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Just to answer my own question and to bring up this thread - this setup works just fine. It doesn't need a preamp and that piezo mic seems to be less prone to ambient noise than a regular iPhone headset.

View attachment 10501418

1. Piezo Clip On Microphone Pickup for Acoustic Guitar (~$4)
2. Mono 1/4" female to 1/8" male adapter (~$1)
3. 3.5mm Male TRRS to 2 Female TRS Audio Connector TRRS Y Splitter Cable Adapter (~$2)
4. Vintage MacBook Pro (already owned).

The vital part is that TRRS adapter as you can't just plug your mono mic (TS) into the headphones jack, it won't work.

Also there's a neat little software called LineIn (free) that allows you to hear what TG hears, just plug your headphones into the second TRRS adapter jack.
Thanks for the detail scoff.
The software is great but the pickup is a problem for me and this illustration is what I needed to identify a working part.

I also changed parts 2 and 3 to one of these because I wanted to go to USB.
s-l1600.jpg
 

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Many thank to the developers and contributors for great TG software
How did you attach the piezo pickup to the ball head on that mini tripod? Is it just tape/gum/blue-tack, or something else?

Looks like a nice simple setup for measuring the watch in multiple positions.
 

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How did you attach the piezo pickup to the ball head on that mini tripod? Is it just tape/gum/blue-tack, or something else?

Looks like a nice simple setup for measuring the watch in multiple positions.
Hi @jisham
I used an adhesive tape pictured below (sorry I don't know the word for that). Yes I do use this setup for measuring the watch in multiple positions.


image_a.jpg
 

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First of all I want to congratulate you on this brilliant software, it is so simple, and easy to use.

I would like to know what kind of calibration is this in the upper right corner?
Also, you said something about samplerate, would it be better to use 192khz instead of 44.1khz?
 

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First of all I want to congratulate you on this brilliant software, it is so simple, and easy to use.

I would like to know what kind of calibration is this in the upper right corner?
Also, you said something about samplerate, would it be better to use 192khz instead of 44.1khz?
I think post #169 should be able to help you here. (June 3 2016)
 

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Thanks for this awesome software, seems to work nicely with my Samson Go Mic microphone (the sec/day matches with the average time deviation I measured during 24 hours for one of my watch). I got some question though :

- What are the top indicators in plain language for the layman ? The s/d indicator is simple but what about the others ?
- What is lift angle, how important is it to set it properly and how its value can be obtained ? (my only interested is measuring accuracy in seconds per day)

Thanks in advance :)
 

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A good source to start exploring how to interpret timegrapher data is the Witschi training course, Measuring Technology and Troubleshooting for Watches, the PDF is freely available on the internet.

A lift angle is a fixed value, determined by the design of the movement. All these, the lift angle, the amplitude and the beat error, are explained in the PDF above.

Anyway, a lift angle setting of 52 degrees is a somewhat safe assumption for modern movements, although far from all have a lift angle of 52 degrees. If a movement, for example, has a lift angle of 54.5 degrees, wrongly presetting it to 52 degrees would affect the amplitude reading on a timegrapher.

For the above example (52 instead of the 54.5 degrees), if a timegrapher shows an amplitude of:
- 300 degrees, the real amplitude is 314.6 degrees
- 200 degrees, the real amplitude is 209.6 degrees.

So, an error of roughly 4 to 6 degrees of amplitude for each degree of the lift angle delta.

If you're just interested in the daily rate, the lift angle isn't important. But the amplitude value is one of the most tell-telling indicators of the watch movement's health. The amplitude when fully wound, the difference in amplitude between positions and the difference in amplitude 24h later tell you a lot about the condition your watch is in.
 

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Discussion Starter #251
Hi LightDot! I very much appreciate you packaging tg for Arch Linux (actually I always admired the level technical expertise of Arch Linux users). CentOS and Fedora would also be extremely welcome additions for me, in particular considering that deb (which tg already has) and rpm packages will cover most Linux pc users. I would be glad to link or host rpm packages for tg on my download page (https://tg.ciovil.li) if you agree. Also, if you need any help, feel free to contact me, or to submit feature/pull requests on github.

Yesterday, I received a user manual for tg written by a member of this forum (to whom I am very grateful for this contribution). I still have to take a look at it, but I am confident that he will soon make it publicly available!

