Tamura Lumitime CC-11 Clock (c.1976)





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Published on Jan 12, 2009

I recently acquired this digital "fake electronic" clock at Goodwill. Although it looks like a modern electronic digital clock at first, it's actually a mechanical clock timed by a motor and a set of gears! There are 3 main gears: one for the hour, one for the 10th minute, and one for the minute. These are connected to "contact wheels", which turn to light up neon bulbs contained in the various digit segments!

When I first bought it, it worked, but it would often stall when trying to change the hour and 10th minute. I've oiled both the main gearbox and the motor sub-gearbox since then, and so far, so good! At first, I thought that it was much easier of a task than what I had initially imagined it to be. That was before I tried to get the alarm working again. It took me a good 3 hours before I got the alarm to work again. As it turns out, although you don't have to have the gears aligned perfectly for the clock to function, you MUST have the gears lined up JUST RIGHT for the alarm to work!

Anyway, the clock has been running for about 13 hours straight as I type this, and so far, so good! The alarm works great, and the digits have no trouble morphing. I've also cleaned up the case, so it looks and runs almost as good as new!

There are only 3 'glitches' that
remain: 1) The motor/motor mini gearbox is still a bit noisy (it gets quieter the longer it runs); 2) The second-hand dial sometimes 'shifts' as if it's spinning slightly off-center; I think this also has something to do with the motor mini-gearbox; and 3) About 50% of the time, when I plug the clock in, the clock runs backwards! It doesn't seem to depend on which way I plug it in, either--it's totally random. For all I know, this could be normal.

About the video: The video shows my clock morphing from 6:59 to 7:00. The thing on the right is the seconds indicator. In addition to being a psychedelic flower, there's a dot that appears every 5 seconds to indicate the number of seconds that have elapsed. Along the bottom, the leftmost 2 knobs are for setting the alarm (in between them is the alarm display, which indicates when the alarm will go off. The left knob is for the hour, the right knob is for the minute. You can only set the alarm in 10-minute increments). Next to the alarm display and knobs, there's an alarm on/off switch, and the rightmost knob is for setting the clock itself. There is an 8-minute snooze bar on top.

I apologize for the low quality of the video; this was recorded on my cell phone, which is the only thing I own that can actually record video!

Last but not least, I would like to send a big thank-you to txwoodworker, who has provided plenty of helpful advice regarding the restoration of this wonderful clock!

UPDATE 9/21/11: This clock died about 2 years ago. The little gear that sits on the motor's rotor wore out, causing the clock to repeatedly reverse and/or stall while running. I used some of its parts to fix my Lumitone clock radio (Lumitone = Lumitime with a radio)


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