Motorised WT on eBay


This is for A GENTS PULSYNETIC TURRET CLOCK WAITING TRAIN with the electric MASTER CLOCK that it was connected to.

It was installed in a very low roof space in ICI BILLINGHAM, the master clock has a serial number of 2540, matching on label, case and pendulum, the label looks like it was installed 10-2 27. 

The waiting train was modified at some time, looks to be a factory change,(although not sure who did it) by the removal of the pendulum weight and the hip-toggle and the addition of a 240 drive motor with linkages connected to the pendulum staff which drives it backwards and forwards, then idles until it receives the impulse from the master clock every 30 sec then goes again.

The master and the waiting train were installed and removed together and both are in working order. The dial on the master is peeling, it has on it PULSYNETIC & ELECTRIC, so it will need restoration. There are no dials with it as they were left on the building until it was knocked down.

Quite an early Gents' C40A Waiting Train movement. One which has been stripped of its pendulum bob, very large drive electromagnets, their controlling Hipp Toggle and contact assembly.

An interesting (possibly unique) conversion to motor drive of the pendulum rod. It all looks very professionally done. Strongly suggesting a Gents' factory modification. Arguably worth keeping in its original condition for historical reasons.

The WT mechanism still performs perfectly normally. The pendulum driving the ratchet wheel, via the drive pawl. Until the worm drive is paused by the D-shaped pin lifting the pawl out of the ratchet wheel teeth.  

Then at the precise, half-minute the signal comes from the master clock. Releasing the drive pawl to start driving the worm and wormwheel again. To continue showing the time on the exterior dials as normal. The pause is much too short to be seen by a distant watcher of the clock dials.

The electric motor has a worm reduction to a low speed output shaft. Presumably turning at somewhere around 36 rpm to match the usual period of the WT pendulum. (note: Will confirm this figure in practice) The output shaft is fitted with a crank which drives the connecting rod to physically push and pull the pendulum rod. Both ends of the connecting rod are fitted with ball bearings for long life. 

The reason behind the conversion to electric motor drive? Possibly to avoid unwanted noise. Perhaps induced by the stresses of a violent pendulum impulse on a weak roof structure. Perhaps there was simply insufficient room for the pendulum to swing below the WT movement? 

Later discussion by the experts on a clock forum suggests that there was no clearance for a pendulum in the original roof installation. The motor also provided a very quiet drive compared with the mechanical impulsing of a normal WT pendulum.

The bevel gearing is supported on a very substantial, fabricated, right-angle bracket. The hammer marks suggest a bent piece of thick, strip metal. The bevel gears drive a vertical output shaft with expansion-universal joint at one revolution per hour. This drives the clock hands on the external dials via lead-off rods and further bevel gearing. A hand setting dial has been incorporated just below the forked, universal joint. A pointer is attached to the support bracket.

It is rather unfortunate that the seller has chosen to use a white background for their auction photographs. Experience shows that this is one of the worst possible, plain backgrounds for technical photography. The camera is confused by the bright background. This results in massively reduces brightness, contrast and visible detail in the actual object being photographed. I have done my best to rectify the situation in PhotoFiltre. Though not with any particular success.

It could have been (much) worse. The object might have been photographed in front of a busy background. Or, even worse, against a window flooded with daylight.

Matt, neutral colours like beige to light brown work well. Flat, sheet materials like ordinary hardboard or even more ordinary packaging cardboard are good. These make excellent backgrounds for photographing objects like these. The further behind the object they are placed, the better. Because they will be thrown out of sharp focus. Though these background boards will obviously need to be made much larger if placed any great distance behind the subject.

This rather unique WT sold for £785. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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