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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Ghostly Alarm Clock - 70% OFF (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Darkness
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I also received mine. The clock itself is quite nice aged and solid, old school. The case is a little overkill its an over sized flight case and not something I want to carry around. It could have easily been half the size. I may use it for other props and find a more appropriate case for the clock. After all it's mostly metal so it's not delicate from what I can tell.

The other "unit" that comes with it is rather large with an antenna like a mini walkie talkie, yikes, if you need to extend the antenna good luck, can you say strap on? It's also very plasticy and cheaply made, not sure that was a good complement to the actually clock which is a much higher quality item.

Not shipping with batteries is like giving your kid a toy at Christmas they can't play with. I would have thought if you spent $450 the manufacturer could throw in a couple of batteries? Maybe I'm asking too much? They are also special size even more reason to include them?

Well the price was right I can't complain it looks like a great buy overall. Now lets see if it's practical to open it up to turn it on and off.
bkowkabany
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I have driven through the hearts of men
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Hi Darkness,

In the DVD they say (in broken English) they don't include batteries because of the airplane. Which I am pretty sure means they can't ship batteries via airmail. Smile

I agree on the remote control. It's saving grace is that the button is raised so you could strap it to a knee or elbow and press the button with the opposing limb. Kind of afraid it is going to break sometime down the line. I wish I knew the frequency so I could have a better one made. Any electronic wiz kids out there know how to check?

Bruce
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Darkness
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Ahh that would explain the batteries thanks Bruce, makes sense. I have not watched the DVD yet. Too bad that was my first impression because they decided to put that info on the DVD instead of a piece of paper when we open the box.

Additionally, one of the bells and screw were clanging around apart and loose inside. The clock looked like the back was half opened and so was the remote. Looked like someone was messing with it. Not sure if they come that way or it was a return? Wonder if that's also on the DVD Smile

Yes, the remote is a serious lunch bag let down. I hope I can get a better one down the line. I'm really not complaining it's more observation and thoughts I had opening it for the first time. I still think it's a good deal for the price.
Peter McMillan
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The DVD was a problem until the Hocus Pocus folks sent me the video link. Really not a whole lot there I had not already figured out. The tip about moving the alarm set hand cleared up the only question I had. Gonna see if any of my other remotes will work. If not, the idea about placing it between the knees or belt loop or some such place will do just as well. I will just have to remember which unit powers which prop. The most common is 315mz or 433mz. Most of mine are 315mz

23A batteries can bought on eBay in lots. I picked up 50 for $15 shipped last year. Still work great.

All in all I am very happy with the prop and the whole deal.
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Peter McMillan
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Tried Nick Winger's toe remote in 315mz as well as 2 others tranx in 315 with nothing happening. Either the receiver is locked on to only the tranx sent with the clock or it is a different frequency. That's all I can trouble shoot.

One last item, the stem that sets the alarm hand just broke off and looks like it was soft soldered. I am sure Hocus Pocus will work with me on this. Everything else is A OK.
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bkowkabany
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Thanks Peter, that is good to know. Appreciate your due diligence and I will handle that stem carefully now.
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Peter McMillan
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Glad to pass it along.

Funny how that stem was soldered and the hour/minute stem is solid. If anyone else can take a look and see if it was just mine or the same on all units.

I also have a tag inside the clock "109". Anyone else have a tag and if so what number is it. I am guessing it might be 109 in that production series.
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rgnprof
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Peter (and others),

I had the same exact problem with my unit - the solder joint on the eyelet piece seems to be a real weak spot. I set mine up, followed the directions after watching the video and never got the thing to ring. Opened it back up and saw the 'piece' lying in the bottom of the clock.

I will give HP credit - they are great to work with and Cole, and Paul responded to my issue within the day and they have already sent out a new clock. Great service! But, I am a little worried about this being a repeat problem...I think my tag was 142 (?)...

Ryan
Cole Gross
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Hello Peter,

I am sorry to hear yours broke. Please send me an email at cole@hocus-pocus.com and I will set up a replacement for you.

To all others who purchased this item,
These clocks do work really well and with delicate care they will last a long time. I have found the knobs that adjust the time and the alarm (not the ones that wind the clock and the alarm) to be the most fragile. Personally I never take those knobs off when I remove the back of the clock. You only need to adjust them for the time you want for your show. I'm not saying this to accuse anyone of being rough with their clocks. Some of them have had issues but we are doing all we can to send you the clock you have paid for. Let me know if any of you are having issues and I will do what I can to help. I have opened many and been able to make them all function properly. They really are just fragile items which is why I believe they made the case so strong.

Thank you all for your orders and kind words about your experience with Hocus Pocus. We appreciate your business.

Cole
Cole
Hocus Pocus Magic
Toll Free: 800-407-4040
www.hocus-pocus.com
bkowkabany
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Well mine just broke too. I wrote to Cole to let him know. In my case the spring on the right key (the one that holds on the backing) snapped or unwound and now it just spins. That means you cannot remove it to remove the backing nor wind the clock so it keeps time.

