Sangamo CD-14 145 Day Countdown Timer  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2022-12-12  



Sangamo produced many specialized timers beyond it's conventional 24 hour time switch products... this unusual device is a single shot countdown timer that can close a set of contacts up to 145 days in the future. Two different times can be set on the CD-14's multipart dial; a start date and an 'armed' date. When the armed date is reached a set of contacts is closed by a spring-loaded lever, and a second set of contacts is closed when the start date is reached, up to 145 days later. A small green flag next to the dial drops when the device is armed, which can be seen through a transparent window on the front of the timer. Unlike most time switches the CD-14 does not reset itself after it is activated, and resetting the timer is a unusually difficult task, requiring the timer to be partially dismantled and the dial removed. The movement in the CD-14 is very elaborate, and is built around a mechanical spring driven lever escapement movement. The movement is electrically wound by a 12 volt open frame motor in the bottom of the device, which is triggered automatically whenever mainspring power drops below a certain level. Sangamo is well known for the quality it lavishes on its timepieces and the CD-14 is no exception; most of the internal parts have been milled, and nearly every gear in the movement is covered in gold plating.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about this device, not the least of which is why Sangamo produced a countdown timer that seems purpose built for the mad scientist doomsday weapon market. The cloth cord attached to the device is terminated by a threaded cannon connector, which strongly suggests the CD-14 was built under contract for the US military, but is hard to imagine a use case that would require s single shot timer throwing a switch 6 months in the future. The level of manufacturing excess in its construction suggests that , whatever the CT-14's intended use is, its builders were very anxious that it not fail to operate at it's appointed time.


Sangamo CD-14 145 Day Countdown Timer
Sangamo CD-14 time switch. The CD-14 is a single shot 145 day countdown timer with a mechanical spring driven movement..

Sangamo Open Frame Motor
The Sangamo CD-14 is electrically wound by a 12 volt open frame motor.

Sangamo Countdown Time Switch CD-14
When sealed in its enclosure, the CD-14 contains a small window that allows the 'armed' status of the timer to be checked.

Sangamo CD-14 Ordinance Countdown Timer
Samgamo manufacturing excess on display; many of the gears in the CD-14 are gold plated.

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