Radio Controlled Specialty And Maritime clocks

How do radio controlled clocks work?

Radio controlled clocks receive a signal from the NIST Radio station WWVB located near Fort Collins, Colorado. WWVB continuously broadcasts time and frequency signals at 60 kHz. WWVB provides standard time information, including year; time intervals; Daylight Savings Time, leap second, and leap-year indicators. The transmitted accuracy of WWVB is normally better than 1 part in 100 billion with day-to-day deviations less than 5 parts in 1000 billion.

Due to the effects of the many communication devices used throughout the United States (more so during the day than at night, and more so during the week than the weekend), the WWVB transmission is easier to receive at night and during the weekend.

 

What if my radio controlled clock shows the correct time for another time zone?

If you live in an area that receives the signal but does not adjust for daylight-savings time, select ST (standard time) from the back of the movement while the rest of the country is in daylight-savings time and manually set the movement to the correct local time. When the country returns to standard time, select your time zone from the back of the movement.

Ensure that your time zone is selected from the back of the movement and wait for the clock to receive an updated radio signal. Best signal reception occurs between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM - particularly during the weekend.

 

What if my radio controlled clock does not operate?

If the radio clock was provided with a battery installed, ensure that the plastic cover is removed from the battery and that there’s no insulator strip between the battery and the contact. After following the details below and the clock still does not work, install a fresh new alkaline battery.

Geographic features, weather disturbances, and structural characteristics can affect the strength of the radio signal. The clock will not operate properly until it receives a signal – it will look for a signal on a regular basis. If the movement in your clock is the type where you select the time zone by turning a knob on the back of the movement, it may stop if it does not receive a signal for an extended period of time. To start the clock, remove the battery and insert it backward (reverse polarity). Remove the battery again and reinstall it correctly. Then reference the detail below on locating your clock.

Locating Your Clock

For best performance, you should NOT place your clock:

  • On a metal surface.
  • Within several feet of an electrical raceway, radio transmitter/receiver, personal computer, television, satellite dish, air conditioner, light dimmer switch, electrical motor, microwave oven or any other appliance that could interfere with the clock¹s reception of the radio signal.
  • In enclosed areas and structures of concrete and steel such as a basement, office building or factory.

For best performance try to place the clock near a window, preferably a window that is facing Fort Collins, Colorado.

Best signal reception occurs between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM - particularly during the weekend.

What if the clock hands are bent?

The clock hands are easily bent. Carefully bend them back to the correct position.

 

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