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Post  firstwordisee Wed Mar 02, 2022 9:05 pm

Received a Tantone D-T timer off the bay today. Paid a lot for it. Timer sticks/stops in the same spots, until tapped (or really tapped).
It looks like it has never been used. Thought maybe issue was from just sitting there for decades, tested for 15 min. or so but nothing improved.
Read somewhere that this means "toss it".
I dont want to take this thing apart if there is no easy fix.
Seller must of know this thing didnt work right, very deceived in description.
So did I get screwed or is this fixable?
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Post  706jim Wed Mar 02, 2022 10:40 pm

If it's riveted together I doubt if it can be repaired. Is this for tipping the stabilizer or shutting off fuel to the engine?
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Post  fredvon4 Thu Mar 03, 2022 6:56 am

3 view photos of your timer please
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Post  Levent Suberk Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:58 am

It is clogged somewhere. Dip the timer in alcohol, then oil the pivots with 3 in 1 oil. This may be work.
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Post  Ken Cook Thu Mar 03, 2022 9:23 am

You will certainly need that to work properly. For instance, on the opposite end of what is happening, if the DT pops in the power mode it can be catastrophic to the plane.
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Post  sosam117 Thu Mar 03, 2022 10:16 am

Have you looked at the Texas Timers website for help?

I use the RDT (Radio DT) Simple and reliable.
They also have split rings and misc. items for setting up your DT.

Sad they no longer have the old DT timers, but I have a few stored away carefully in a zip lock bags with desiccant to stop any moisture causing the problems that you have with yours.

I have taken my Tantone timers apart (carefully) and cleaned them up.
Just don't lose anything and take many pictures of the assembly so that you can reassemble it.

Been using Tantone DT and Texas Tiers since 1990's.
Favorite plane for me is my Satellite with an Enya pulling it up!

I'm a member of SAM (Society of Antique Modelers) since 1995.

The only plane I have using the old timers is a 36-inch free flight Tomboy with a Boddo Mills diesel.


Last edited by sosam117 on Thu Mar 03, 2022 10:23 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling mistakes and added Tomboy info.)
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Post  firstwordisee Thu Mar 03, 2022 1:45 pm

Jim- not riveted so it can be taken apart and it is for tipping the tail.
Levent- I assume you mean take apart and soak?
Ken- I hear you, that played out in my mind, it MUST work right.
Sosam- thanks for your post, yes been on TT website, good info there in Hints, I value your feedback.
Fred- Here you go (sides behind front plate are just solid sheet metal)...

Tantone DT timer issue Timer_10
Tantone DT timer issue Timer_11
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Post  Ken Cook Thu Mar 03, 2022 2:17 pm

I probably would try some sort of dry lube . WD-40 makes a dry lube spray. This isn't WD-40, it's a Teflon spray which is made not to attract moisture and dirt. It could possibly be sprayed into the arming switch slot or under the disc you wind up. I think that would certainly do the job.
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Post  firstwordisee Thu Mar 03, 2022 2:29 pm

How about graphite? Not sure if there is any liquid lube in there to begin with.
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Post  fredvon4 Thu Mar 03, 2022 2:31 pm

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Post  firstwordisee Thu Mar 03, 2022 2:52 pm

I read that Fred and it is good stuff but doesnt address my issue which is internal with mechanism getting stuck.
Believe me I have spent countless hours googling all I can it is very tiresome. Just thought someone here may have a trick to fix the issue. Guess I will try Ken's suggestion first or try graphite, if doesnt work Ill open her up. Thanks.
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Post  fredvon4 Thu Mar 03, 2022 3:01 pm

Before opening because every clock or watch I tried to fix ended up at a repair shop

1. Try a good dry lube
2. flood with high evaporation cleaner and forced air dry, then dry lube
3. non plastic attacking solvent in Ultrasonic cleaner, forced air dry, dry lube
4. Open with copious photos and find the worn or burr area, clean with high evap, air dry, dry lube or precise needle application of iol like 3 in 0ne
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Post  firstwordisee Thu Mar 03, 2022 3:17 pm

