Some basic Accutron Questions
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  1. #1
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    Some basic Accutron Questions

    Following my first success in stripping ,cleaning , lubricating , indexing and phasing a 219 I believe I am an expert in accutrons.
    Boy is that a lie.
    I have indeed finally had success in turning a dirty movement that was gaining 40 minutes a day to one that now seems dead accurate after nearly a week including replacing a pawl assembly . All with your help
    It was more good luck that it ended up so accurate as I do not have the proper electrical tools for tuning.
    I am half way through reassembling my second fair dinkum effort and have a couple of questions .
    1. After finally figuring out an oiler bent 90 degrees at the tip is a perfect collet tool I am surprised at how easy it is to move the arms even on a very very dirty movement that hummed only on arrival. Are accutrons susceptible to shock ?
    2. On the 219 the pawl post does not move .What is the procedure for lining up the jewel where 2/3's sit just above the index teeth . I do believe the collet is properly seated on the post.
    3. How important is it to get all of the green (oxidisation?)off the index wheel .
    I have run it through the ultrasonic (toy) for 9 minutes and there is still some on the flats. The teeth seem ok.
    4. Following 3 above the index and pawl jewels are clean ,previously covered in green , but a little cloudy looking . How can I rub them without dislodging or do I need to.
    Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    Addressing your questions:
    1. Collets sometimes need to be tightened...true of hairspring collets and index finger collets. This often becomes evident when installing an index finger assembly from a "parts" watch onto a movement under repair. As for collet tension...only enough is required so that the torsional intertia of the stress limiter, jewel finger, and jewel do not result in movement under "normal" accelerations. Anecdotally...comparing to hs collets...Accutron is at the low end of the tension scale. As for shock...for your further reading pleasure: https://oldfathertime.com/accutron_history1.htm and http://www.decadecounter.com/accutron/US3257794.pdf The description of shock effect on Old Father Time comes directly from the Accutron Facts Booklet...(which I believe I already posted in reply to one of your earlier queries). The patent is self-explanatory.

    2. Vertical alignment is accomplished just like the 218...you DO move the post (unless, of course, you want to re-pin the finger in the collet...this is not the method outlined by Bulova, however). I don't own the Accutron tool for this. I use a hypodermic needle which was selected for its internal diameter, then formed to just fit over the post. Can't tell you what gauge...they tend to vary by manufacturer... and you may still have to reduce the hole size.

    3. Very important that all contamination is complete removed from the index wheel...(are you examining with a microscope [yet])? Can you post pictures? What are you using for cleaning solution/rinsing solution?

    Before/after shots of a 218 index wheel that came across my bench...
    Name:  IndexWheel.JPG
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Size:  113.5 KBName:  Clean2.jpg
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    4. Cloudy is likely residue from cleaning solution...although I've seen excess epoxy on the sides of jewels. Attempting to rub or manually clean the index jewels is likely a bad idea. Almost anything you would use to "clean" them is likely to leave as much debris as it may remove. Accutron recommends cleaning with elder pith. If you touch these with anything at all, stroke away from the collet. After ultrasonic cleaning, I use One Dip (TCE) to remove any remaining residue...soak for only a briefly (30s max)...TCE can attack the epoxy used to affix the stone to the finger...for that matter, stones have been known to come off in the ultrasound...which would be the reason for this instruction from the 218 Service Manual:

    “Ultrasonic equipment is necessary for cleaning the ACCUTRON movement. The ACCUTRON movement should be treated exactly as any fine watch movement, with one exception. The electronic circuit, the tuning fork and the pawl bridge should not be cleaned in the ultrasonic equipment, because of the possibility of damage to delicate parts.


    The tuning fork, coils, and pawl bridge can be cleaned satisfactorily by merely dipping into a “benzine cup” and then placing on a tissue to dry."



    I don't dip the coils in ANYTHING...my benzine cup has ONE DIP (TCE) in it...

    Good luck...
    BG
    Last edited by BenchGuy; February 12th, 2017 at 14:19.

  3. #3
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    Accutrons are amazingly robust in use and amazingly delicate in service. If your index wheels and jewels are pretty clean and it works, better to leave it as is than go further in cleaning.

    My mom has a 218 she got on my birth in 1973. I serviced it in 1999 and aside from that it's just had battery changes - it's her daily wearer since 1973. I think part of its success is minimal 'tweezer time' in those 40+ years.

