Fig. A: Lifting out the electromagnet reveals the two
wires you need to splice into. Fig. B: Clearance hole cut
through clock's front panel.
Fig. C: New wires to your own circuit connect to the
electromagnet through the clearance hole in the now-bare clock face.
apart easily. The electromagnet in a wall clock
may not be as readily removable, but it’s a piece
of cake to solder new wires to, and it will work
fine with the electromagnet in place.
1. Remove the battery cover.
2. Remove the battery.
3. Remove the clear face cover.
4. Pull off the hands.
5. Remove a shaft nut and washer. This depends
somewhat on the quality of the clock, and may
not need to be done.
6. Pull off any setting knobs that attach to rear
7. Remove clock face and mechanism. You may
have to release the boxy little clock mechanism
(roughly 2"× 2"×½") from the main body of the
clock; you may also need to remove a printed
clock face in order to access parts, and make a
wire-clearance hole. Read the remaining instructions to help you decide what to do.
8. Pry off the back. It’s usually just snap-fitted
together. Otherwise, carefully Dremel (is that a
verb?) the case open. In some cases, the back
piece holds tiny plastic gears in place, so they
may fly out if you’re not careful. But if you don’t
need the hands, don’t sweat the flying gears.
9. Carefully lift out the little gear and the electromagnet. The electromagnet has fine copper wire
wound on it, and the first gear in the train is surrounded by steel fingers. Two wires are attached
to the magnet, usually red and black.
10. Discard the electromagnet. If you don’t
need the hands, you can do this by clipping or
unsoldering its wires.
11. Pry the face off if you haven’t already done so.
Mine was attached with tape. You may have to
route 2 new wires through the front of the clock.
12. With a Dremel and small bit, make a small
hole in the plastic housing. You want to do this
just below where the 2 solder terminals for the
electromagnet’s wires were. This will clear the
new wires you will install. Alternately, if you have
room, you may be able to route the wires around
the circuit board and out the back.
13. Carefully solder 2 new thin, flexible, insulated
wires in place. You can do this to either the
electromagnet or just to the 2 wires. Polarity isn’t
important. You may have to mechanically attach
your new wires with tiny loops before soldering.
14. Route the wires away from the clock. Go
through the hole in the housing, if necessary. If
you need the clock’s hands, reinstall the first gear