Great instructions, Thanks Fred, Ill attempt this evening!
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Post  firstwordisee Thu Mar 03, 2022 3:58 pm

Wow, sorry guys I really made a mountain out of a mole hill this time.
Should always try the simplest solutions first, thanks for guidance.
I just sprayed some electronics cleaner around dial and through off switch hole and it made an enormous improvement, a little more cleaning will probably fix it entirely. Thanks again.
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Post  sosam117 Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:21 pm

fredvon4 wrote:Before opening because every clock or watch I tried to fix ended up at a repair shop

1. Try a good dry lube
2. flood with high evaporation cleaner and forced air dry, then dry lube
3. non plastic attacking solvent in Ultrasonic cleaner, forced air dry, dry lube
4. Open with copious photos and find the worn or burr area, clean with high evap, air dry, dry lube or precise needle application of iol like 3 in 0ne

I've worked and have repaired a few clocks.
Cuckoo clocks --- making and repairing bellows, carving antlers that have broken off and carved figurines as well.
Cleaned many grandfather and hallway clocks and repaired mantel clocks as well.

Just last week I cleaned and reworked my older sister's grandfather clock I built for her 40 years ago.
The one thing you have to watch out for the the main spring and the pin that holds the tension on it.
If you lose the pin the spring snaps free and then you have a mess.

I think firstwordisee problem is the small weights inside the timer.
I have/had the same problem with mine when it gets dirty.

When wound up tight, it has no problem unwinding.
Problem shows up when there is less tension on the main spring and so whatever dirt is on the swinging weights slows it down to where it stops.

Take the 2 screws off the back (cover) to expose the clock works and watch the swing weights to see what happens?
There ----- might be the problem with dirt/corrosion?
DONT USE ANY LUBICATING OIL. it will only collect more dirt.
Graphite is your best bet.
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Post  firstwordisee Thu Mar 03, 2022 9:29 pm

Sosame, you are absolutely right. Even though it winds down pretty good now after cleaning from outside and pushing some graphite in the holes (and I have tried all different run times top to bottom), it still catches a bit in the end which makes me uncomfortable. Guess I will take the two screws off and look inside as suggested here. Im not real confident at this clockworks stuff but you give me inspiration.
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Post  sosam117 Fri Mar 04, 2022 12:18 pm

I went to my workshop and did some photos for you.

This photo is of the DT timers I have left on hand and still use (on and off) except on with the big spring (Texas Timer).
That one I use in my 36" Tomboy on every good flying weekend.
Tantone DT timer issue A01_dt10
Tantone DT timer issue A02_te10


And now the backside of the Texas Timers DT
Tantone DT timer issue A03_ba10


The inside clock works of the Tatone and Texas Timers are close to being the same.
The Texas Timers don't use back covers on their DT so that you can clean them (when you have to.)
But the Texas Timers do/did sell back covers (clear plastic) if you wanted them?

Now, what usually needs cleaning is the "ticking" weights
Tantone DT timer issue A04_ti10
Tantone DT timer issue A05_ti10
Tantone DT timer issue A08_ti10

The one "old" Texas Timer I have had for over 40 years, I have had to replace the main spring.
That spring was replaced by using a music box spring.
I also added (soldered) a wire across the back of the clock works for two reasons.
1st is to keep the spring in line when it is wound up and the 2ns is the one end of the wire catches on the one end of the spring so that it can wind the main spring up.

This photo shows how the wire keeps the spring in-line.
Tantone DT timer issue A06_ba10


Now "if" you look in the photo below on the DT timer to the left, you can see the bent over end of the spring to engage the wire on the backside of the timer so the main spring can be wound.
Also, if you look on the face plate you will see a small hole where I insert a "T" pin to stop the weights from moving until I'm ready to launch the plane so I can get the correct time for my DT.
Tantone DT timer issue A02_te11

Hope this helps you out firstwordisee?

