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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 11:30 pm   #1
matthewhouse
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Default Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

Hello all. I have obtained a Synchronome master clock with a Telephone Rentals uniselector chronogram and one slave clock. I have repaired the master clock and it's downstairs happily ticking and clunking away. This was removed from a closed factory and looks to have run clocks, shift change hooters and a clocking in machine. I wish I had the clocking in machine, but all I could find was an old punch card, at least 2 clocking in systems had been installed since this was taken out of action.

I'm asking here as the chronogram is not working at all. Helpfully a circuit diagram is pasted inside the lid, unhelpfully someone has spray painted over it and it is totally unreadable.

Does anyone here have any experience with such equipment? There is very little info online, most of the information I have found is on known scam websites, so no help there.

It is sort of attempting to work, when the master clock sends a pulse one of the uniselectors coils (marked M) is powered, but not enough to move it on one step. I'm a bit puzzled as the selectors are marked in order M, S, H, D, T. I would have expected S to come first for seconds.

I do not have any batteries connected at the moment, are these required to provide enough current for the coils? There were 3 rows of 6no. 2volt cells left inside, these were so rotted even their plastic cases had corroded. These had been replaced with 3 12V SLA batteries at some point these were also rotten.

While taking the photos I have just measured the voltage from the PSU, it sits at 38V DC but during a pulse drops to less than 24V. So it is likely either batteries are needed to supply the required current, or the metal rectifier is on its way out.
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 1:08 am   #2
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

Here are some pages from an old TR Engineers Handbook I salvaged when we moved service centre. They're only notes, but you may get some scraps of information from them.
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 11:03 am   #3
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

Thanks, I'll take a look.
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 11:10 am   #4
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I will have a look and see if I still have any circuits for this. Some 20 odd years ago a TR clock system was removed from the factory I work at and I was fortunate to obtain all the slaves, master clock, clocking in machines, but had no interest in keeping the US Chrono, something I have always regretted since, and I have never stumbled across another. All I rescued from the cabinet was the impulse converter relays so I could generate 1 minute impulses from the 30 second ones.
I will PM you if I find anything.
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 2:30 pm   #5
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I'd love to see some photos of the clocking in machines if you have any!
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 4:30 pm   #6
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I will take one when I'm next in the garage.

Or just Google search 'TR clocking in machine' there are a couple there, mine is the same as the hammered green finished clock, wish I had kept a card rack.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 1:14 am   #7
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I'm getting a bit further now, what a fascinating piece of equipment!

I've installed 3 new 12V batteries and things are starting to operate a bit more. I now understand why the M U/S is on the left. It moves on 1 step every 2 30 second pulses. I think the H U/S moves on after 1 or more complete cycles of the M U/S for the hours, but nothing more seems to happen. T looks like it sets the amount of time the sounder output relay is energised for. I'm guessing D is for day of the week. S I've not worked out yet, not a clue. It is much bigger and has far more contacts than the other selectors.

This thing is massively complex, but at the same time amazingly simple. I spent some time studying the upper chassis, and have worked out how most of that works, the circuit diagram and instructions in the lid were most helpful. Much less daunting than when I first saw so many wires and relay contacts.

I wonder what the designer was thinking, when they created such a contraption...
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 1:44 am   #8
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I well remember clocking in clocks that were operated from the master clock, and waiting impatiently for it to click on. However, there’s an assumption in this intriguing thread that we all know what a chronogram is.

Please......what is it?.......a time picture maybe.....?

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Old 6th Nov 2019, 11:29 am   #9
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

Yes, please tell us more!

I love all things horological and electrical, but it;s a new term to me.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 2:59 pm   #10
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I can remember working for a firm that had one that punched out a little hole in the card at each end of the shift.
Occasionally one of the little circles of card used to find its way into the clock face.
This was not a problem until the minute hand started having to dig there way through at half past the hour.
One day it let go and the hands dropped off causing management to frantically implement a bodge. I was told that they were trying UHU at one stage.
There was almost two minutes of backlash in the minute hand so you had to estimate the indicated time. The punch kept time though.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 8:11 pm   #11
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

To be honest I don't really know myself! I guess it is almost like an elecromechanical ring counter that operates as a programmable time clock.

The cronogram minute selector steps on once per minute (every 2 pulses from the master clock). After the minute selector has gone round twice, it steps the hours counter on one step and it looks like after the hour selector has gone round once it steps the day selector on 2 steps. The other 2 selectors S and T I havn't got to do anything yet. One of the selectors (I think T) and possibly 2 relays work together to act as a delay to determine how long the output relay is switched on (probably only a few seconds) I've not got that far yet! The program must be set by soldering wires between the selector contacts!

The whole assembly is on a multipole plug using 5 wires to connect it to the rest of the system:
0V, -36V, P1 & P2 (impulses from the main clock controls) and S (output to the hooter relay). The assembly simply hooks onto 4 threaded studs and is secured with wing nuts. When removed the frame allows it to be sat face down on the table to make it easy (easier!) to work on the wire side.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 8:24 pm   #12
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

S - Siren? for indicating the end of a shift period?
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 9:05 pm   #13
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I have looked through my docs but cannot find the one I used to have, will be in touch if I find it.