The whole package looks nice and the effect is great, but I suspect the mechanical clock itself is poorly made. Maybe others have had better luck but I am feeling a bit of a trend here. I hope Cole has some good suggestions and will share any news.

My tag is 120 and does not appear to have any solder points. That right key caught me off guard. I was being so careful....

Bruce
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Peter McMillan
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It is hard to trouble shoot by writing. I had finished putting in the batteries, placed the switch in the on position, closed the clock back, replaced the wing nuts and wound the time spring and the alarm spring, set the time hands, then turned the alarm hand until I heard the "click". At that point the knob separated from the spindle and fell into my hand. I removed the wing nuts and the clock back. That is when I found the evidence of the knob being soldered.

The time set knob was pressed onto the stem and set as is found in the older windup clocks of my youth. A tab and slot arrangement. Even with the new components installed in the housing, why the stem and knob should be soldered is a puzzlement.

Kudos to Cole for the great customer service. This is not the doing of his company, but he is taking care of business in a flash!

Pete
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Merlinsmagic
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I've been winding mine & letting it run out then re winding it next morning or evening when I get home when clock stopped / wound out.
So far it keeps time & I checked inside & found no evidence of solder anywhere....

Soooo far so good & hope it holds up over the years.....& my tag inside has a #3 Smile

Being this is a real spring wound clock, over winding is a bad thing.....

I have a handful of t0e sw1tches & plan on seeing if any of them work, if not I'll check with a friend if his dad still has a frequency checker thingy (lol) & if he can identify frequency to get a real remote / t0e sw1tch for this.
Peter McMillan
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Taking a closer look at the guts of the tranx, it is a 4 channel set up and they simply replaced one with a high rise clicker button. I have taken a single channel tranx and replaced the button to make it a toe switch. It looks like the same can be accomplished with this unit. Once we get the other concerns fixed I'll let you know how it works out converting it.
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Peter McMillan
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A tip of the cap to the Hocus Pocus folks, sent a replacement just a quickly as the original, plus return label for the original. Their customer service is outstanding.

Also wanted to caution anyone modifying the tranx, doing so will void the warranty. Make sure of what you are doing.

Pete
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Peter McMillan
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Bought the Clock to add to my seance show. Thought the look and concept would fit nicely.

Have had some time to work with this prop and have found a couple of things to help make it better for my use.

1) The remote button just makes too much noise. No matter where it was activated from, my pocket, behind the back, or assistant in the back of the room the clicking was noticeable. Using instructions from Yitzhak, I attached a magnetic reed switch to button 3. Now I can activate and de-activate the clock with a pass of my PK ring. I also find this method more reliable than the provided button and reacts quicker stopping the ringing.

2) The soft lead solder connecting the eyeloop arm from the motor to the bell hammer was replaced with sliver solder to keep the eyeloop connection from being over torqued thus causing the eyeloop to seperate from the motor. No problem since.

Of course any DIY modifications may void the warranty with Hocus Pocus so make sure of what you are doing before getting started.

Now I have a reliable prop that accents the show just as I wanted it to. Hope this is of help to other purchaser's of the Ghostly Alarm Clock.
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Al Desmond
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Quote:
On Feb 8, 2015, Peter McMillan wrote:
Bought the Clock to add to my seance show. Thought the look and concept would fit nicely.

Have had some time to work with this prop and have found a couple of things to help make it better for my use.

1) The remote button just makes too much noise. No matter where it was activated from, my pocket, behind the back, or assistant in the back of the room the clicking was noticeable. Using instructions from Yitzhak, I attached a magnetic reed switch to button 3. Now I can activate and de-activate the clock with a pass of my PK ring. I also find this method more reliable than the provided button and reacts quicker stopping the ringing.

2) The soft lead solder connecting the eyeloop arm from the motor to the bell hammer was replaced with sliver solder to keep the eyeloop connection from being over torqued thus causing the eyeloop to seperate from the motor. No problem since.

Of course any DIY modifications may void the warranty with Hocus Pocus so make sure of what you are doing before getting started.

Now I have a reliable prop that accents the show just as I wanted it to. Hope this is of help to other purchaser's of the Ghostly Alarm Clock.


I replace all my remote switches with a reed switch, strap it to my leg above the knee. All I have to do is drop my hand to my leg and snap.
YitzhakNoDice
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Yes! And where, Walt, do you think I got the idea of giving a "how to replace your remote button with a reed switch" tutorial at the NW Gathering of Dark Magi? From you, of course! (I did mention you as being the inspiration, too!) Taking your advice about replacing all switches with reed switches, I found, just as you say, it is a superior solution. So, thank you very much for your comments, advice, and encouragement. Lesson learnt.
A wise man's question contains half the answer. - Solomon ben Judah, Philosopher
Peter McMillan
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St. George, Utah
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Perhaps I worry about nothing, but I am always on the search for a greater N rating on my PK ring. Just don't want to have less magnet field than needed.
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