ATO Electrical Clock Service

I’ve lastly purchased myself my first clock – an ATO electrical clock from the mid twentieth century, with this stunning hammered impact backboard and domed acrylic entrance. Very evocative of the domed plexiglass seen on watches of the interval.

Most clocks that go by means of the workshop want some consideration and naturally this was no totally different. I used to be happy that even with a thick layer of grime and grease the clock would run intermittently. It was clear that to run reliably the clock would require some cleansing and are available elimination of some areas of rust – it needed to go earlier than it may get any worse.

Lastly the unique ATO hand was lacking and a frankenstein one had been fitted, created from a plastic quartz clock hand – this wouldn’t do and I knew that I would want to make a substitute.

Servicing and Cleansing

You possibly can clearly see all of the mud and dust caught to the plates and wheels, with some areas of rust starting to kind on a number of the metal work. One considerably distinctive function on this specific clock is that this separate signaling swap, pushed by the clock’s built-in half second circuit, which drives a stepper motor. This then bodily ideas a mercury swap each 20 seconds which might have been used to ship a sign. It’s doable that this had a mains energy connection because of the thick wiring used; the mercury swap would have simply dealt with the 240v mains too. I received this working, and should use it (with decrease voltages) to energy some kind of slave dials in future.

ATO clocks usually have the services to create or ship indicators at a number of intervals, specifically half seconds and 30 seconds. Additionally they have the ability for one clock to operate as a ‘grasp’ which drives the impulse coils of a community of different ATO clocks. Beneath is a sneak peak into the nest of wires behind the plates that makes this all doable.

On to the thrilling half, making the second hand. The hand on an ato clock is sort of advanced and consists of a stamped aluminium physique, a small brass counterweight and a knurled centre boss which is nickel plated brass.

Making the tooling for stamping a single hand can be manner excessive – it’s solely wise when making a whole bunch or 1000’s of instances, and so I as an alternative elected to have a number of units of palms laser reduce to my very own drawing. I had seconds, minutes and hours made in case I want them in future. I count on the originals would have been reduce and folded in a single operation, however to emulate this I made myself an anvil with a set angle, and a skinny punch to rigorously fold the materiel down the center and create the 3D impact.

With the primary hand physique made I may set about creating the boss. This was all made on the Schaubliun 70 because it required turning each with a cross slide and hand graver and milling, all of which could be achieved on the Schaublin with the number of equipment accessible.

With the fundamental form achieved I used a hand graver to duplicate the very recognisable ‘dished’ element, and nickel plated the piece with the services we’ve right here. Beneath is a comparability of my new hand to an authentic ATO one. Mine is a bit more shiny because it’s new however I believe it’s an excellent illustration.

And in spite of everything that, all of the work is full and prepared for ultimate testing; under you possibly can see it with the timing and testing gear connected to verify the speed and timekeeping. Coincidentally It’s considered one of three ATO clocks presently within the workshop. All look totally different however are very stunning in their very own manner.

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