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Old 16th Oct 2023, 10:51 am   #1
Alan Salt
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Default 1948 Smith Sectric Alarm clock

I believe that is what this is. It was a wedding present to my Mother on 26 Mar 1949 at Hart, South Australia. On the back cover it says "Smith Sectric", and I read somewhere that that naming was used from 1936 to 1948?

The alarm can be activated, but the clock itself does nothing. I understand it ceased functioning quite early in life, but Mum never threw it away. She passed in 1997. Dad didn't throw it away either. He passed in 2014. I found it cleaning their house prior to sale, and remembered what Mum had said about it. I've had it ever since.It would be nice to get it going or repaired, but I notice replacement motors don't seem to be available, nor do manuals seem to exist.

From my internet searches so far, this site seems to have the most technical mentions.

My Mother's clock doesn't quite seem to totally match any of the examples I've found here though.

Back of case:
"SMITH
SECTRIC

200/250 W 50 ~

MADE UNDER ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING BRIT. PATENTS. 366710/389438/374713/412336/413119/
419059 (FERRANTI) 484222/502197/530435
OTHER PATENTS PENDING
MADE IN ENGLAND"
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Old 16th Oct 2023, 10:57 am   #2
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: 1948 Smith Sectric Alarm clock

Hello and welcome.

That looks like their "Autocal" introduced c. 1948.

https://www.teasmade.uk/wp-content/u...iths_Clock.jpg

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=92912

I think that I have a manual somewhere which I will post.

Nick.
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Old 16th Oct 2023, 4:06 pm   #3
Alan Salt
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Default Re: 1948 Smith Sectric Alarm clock

I saw a post on an Autocal CA, which had a difference in the motor area.
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Old 20th Oct 2023, 5:51 pm   #4
PaulR
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Default Re: 1948 Smith Sectric Alarm clock

I think the parts not on your clock are used to switch on something like a radio when the alarm goes off. They were quite popular.

Do you have a multimeter to see whether there is continuity in the coil ? If not you could try plugging it in and listening for a hum coming from the motor. If you do that be very, very careful. Prop it up so that you don't touch it when plugged in and be careful not to get too close and touch it with your ear.

If you don't fancy listening whilst plugged in, you could plug it in and leave it for 1/2 hour or so then unplug it and feel whether it has got a bit warm. Keep an eye on it if you do that in case it gets too hot and starts to smoke!

Edit - does the motor turn freely when unplugged? It could be that the movement is gummed up. If the motor turns when unplugged it may run when disconnected from the movement. As before, prop it up and don't touch anything if you plug it in
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Last edited by PaulR; 20th Oct 2023 at 5:57 pm.
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Old 23rd Oct 2023, 12:27 pm   #5
Alan Salt
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Default Re: 1948 Smith Sectric Alarm clock

I took it to a friend of mine. Using a multimeter on the power plug he found no continuity, so recommended dismantling. I should have had a camera. He unsoldered the red wires to the motor and retested. Continuity. He connected the power lead to the red wires with alligator clips, and the motor reluctantly turned. He then used brake cleaner on some of it, dried it, and then applied a little sewing machine oil. (motor only) It turns, but it could not be described as "strong". Should it turn strongly? Anyway my friend was of the opinion that the rest of the mechanism needs dismantling, a good clean and reassembly.

He pointed out missing screws, and incorrect screws... suggesting that repair had been attempted by less than competent hands. I have purchased two more clocks, another brown, and a white. They probably won't get here till next month, but should give me my missing screws, etc.

We have set it aside pending their arrival.
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Old 26th Oct 2023, 9:41 am   #6
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Default Re: 1948 Smith Sectric Alarm clock

The motor isn't particularly strong as electric motors go but obviously needs to be strong enough to turn the clock movement. Sometimes the magnets in the motor lose strength.

Your friend is correct in that the clock should be dismantled and cleaned, reassembled then lubricated. Do you feel competent to do that? If not you could try the brake cleaner method rather than taking it apart. It isn't ideal but may work. Obviously keep any plastic parts like the dial well away if you do this. Sometimes electric clocks like this cannot be disassembled as it was never envisaged that would be done. Like so many things discussed on here it is many times over its design life. Having said that those items can usually be repaired.
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