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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With modern technology and miniaturization, there just has to be a relatively inexpensive electronic watch timer. There HAS to be! I'm sick and tired of all my watches being slow or fast (scratch that - my 7006-8007 is spot-on for some reason) and I'd really like to be able to time my watches at home. Anyone?


:mad:
 

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As it happens i was only making the same enquiry today of a tool supplier and it seems that there is not a economical timer ( or economical to my mind).

I am sure i saw a guy advertising one on the TF not so long back at a decent price though, but still too many $$$ for me.

I am with you though a inexpensive one would be great and in this day of electronics getting cheaper you would have thought that one would be available but also i suppose supply and demand comes into it and unlike a pc or TV i don't suppose there is the same volume market for these unfortunately :'(
 

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The cheapest I've seen is on eBay for ~$300. It's a digital timegrapher that also calculates amplitude. Someone did a review on WUS on the unit (can't remember if it was also cross posted on this board). I think Noah at 10watches.com lists the same unit for ~$260 but he said it was out of stock.

If you have a bunch of mechanical watches, $300 is not too bad to spend, given a single nice watch would cost about that much.

There's some demo software that is available to use with a computer, sound card, and home built sensor.
 

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You would think that someone could write a computer program that could analyze sound and use the computer's microphone jack as the input for a sensor to listen to the beat. Maybe there already is some type of sound analyzing program out right now that would do the job??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mean, today you can buy a very inexpensive piece of hardware with some software to go with it that will allow you to make MP3s from your old vinyl records. It's insanely cheap.


All you'd need is a holder, a jack into the comp (the sound port would be ideal actually if it's a sound-based program) and the software to measure beats. Right?
 

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I want to bet that for under 300$ you can find one from hong kong/china.

Im sure if you ask some of the members who live there or do business there could or would they source one for you.


Someone walked one into a NYC watch meet that he found on the streets of NYC.
Bill Yao happened to be at this meet and walked him and us through how it works .

And in the years I have been trolling ebay- I have seen older models go for under 200$.
 

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Spencer said:
I mean, today you can buy a very inexpensive piece of hardware with some software to go with it that will allow you to make MP3s from your old vinyl records. It's insanely cheap.


All you'd need is a holder, a jack into the comp (the sound port would be ideal actually if it's a sound-based program) and the software to measure beats. Right?
The biggest problem with using the computer is the microphones that are generally available. They are nearly all acoustic; which means they 'hear' everything; including electronic noise in the computer circuits themselves. This makes separating the ticking of a watch almost impossible.
There are induction or mechanical microphones available which 'feel' vibrations through direct tactile contact. Think of electronic drum pads or electronic steel drums; these use the induction microphones.
With this type of microphone, you don't have to worry about all the background noise.

Take one of these inductive microphones, run the signal through a simple amplifier and feed it to any of several programs that you can view a wave form on...voila; you have a timing machine.
Most of the software programs that we could use are inexpensive or free and can be configured to display the info we want to see. Since many of them are dynamic, we could make our regulation adjustments in real time and see the outcome!

I'm willing to bet that a half way decent timing machine could be assembled for less than $50 and provided to hobbyists 8)
 

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there is a watch timer based on a PC sound card. I think this is the least expensive of the one I've searched. There was a post at the TZ watch repair forum
 

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I got a Seiko QT-99 Quartztester for well under $100 on Ebay. It works great...for quartz watches. It has the capability to time mechanical watches, but it requires a different microphone that it did not come with. :'( I emailed Seiko, and they said they did not have any more. From what I understand, the mechanical watch microphone from a Vibrograf or Timegrapher will work also, so I keep hoping to find one. But it's a really neat machine! ---A
 

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Cobrajet25 said:
I got a Seiko QT-99 Quartztester for well under $100 on Ebay. It works great...for quartz watches. It has the capability to time mechanical watches, but it requires a different microphone that it did not come with. :'( I emailed Seiko, and they said they did not have any more. From what I understand, the mechanical watch microphone from a Vibrograf or Timegrapher will work also, so I keep hoping to find one. But it's a really neat machine! ---A
Do you have any of the circuit drawings for the machine or even just input specs for the microphone?
 

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Pin said:
Do you have any of the circuit drawings for the machine or even just input specs for the microphone?
Nope. Seiko Japan was kind enough to send me the instruction manual in PDF form, but it does not list any specs for the mic or the tester. It seems to just use a standard large microphone jack plug. The manual even says that a microphone from other machines will work...I don't think there is anything special about it. I can maybe dig up a drawing of it later. ---A
 

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Spencer said:
With modern technology and miniaturization, there just has to be a relatively inexpensive electronic watch timer. There HAS to be! I'm sick and tired of all my watches being slow or fast (scratch that - my 7006-8007 is spot-on for some reason) and I'd really like to be able to time my watches at home. Anyone?

:mad:
It shouldn't be difficult to time watches at home. It just takes a good time standard and willingness to do a bit of iterative testing and setting. The result should be more accurate because it would be based on how you wear the watch. Not on a bench test.
 

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I started to develop my own timer some time ago now, soundcard based.
I used a piezo element and clamped it on a watch using a (insulated!!) paperclip. Signal level was way too low for the soundcard, so I added a opamp based amplifier.

I did manage to record the beats. Simple analysis can be done in audio software.
I programmed some analysis (offline however) and could automatically detect beats and do some simple filtering. THat did give good results, but there were always some beats that spoiled the beat calculatoin
There I realised I had a long way to go before getting stable calculation results...

At that time Noah offered some cheap timer, and since I would rather spend my time on watches instead of programming I bougth the timer from Noah.

Later I found software called "BIBURO" a free timer. Cant find it on the web anymore....
 

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catflem said:
I thought that I'd found the answer to your problem for £5.49 via a posting I've just seen on TZ-UK

http://watchmakingblog.com/2010/07/11/measure-the-precision-of-mechanical-watches-using-your-iphone/

But the guys on TZ-UK aren't at all complimentary about it - hopefully the product will be developed to make it do what it says it does on the tin ::)

http://www.tz-uk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=127724&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
seems that sound level is too low for the internal microphone. that probably can be solved using 5 USD of electronics.
 

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nhoJ said:
For iPhone users, suddah on DWC posted a link to an app to measure your mechanical watch error rate.

http://www.coldflower.com/kello/index.html
is the same as:

catflem said:
I thought that I'd found the answer to your problem for £5.49 via a posting I've just seen on TZ-UK

http://watchmakingblog.com/2010/07/11/measure-the-precision-of-mechanical-watches-using-your-iphone/

But the guys on TZ-UK aren't at all complimentary about it - hopefully the product will be developed to make it do what it says it does on the tin ::)

http://www.tz-uk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=127724&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
 
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