    It's clearly due for another service but I'm also curious just how long it'll go. Crap- maybe when her Accutron goes I go- I'll ask her to mail it to me .
    Molliedooker likes this.

  4. #4
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    Many watchmakers will not touch these with a 10 foot pole. I found these easy as they have few parts, but that does not make them difficult or not delicate. The pawl springs need to be lined up and the newer 1.5v batteries which often test at 1.56V can cause a problem with excessive amplitude, which can cause it to move to to 3 times fast. Follow the instructions to a T and handle the index wheel like a newborn baby and you should be fine, with a little experience and skill.

    One curious think I have is that there are newer oils out now that may serve purpose better, for example using hp1300 in the keyless works, or pml stem grease. this goes against the recommendations of 50 years ago, but advancements have been made.

    Sometimes for whatever reason it takes a little ping to get the tuning fork working. perhaps it's due to aged capacitors.

  5. #5
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    Thanks for replies . Read Father Time ,comforting , and will read US Patent . Could not access your photos. Not a bad philosophy mailchort 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'

    Thanks Jcoffin. What I have found with the 344 batteries is that they are not widely used and out of five I have purchased three were almost flat ,all from the same supplier. Have only serviced two and both keeping pretty good time after indexing/phasing
    BG
    Post must have moved after after attempting as jewel now lined up thanks.
    I followed Bulova Technical bulletin on 219 and dropped into ultrasound as attached sans the holder with the index and pawl jewels moved away from wheel. Perhaps I dodged a bullet as after three rinses each of 3 minutes in fresh naptha each time it came out shiny and intact albeit with the cloudy jewels and a little green still on the index wheel.
    The only other cleaning solution I have is Isopropyl which I do not use on jewels in fear of them coming loose.
    NOW I know it's a big NoNo but I took the lightest of quality artists brushes with very soft fanned bristles dipped in isopropyl and whilst manually turning the second wheel a couple of cogs at a time with an oiler I very very lightly fanned the top flat of the index wheel and dried using a hand blower. It came up pretty well but did not solve what may be underneath.
    The phase screw was seated pretty tight so after reassembling and moving the fingers in until they were just touching the index wheel for it to move smoothly with recommended distance between the gage and fingers have left it go for 20hrs. Slightly fast. < 10secs /24
    It is pointless me doing further adjustments aside from moving regulators until I get proper cleaning solutions next week. No parts were needed.
    Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by Molliedooker; February 12th, 2017 at 03:16.

  6. #6
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    Isopropyl is water-based...don't use it...(look up azeotrope)...
    L&R 112 to clean...L&R 121 for three rinses (7 min clean/5 min each rinse).
    NEVER touch the index wheel with anything...period.
    Use only Renata 344 batteries. By flat you may mean low voltage...however, all but Renata batteries have had a change in the design of the can...so that they are literally "flatter" on negative side...in 9162/4s these will short...
    10s fast in 24 hours can still be a phasing problem...especially if faster when worn, than when sitting on the bench.
    It is pointless moving the regulators unless all other aspects of the service are first successfully completed. It is pointless to attempt servicing Accutrons without 40x magnification (minimum)...one simply cannot accomplish the adjustments outlined in the service bulletin without sufficient visualization.
    Regards, BG

  7. #7
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    Mollie,

    The photos that Bench guy posted are from my Accutron. You can see the thread here: LINK

    I will confirm that after delivery, and through today (2/12/2017) that hte watch is running well, and has not lost/gained anything substantial that would cause me to re-set the time.

    Benchguy did the work. It was stellar, given what poor shape the watch internals were in that I provided him with.

    My only contribution to this thread is to heed his (Bench Guy) advice, as he knows what he is doing. In no way is this meant to minimise the comments of others, but only to emphasise the expertise of someone that I have direct experience with and the quality of the end result.

    Good luck with the Accutron(s). :)





  8. #8
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    [QUOTE=BenchGuy;38598258]Isopropyl is water-based...don't use it...(look up azeotrope)...
    L&R 112 to clean...L&R 121 for three rinses (7 min clean/5 min each rinse).
    NEVER touch the index wheel with anything...period.
    Use only Renata 344 batteries. By flat you may mean low voltage...however, all but Renata batteries have had a change in the design of the can...so that they are literally "flatter" on negative side...in 9162/4s these will short...

