Author Topic: Escapement type for pendulum driven clock  (Read 10081 times)


  • Guest
Escapement type for pendulum driven clock
« on: May 25, 2007, 06:15:56 PM »
I am in the process of designing (at least attempting to) a grandfather clock that will have a 5 second compound electronically moderated/driven pendulum. I've looked at various escapements, all of which seem to require a motive force with the intent of maintaining the period of a pendulum but I want to do the opposite - drive the clock via the pendulum. Does anyone have any ideas on what sort of escapement I can use. I've played around designing something that can be driven by the pendulum but it doesn't look like anything in the literature which makes me very suspect.

Rick from Manchester

  • Guest
Escapement type for pendulum driven clock
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2007, 04:27:02 AM »

Sounds like the Hipp Toggle might be one possible solution.  The Synchronome might be another.
The links below are probably not exactly what you're looking for, but perhaps they may prove helpful in some small way.




Electric horology:



  • Guest
Escapement type for pendulum driven clock
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007, 07:28:34 AM »
Thanks for the info Rick - I was aware of some of those sites but not all. If at all possible I would like to have a traditional or at least non-electric escapement. I intend to keep the pendulum controller completely hidden and the rest of the clock would look quite conventional if possible. One of the escapements I was looking at but I thought might have too much friction is called a sully escapement.


  • Guest
Escapement type for pendulum driven clock
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 05:13:17 PM »
Technically, it's not really an escapement anymore, if you are driving the clock with the metering device( pendulum), then it's called a meter , instead of a clock.

The "connection" from the pendulum can be anything to impulse the gear train, from a ratcheting pawl like a eureka clock, to a connecting rod Ala the reciprocating engine.

Bear in mind that if the pendulum is driving the clock, it will never look like a gravity driven clock to the educated observer, for instance: Where's the weights?

Aside from the preceeding, which was not meant as a snarky comment, you might take a look at some of John Pickron's work ( if you can find it ).

let's see if this link will help:


  • Guest
Pendulum Driven Meter
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2007, 07:05:58 PM »
Thanks for the info Clayton. Guess I'm going to build a meter rather than a clock. Respecting the weights etc. - my objective with this device is to make the whole thing as minimalist looking as possible. It will only have an escapement, escape pinion and center wheel for the train and the base and upper clock will be jointed only with 4 - 3/8" carbon rods - the same material to be used for the pendulum. When looking at it there will be no apparent motive force. I looked at the many wonderful 'rube-goldberg' control devices for electro-mechanical "clocks" and decided that rather than going mechanical I will use electronics. Mumford is the only source I could find for an electronic control and he isn't making them right now so I've designed my own and hopefully will have it operational in the next few days.

Offline bobledoux

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What Control?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 08:42:38 PM »
Do you intend for the electronics to simply provide motive power to the pendulum,


do you intend the electronics to provide the master beat to correct the pendulum?

I've developed an electronic pulse unit to power my Standard Electric Time slave clock.  Its accurate to better than one second per month.  A PIC microcontroller provides the pulses.  It uses a quartz crystal as a frequency standard.  The unit provides both second and minute pulses.  It could be programmed to generate pulses on any time interval.

I won't sell complete units but I will share the circuitboard layout and computer program (assembler.)


  • Guest
Electronic Control
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 09:12:30 PM »
My electronics is designed to provide both regulation and motive force necessary. Looks like you've developed in large part what I'm working on. If things don't work out as well as hoped I'd much appreciate the info you have.