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Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

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Adam

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Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post25 Jun 2024, 12:29

So excited to pick up a Sicura Chronoflash. Unfortunately that was short lived. I opened the caseback and first thing I found was a cracked board. Gutted! Not one to give up I took it apart and noticed the board was only cracked at the to and not a ceramic board. I glued the segments back together and rebuilt the tracks with silver conductive paint. And voilla I had life. Everything worked. Unfortunately I have missing digits at the front end. I've sent a message to Hanno but I dont hold out much hope as the display seems sealed. Is anyone still here? I really miss coming to forum and catching up on all the chat and learning bucket loads.

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cybr

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post30 Jun 2024, 22:24

Hi Adam and congrats for a quite rare and special LED watch! 8-)

Yes, some of us are still here...and ready for a (virtual) beer... :Prost:

Unfortunately Sicura ChronoFlash 1247 use the same Frontier 2006 module, as the iconic and very rare Breitling 9106 and some Hamilton/Vantage Chrono LED watches.
There are also some other less known brands that have used them for their LED Chronographs, such as:
My Darwil Chrono LED:
http://www.newdwf.com/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=8878
or The Lanco Chrono-Quartz presented also on NewDWF:
http://www.newdwf.com/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=6094

And it seems that our fellow forum member Ole Joe still had some spare Frontier 2006 modules, at least in 2013:

"A good samaritan (Ole Joe) provided me a NOS Frontier 2006 and TAHHH DAHHHHHH
Now I just need to work in the restoration process."

http://www.newdwf.com/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=6094#p39959
Hope this may help You to find a spare module,
Best regards,
:dwf:
Last edited by cybr on 30 Jun 2024, 22:27, edited 1 time in total.
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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cybr

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post30 Jun 2024, 22:25

sorry for the double post...
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post30 Jun 2024, 22:44

I know the module cybr. I just wondered if I can fix the missing digits as it running as it should and keeping time, even with the repaired board. And pressure sometimes makes the missing digits arrive. Although not with any regularity.

regards

Adam
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cybr

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post01 Jul 2024, 13:13

Hi Adam,
I was - of course - sure that You and other high level forum members - knew about the Frontier 2006 module!
Thus, I wrote the description for the other (new?) readers of this nice and knowledgeable forum, to repeat to them where were presented such outstanding chrono LED watches on this nice forum, and also explaining how rare and special is Your watch :mega:
Because, as I always tell to my PhD students, "repetitio mater studiorum est" :grin1:

Thus for You - and without any disconsideration of your unique and highly extensive knowledge of digital watches, I only just wanted to point out that - most probably - You will need a spare module - since "the display seems sealed" :scratch: , if Ole Joe fellow member still may have (or not) one more spare module...
Especially since even one of the most skilled Digital Watches repairers I personally know - Mr. Fleseriu from Vintage Digital Watches channel on Youtube, I do not recall to be able to repair a LED module with missing digits, on a "sealed" LED display.. :scratch:

Thanks for Your kind reply,
Best regards,
:dwf:
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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Ole Joe

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post04 Jul 2024, 20:56

img20240704_11462154.jpg
Hello Adam,
Ole Joe here, with a possible fix for your display which is missing segments but as you state, will work with a bit of pressure applied to the display. First the majority of the displays used in the Frontier watch modules were manufactured by Monsanto. The actual LEDS internal to the display are mounted on a small ceramic stick and wire bonded to pads located on the backside for external connection. As can be seen the display is covered with a transparent plastic lens. Since the display mounts directly to the substrate, there is no way to solder the contact pads on the back of the display to the appropriate pads on the substrate, other than using a reflow solder technique. Unfortunately, at the time in the early '70's, Monsanto recommend that the display not be reflowed soldered but be mounted to the substrate using a silver bearing epoxy compound, which Frontier did. You say in your post that the substrate in your module is cracked and is not ceramic. If this is fact, then the module you have was NOT produced by Frontier. All LED watch modules made by Frontier used Alumina Ceramic substrates. While I was an employee of Frontier, one of our representatives who was based in Hong Kong sent us several phony watch modules with the components mounted on standard epoxy glass circuit boards. The culprits copied the circuit track layouts from our ceramic substrate so that they could produce them for virtually nothing compared to what ceramic cost. We reverse engineered the module and discovered that they actually did have true Frontier chips installed. Further investigation revealed that the chips had been obtained out the backdoor of our manufacturing facility in the Philippines. The manufacturing facility in the Philippines would obtain the tested and known good watch chips from us in Calif., would mount the chips onto our ceramic substrates, wire bond the chips to the traces, cover with silicon compound and ship them back to us for final assembly, test and mounting into the plastic carrier rings. We expected a certain amount of loss each month due to ceramic breakage, bad wire bonds etc. The facility in the Philippines would report the loss each month and it was inline with what was predicted. They would return the bad parts to us. After a few months the cost to return the defective items to us was expensive, so the Philippine manufacture was told not to bother to return the failed items to us just report the number of failed items. Turns out the loss was virtually nothing to begin with from day one and they were selling known good chips to those in Hong Kong. They covered their tracks well until our representative happened to see a cheap watch in a Hong Kong shop which operated exactly like our product and purchased several for our evaluation. Looking back, it was easy to understand how this caper was executed as we had anywhere from 1 - 1.5 million modules in the pipeline at any given time for several years. Money was flowing into Frontier's bank account like water running downhill. With respect to your problem, I have remounted displays encountering problems like yours with good luck using silver bearing epoxy which I purchased years ago. I just did a search on Amazon and found it at this link;

