement? :rolleyes:

Frank

I tried to use a piezo pickup for detecting watch ticks instead of the normal mic. The idea was that piezo only pick up vibrates and not noise from the room, so the signal should be very clean.

I used an old buzzer from a crappy step measure thingy, bought a piezo preamp for guitars, and hooked everything up. I originally bought a piezo pickup for instruments but it was useless. The signal turned out to be too weak for my laptop to work correctly. I needed a much stronger preamp or something else. It was a lot of hassle to wire everything and using a normal mic worked fine anyway...

So I just tape my mic to the movement holder, manually flip the holder over for positions, and see the results on my computer. It works 100% fine and I realized I completely wasted my time doing all that preamp crap.

Plus I just used my mic I had from my desktop so I didn't need to buy the preamp at all.

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Software-based timing machines are quite nice but as some of you a found out getting a proper signal in is a challenge. There are quite a few challenges to get the software to work you need a proper microphone to pick up the tiny vibrations of the watch. The problem with most microphones are designed for audio pickups we want to pick up vibrations. Some of the music industries microphones work the only problem is there designed for a greater vibration. Then the popular piezo Discs have to be properly mounted to pick up the vibrations and still need to be shielded from audio because they will pick up audio. Then the preamp needs to be low noise and ideally should have some internal filtering. They are very specific frequency ranges for watch pickup versus the music industry.
Computer-based microphones that includes the microphones found in cell phones with apps for timing. They're designed for audio pick up picking up the rate of the watch relatively easy getting the rest of the signals can be problematic at times. We've already had one discussion where the people trying to help were annoyed because the pickup was faulty and was giving false readings.work the software-based machines are nice.

Then one of the reasons software-based timing machines are popular is they range from free to relatively cheap for the most part. That's because originally hardware-based timing machines were very expensive. To buy a decent Swiss machine will cost you several thousand dollars for instance. But the Chinese make some really decent machines in particular theTimegrapher 1000 or 1900. Both machines are really decent 1900 has a slightly nicer screen. Pricewise the 1900 is just under $200 1000 is around $150 typically on eBay and there's a dealer that sells these in the US at $120. For an out-of-the-box solution for something that works with a microphone that rotates in multiple positions the price is very reasonable.

Then as a reminder especially because the person asking the question is new to the group a timing machine is used for more than timing it's a diagnostic tool. So even for hobbyists because of the affordable price the Chinese machines or the software if you get everything to work they have become must have tools.

http://www.acetimer.com/Timing-Machine/

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I agree.

Diy microphones are a problem if you think, you need no electronic skills to develop/ build one. If it does not work, blame the tinker, not the piezo. If a normal mic works: fine, but probably just by chance with your special equipment.

The mentioned thread has many good microphone concepts, simple and sumptuous ones.

Software TM are not only used because they are low cost,  but because some offer much more analyzing tools than the Chinese and don't show false results in certain situations. A reason why many professionals here use PCTM.

Frank

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12 hours ago, praezis said:

I agree.

Diy microphones are a problem if you think, you need no electronic skills to develop/ build one. If it does not work, blame the tinker, not the piezo. If a normal mic works: fine, but probably just by chance with your special equipment.

The mentioned thread has many good microphone concepts, simple and sumptuous ones.

Software TM are not only used because they are low cost,  but because some offer much more analyzing tools than the Chinese and don't show false results in certain situations. A reason why many professionals here use PCTM.

Frank

By the end of it, I learned that watch ticks are very different than instrument sounds. They are significantly quieter and that's why there are special purpose machines for these things. General mics work but noise is always going to be an noise and you can't see things like the unlocking tick because it's so quiet.

In the end, I don't really mind the fact I got nowhere, it's the life of DIY. Broken watches or broken electronics, same sort of fun.

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I decided to have a go at using a pre amp with the web cam mic because i'm really interested in getting this working. I used a basic circuit from google search and bread boarded it. output is from a seiko 5. Works but obviously it would be impossible to work on the watch. This setup does not work with the guitar mic pic up i bought so i'm going to try and build the watch o scope amp next and make a clamp.

Thanks for all the input so far.