What I really miss is when you went to a Free Flight contest, the owner of Texas Timers was usually there and if you had a problem with your DT timer you look for the Texas Timer tent and he would show you how to clean your DT timer right there.

Now firstwordisee, do you have the instructions that came with your Tatone DT timer?

If not, I'll tell you how I set up my stab for DT.
1st is to positively "key" your stab to prevent it from shifting in flight. I use 1/2 dowels glued to the bottom of the stab and the 1/2 dowels are tight alongside top of the fuse so when done correctly keeps the tail in position.
Next is the angle of "Pop-up" on the tail. I set mine to no more than 45°

The string I use is fishing line with low stretch in it (nylon the best). On my larger planes I used fishing leader line (cable/wire).
Just because of the high power from the engines and I didn't want my stabs to pop up from the torque.
For the tube at the end of the tail. You can use an aluminum tube, but I used the plastic inner tubing from R/C pushrods.
Just because I had so many short cutoffs available, and it is easier to conform around the tail over the aluminum tubing.

Here comes the cutting and measuring part.
With your stab mounted on the top of your fuselage and the one end of your thread attached to your rudder (which will hold down your stab), thread the string thru the tube up to your DT timer.
Cut you string where it touches the one end of DT timer.
Now, thread a short piece of tubing (aluminum or plastic R/C pushrod) onto your string line.
This short piece will be you DT stop for your stab (at 45°)

Now, I use to get my springs from Texas Timers so unfortunately, they are no longer sold.
But I would use the copper washer from a glow plug that would hook onto the DT timer arm.
Then the small spring tied to the copper glow plug washer.

Next, with the string coming from the tail, I would use a Texas timer "D" ring, and tie the "D' ring to the other end of the spring and feed the string from the tail and pull it thru the "D" ring and pull it until I got the tension I needed in the spring to keep the stab down.

After I got what felt was the right tension to keep the stab from lifting up, I removed the copper glow plug ring from the DT timer and tilted the stab to the 45° angle.
Now you still should have that tubing (about 2 inches long) on the string between the tail and that "D" ring? (I hope you do?)
Slide that tube up to where it hits the "D" ring. This is your DT stop for your tail.
Glue (epoxy) this tube at this location for your DT stop.

I may have skipped minor details, but I hope you'll get the idea on how to setup your DT timer and line?
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Post  firstwordisee Fri Mar 04, 2022 5:07 pm

I really appreciate your taking the time to post this info, it helps me a lot!
Havent opened the back of the timer yet, cleaned some more and it is very close to working 100% even on the short time.
Im really hoping I dont have to go inside, you must have the hands of a surgeon.
Does spring pop out / uncoil on the Tantone timer when back is removed, can you hold it into place when cleaning "weights"?
Funny you mentioned steel leader line, I thought that might work, and I think I have some. This is a large plane.
Thanks again my friend.
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Post  sosam117 Fri Mar 04, 2022 6:08 pm

The two Tatone DT timers I have  --- the main springs are in an aluminum housing like the older Texas Timer.

Tantone DT timer issue A05_ti11

The Tatone timers have a back on them to keep the dirty and debris out from the clock works.
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Post  sosam117 Fri Mar 04, 2022 6:31 pm

On my big Satellite 1000 I had a Super Tigre 40 on the front.
Which at the time (in 1976) was the best engine I could afford for contest competition?
I noticed other competitors were using the steel leader line on the more high-powered free flight planes.
So, I just followed their example.
The positive using the leader line is that it has a plastic coating on the line for rust prevention.
With the super large stab on the Satellite 1000 and the power from the Super Tigre 40, I wasn't going to take any chances with a nylon fishing line?

