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Inside The Mechanical Alarm Clock

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By Author: bryson kaleb
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Have you ever looked into the internal mechanisms of a mechanical alarm clock? While the interior design in most clocks is relatively complex, the technology of mechanical alarm is not so complicated or confusing with its varieties of gears, springs, and other elements. No denying that understanding how mechanical alarm clock works is a fairly enjoyable session.

In this article, we are intended to view the inside of this traditional clock which is still having a different market segment and demanding to clock buyers. Let us see the operation of tools that makes them ‘tick’, buzz, or ‘alarm’ and keeping exact timing when properly maintained. These spring alarm clocks are used to keep time for more than centuries and still exploring their mechanism is more than fun to clock lovers.

The internal elements

• The anchor is a kind of leaver which remains attached with the mechanical alarm clock and continue releasing its escapement gear one incisor a time.
• The clock has a distinct leaver used to limit the alarm gear system from unwinding.
• Balance Spring of a mechanical alarm clock ...
... contains a thin and even wire made of the Swiss corporate NIVAROX. The hairspring and its balance in combination form the oscillating system of the alarm clock. That helps adjusting the hour, minute or second hand of the clock move backward or forward
• Equipped with a balance wheel it helps the mechanical clock in dividing the time into identical sections.
• The element called barrel encloses the wound-up primary spring while hooking it at its exterior part. This section stores the energy, ensuring a power reserving of 36 to 45 hours to the clock. Wound-up of the mainspring or primary spring is done manually through the crown.
• The Crown is typically the set of keys used to wind up the mechanical alarm clock.
• A brass plate set on the core plate with 2-3 or more crews. Among the bride and the brass plates, the wheels springs turn to keep the clock functional.
• The escapement wheel as well as the lever put together the escapement. The escapement wheel is the last controlling tool in the gear train.
• The mechanism set amid the gear train and balance wheel while the escapement wheel transfers the control from the gear train in regular and flat time sequences to the balance or the oscillating system.
• The gear train is the entire mechanism consisting of wheels and pinions that transmits the driving force to the escapement wheel and others to its counterparts to keep the clock operational
• The flat coiled spring of the mainspring is responsible to produce the driving energy
• The pallet is a part of lever escapement looks like an anchor of a ship

Three important points to note

Source of potential energy: The fundamental approach to keep the mainspring operational is that being an energy storage device it provides the ‘potential energy’ of the spring as well as the driving force to run the clock.

Source of ‘tick and ‘tock’ sound: The escapement device involves a gear with teeth of a specific shape. The pallet attached to the anchor works together and is used to engage the teeth of the gear. In advancing backward and forward, while engaging and releasing the teeth, back and forth, the gear sounds ‘tick and ‘tock’ which is common in mechanical alarm clock.

The source that causes ‘alarm sound’: Once again the mainspring comes into the picture which is storing the energy. An alarm lever is provided to restrict the unwinding of the spring. The lever is also controlled by a secondary spring-lever which remains kept pressed the alarm gear. The alarm lever also connected with the timing gear. As the clock strikes the time, as we set to the alarm, this results in the alarm gear to rise as well as the spring-lever. And finally, the spring starts unwinding while releasing the ‘alarm sound.’


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