swapping out the clock

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swapping out the clock

Postby trent » June 10th, 2016, 3:43 pm

For a while I have had a clock that frequently reset to 1:00 by itself. I sometimes saw its display become extremely bright or dim before completely turning off, then coming back at 1:00. I could not figure out how to remove the clock to inspect it until I bought the Nylon Pry Bar Installer Kit (Harbor Freight item#69668) from Harbor Freight Tools.

Two plastic tabs fit into rectangular recesses on the bottom of the clock. A single bent metal clip fits into a similar recess on the top side. The clock and its mount opening are shaped in a way that the top of the clock will not come out without the bottom also coming out simultaneously; however, the bottom can be pulled out before the top.

The easiest way to remove the clock is to slip the tools into the middle part where the sides bow out a little and slide the tools down to to the lowest possible position under the left and right edges. The bottom part of the clock will pop off the tabs, and the clock will come out easily after that. If the tools need to be wedged in a little further, the ridges on the sides of the clock fit into the gaps on the forked tools. Maybe only one tool will release the clock, but using two distributes the forces to both sides and puts less stress on the clock.

The top of the clock is easy to photograph:


The bottom of the clock and the tabs are also easy to photograph:


The four electrical connections marked on the back of the clock case are shown upside down here:


After removing four screws on the back of the clock, the case opened easily, and the circuit board came out. The buttons have long extensions that reach the circuit board which, according to a label etched in copper, was made in Japan.


Carefully inspecting the solder connections on the circuit board with a magnifying glass and an eyeglass screwdriver, I did not find any connections that were loose. I did find a large amount of crunchy caramel colored flux on one side.


Being careful not to break the red and black glass diodes, I scraped off most of the crusty flux with the eyeglass screwdriver and washed more off with 91% isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab. Flux can cause problems with high impedance analog circuitry such as a quartz crystal oscillator, but it doesn't look like any was near the cylindrical clock crystal.

The letters "H", "M" and "S" are marked on the circuit board for the "HOUR", "MIN." and "RESET" buttons. Reset must set seconds to zero!

No flux mess shows in the next photo. Unfortunately, the clock still has the same problem.


I swapped in a different clock that works fine. The working clock also has some flux around the connector terminals, but not any on the closest diode. Adding more solder to the terminals was probably part of the manufacturing process. The flux was left there because it's causes no harm. I don't think the non-working one is repairable.

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Re: swapping out the clock

Postby evtsteward » June 15th, 2016, 1:22 am

Nice how to brother! It's the small things that matter here.
Robert, that crazy guy with all the tegs!
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