On the development side, I am working on a save/snapshot/print feature. To be implemented properly, this feature required a relatively extensive rearrangement of the source code, but, time permitting, it will be ready sooner or later.
 

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Hi contrate_wheel! It's a pleasure to help!

I'll get in contact when the RPMs are done. Either linking or hosting the packages would be great, we'll set it up. It will take longer to push them into Fedora and EPEL, as there is a procedure involved and it takes time.

Also, excellent news in regards to the upcoming features and the documentation. I'm looking forward to upgrading the packages with the new version(s)!
 

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I just purchased the microset clamping watch sensor as well as the amplitude sensor. I can't wait to try it out. The limitations of the bare bones it comes with has it's limitations.
 

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wanted to thank the developer for putting together this software. especially making it available for both Windows and Linux. while i got the windows binaries to run and compiled the source on opensuse (rpm distro), my efforts to calibrate against a quartz and time two automatic movements have been not very successful.


i believe my issues all relate to the microphone. I've tried the integrated mic's on two thinkpads; a T400 running Win7 and a X240 running Win7 and Opensuse. Sometimes I get the software to get a clean enough signal to show the amplitude but it is not reliable or repeatable. I also tried a iPhone headset with the TRRS jack on the X240 with a similar experience, but usually even more noise. Finally I tried a Korg guitar pickup with a mono 1/4 -> 1/8 adapter, but I just don't think the signal is strong enough without a pre-amp. what are others using for mixer gain settings for the mic and boost?


Are there known inexpensive pre-amps that others use? I found schematics for a few diy versions, but a popular one like as described on watchoscope, was shot down on this forum as not being ideal due to the hi and low pass filters. i am handy with a soldering iron, multimeter, etc so I'm inclined to go this route if a tried and true schematic can be recommended. i'd probably buy all the parts through mouser.com as my local radioshack is both expensive and not well stocked.
 

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wanted to thank the developer for putting together this software. especially making it available for both Windows and Linux. while i got the windows binaries to run and compiled the source on opensuse (rpm distro), my efforts to calibrate against a quartz and time two automatic movements have been not very successful.


i believe my issues all relate to the microphone. I've tried the integrated mic's on two thinkpads; a T400 running Win7 and a X240 running Win7 and Opensuse. Sometimes I get the software to get a clean enough signal to show the amplitude but it is not reliable or repeatable. I also tried a iPhone headset with the TRRS jack on the X240 with a similar experience, but usually even more noise. Finally I tried a Korg guitar pickup with a mono 1/4 -> 1/8 adapter, but I just don't think the signal is strong enough without a pre-amp. what are others using for mixer gain settings for the mic and boost?


Are there known inexpensive pre-amps that others use? I found schematics for a few diy versions, but a popular one like as described on watchoscope, was shot down on this forum as not being ideal due to the hi and low pass filters. i am handy with a soldering iron, multimeter, etc so I'm inclined to go this route if a tried and true schematic can be recommended. i'd probably buy all the parts through mouser.com as my local radioshack is both expensive and not well stocked.
I've had good results with something like this



If you search the bay for "clip on piezo" you will find them for a few pounds.

I then use a similarly priced USB audio interface and a quarter to eighth adaptor like you already have.

All in I think I spent about five quid.

I do have one extraordinarily quiet vintage Seiko I've had difficulties with, but for everything else this setup has worked perfectly.
 

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I've had good results with something like this



If you search the bay for "clip on piezo" you will find them for a few pounds.

I then use a similarly priced USB audio interface and a quarter to eighth adaptor like you already have.

All in I think I spent about five quid.

I do have one extraordinarily quiet vintage Seiko I've had difficulties with, but for everything else this setup has worked perfectly.
ok, i have practically the same clip-on unit. mine is Korg branded. also tried a logitech usb interface i had in a drawer from an old headset. if anything, that interface is worse than the integrated soundcard, when it comes to noise.


what are your configs for gain? i've tried all combos, and tg refuses to show three or four green dots, will jump between a green and yellow scope, and just never "locks on" and settles down.


the '60s Bucherer 18000bps movement has a cleaner signal (flatter between the tick and tock). the new NH35is very noisy and unclean across the board.
 