https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Conductiv ... 1_2?sr=8-2

I have removed displays from ceramic substrates using the blade of an Xacto knife placed under the edge of the display and gently applied pressure upward. If you try this, be very careful applying the upward pressure as it is easy to break the display substrate. Also be aware of the black silicon coating covering the chips and wire bonds just below the display. I found that once the display was off the substrate, most of the adhesive used for mounting was left adhering to the substrate rather than the display contacts. Don't remove the old adhesive off the substrate or the display contacts, as the adhesive left on both parts sort of acts as a guide for aligning the display to the correct position once you've applied the new adhesive. I've attached a picture of the Monsanto display from an old data sheet that I dug up. It shows the contact arrangement on the back of the display. Hope this helps.

Ole Joe
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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post04 Jul 2024, 22:10

Thank you so much for replying Joe and so comprehensivly too. I will take it apart again tomorrow and post some pics. My repair isnt great but I managed to run solder on a couple of tracks which seemed to help with stability a little. I am a little lost on the display but will ask more questions when I post tomorrow as you'll be able to see what I have.

Again thank you.

Adam
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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post05 Jul 2024, 14:44

Here is my board Joe, not pretty but if I can get everything working i'll work on a neater way of strengthing the cracked board. My question really is can I gently prize off the cover of the digits leaving behind all the workings so I can work on the pads. that to say is it just a cover? I have tried with a scalpel blade but its quite attached.

regards

Adam

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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post05 Jul 2024, 17:41

Moving onward Joe, I removed the display. I have silver conductive paint that I use for tracks but this my be a bit fast drying, it is excellent though for tracks.

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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post05 Jul 2024, 17:42

display
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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post05 Jul 2024, 17:43

silver conductive paint
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Ole Joe

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post05 Jul 2024, 20:53

Hello Adam,
Great job of getting the display off the ceramic substrate! It is indeed a ceramic substrate and manufactured by Frontier. It's amazing that you were able to repair a broken ceramic substrate like you did and end up with only a couple of missing segments not working. Your pictures are fantastic showing your work. Like I stated, when I've removed displays from substrates most of the adhesive remains on the substrate and not on the "bumped" contacts of the display. What I have done is just dab a small amount of silver bearing epoxy on the display contact bumps and then try and place the display back down onto the substrate and into the same position as it was before you removed. The "divots", holes where the bumped display contacts were placed when originally mounted in the adhesive will act as a guide to align the display back onto the substrate. The link I posted for Amazon showing the silver bearing epoxy should work well for the job. Once you have replaced the display and the adhesive has set up over night, place the substrate back into the plastic carrier, replace the display mask (front cover), insert into watch case, install battery's and check for proper operation. If all is good I would recommend you then disassemble back to just the substrate and with nonconductive epoxy run a small bead around the outer perimeter of the display to hold it firmly to the ceramic substrate. I have found that this insures that the display contacts and the substrate contacts are locked in place and prevents future non contact between the two. I wish you the very best of luck in bringing full life back to your watch. If you need a new display or a new module let me know, I still have some tucked away after almost 50 years.
Best regards,
Ole Joe
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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post05 Jul 2024, 22:59

Thank you for your kind words Joe. Although I think you were being generous. I have ordered the epoxy so hopefully when it arrives I,ll be successful. I will keep the thread updated to let you know the outcome.

I had been searching for this Sicura for years so if I can save it I’ll be pleased. If you have a module you’d be prepared to part with I’d happily buy it. It would be great to know I have a backup for future proof the watch.

Adam
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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post18 Jul 2024, 15:05

Ah disappointing, waited for my paste to arrive, cleaned my contacts and ready to paste. Added paste to each dimple and fitted screed back on. Waited 24 hours to test but unfortunately no change. I'll wait another 24 and try again. If no change i'll take the display off again. Is it possible to check the display other than I think im stuck.

regards

Adam

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Adam

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Re: Sicura Chronoflash missing digits

Post18 Jul 2024, 15:10

all the digits on the chron function

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