    Thanks for this,
    My local watch supplier (labanda) according to their site has L&R 111 , 3 and ultrasonic rinse among others, not it seems 112 or 122. I'll check it out.
    I am using energizer batteries as aside from Varta from labanda they are only ones I could source locally.
    I am very appreciative of your tip not using other than Renata in 9162 as have just stripped non working one. OH NO !!!! you say? Lots of acid/ dirt build up on electronic connections and jewel missing on pawl . Picked up another 9162 yesterday for $20 from SA with intact jewels and looking pretty clean .
    JedB ,I read your attachment which was quite informative and amusing.
    Are you saying BG knows what he is doing! No way. (Joke)

  9. #9
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    I find that 20X is more than sufficient for magnification (I do have 30 now), unless of course like the 214 you need to adjust the amount of teeth between the jewels (I've never worked on a 214).

    The magnets and the end of the fork tend to collect metallic debris from who knows where in the movement. This slows them down and affects the timing. This can be cleaned with Rodico, or pegwood and you will find after cleaning you can move the regulators closer to the middle position.

    Benchguy mentions 7 minutes in cleaning solution and 5 minutes rinse. Is this a soak or an L&R machine? If it's ultrasonic I'd be worried about the jewels coming off. I use 15 to 20 seconds in each solution ultrasonically and they are very clean.

    The most nerve wracking part is handling the index wheel. There is a tool to hold it and clean it in the ultrasonic but I don't have one. Trying to line up the wheels after dropping on the wheel train bridge often results the index wheel popping out and going on it's side which can damage it. Under magnification I line up the wheels as straight as possible and place the bridge and if I don't get all four I take it off and try again. If you get good at this you will often get it the first time and save a lot of headache.

    These can run with crazy accuracy. I've had them run for 6 months on a bench and they are within 2 or 3 seconds or so of the time. There is more variance on the wrist though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Some basic Accutron Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin1981 View Post
    I find that 20X is more than sufficient for magnification (I do have 30 now), unless of course like the 214 you need to adjust the amount of teeth between the jewels (I've never worked on a 214).

    Benchguy mentions 7 minutes in cleaning solution and 5 minutes rinse. Is this a soak or an L&R machine? If it's ultrasonic I'd be worried about the jewels coming off. I use 15 to 20 seconds in each solution ultrasonically and they are very clean.

    The most nerve wracking part is handling the index wheel. There is a tool to hold it and clean it in the ultrasonic but I don't have one. Trying to line up the wheels after dropping on the wheel train bridge often results the index wheel popping out and going on it's side which can damage it. Under magnification I line up the wheels as straight as possible and place the bridge and if I don't get all four I take it off and try again. If you get good at this you will often get it the first time and save a lot of headache.
    -Most folks need 40x minimum...at 20x you'll stuggle to see that the index/pawl stones are truly centered and square.
    -7 minutes, ultrasonic cleaner (Portescap Mark V). If you are using L&R 112/121 and lose a stone...it was probably going to leave, anyway. The index wheel depicted above required 12 minutes total to come clean. I am now using Zenith Drizbrite for the final rinse...it dries well and leaves no perceptible residue.
    -Buy a junk movement and use the mainplate and train bridge to hold your index wheels...
    -Use whatever method works for you on lining up the pivots, so long as you don't touch/damage the index wheel. On 218s I line everybody up and position the bridge...pivots almost never "drop in"...and there is often the issue of relatively "tight" alignment pins on the bridge. If you tilt the movement holder (I prop the end towards me on pithwood)...so as to see under the bridge, the arbors/pinions can be easily manipulated with a fine oiler pip. This is just what works for me...and it seems safer than continuously removing/replacing bridge...which is relatively massive in comparison to the train wheels and stands a chance of damaging something with each re-setting. Some folks "lock" the ss wheel with the hack...this holds it down against the friction spring...this method doesn't work for me due to the lateral pressure and resulting position on the upper pivot.

    Maybe Samatha can tell us how they were instructed at the Accutron SC?

    The free advice is worth what you pay for it...
    Again...this is just what works for me...
    Last edited by BenchGuy; 6 Days Ago at 14:16.

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