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That's a priority mail box. I didn't want to risk a spill with an envelope. I also heat seal the bottle in a bag in case the bottle leaks.

The bottle has a stainless needle for dispensing as well. Too much for a watch with the needle, but fine for larger stuff.

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Hello from Scotland. I recently re-awakened an interest from my youth in watches and clocks. Strangely the catalyst was searching for a replacement hand for a Starrett  dial indicator that I pick

The pile of Slava automatic parts arrived, and I had a quick rummage through them last night. I started with that green pile of snot on the right, and after a lot of cleaning and a small amount o

I printed the 2nd lens tube and have started to print the first of the two bottom housings. So far so good. I may stick with the red colour of the plastic, or perhaps I should go for the di

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The Metamec synchronous mains clock arrived, so I stripped down the case and the brass work and cleaned it up.

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Its a hefty beast, and scrubbed up very nicely. I didn't appreciate from the auction pictures how it should look without all the grime and filth. The brass was black. Maybe it spent its life over a coal fire mantlepiece.

I'll tackle the mechanism tomorrow, check it for electrical safety and fit a new cord and plug if I have the time, but here is a quick before and after shot.

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The plinth and the pillars need a quick kiss with some shellac button polish, and I'll strip and lacquer the brass properly when I have it running, but I must admit its actually a very attractive little clock, and they certainly didn't skimp on the brass, it weighs a ton.

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Edited by AndyHull
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Posted (edited)

Let me introduce the latest 404 club microscope. ?

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This item came up when I was looking for a collimator for my telescope, and since it was described as spares or repair with no bidders I put the lowest bid on it. So for £2.99  plus p+p I now have yet another microscope.

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It is what is sometimes described as a "field" or "student" microscope (or perhaps even a toy microscope), but don't let its toy like proportions fool you. The optics may be pretty rudimentary, but the eyepiece, turret, objective lenses, stage, lamp, reflector mirror etc  do actually work and I have no reason to doubt the 150x 450x 750x magnification claims on the front.


It was made in Japan, probably in the 1950s or 1960s with an all metal construction (die cast pot metal, steel and brass), with a similar finish to my Olympus from the same period. I have no idea who actually manufactured it, but I will say it is way more robustly put together than the plastic lensed injection moulded comparable stuff you get these days. The turret even has a ball bearing click, and there is a grub screw to align the travel of the focuser. This thing was clearly designed by someone who designed real microscopes.

Obviously since it is intended to work with light passed through the subject, it is completely unsuitable for watch work, but if you want to see the bugs in puddle water or cross sections of a prepared biological specimen, it can easily do that while still being ultra portable. 

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Just for fun I grabbed an 0603 LED (0.6 mm × 0.3 mm) and popped it on a glass slide and zoomed in on the bond wire on the device, and here it is in all its 150x glory.

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The image above is not great as it was shot with my camera pressed against the eyepiece, with an LED torch for top illumination in my other hand. Potato vision of the worst sort. In reality the field of view is actually pretty good (although there are still one or two specs of dust on the lenses that I need to attend to).

The optics could do with a little more cleaning, and since they are un-coated and there are only three optical elements in the light path, the images are not perfect, but none the less its a pretty neat "toy" for three quid and a half hour of "acetone and air" cleaning of the lenses and a clean and re-grease of the turret and focuser.

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Here it is  next to a "real" microscope for scale.

Edited by AndyHull
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On 12/19/2020 at 10:14 PM, AndyHull said:

The Metamec synchronous mains clock arrived, so I stripped down the case and the brass work and cleaned it up.

AsPurchased.thumb.jpg.91d22d7b592e75f74e0c2ccd2703d525.jpg

Its a hefty beast, and scrubbed up very nicely. I didn't appreciate from the auction pictures how it should look without all the grime and filth. The brass was black. Maybe it spent its life over a coal fire mantlepiece.

I'll tackle the mechanism tomorrow, check it for electrical safety and fit a new cord and plug if I have the time, but here is a quick before and after shot.

RIMG0089.thumb.JPG.83ef2a95e55738a3091de7d52ebecec8.JPG

The plinth and the pillars need a quick kiss with some shellac button polish, and I'll strip and lacquer the brass properly when I have it running, but I must admit its actually a very attractive little clock, and they certainly didn't skimp on the brass, it weighs a ton.