The Chronogram basically controls the start and stop work hooters and sirens within a factory, ours used to sound for start work, start and stop the 10min morning tea-break, a 3 minute before lunch 'time to wash hands', then start and stop lunch, then start and stop afternoon tea break and finally end of working day. Mon-Thurs were programmed the same, with Fri and the weekend differently to suite the work pattern, overtime etc.
Different parts of the site had hooters on different circuits to cover their relevant shift patterns.
It was a very elegant way of controlling signals by electromechanical means only.
TR Services used to call the hooters Adaptahorns.
The 1 minute impulses were also derived by relays only by an impulse converter, some had hysteresis slugs on them to add the necessary contact hold, also there was an impulse reverser which switched the polarity of each impulse to drive 'continental' style alternate polarity slave clocks, this was does by PO relays, again some slugged.
As you probably guess, I love this stuff, I will now take my anorak off!
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 11:58 pm   #14
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robsradio View Post
TR Services used to call the hooters Adaptahorns.
I'll have to get hold of one! (though I do have an old 240V Klaxon I found in another closed factory, that makes a lot of noise too) I have just searched online and the sound is identical to the shift change hooters that were still operating throughout the factory. They sounded great! Bit strange to hear them sound through the day in a closed down almost empty factory, the vending machines were still running and partly stocked too...
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Originally Posted by Robsradio View Post
The 1 minute impulses were also derived by relays only by an impulse converter, some had hysteresis slugs on them to add the necessary contact hold, also there was an impulse reverser which switched the polarity of each impulse to drive 'continental' style alternate polarity slave clocks, this was does by PO relays, again some slugged.
That must be that what this photographed unit is. Its input is taken from one of the outputs from the main controls, and p1 & p2 I assume fed a string of clocks. It does run the clock I have here. Yes there certainly seems to be different types of relay. It looks like a duplicate of what is in the main controls cabinet, added to run an extra circuit of clocks? The main cabinet also appears to have spare wiring and component mounting positions for a second set. There is no adjustable resistor though on this unit like the main one to set the circuit current.
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Originally Posted by Robsradio View Post
As you probably guess, I love this stuff, I will now take my anorak off!
Keep it on, it's interesting to learn about all this stuff! Far more fun than the modern version. I'm glad I saved it before it ended up in a skip, I'm having a great time learning how each section functions. I would have loved to install and maintain this sort of equipment, its complexity is right up my street. I've designed some rather bizarre control circuits using lots of relay logic and when I've finished looked at it and wondered how I came up with that and got it working. I'm quite good at taking faulty equipment and with a bit of time and playing I can work out how most things work eventually, in order to repair the item. It's more difficult when the wiring for 30 contacts disappears into a bundle of wires though, but once I've broken each part down into sections it becomes much less intimidating. Oops , I've started pointlessly rambling again.
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Old 7th Nov 2019, 9:12 pm   #15
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

Sounds like we are two of a kind
You had a very nice find there, I got mine in the mid 90s when it was all ripped out in favour of swiped tags and turnstiles!
I so wish I had kept the U/S chrono, but I didn't have the same interest in preserving history then as I do now, all I was interested in then was anything 'clock', wish I had kept the old glass jar batteries too!
Yes, that little square box contains the impulse reverser, it takes the 30sec unipolar impulse and sends out 30sec bipolar pulses, we only had one bipolar slave and that was a fancy T&N 1960s style clock in reception, there must have been at least one in the factory where you found these treasures.
The 1minute impulse converter for time recorders etc is within the top box you have photographed.
Enjoy the restoration
Rob
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Old 7th Nov 2019, 9:24 pm   #16
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

Also...
Will try and take a pic or two of my master clock, clocking in machine and impulse converter and impulse reverser.
Does your cabinet have an indicator dial built in, it is basically a small slave clock with only a minute chapter ring and no hour hand.
It would bring back memories if you could take a photo with the covers all fitted.
Cheers
Rob
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Old 7th Nov 2019, 10:21 pm   #17
matthewhouse
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I will take some more photos and post them here and somewhere they can be high resolution.

My master clock has no indicator dial. The slave clock I have was mounted on the wall beside the master clock and connected in series with the master via 2 terminals that normally have a wire link. The door has a wooden frame at the top where one could be fitted but the glass is sprayed black. I've seen several photos of this type of clock and all of those are fitted with some sort of dial. It looks rather cool without one.
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Old 7th Nov 2019, 11:00 pm   #18
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

I assume you don't have a pilot dial in the U/S chrono cabinet you have, the one we had at work did have a pilot dial (which I did keep) and it only indicated the prime circuit minutes.
The TR master clock is just a plain metal cabinet with no slave dial, there was however a 6" slave above it which I have replicated, as the pics will show when I take them.
Cheers
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 6:17 pm   #19
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

No dial in the chrono, I assume that fits in the space to the right of the selectors?
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 12:08 am   #20
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Default Re: Telephone Rentals Uniselector Chronogram

The slave clock was looking a bit sad covered in paint and cigarette residue so I cleaned it a bit. The paint is starting to flake on the inner ring, but it is much more presentable now.
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