The Beall Clock Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: bobledoux on February 26, 2007, 08:44:55 AM

Title: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: bobledoux on February 26, 2007, 08:44:55 AM
I was looking at John's Makore clock design.  It appears to have an impulse lever on the pendulum similar to that found on a Synchronome.

Look at the clock at the top of the page.

But the clock has electromagnetic drive, which I presume, means it uses a solenoid at the bottom of the pendulum.  

Can someone explain how the escapement works on this clock? What is the purpose of the horizontal arm on the pendulum?
Title: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: jss on February 26, 2007, 09:29:14 AM
I believe the impulse is an electrical mechanical device. The Drive Circuit
runs on "AA" batteries which supply power to the pendulum drive circuit and the microprocessor.
Example of this are at Mumford Micro Systems

This produces a true pendulum clock. The electronic circuit does not control the rate of the pendulum. Timekeeping is entirely a product of the natural motion of your pendulum.

Experimental pendulum clock

Using this design, you can construct an electromagnetically impulsed pendulum clock with a 1-second beat.

On the prototype, the pendulum rod is 115cm long with a bob adjusted to make it beat every second. It is suspended on a short piece of mainspring from a watch, which is attached to a vertical backboard with a 6mm screw. The rod extends some 15cm below the bob and is fitted with large washes at the lower end.

Can anyone else offer possible solutions?
Title: Electromagnetic Clock Drive
Post by: bobledoux on February 26, 2007, 02:36:06 PM
Many of these designs, including Mumford's employ a sensor plus a magnetic coil.  Sometimes a second coil is the sensor.

There is another design that uses the magnetic drive coil as the sensor, as well as the "motor."  The pendulum holds a magnet.  As the magnet approaches the coil it induces a voltage in the coil.  This voltage turns on a switching transistor that discharges a capacitor into the coil to drive the pendulum. sells a "SunSwinger Pendulum Kit" for $30 that is powered by a small solar cell.  The drive circuit consists of two transistors, two capacitors, two resistors, a coil, diode and solar cell.  You can download the manual for the kit at their website.

This design certainly has promise for driving a clock pendulum.
Title: About John Pickron's Clock Design
Post by: bobledoux on March 01, 2007, 08:36:39 AM
I sent an email to John and it came back undelivered.

Can someone tell me about the horizontal lever on his clock pendulum?  Is this an unusual escapement?  I noticed there aren't many wheels and pinions in his clock design.
Title: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: jss on March 02, 2007, 01:09:20 PM
On Gary's web site there are additional pictures provided of Johns Pichron's work.  (fixed link 8-23-11)

 Looking at the first two pictures, I believe the horizontal portion attached to the pendulum is a linear cam.  As the pendulum oscillates  the cam forces the roller linkage with two pawls to drive a ratchet of 64 teeth.  The ratchet shaft has a pinion of 8 teeth driving a gear of 64.  I may be in error but offer this as a possible answer to your question.

Title: Further Discussion
Post by: bobledoux on March 02, 2007, 08:40:05 PM
Let me see if I understand you:

The escape wheel is at the bottom.  There appears to be an upside down "L" arm with a roller at the end of the leg.  This roller runs over the top of the  horizontal lever on the pendulum.  This movement rotates the pallet arm at the bottom of the upside down "L".  

Is the "L" arm pivoted on the arbor for the 60 tooth wheel above the scape wheel?  Is this a deadbeat (graham) type pallet? What is the function of the brass screw?

I'm still having trouble visualizing the escapement action.  I'm not trying to back you into a corner.  I've just never seen this clock in operation.  The escapement action looks different than anything I've seen.

I appreciate your trying to interpret this design.
Title: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: jss on March 03, 2007, 09:26:21 AM
Don’t worry about being backed in a corner I just wait for the paint to dry!
By the way thanks for the link to

   I believe the traditional escapement has been eliminated ---- its just a ratchet at the bottom. The pendulum derives its period by the electro mechanical device which determines its period.   The linear cam drives the roller linkage.  The linkage has pawls and the brass screws ---which act as counterweight to maintain contact with the ratchet.
I may be in error, can anyone else can give any suggestions?

Title: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: rabbit on March 03, 2007, 04:09:47 PM
Jay's right - there is no "escape mechanism".
the pendulum drives the gear train rather than the other way around.
this mechanism is technically a "meter", rather than a "clock". (i know that sounds blasphemous.) it is very similar to an ATO or other electromechanical clock. the pendulum - impulsed magnetically - truly controls the period, and the gear train merely "counts" cycles via the ratchet works. it's a beautiful piece of machinery.

what i really want to know is: what happened to John Pickron? his website disappeared about a year ago, and i've been unable to locate him or his wonderful works.
Title: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: bobledoux on March 04, 2007, 07:20:06 AM
This is the only site I've been able to find for John Pickron:

In a regular clock the winding work or weight drives the escapement.  The escapement regulates the rate at which the spring unwinds or the weight falls.  In a pendulum clock the escapement drives the pendulum.

In an electromagnetic clock, the magnetic mechanism drives the pendulum, which in turn, drives the clock.  In this clock mechanism a ratchet mechanism may be used instead of an escapement wheel.

QUESTION:  Can an escapement like the grasshopper or graham escapement still be used with an electromagnetic clock?  Is any purpose served by doing so?
Title: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: jss on March 18, 2007, 05:57:01 PM
The answer to your question–don’t know. However, the following web site demonstrates the evolution of electric clocks.  The animations are priceless.  Place your cursor on the illustration or use the better "animation" option.  Notice the magnet fixed to an anchor escapement driving the hands  on the Carl August Steinheil clock.  I guess the Alexander Bain clock would be similar to John Pickron 's clock.
(corrected link 7-13-07)
Title: Re: Question Re: John Pickron's Clock Designs
Post by: Zerlinda on June 08, 2017, 01:31:16 AM
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