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Is that an enigma next to your Metamec? ?

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, luiazazrambo said:

Is that an enigma next to your Metamec? ?

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Sadly its not an Enigma, otherwise it would probably be worth a fortune.

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It is an "Odhner Arithmometer", a mechanical calculator which works in a similar manner to a "Curta".

If you want to know how it works, then the manual is -> here <-

I picked it up at a jumble sale many years ago for pennies because I liked the look of it. Apparently they have become quite collectable in recent years.

 

Edited by AndyHull
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Repaired a few of those in my time,   ADDO, Odhner,  Facit,   Brunsviga  known as barrel calculators , quite simple, they used repeat addition or subtraction and a stepping carriage all manual. Sometron brought out and electrically driven one  it was a bit of a beast.  The original ones were Swedish made.

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2 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Repaired a few of those in my time,   ADDO, Odhner,  Facit,   Brunsviga  known as barrel calculators , quite simple, they used repeat addition or subtraction and a stepping carriage all manual. Sometron brought out and electrically driven one  it was a bit of a beast.  The original ones were Swedish made.

I remember using a mechanical calculator like that back in the late 1960's in a drawing office..prior to spending an arm and a leg a year or two later on a Sinclair pocket calculator......

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The Sometrom  was a similar beast to the Frieden  again with the full keyboard they were a nightmare when the carriage jammed up could take half a day to fix.  A lot longer if it was an internal jam

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1 hour ago, JohnD said:

prior to spending an arm and a leg a year or two later on a Sinclair pocket calculator......

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I hope you held on to it. Some of the early Sinclair calculators are now collectible.

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14 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

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I hope you held on to it. Some of the early Sinclair calculators are now collectible.

Sadly no, out of all of the obsolete 'high tech' crap that I have held onto over the last 50 or so years, the calculator was not one of them.... (still got an Atari 2600 and a  Sinclair ZX Spectrum though......?)

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Posted (edited)

I'm sitting here writing this while smugly munching on a hot Christmas mince pie. The reason for my smugness is simply that I finally got round to sorting one of those annoying little problems that sit at the bottom of the to do list forever.

When I picked up my Olympus microscope (at least ten years ago), the lock on the carrying and storage box was broken and the key was missing. However the other evening I had one of those "I wonder if that might work?" moments.

I have a couple of new desk locks lying around. These cost about two quid each on ebay and come in a variety of different lengths and key styles. Look for the key words "CAM LOCK for Filing Cabinet Mailbox Drawer Cupboard Locker" if you ever need these.

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This kind of thing.

I thought it might be possible to bend the tab on it to shape and fit it in the hole the original lock came out of.

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The old plastic lock is that black lump lying at the bottom of the door.

Now the likely hood of this 5 minute job turning in to a five hour job was high, but none the less I extracted the rusted in screws from the plastic trash lock that Olympus had originally fitted and measured things up. The hole was about 1/2 mm too small, so after about two minutes of attacking it with a sanding stick, the lock popped in. Next I looked at the distance between the tab and the slot. It lined up perfectly. The tab was slightly too long, but another two minutes with a file and I had the perfect fit.

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Given that as you can see, the original lock is nothing like the replacement I'm flabbergasted at how easily it all went together. The new lock is precisely the correct depth to fit.

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In fact, it took almost as long to remove all the sticky residue from the packing tape that had been wrapped round the thing to stop the door flying open every time it was moved as it did to fit the new lock.

The only trouble is... I now feel obliged to build a similar box for each of the other microscopes, so as is always the case, the to do list hasn't actually become any shorter. Oh well, never mind, there are still plenty of mince pies left too. 

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Hi AndyHull I think it's great to have moments like these, what you thought would take forever is only a 10 minute job, I have 6 of those every hour. Anyway I searched the net for a microscope box lock fixeruperer and it looks like your it. Good job 

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That’s great!

But, the next 5-minute job will take a week, not counting time waiting for parts to arrive...

Ask me how I know. 

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51 minutes ago, Graziano said:

Anyway I searched the net for a microscope box lock fixeruperer and it looks like your it.

At last, something unique to put on my CV. ?

