Restore your clock for a tenner

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chrisgallacher
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Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by chrisgallacher » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:18 pm

I've had my Sabre Six for over ten years now and despite my best efforts the clock has never worked. It's probably been like that for over two decades now, but it's always bugged me that I don't have a working clock in my car. So I updated it to a quartz movement in the original case, something that is probably applicable to almost all Scimitars.

Non-working clock as removed from dash:
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Clock disassembled:
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The problem is that the vast majority of replacement quartz movements are square, not round, and therefore don't fit the case. There are however a few round ones available, for instance from New Generation Clocks. I bought this one, less than a tenner delivered:
Image

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One problem is how to access the back of the clock to set and adjust the time once the thing is installed in the dash. In the case of the Sabre, and possibly also Coupes and early SE5s, it's pretty easy to reach the rear of the dash and therefore the back of the clock. So I used a short plastic shaft and a dab of JB Weld to extend the adjuster dial out of the back of the case. Not sure how you'd get access on later cars - maybe make the clock removable from the front of the dash to set the time? Answers on a postcard... Anyway:
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The dial face is fixed to the quartz movement using the existing tabs, suerglued and secured with more JB Weld:
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The hands were painted to match the originals, and I chose to use the sweep second hand as well - but this could be discarded if not wanted. I could have probably come up with an arrangement to re-use the original hands if necessary, but that felt a little bit like hard work:
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The movement comes supplied with a 1.5v battery but that's not too practical, so I ditched that for a 1.5v regulated supply. The movement only draws about 1.5mA so I could have got away with a dropper resistor, but that's a bit of a bodge. So I used a LM317 variable voltage regulator I had kicking around - overkill maybe, but they're available for pence - mounted in the rear of the case:
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An issue with this particular movement is that it has stainless battery terminals so they can't be soldered to. So I had to pare back the case and solder the supply cables to the pc board:
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The two indents in the case were used to glue two M3 screws to act as mounting pillars for the movement:
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Which allowed the assembly to be mounted in the case and adjusted to the correct depth. You can see the time adjuster poking through the back of the case, too:
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Completed clock ready for refitting to the car:
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And under test on the bench, drawing less than 1.5mA:
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Sorted! Valerie Singleton (one for our older readers) would be proud of me :)
Last edited by chrisgallacher on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by rockhouse » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:57 pm

valerie singleton its a wonder you didn't use a cornflake packet and sticky back plastic
nice idea thanks for posting i reckon a few people will try it



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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by chrisgallacher » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:00 pm

I was more of a John Noakes fan at that age, tbh...


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by Gemini Bob » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:11 pm

Get down Shep :lol: Nice idea Chris :D


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by scimjim » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:41 pm

Brilliant Chris!


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by 70sicon » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:03 pm

I love seeing an engineering feat such as this caried out and a success
Well done that man



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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by Gillsfan » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:37 pm

Nice work,If only I hadn't throw out the non working clock I'd had in the garage for over a year Doh.


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by peter freeman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:09 pm

You could make a tidy bit of money doing that as a side line - probably loads of classic cars out there with duff clocks. I just look at my watch - even though at the moment all of my clocks are working even though they do need setting every week as they either gain or lose time.



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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by Roger Pennington » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:11 pm

An excellent guide, Chris. As well as being worth a (virtual) Blue Peter badge, I think it deserves to be moved to the "How To Guides" section, rather than left in the general tech section where it will get swamped after a while. If you don't mind, I'd be happy to move it for you? :)


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by chrisgallacher » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:13 pm

Yep, go for it Roger.

I might admit to having a real Blue Peter badge in a folder somewhere :oops: (from my childhood, I hasten to add...)


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by Roger Pennington » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:18 pm

Ok, moved to it's new home for posterity!.


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by chrisgallacher » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:18 pm

peter freeman wrote:You could make a tidy bit of money doing that as a side line - probably loads of classic cars out there with duff clocks.
What lets it down a bit is the need to reach behind the case to adjust it, but I couldn't think of an easy way around that - especially if the original housing is to be retained. Anybody have any bright ideas?

I think there are companies who offer this as a commercial service, but at a price. I wonder how they get around the adjustment issue?


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by scimjim » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:04 pm

Something like the 5/5a speedo trip reset remote cable?


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Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
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1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by chrisgallacher » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:27 pm

Yes, wondered about something like that... Could be fiddly and tricky to set up in practice though, I think.

The other way which would definitely work if you can't reach behind the dash to adjust, would be to wire a hidden on/off switch in the +12v feed to the clock. Forget about the adjuster on the back, and when the clock reaches a suitable time switch it off. Then wait for real time to catch up (could be next day...) and switch on at the sync point. It's non-elegant but reliable, and hopefully the quartz movement is accurate enough that this would be a very occasional exercise - maybe even just twice a year. Not too handy if you're crossing to France regularly though I guess...

Couldn't come up with anything better than that I'm afraid.


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Re: Restore your clock for a tenner

Post by peter freeman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:30 pm

Leave the glass out and turn the pointers by hand - joke.



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