 

 

Watch-O-Scope pre amp 2.png

watch o scope 2.PNG

watch o scope.PNG

watch.jpg

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The reason your circuit does not work with the guitar mic pic up Is it's been designed for a capacitive microphone which has a built in amplifier. I have a image below of what capacitive microphone circuit looks like internally. Then the reality is you don't need the circuit because computers have that built as it was designed for capacitive microphone. Guitar pickups are typically piezo it require a different type of preamplifier to work with the computer.

Then regarding the computer they're all different. The last link I have below is a US patents for a different kind a microphone not relevant for this discussion. The relevant part of the patent for this discussion is different input circuitry or specifically the bias voltages. This becomes relevant if you're trying to power your microphone off the biased voltage of the computer. The voltages are all conceivably different. If you start looking at the integrated circuits found in computers circuitry microphones a lot of them will supply different voltages. Then regarding the computers audio processing some computers it's almost an afterthought they weren't designed for audio high fidelity others are better. So if you have everything else works right you may have a crappy computer input. One of the ways around that is to get a USB sound device. Another advantage of USB devices is you can steal 5 V off the power four your circuitry.

then below I've listed out some of the software-based timing machines there are or were others. Because were discussing microphones and some of these sell the microphones separate or they will convert microphones for their software. In other words there relevant for this discussion.

So software ranges from free to costing some money the pickup is what were concerned about. Watch Escapement Analyser - eTimer if you look at the eBay link you can see the microphone a clip on microphone is really nice unfortunately it's not sold separately. Also notice they're using a USB device. But if you go to the UK source he will convert older watch timing machines by adding in new circuitry. So that's an option you get a microphone that rotates it just not cheap.

PCTM s interesting if you look at the discussion the circuitry for the microphone is given. Plus the person who wrote the software is in this discussion I was hoping he could try an experiment for us? if you look at the price list a variety of microphones are available separately I'm curious as to whether the microphone works with the other free software out there?

Another option for a DIY microphone is to start with something that we know that works? the Chinese on eBay sell their microphone separate from the timing machines it runs around $80. It looks like they've loosely copied witschi there is a Bimorph sensor with a dual op amp which should supply enough signal to the computer. this is on my list of projects to do which is one of the reasons I bought a cheap slightly used 1000 machine off of eBay was to hack the microphone. Unfortunately my list of things to do is rather long and it's not at the top of the list.
 

Windows Software Timing Machine PCTM

https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/6333-windows-software-timing-machine-pctm/?tab=comments#comment-63918

https://c.web.de/@337134913998293880/YuEh_TobSjaCfyBDix_1gg

 

Open source timing software

https://forums.watchuseek.com/f6/open-source-timing-software-2542874.html

https://github.com/vacaboja/tg

 

Watch Escapement Analyser - eTimer

https://www.ebay.com/itm/112473962615?ul_noapp=true

http://www.delphelectronics.co.uk/products.html

 

Watch-O-Scope  - D. I. Y. Watch Timing Machine

http://www.watchoscope.com/

https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/3002-d-i-y-watch-timing-machine/


Amplifier circuit for electret microphone with enhanced performance

https://patents.google.com/patent/US6580797B1/en?oq=6580797

 

mc-2.JPG

mc-1.JPG

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13 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

PCTM s interesting if you look at the discussion the circuitry for the microphone is given. Plus the person who wrote the software is in this discussion I was hoping he could try an experiment for us? if you look at the price list a variety of microphones are available separately I'm curious as to whether the microphone works with the other free software out there?

Another option for a DIY microphone is to start with something that we know that works? the Chinese on eBay sell their microphone separate from the timing machines it runs around $80. It looks like they've loosely copied witschi there is a Bimorph sensor with a dual op amp which should supply enough signal to the computer. 

Hi,

I feel adressed and like to reply:
- PCTM microphones can be used for other TM software, too. They all use the buffered data that was recorded by the soundcard. Difference is where they put the limit of minimum sound level that can still be evaluated. PCTM works satisfying with very low levels.

- The Chinese mics need a rather high voltage (12V) for their internal amp. It is not direct available from a PC.  I thought about offering them with adapted electronics that needs no extra supply, like my other mics, but did not yet find a seller. 
Do you have link to the ones you mentioned?

Frank

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The reason I asked if your microphone would work with the other software is it gives you a selling opportunity to sell microphones to people who like this discussion need a microphone. but we would have to see that it actually does work with the other software as you commented the various software processes things differently so that might not work.

