UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Specific Vintage Equipment > Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items

Notices

Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12th May 2019, 10:45 am   #1
mhillsy
Diode
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Salford, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 1
Default Smiths Electric Clock

Hi,
My wife and I have inherited a brass tapestry electric Smiths clock which I think dates from the 1950ís. Iím hoping some one on the forum can help with more information before I try any form of repair. This has been in a cupboard for over 30 years. Thanks Mike
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	61E5BD3D-F5F3-42B3-AB60-1422A565ADAE.jpg
Views:	100
Size:	88.1 KB
ID:	182923   Click image for larger version

Name:	DAE8B27A-30F4-4B18-80B9-A2D649F9A488.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	60.2 KB
ID:	182924  
mhillsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2019, 12:40 am   #2
Vintage_RC
Tetrode
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Twickenham, London, UK.
Posts: 68
Default Re: Smiths Electric Clock

This is likely to be based on a synchronous motor which means its time reference is the mains frequency. In the UK the frequency is on average 50Hz although at any specific time it may be slightly higher or lower. The condition of the mains cable should be checked and also the termination of the cable inside the clock. If the synchronous motor's winding is OK it might be run, if it is open circuit it would be easier to replace the mechanism with on of the cheap quartz movements. To be honest I think the easiest and safest thing is to go for the quartz option.
__________________
Alan G6PUB
Vintage_RC is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2019, 7:17 am   #3
ianm
Hexode
 
ianm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, UK.
Posts: 322
Default Re: Smiths Electric Clock

How have you determined that it's actually faulty? Is there any sign of life at all when connected to the mains, such as a quiet hum, which can become more pronounced when you press the starter button on the back? Fortunately, these robust Smiths 'Bijou' movements are very widespread, hence parts are not a problem, plus servicing is very straightforward.
__________________
Regards

Ian McLaughlin, BVWS member
ianm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2019, 7:58 am   #4
Nickthedentist
Dekatron
 
Nickthedentist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 14,198
Default Re: Smiths Electric Clock

Hello and welcome.

Yes, it's almost certainly from the 1950s, and uses the robust and very popular Smiths "Bijou" movement.

With a bit of TLC, these will run for decades, silently telling the time accurately with no fuss. I have about a dozen of them on the go in our house, and would be lost without them.

Safety wise, they'll never be up to modern standards, but I have no qualms about running them at home. I endeavour to stop my children from messing around with them though. As a bare minimum, replace the mains cable, fit a 3A fuse (preferably 1A), and make sure you power it from a socket which is supplied via the RCD in your consumer unit (fuse box). It would be wise to fit a 3-core cable and earth the movement too, but to do this, you need to get some thin mains cable; search for 2183Y, 0.5mm2 on eBay or wherever.

Fitting a quartz movement could be done, but the originality and charm of the clock would be instantly gone IMHO.

Nick.
Nickthedentist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2019, 9:55 am   #5
Mike Phelan
Dekatron
 
Mike Phelan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 4,236
Default Re: Smiths Electric Clock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
Hello and welcome.

Fitting a quartz movement could be done, bit the originality and charm of the clock would be instantly gone IMHO.

Nick.
Absolutely! You'll end up with a new clock in an antique case, and worthless.
The Bijou will last for decades.
__________________
Mike.
Mike Phelan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2019, 10:17 am   #6
paulsherwin
Moderator
 
paulsherwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 17,944
Default Re: Smiths Electric Clock

If it was working when it was put away then there's a very good chance that it'll work now. Just check the cable and plugs are in good condition and apply power.

I would advise against using it like that though, as the motor and wheel bearings will have lost their lubrication. Ideally you should strip it down completely but that is a big job, especially for a beginner working alone. You can apply a drop of household oil or sewing machine oil to each bearing without dismantling which is much better than nothing. Don't be tempted to spray WD40 everywhere as it is a poor long term lubricant and it makes an oily mess.

These 1950s Smiths electric clocks are very tough and will survive the sort of inept maintenance that would destroy a mechanical clock, so don't be too afraid of breaking something.
paulsherwin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2019, 10:49 am   #7
Nickthedentist
Dekatron
 
Nickthedentist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 14,198
Default Re: Smiths Electric Clock

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
I would advise against using it like that though, as the motor and wheel bearings will have lost their lubrication. Ideally you should strip it down completely but that is a big job, especially for a beginner working alone. You can apply a drop of household oil or sewing machine oil to each bearing without dismantling which is much better than nothing. Don't be tempted to spray WD40 everywhere as it is a poor long term lubricant and it makes an oily mess.
Remove the rear cover by unscrewing the black screw in the centre with your thumb.

You will then see the movement with the motor attached to it by 4 screws. Removing these will allow the motor to come away. You may well then find that the rotor can be lifted out, and if so, put a single drop of light oil on the spindle it spins on, and another on the tip near the "cog" which drives the movement, then reassemble. Keep the rotor safe; don't drop it or let it come into contact with anything metallic or get near any wire wool etc.

Lubricating the rest of the movement isn't really possible without complete dismantling, which means taking off the hands etc. Not rocket science but requires some dexterity and understanding of how these things work and are assembled.

You will also see that the existing mains cable is attached to two screw terminals; you can simply attach the new cable to these using a screwdriver (blue and brown, either way round), but if you want to fit a 3-core cable with an earth wire, trap the stripped end of the yellow/green wire under one of the tiny screws that secure the motor to the movement. (It's better to use a solder tag, but I'm not sure of your skill level).

Nick.

Last edited by Nickthedentist; 15th May 2019 at 10:56 am.
Nickthedentist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18th May 2019, 10:45 pm   #8
Phil G4SPZ
Dekatron
 
Phil G4SPZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bewdley, Worcestershire, UK.
Posts: 4,187
Default Re: Smiths Electric Clock

From memory, the DC resistance of a healthy Smith Bijou motor coil should be around 11,000 ohms when measured with an ordinary multimeter. If you have a Megger or similar insulation tester, measure the resistance between the mains terminals and the metal frame, when you should see something over 20 Megohms.

If those tests are passed, the motor should be perfectly safe when connected to the mains, subject to the wise precautions that have been outlined earlier. Personally I donít advocate fitting a 3-core flex; fit a permanently-wired RCD plug if you like, but like Nick I have several synchronous clocks in use, some dating from the 1930s, and they are extremely reliable.
__________________
Phil

ďThe place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylumĒ - Havelock Ellis
Phil G4SPZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 9:23 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2019, Paul Stenning.