I have a watch that adjusts itself when passing through different time zones and updates itself using the signal from atomic clocks. It also uses solar power to recharge the battery, which should last for 10 years before needing to be changed.
@ tekochip, LOL, of course nobody is going to take such pains for just getting their clock right. Similarly, no one would like to compromise the interior look of his/her room by putting his/her clock where it doesn't look good in the quest for good signal reception. I would immediately throw that clock out of the window and place a traditional cell powered clock where it looks good.
@ Mydesign, placing the clock near window or door may fix the problem of signal reception for good, but it doesn't answer the question posed in the paragraph posted by you. It should keep the date received during last better signal reception period. It makes no sense if it changes the date to some random number when it is not getting enough signals.
Tool_maker - as I said a while ago, I have 7 radio clocks around the house, and I forgot about my Casio Waveceptor wrist-watch.
Wherever I can see a pair at the same time, they all change in perfect step, including my watch.
If yours don't change in step, then they aren't synchronised to the radio signal and are probably free-running for short periods when they lose the radio signal.
The only problem I have ever had with a radio clock was when the supplier delivered a pure German version by mistake and it insisted in working to their time, which is always an hour ahead of us and the Summer time changes were different. However, pulling it apart showed a link on the PCB - UK/DE - changing it over made my clock a UK one, but still receiving the German time signals.
So, all the problems people seem to be having here appear to be just lousy reception, and maybe a few lousy clocks.
Sorry to repeat it, but I think it may be your system over there.
I have three such clocks in my house and they all plug into wall sockets, so batteries only enter in the equation when the power goes out and all three return to what they think the correct time is. My problem is none of them ever show the same time. They are all within a couple minutes, all change on and off daylight savings when necessary and all project the time and temp on the ceiling. I like all three, but they never have the same time.
What do I care if things vary by 2-3 minutes, come January I will be retired and will not really care what the clock says unless they cause me to miss a Cardinal's, Ram's or Blue's telecast. All else will depend on whether or not the fish are biting, and they do not use any clock, but depend on the weather. Life is good.
None of the WWVB clocks I have has such a switch, the clock we gave to my Mother-in-Law is fairly large, I'll have to check it and see if it does. At least the wall mount or smaller desk size WWVB clocks are large enough to have such a switch. I have seen the switch on better multi-wave radios, it has been around for many years on some radios, particularly the multi-band receivers. I have one from the mid-sixties with the switch and I've seen the switch on even older radios. I guess it fell out of favor perhaps, for various reasons, like being cheap with the design. I'll check that clock for the switch later today and let you know.
Yes, I certainly did enjoy your state very much! :-)
Did you see the "local/distant" switch on WWVB receivers, or are you saying this in general? It is indeed difficult to design a receiver with a very wide dynamic range, but it is easier when the modulation scheme is phase-based (as is the new WWVB scheme) rather than AM, so I'm expecting new products to work well both outdoors in Fort Collins and inside buildings in NY.
It is interesting how various structures can restrict reception of a given signal. For instance, inside my house, we have problems with weak signal areas from my Ethernet router even though it has a strong transceiver in it, the same goes for Wi-Fi, there are spots in which it is all but useless.
Your experience with your time clock in Fort Collins is not unusual, being 'close' to the transmitter will often overload the receiver's front end, this happens with most other types of transmissions as well, AM, TV, ect. I've worked at TV stations where houses located near the transmitter could not receive the signal, too much signal! A tuned attenuator inserted in the antenna line at the receiver fixed the problem.
It is difficult to design an RF front end that can cope with most all signal conditions but a significantly wide range should be achievable at little additional cost. I've noticed that some receivers have come equipped with a local/distant switch to help with the problem.
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