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On 9/30/2020 at 9:28 PM, AndyHull said:

However the real reason I've been keen to wear it is because I decided to torture lubricate it with my witches brew of fragrance free baby oil and neatsfoot oil. I have tried this on a couple of Timex mechanicals, and nothing exploded, so I thought I would risk it on a "real" jeweled piece.

You all might find this interesting and amusing.

FRICTION, LUBRICATION AND THE LUBRICANTS IN HOROLOGY.

BY W. T. LEWIS

Prest. Philadelphia Horological Society.

ILLUSTRATED WITH HALF-TONES AND
DRAWINGS BY THE AUTHOR.
CHICAGO:
GEO. K. HAZLITT & CO.
1896.
Copyrighted 1896, by W. T. Lewis.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/35001/35001-h/35001-h.htm

 

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Today, something a little different as a lunchtime project.

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Not a watch, but somewhat similar in that is has hands and a hairspring.

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This is the mechanism from a Taylor "Stormguide" banjo style aneroid barometer and thermometer. Needless to say, owing to its condition when I purchased it, it also qualifies for the 404 club. 

I have a couple of other barometers, one of which I've had for many years, which I fixed up as a kid, and another that we got as a wedding anniversary gift.

This one has obviously been dropped. The shaft for the hand was bent, and the hand was damaged, with the collar missing.

Straightening the shaft was a delicate operation, as I was sure it would snap, but with a little care it is now unbent.

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With that taken care of, I fabricated a new collar from the straw from an air duster can, and glued it in place on the hand with a spot of GS cement.

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Next the dial was re-fitted with some double sided tape. This isn't a very expensive mechanism as you can see. The better ones use screws or clips to hold things in place.

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Finally I popped the hand back on, with another tiny drop of GS cement, and left things to set up with a cardboard shim to ensure the hand remained flat and parallel to the dial.

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The hand was set to match the reading from one of the other barometers, and now all that remained to do was check that it worked, pop the plexiglass back on, put it back in the "banjo" and hang it on the wall.

Edited by AndyHull
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It seems "yon loons and quines fae Balmoral" had a soft spot for Metamec clocks. 

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Actually, come to think of it she spent more of her time at Scone, but that's neither here nor there. However the company was still producing some "Horological Products" of quality in 1990 it appears.

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Reading about the Timex Hopalong Cassidy watch, sent me down a rabbit hole via Kelton watches, the French Timex arm to these articles, which you may find interesting.

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&u=https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoire_de_l%27horlogerie_%C3%A0_Besan%C3%A7on

https://nhujzchxszmfjwodqweptl7jha--fr-m-wikipedia-org.translate.goog/wiki/Lip

https://nhujzchxszmfjwodqweptl7jha--fr-m-wikipedia-org.translate.goog/wiki/Revenu_(métallurgie)

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&u=https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoire_de_l%27horlogerie_%C3%A0_Besan%C3%A7on

 

Allow a few seconds for the translations to appear as initially they may show up in your browser in French. Depending on which browser you use, you may need to click through the "Translating.." link. Google translate has a few quirks.

 

Edited by AndyHull
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Metamec becomes radio active.

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The electric mechanism on the second Metamec has a blown coil, so while I figure out if I am willing to try stripping the motor down and repairing the coil (unlikely, but I may give it a bash), I thought I'd see if I had any quartz mechanism in case I need a plan B.

After much rummaging through spares and a quick trawl through the junk in the attic I found what I was looking for. An "Atomic" (Radio controlled) quartz module with the correct reach to fit in place of the old workings.

I fitted the radio quartz module to a piece of clear plastic sheet, cut to match the outline of the original module which allows me to re-use the original brass screws to centre it and avoid drilling any more holes in the woodwork.

Naturally the original hands don't fit, and since they are what gives the thing the majority of its character I'm going to see if my 3d printer can produce something sufficiently similar to the originals to make it look the way the designer intended. 

If that fails I guess I could attempt to etch some from brass sheet paint them the correct shade of off white.

Until I get some traction with either the coil rewind or replacement hands, I've put replacing the missing piece of woodwork on hold.

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So now I have an even less complete Metamec that is accurate to the second (but not the hour or minute). Nobody is perfect I guess but I'm willing to chalk that down as progress... of sorts.

Edited by AndyHull
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