Then for the Chinese microphone I measured the voltages today. So for the 1000 the internal analog circuitry is being run at basically + and -6 V. Even though there is a 6 V  regulator in their the 6 V is really 5.91 V and that is on one of the pins for the microphone. Having seen the op amp in the microphone itself I suspect it should  run off  the 5 V of the USB.

So anyone curious of the microphone  if you do a search on eBay for   Timegrapher microphone    quite a few come up at amusing prices. So the very cheapest one isn't the cheapest because they charge shipping. Then I'm attaching an image notice 2 identical microphones at not an identical price? the amusing aspect of the $110 microphone is you could just buy the machine with the microphone for just a little more money it's not worthwhile but I guess are assuming nobody does price checking. so the $75 microphone is what I was looking at should be identical to the one that came with the machine. Although in the past they used to say the separate microphone was enhanced I think it's more of a mechanical enhancement. Then the third microphone has a different connector and goes with an entirely different series of machines

microphone for timing machine eBay.JPG

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Thank you!

My microphones amplify the piezo signal 10 ... 20x, depends on the internal circuit of the mic input. A new model with 100x ampl. is in the pipeline, of course without separate power supply, too.

The internal opamp in the Chinese mics needed voltage >7 V according to its datasheet, but seems they use a more modern one now, running from 5 V, too.

Frank

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image attached of their amplifier board. so the board has a single op amp looking at the TI data sheet looks like the lowest of the normal operating voltage is 5 volts. Which should work perfect with the 5 V of the USB port. I was kinda hoping the most it would need is a volume adjustments on the output in case it was too much for the microphone input of the computer.

 

cpu-1.JPG

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it's not really the end of the world for this as they make inexpensive switching regulator modules. Then I've ordered another USB module to power this and try it anyway off the 5 volts. I found one that's nice and quiet with a bonus feature of on the backside of the circuit board square solder pads for the power connections.

Then what I find interesting is if you find a part made by multiple of manufacturers a lot of times you find that the specifications aren't always exactly the same for the same part?  so right now I was looking at a tech sheet first one was interesting shows the +6 V with no clarifications? Then on the same tech sheet it shows plus and minus voltages with + -5? Then the TI sheet makes a clarification which is you can have differing voltages for the plus and minus as long as the total is 10. 10 is considerably higher than the Chinese 5.91. 

then back to the TI data sheet and noticed what you have above which is very very confusing. So the minimum says (+5 equals 5, +/-5=10)  then there is the number 7? So we get a plus minus voltage situation the total has to be 10 but here it says the minimum is seven?

It's really a shame they didn't go with one of the modern op amps that's designed to run a lower voltages and a lot of them are low noise or lower noise. so as I have the microphone and Monday hopefully another USB adapter shows up I'm going to try at 5 V anyway because I can.

 

tl071-c.JPG

tl071-b.JPG

tl071-a.JPG

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On my Weishi No 1000 timegrapher, the preamp uses a Ti 2272C, wich is powered by +8V.

I bought a DIY adapter for Weishi microphone and PC, in order to have the benefits of Weishi microphone stand and graphic display of TG software.
-With Weishi microphone stand, I like to test the watch or the movement in all positions, safely.
-With TG software, I like the details provided by the PC screen, and to "see" the sound from tic toc

The adapter has an USB powered 8v power supply, a TRRS microphone jack and an XLR connector for the microphone.

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1 hour ago, Luc said:

I bought a DIY adapter for Weishi microphone and PC, in order to have the benefits of Weishi microphone stand and graphic display of TG software.

Can you post the link?

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On my Weishi No 1000 timegrapher, the preamp uses a Ti 2272C, wich is powered by +8V.
I bought a DIY adapter for Weishi microphone and PC, in order to have the benefits of Weishi microphone stand and graphic display of TG software.
-With Weishi microphone stand, I like to test the watch or the movement in all positions, safely.
-With TG software, I like the details provided by the PC screen, and to "see" the sound from tic toc
The adapter has an USB powered 8v power supply, a TRRS microphone jack and an XLR connector for the microphone.
Can you please post pictures from this diy adapter

Gesendet von meinem G8141 mit Tapatalk

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Hello, how does this setup work so far. I have just ordered the parts I hope i will have the parts to try in a month or two. Thank you... this was a great thread. 

P.S. i have not as yet ordered the Weishi microphone. 

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