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Are there known inexpensive pre-amps that others use? I found schematics for a few diy versions, but a popular one like as described on watchoscope, was shot down on this forum as not being ideal due to the hi and low pass filters. i am handy with a soldering iron, multimeter, etc so I'm inclined to go this route if a tried and true schematic can be recommended. i'd probably buy all the parts through mouser.com as my local radioshack is both expensive and not well stocked.
I appreciate the DIY attitude, and like you, I was tempted to build my own pre-amp once before, but....

a) This software seems to work well without a pre-amp. I think he's got some special-sauce DSP tricks, but it seems to work with pretty much any cheap old mic.

b) Look for a mic gain or mic boost setting on your computer for the mic input.

c) I'll assume 1 & 2 didn't work for you, since you asked the question. As noted, the watchoscope pre-amp is perhaps not the best for this application, as the high frequencies are cut (low pass), and that's where some of the interesting detail used by this program lives.

d) There are some cheap pre-amps on the market, if you know where to look. Cheap enough to make DIY questionable, although if you want to learn to wield a soldering iron and have the satisfaction of building your own, go for it! you have my support.

e) You can find outboard phono pre-amps (like for record turntables - remember them?), but they are getting harder to find, and sometimes have audiophile price tags (it must be good, it was expensive!). Surprisingly, a nice source that seems to be available cheaply on amazon is guitar pre-amps. You may have to solder your mic or piezo element to it yourself. Last I checked they were less than $20 on amazon (but I haven't verified this recently). Even better, many of them have a 3 band EQ built in. I'd leave the highs and mids untouched, but I have a lot of 50-60Hz noise, so a little low cut can go a long way to cleaning up the signal.

[Disclaimer- I've never tried these pre-amps personally, I pulled out an idle small mixer for the same purpose before I bought the pre-amp. But as I remember when I was researching them, many people have used them with success].

wanted to thank the developer for putting together this software. especially making it available for both Windows and Linux. while i got the windows binaries to run and compiled the source on opensuse (rpm distro), my efforts to calibrate against a quartz and time two automatic movements have been not very successful.
Agreed... Linux user here, and it worked right out the box!

If you are up for some hardware hacking, there are some affordable GPS boards that can be used as a timing reference, using the PPS ("Pulse Per Second") signal to calibrate this software. It will require some basic soldering, but can't be beat for cheap and accurate. I don't want to get too far off topic here, so do some searching the the High-Accuracy Quartz forum, or contact me for more details (or if there is interest and the OP says it's on-topic I can post here).
 

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as i said, i have the most success with the integrated mic's in both laptops, but both pick up background noise and laying the watch on the screen makes it a challenge to check the timing in numerous positions. it does have numerous options in the mixer (Alsa and alsamixer), and I've tried so many combinations my head is spinning.

my USB audio device just doesn't have enough gain adjustment i fear. checking the signal in audacity, i can see very faint ticks, but they aren't a solid vertical line like in some of the screen captures here. the mixer options are very basic so i don't think i'm overlooking anything. the icon in the upper right of TG will flicker between red and green but has a very difficult time "locking on". i've gotten it to do it once or twice but it isn't repeatable.

while a PPS signal would be ideal, i have been able to calibrate the integrated and usb devices against a casio quartz.

i did see a few guitar pre-amps that i could hack to make work, but hate to dump 10-20 on an untested part. all the phono pre-amps seem to be $$$ these days.

one thing that is a problem is knowing which audio device TG is selecting. i'm not convinced i have alsa configured properly to set the "default" to one of the three devices my laptop has.

i'll keep trying and update if i get any repeatable success.
 

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I just ordered a bunch of new toys. I may be able to shed a little light on this microphone issue in a few weeks as my toys arrive in the mail. We'll see what comes out of it, if anything useful.
 

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one thing that is a problem is knowing which audio device TG is selecting. i'm not convinced i have alsa configured properly to set the "default" to one of the three devices my laptop has.
I see you mentioned alsa, so I assume you're running some version of Linux. I've gotten a bit lost with the march of progress in linux sound systems over the years, but my recent installations seem to be running pulseaudio by default. Any chance you're running pulse? It seems to like to clone interfaces on the fly when a new program is started, so identifying the sound device can be tricky. The best trick I've found so far is to launch pavucontrol. When you launch tg, you should see a new recording device created. If everything is set up right with the audio levels, you should be able to see the ticks as bounces in the volume bar on that device.

Also, sometimes the mic positioning can be a bit ticky. Try moving it around the watch. I think some people have even reported success with the mic right on the crown.
 
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