Monday, May 18, 2009
Time really was slipping into the future
That's odd, I thought. How did my clock get an hour ahead? Ah well, I'll reset it. I took the clock down off the wall, ran it back an hour only to notice that the hour hand was physically shifted so that it was now half an hour ahead (and thus, at the angle I glanced at it, could be mistaken for being a full hour ahead—it being a 24 hour clock and all).
Alright, I thought, it can't be that difficult to fix. That, along with “hey Bubba! Watch this,” should be warning enough not to proceed any futher, but no, how hard could it be to wrench an hourhand back half an hour?
My approach was perhaps not the best one. I thought I could go in from the back and ratchet back the appropriate gear, and to do that, I needed to remove the battery powered drive mechanism, which was just held in place by a few tabs.
The second I pried the drive mechanism out, and it was a bit harder than I expected, I heard the ting-ting-tinglings of small metal bits falling out and hitting a plastic surface. I also noticed a white gear was now rattling loose in the area formerly occupied by the drive mechanism.
I pull out the white gear and a small metal shaft, then flipped the clock over to see the second and minute hands sliding around the face of the clock, freed from central drive shaft.
For a minute or two, I felt the clock was beyond repair. Face it, it was made in China, and except for the hands and the one small metal shaft, was made entirely of plastic. That it has served me well for seven years (really? has it been that long? Yikes!) perhaps I had gotten my money out of the thing and it was time to consider a new time piece.
It took a bit of work, but once I realized that the front glass (okay, transparent plastic) was held in with two small tabs, I was able to get it apart rather quickly.
And there were only two tricky parts to it—getting the white gear back into place (the drive mechanism had to be inserted first, then the white gear wrangled into place and the small metal shaft inserted through that gear to mate with a hole in the drive mechanism) and making sure to insert the hour, minute and second hands into the midnight position just as the day and date hands advance.
Amazingly enough, the clock still works.