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Sony TFM-C480W

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  • Sony TFM-C480W

    For a relatively brief time, I had one of these sitting in my bedroom, a hand-me-down from my mother. Unfortunately, I wasn't much a fan of it then - the motor hum bothered me while I was trying to sleep and I complained to my parents. They swapped it out for one of these: https://marketplace.apartmenttherapy...adio-7-4606wha (This listing says it was from 1988?! I'm pretty sure I got one new the better part of a decade later...)

    As my interest in clocks began to grow later in life, I wanted that old flip clock... but unfortunately for me, my parents must have trashed it or sold it at a garage sale, as they don't have it anymore. Within the past few years, I started poking about online, trying to identify the model. I figured it out, but at the same time discovered that it was the "Ghostbusters clock," which drove the price up a bit.

    After discovering this site, my original plan was to pick one of these up for nostalgia purposes, and pick up some other more easily-obtainable model to tinker with as a project clock. Unfortunately, this one is not in the greatest of shapes! It was packed with only a single puppy training pad, and I'm sure it got bumped around a lot during shipping. It's no longer in working condition. As a result, it well may become the project clock.

    The Good:
    -Both bulbs work!
    -Radio works (I'm listening to oldies while typing this up)

    The Bad:
    -The time set knob is missing. I don't know how hard this is going to be to find a replacement for...
    -The snooze pull tab has broken free. I don't know how it's supposed to reattach.
    -The whirlygig does not whirl, and consequently, it doesn't tell time. The seller claimed it was working in the auction, but it sure isn't now.
    -Some scratches.
    -The hour flaps seem to stick somewhat. I think they've loosened a bit as I've rotated the time set arm.

    It looks like this clock has been opened before - It looks like there was a washer on the bottom for each screw that held the clock portion in place, but there are stains there now where the washers used to be. There is also a bit of missing plastic by one of those front screws. Before starting disassembly (but after the exterior photos) I wiped off a bit of the grime with paper towels an isopropyl alcohol, which helped the appearance a good bit.

    Getting it apart was pretty easy. I used a table knife covered in a paper towel to wriggle the knobs free (but I probably didn't need to bother - they weren't terribly difficult to remove). I also had to pull the buttons off, then push all the buttons back down. Since the sleep tab was already broken free, I didn't have to do anything to remove that. Not sure how I'd have done it otherwise. There were three screws on the back and two on the bottom near the face that needed to be removed. The two washered screws didn't need to be removed.

    I'll be the first to admit: I may have bitten off more than I can chew, here. I'm not sure where to start. But, if I can, I'd like to restore this clock.

  • #2
    I have a whole bunch of parts for that model including an entire clock movement and two covers with front "glass"and 1 bottom chassis. Let me know what you need or I can refurb it for you.
    Last edited by timerider; 1 week ago.


    • #3
      Hmm... it's a hard decision. I'm being pulled in a few different directions. Part of me would like it restored to original condition, and part of me would like to modify a clock. Right now, I definitely don't have all the tools I'll need, and I'm not confident enough in my knowledge of electronics to make modifications without someone else double-checking my work.

      -The chipped plastic on the bottom is not a big deal - it's only a tiny place, and you'll only ever see it if you pick up the clock and look at the bottom.
      -I *think* that a lot of the scratches can be buffed out or other means can be used.
      -Most of the plastic should be cleanable if I find the right stuff to use. I don't have that many cleaners available to me currently.
      -It looks like there used to be some adhesive stuck to the top at some point that may have stained the plastic. That spot may be more difficult to whiten.
      -I can't really tell, but I don't think the plastic has yellowed much, if at all. I probably don't have to retrobrite (not that I have a setup or the materials for that.)
      -The biggest issue for me is the motor. I *probably* could take the movement apart, but I really don't have the proper tools, and I'd risk damaging it. I suspect that the flaps can be loosened fairly easily.


      • #4
        Simple tools are all that is needed, really. You already have the case open so that's a good start!

        Good tools to start with:

        Small needle nose pliers
        Wire cutters
        A set of picks - point, hook, etc.
        A few different size tweezers
        Small socket set
        Canned air (if you don't have an air compressor)

        For electrical work:
        Electrical tape
        Heat shrink tubing of various sizes
        Heat gun
        Soldering iron with fine tip/solder

        If you aren't confident with electrical work...find someone who can help you and maybe also teach you. I'm considering doing some tutorials for this, too.

        The motor is held on by 2 nuts. Use a socket to get those off, if you have one. Don't use pliers.
        The rest of the movement might just need to get some air blow through it to dust it off. If the flaps are loose or sticking then the barrel might be damaged where the flaps are did say someone was already poking around in it. The flaps are fairly flexible plastic and can be removed easily, but carefully.
        These cases can be cleaned with standard cleaners. You can use Fantastic, regular 409, etc. Don't use anything for too long and rinse right away after you scrub it. The plastic will scratch if you scrub too hard. Don't use a scouring pad, but use a soft nylon bristle brush instead.
        Retrobrite is a pain to make. Use this (or a similar product) instead:
        Mackey has some really good motor cleaning write-ups. Follow those and the motor will be running in no time.

        The pull-up sleep timer knob will have to be replaced and probably the little metal slider it was screwed onto. That slider is held on by two very small flat head screws and washers. If you remove it make sure to note the exact location it was in when removed. It is similar to the 8FC-100W sleep timer, I believe.

        Let me know if you need anything.
        Last edited by timerider; 5 days ago.


        • #5
          Also, the sleep pull knob mechanism looks like the one in the pic I have attached. The TFM-C650W, 8FC-100W and others use the same mechanism.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by timerider; 5 days ago.