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Radio Controlled clocks

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Arfer
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Radio Controlled clocks

#187784

Postby Arfer » December 18th, 2018, 5:03 pm

Living in Jersey with Jersey granite concrete block walls (VERY solid), we have difficulty with these.

Yesterday our clock GAINED one hour and is still 1 hour ahead.

Any ideas?

Are there clocks checking time via wifi to atomic clocks that work?

mike
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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#187796

Postby mike » December 18th, 2018, 5:15 pm

Maybe connecting to the French system, or have you pressed a manual summertime setting by accident ?

Another thought. Many of these clocks, weather stations, watches etc look for signals at specific times of day, normally midnight, or early morning.

Try putting it in an England facing window overnight and see what happens.

Mike

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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#187804

Postby Breelander » December 18th, 2018, 5:40 pm

Arfer wrote:Are there clocks checking time via wifi to atomic clocks that work?


Not by wifi but by a low frequency radio signal, and yes it is linked to an atomic clock. The UK's MSF signal is on 60kHz.

The Time from NPL is a radio signal broadcast from the Anthorn Radio Station near Anthorn, Cumbria, which serves as the United Kingdom's national time reference.[1] The time signal is derived from three atomic clocks installed at the transmitter site, and is based on time standards maintained by the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington....

...The signal, also known as the MSF signal (and formerly the Rugby clock), is broadcast at a highly accurate frequency of 60 kHz and can be received throughout the UK, and in much of northern and western Europe.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_from_NPL_(MSF)

It is possible that your clock is dual-standard and is switching to a stronger French TDF signal on 162 kHz. There may be something in the instructions for your clock that tells you how to manually select your time source.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TDF_time_signal

Urbandreamer
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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#187811

Postby Urbandreamer » December 18th, 2018, 5:55 pm

Arfer wrote:Are there clocks checking time via wifi to atomic clocks that work?


I thought that I'd try a google, after all it's common for people who play with the likes of Raspbery Pi's to update their clock from the internet using NTP. Wifi clocks that do the same don't seem to have caught on that I can see, though they do exist. I.E LaMetric et-al.

It's a bit expensive to just use as a clock, but the amazon show will act as one. They have also anounced that they are doing a wall clock, but I'm unsure if it fully sets the time or just updates for daylight saving. I also suspect that you might need a amazon echo to communicate with it.

In all cases the power consumption of a WiFi reciever and processor means that you couldn't really run it on a AA battery and will have to plug it in.

pochisoldi
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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#187849

Postby pochisoldi » December 18th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Most atomic clocks use MSF (UK, Anthorn Cumbria) or DCF77 (Germany).

MSF transmits GMT with a flag to indicate summer time.
DCF77 transmits CET to indicate summer time.

If your clock is capable of using either source, and was syncing to MSF and then switched to DCF77 then it could cause the clock to gain an hour.

There was a scheduled outage on MSF on the 13th of December between 1000 and 1400 which might give a window of opportunity for the clock to go booloo.

I would suggest looking at the manual and see if there are any buttons you can press to force a synchronisation, noting that most battery powered atomic clocks only synchronise once every 24 hours or so, and are not actually permanently synchronised.

It might be worth taking the clock outside while you do this to maximise signal strength.

PochiSoldi

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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#187908

Postby csearle » December 19th, 2018, 6:28 am

pochisoldi wrote:I would suggest looking at the manual and see if there are any buttons you can press to force a synchronisation, noting that most battery powered atomic clocks only synchronise once every 24 hours or so, and are not actually permanently synchronised.
I want one! ;)

Chris

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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#187966

Postby ReformedCharacter » December 19th, 2018, 10:32 am

My apologies if this is slightly off-topic. My parents were given a mains powered clock as a wedding present. My father told me that it kept time by 'counting' the mains frequency. He said (and I don't know if this is\was true) that the frequency was adjusted so that over time it was consistent. It certainly kept very good time and only needed adjustment for Summer time. This seems to me to be a relatively simple way of keeping a clock accurate but it is the only clock that I have seen that worked that way so I wonder why it was not more commonly used. Maybe it was.

RC

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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#187976

Postby Stompa » December 19th, 2018, 10:54 am

ReformedCharacter wrote:My parents were given a mains powered clock as a wedding present. My father told me that it kept time by 'counting' the mains frequency. He said (and I don't know if this is\was true) that the frequency was adjusted so that over time it was consistent. It certainly kept very good time and only needed adjustment for Summer time.

I believe that is indeed the case:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

though it can go wrong:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... icity-grid

ten0rman
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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#188019

Postby ten0rman » December 19th, 2018, 2:00 pm

My parents were given a mains powered clock as a wedding present. My father told me that it kept time by 'counting' the mains frequency. He said (and I don't know if this is\was true) that the frequency was adjusted so that over time it was consistent. It certainly kept very good time and only needed adjustment for Summer time.


Yes, my parents had one as well. Mains driven, and with a little knob on the back to set it running along with a little disc with a wavy line on it running inside a little window. The idea was to use the knob to spin the motor at about the right speed whereupon it would lock on to the mains frequency. And another knob to adjust the hands.

Of course, power cuts didn't help! So eventually they went battery powered. I wonder what happened to that clock?

I now have a Casio £12 watch which is so accurate I only need to change the time at GMT/BST changes. It is not, as far as I know, radio controlled.

ten0rman

csearle
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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#188187

Postby csearle » December 19th, 2018, 11:24 pm

ReformedCharacter wrote:My apologies if this is slightly off-topic. My parents were given a mains powered clock as a wedding present. My father told me that it kept time by 'counting' the mains frequency. He said (and I don't know if this is\was true) that the frequency was adjusted so that over time it was consistent. It certainly kept very good time and only needed adjustment for Summer time. This seems to me to be a relatively simple way of keeping a clock accurate but it is the only clock that I have seen that worked that way so I wonder why it was not more commonly used. Maybe it was.
Yes I think the distributors' maintain the frequency - on average - at 50Hz which means that clocks synchronised to the mains frequency would maintain good accuracy. I think that there used to be an old-wives-tale suggesting that the clocks on cookers were the best - probably for that very reason.

Chris
PS One of my profs at uni used the frequency of his supply to a Papua New Guinean village to regulate the energy from a Pelton wheel generator. (How many can claim that feat?)

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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#188192

Postby scotia » December 19th, 2018, 11:44 pm

If your mains frequency clock is in Europe then it would have had problems earlier this year:-
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43321113
A significant advantage of a radio controlled clock is the automatic summertime change. I used to help with a visually disabled group, most of whom had talking clocks and watches that were not radio controlled, and twice a year they brought along these clocks and watches to our meetings, and I had to figure out how to adjust them appropriately.

Arfer
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Re: Radio Controlled clocks

#188715

Postby Arfer » December 21st, 2018, 5:38 pm

Thanks to all.

I recall my Grandparents had a Ferranti mains clock, this used to fascinate me 60 years ago.

Our R/C clock problem is resolved. Mr Amazon will deliver a Mondaine quartz wall clock, by order of Senior Management.....


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