One more thing, Use a spinner on the engine.
I have a friend that use to work for Boeing, and he did studies at Boeing on props with and without spinners and having a spinner on the engine cleans up the air flow where the prop hub/prop nut is at.
If you look at the super high tech free flight plane, they have the spinner blend into the fuse to reduce drag.
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Post  sosam117 Fri Mar 04, 2022 7:45 pm

firstwordisee wrote:I really appreciate your taking the time to post this info, it helps me a lot!
Havent opened the back of the timer yet, cleaned some more and it is very close to working 100% even on the short time.
Im really hoping I dont have to go inside, you must have the hands of a surgeon.
Does spring pop out / uncoil on the Tantone timer when back is removed, can you hold it into place when cleaning "weights"?
Funny you mentioned steel leader line, I thought that might work, and I think I have some. This is a large plane.
Thanks again my friend.

You mentioned above that "I must have hands like a surgeon?"
Funny you should say that.
I worked for Caterpillar in their Fuel Systems division and my last 23 of my 36 years with Cat was gage repair and recertification.
I was fortune enough to get training over the years at:
Federal Gage company for repair of mechanical and digital indicator and air measurement gages (3 weeks at their facility).
Mitutoyo American Corp. same as above for their mechanical, digital and measuring machines and calibration.
One month at Mitutoyo American Corp. in Aurora Illinois.
Etamic air gaging and programing.
Taylor Hobson roundness, finish, contour equipment and calibration and repair. That was one month over in England
And Taylor Hobson wanted to steal me away from Cat and work for them in the USA as their service rep.
Brown and Sharp training up in Detroit on CMM, Cad/Cam, and inspection equipment repair. That was two weeks.
Last was the Hexagon (Romer) arm for two weeks.
https://www.exactmetrology.com/metrology-equipment/romer-absolute-arm

I worked for WeatherTech for 6 months (summer job) because I knew how to use a Hexagon (Romer) arm to laser measure floor mats and other areas in a vehicle with the laser attachment on the Romer arm.
Did that for just a few bucks and trained one of their employees which later replace me when I left.

I soaked up any knowledge (training) I could get.
Most of the work of repairing was using a microscope or lope lenses on my glasses and of course a steady hand.
Replacing broken wires on a PC board or IC chip.
Replacing bad teeth on a mechanical indicator (like a watch maker)
And all the while clocking the hours it took to repair the gage along with the parts.
At the end of the year, tally up the man hours and parts cost and I usually save the company no less that 1/5 a mil. a year.
I got no bonus, but my boss did for the cost savings. When I found that out, I decided to retire.

When the new union contract was signed, I told them I was retiring in 4 years. No one believed me that I would.
Every year I would tell them (3 years I'm retiring, 2 years I'm retiring, 1 years I'm retiring).
When my boss received my retirement papers (2 months to go for retirement). They asked me to stay one more year to train my replacement. I told them no! I gave them 4 years notice and didn't bother?
After I was gone for a year. They called and asked "if" I would come back as a consultant.
I gave them an offer, take it or leave it and I was not going to take less.
The called for 6 months with lower offers and I told them my offer or nothing. They finally gave up.

With Covid-19, I'm glad I am retired. Less likely to get sick and doing odd jobs I like to do.
Fixing clocks, mowing neighbors' lawns for extra $ and other odd things.
Have a fair pension and a small sum in a 401k. and waiting for full social security at 68 (6 years to go).

