What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)
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    What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    Before the accuracy of the quartz what came along, how did we time things accurately for when it mattered, like in science, racing, etc... Timing is such an important thing, and some times it is even more important for it to be accurate. Seconds can mean to live or die for certain situations... Infinite amount of situations... So what did we do?

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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    Quartz clocks go back to 1927. Prior to that precision pendulum clocks were accurate to 10-20 milliseconds/day and government agencies such as the Naval Observatory in Washington would send telegraph signals around the country. Telescopic observations of stars were used to set the clocks.

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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)


    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    An accutate (fraction of a second or better) timekeeping was not important in the past, let us say - before 1800. The general tech was quite low, so no need for ulta precise timing.

    Even further back, there was not much need for timekeeping.
    you do not need a watch to watch grass grow...

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    TDF
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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    If you're not trying to park a satellite in orbit, quartz type accuracy is not necessary. One big historical impetus for making accurate clocks was for navigation by ship. If you have a clock that is less than +/- 10 seconds per day, you can place your ships position with reasonable accuracy.

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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    For experimental purposes, you design the set-up to expand the time base to a degree where mechanical timing is possible, and graphic means to acturately record the time inverval. Generally, they use the same techniques today, except for the graphic recording.

    For example, to measure the speed of an naval gun projectile to determine effectiveness and range, they placed two coils some distance apart axial with the bore. You then shoot the gun and the projectile passes through the two rings. The large steel shell passing through a coil of wire will induce a current in the wire which will show up as a bump on a strip chart. Two coils two bumps on the strip chart some measureable distance apart, if you know the speed the paper is moving on the strip chart (inches per second), and you know the actual distance between the two coils, you can calculate the time it took to travel from one coil to the next, and there for the speed.

    The moving strip chart is a great way to expand the time base....

    Quote Originally Posted by TDF View Post
    If you're not trying to park a satellite in orbit, quartz type accuracy is not necessary. One big historical impetus for making accurate clocks was for navigation by ship. If you have a clock that is less than +/- 10 seconds per day, you can place your ships position with reasonable accuracy.
    And, if you are trying to park a satellite in orbit?

    You do realize that they managed to do that (park satellites) with some regularity before quartz timing was generally used.....
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    Further, the old vibrograph watch timer is a good example of how you can accurately mesure time of less than a millisecond.

    The way they work is the head moves left to right and back at a set speed, when the microphone picks up the sound of the unlocking/locking of the pallet, the pin punches a small dot on a moving paper, the horizontal distance between the two dots is the beat error. If you know the speed the head moves, you can calculate the exact beat error in milliseconds. Similarly, the paper moved vertically at a known speed, which is proportional to the movement frequency (18,000 bph, 21,600 bph, etc), so if the movement is running perfectly at design speed and is in perfect beat, the dots will be perfectly centered in the center of the paper strip, if it is out, the line will incline to the right or left, depending on whether the movement is running fast or slow. by measuring the angle of inclination, you can calculate the exact speed the watch is running.

    For watches, the exact numerical speed and beat error is not needed, just the relative error, and you adjust until the error is zero, however, if you wished, you can calculate the numbers.
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    Now, the next question, "How does one know, accurately, how fast the paper is moving in the strip chart or how fast the head is moving?"

    These were run by AC synchronous motors, which have a rotational speed proportional to the input frequency, for example if the input frequency is 60 Hz (US standard) the motor speed will be exactly 3600 rpm. By gearing, you can now get any speed you wish to the accuracy of the input frequency.

    "But, how do you know what frequency the input line is actually at?"

    The line frequency is governed by the rotational speed of the generator. By counting maximum AC voltage peaks you can get the line frequency. Over one minute (easily timed accurately by mechanical means) you should have seen 3600 peaks. Making a electrical peak counter is not a big deal, so monitoring generator speed is easily accomplished.
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    It is strange that humanity has evolved as far as we did before 1960...

    I get stupid questions from my son (16.5) sometimes

    A recent one was "whad did you do before you had a calculator".

    "Use paper, a pencil and my brain..."

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    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: What did we do before Quartz timing??? (HISTORY QUESTION)

    People had accurate pendulum clocks well before they had accurate watches. Clocks accurate within a few seconds a week were around by the mid 1700s. The problem with navigational clocks was keeping them accurate on a ship with all the motion, and of making them reasonable size.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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