Magnatism

Longlenny

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#1
A question for the nut stranglers. I have a Congreve type clock, for those who don't know this is a clock that doesn't have hands but uses steel balls to indicate the time. My problem is that the steel balls have become magnatised and this is causing the clock to become in-accurate. I somehow need to demagnatise the balls, has anyone any idea how I can achieve this? Over to the collective brain power of ARRSE.
 
#2
Are your balls being attracted by the metal casing, if so shield them with tin foil.
Its not just for radiation you know?
 

Longlenny

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#3
The casing is non-ferrous so that can't be the problem, I suspect that it is caused by friction as the balls move around the tracks.
 
#4
Heat de- magnetises. So does impact.
Could you partly dismantle and heat up the ball and track till red hot?
Or, is the ball and track robust enough to be bashed about- and so de magnetised ?


It's all about the electrons lining up over time........can you get new balls for it? This would lessen the effect. The track may still be magnetised though.
 
#5
They can be demagnetised by inducing an AC electric current through them.

In days gone by, video and audio tapes were wiped by placing them on a AC induction pad (that's what it does, it may not be the actual name) - it was a damned sight faster than running them though the machine and taping a blank signal onto them.

Just remembered - degaussing. Google "degaussing" until you come up with someone who supplies the service or someone flogging an old pad.
 
#6
Or what put tees put.
You could zap it.
Degaussing. Cool!
 
#7
They can be demagnetised by inducing an AC electric current through them.

In days gone by, video and audio tapes were wiped by placing them on a AC induction pad (that's what it does, it may not be the actual name) - it was a damned sight faster than running them though the machine and taping a blank signal onto them.

Just remembered - degaussing. Google "degaussing" until you come up with someone who supplies the service or someone flogging an old pad.
Still happens today. IT companies will often own a degaussing machine to wreck computer disk drives before they are scrapped - also tape cartridges if they do a lot of backups or archiving to tape.

If you've got a mate who works in IT, it might be worth asking. Failing that, hit your balls with a hammer as suggested above.
 

Longlenny

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#8
I shall try to rattle the balls about a bit and see what happens. The track that the balls run in is also non-ferrous so it is just the balls that need doing, if all else fails new balls will be prchased. Many thanks for the input, ARRSE is a wonderful resource.
 
#10
Hold the balls over the stove in a pair of pliers until they glow first.

Careful not to put flat spots on em though!
 
#11
This is just a stab in the dark re Degaussing, take you balls along to a shop that has one of the anti theft things at the till, i believe that is a Degaussing think of some sort. I once read a book that mentioned Degaussing submarines i think it was Antony Blunt Spy Catcher.
 
#13
So really then you are just showing off to us pesants that you have a fancy posh clock?
 
#14
To prevent the problem happening again, you could replace the steel balls with brass ones. Then you'd only have to worry about the temperature.

Wouldn't want you freezing your balls off.
 
#15
This is just a stab in the dark re Degaussing, take you balls along to a shop that has one of the anti theft things at the till, i believe that is a Degaussing think of some sort. I once read a book that mentioned Degaussing submarines i think it was Antony Blunt Spy Catcher.


Submarine "Persistence" on it's way to Tesco's to be degaussed.
 
#17
'Spycatcher' was written by Peter Wright, Sir Antony Blunt was HMQ's art advisor and part time traitor.

And I used to let you work on my wagons!

But they did work afterwards, mostly.
 
#19
Heat will do the trick, as they cool they will take on the natural field they are in, rotate them as they cool and this will be almost nil. Or you can get them de-gaussed. Any reputable watchmaker will have an old mechanical degaussing machine for steel watch cases. Otherwise exposure to heavy AC electric fields will do the trick, i.e. leave them next to a heavy transformer for a week.
 
#20
Your BBC local radio station will still have a tape wiper somewhere gathering dust. Give them a ring and ask for the engineers. Alternatively email one of the programs with your tale. Poor bastards are always desperate for a local story and will get your balls done whilst you talk about your clock. N.B. remember to drag your words out in a nasal tone.
 

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