By the way, I still keep up on my ASQC Certification.
At the Fuel Systems plant I worked at; I was the only ASQC certified inspector, and I accomplished that on my own.
That certification opened up all of the other opportunities I got down the road.
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Post  firstwordisee Sat Mar 05, 2022 9:40 pm

Always interesting where life takes us. Enjoyed reading your chapters, there is always a new one around the corner.
Thanks for additional info on timer too.
I think I have this figured out. Timer seems to be working properly after cleaning.
Found some guitar string (the smallest ones- think its .12"?) laying around, spun it around a 1/16" rod, leaving the "O ring" end that comes attached, think I have a decent spring that slides off the timer well. Rest will be Trilene fishing line because thats what I have (may change later)
For now it works, tailplane pops up. Will need to make some adjustments but now everything is coming off so I can spray down the fuse with a clear coat.
I have endless questions on this model, so glad I can get some help here.
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Post  getback Sun Mar 06, 2022 7:47 am

Man what a journey Popcorn Popcorn Popcorn
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Post  sosam117 Sun Mar 06, 2022 4:51 pm

The best time when working for Caterpillar "Fuel Systems" was in the mid 1990's (1993 to 1998)
We, (my Fuels Systems plant) had a contract with Isuzu for 6 years to produce diesel injectors for Isuzu's Trooper.
Which was also for Honda's Trooper, which Honda was rebadging from Isuzu's Trooper.

At the time, my job was Quality Assurance and core reclamation (recondition).
One of my job duties for core reclamation was to go to Isuzu's plant in Japan every quarter for a week.
I was to look over the failed injectors and core injectors returning from rebuild engines.

I was to access what was damaged during shipping and whose fault it was for the damage (and who would have to pay for it.)
Injectors failing out in the field.
Like high smoke (exhaust). That was usually too much check lift, letting too much fuel into the engine (Fuel Systems fault)
Or, White smoke which was cause by a plugged injector hole in the nozzle tip from dirty fuel (cheap diesel fuel.)

After looking over the "bad" injectors, I signed off on the quantity that was going to be shipped back to Pontiac for core rebuild.
I had that job for almost 2 years until management thought it was better to have management people do the job.
I was hourly and the end of the contract was coming.

The plus was I was able to check out the hobby shops in and around Tokyo, and back then, they were amazing!
Also, one of the weeks I was there, the Japanese had a holiday, and I had that day off and I found out where the Enya factory was in Tokyo (before they moved to where they are now).

I was not able to tour the factory (holiday that day - remember) but I was able to set up a tour the next time I was back in Japan.
In September when I was back in Japan, I was able to get a tour thru the Enya plant/assembly area.
Interesting to see old machining machines (from WWII?) to some CNC machines.

At the end of the tour, I watched a woman assembling an Enya 90-4C engine and placing the engine and everything else into the box for a completed engine.
I asked If I could purchase that engine and buy it with a credit card?
Answer was yes on both accounts.
I also asked the guy that was handling the purchase to sign the outside of the box. (Purchased in 1997)
I didn't know it was Ken Enya until years later (2006)

The other problem was telling my boss what that "Enya" purchase on the company card was.
I did reimburse the corporate card company.
I also found out how to set up my personal Mastercard when I made purchases overseas after this "Enya" purchase.

Every time I was in Japan, I tried to make time to purchase Enya engines at the hobby store or the Enya store (at the factory).
A problem purchasing the Enya engines in Japan. No English instructions.
So, I have hundreds of Enya engines with no English instructions, but I do have some MRC (Enya) engines that do.

How did I bring the engines back? I packed them alongside the fuel injectors in a case that I took back and forth from Japan.
Wonder how much import duty I didn't pay?

I'd like to see what the "new" building/plant for Enya looks like today since they have moved from Tokyo?
I did do a google earth map search and saw the outside of the building.
It's not nearly as "BIG" as the old building where the once was at?

And if nobody knows, in 2012 Enya was bought up by Shioya Manufacturing Company Ltd.
That is why they had an address change in 2013.

God times.
I had a great boss at the time (Rich Lylons) who worked his way up from hourly worker to middle management to upper management and he gave me these good opportunities and he knew he could trust me to do an honest day's job.

If I was in Japan or any other country and wanted to stay an extra week (for a vacation) he didn't say no.
Rick just told me to be back on Monday the next week and the extra week was on my dime and reminded me to use my personal card and not the corporate card that extra week.
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