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Self-setting clock radios, how?

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W4KRR

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Just bought a new cheap clock radio. Haven't bought one in a few years. I noticed this particular model, and lots of others also, no longer require you to set the time on the clock. On the one I got, there's a switch to select daylight savings time or not, and another to select your time zone. Once you set these, the time is set correctly as soon as you plug it in.

Now I'm aware of clocks that use a signal from WWV to set the time, and I have a couple of these, but this doesn't seem to be what this clock radio uses to set the time, as it is almost instantaneous, and my WWV clocks take a few minutes (at least) to get the correct time.

So how do these cheapy clock radios set the time? It isn't connected to the phone line, computer, nothing except the AC power.
 
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N_Jay

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W4KRR said:
Just bought a new cheap clock radio. Haven't bought one in a few years. I noticed this particular model, and lots of others also, no longer require you to set the time on the clock. On the one I got, there's a switch to select daylight savings time or not, and another to select your time zone. Once you set these, the time is set correctly as soon as you plug it in.

Now I'm aware of clocks that use a signal from WWV to set the time, and I have a couple of these, but this doesn't seem to be what this clock radio uses to set the time, as it is almost instantaneous, and my WWV clocks take a few minutes (at least) to get the correct time.

So how do these cheapy clock radios set the time? It isn't connected to the phone line, computer, nothing except the AC power.
They got a battery inside and the "clock" circuit always runs.
They are set at the factory and don't drift enough for most people to care.
 

W4KRR

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N_Jay said:
They got a battery inside and the "clock" circuit always runs.
They are set at the factory and don't drift enough for most people to care.
Well, that's a letdown! So, the clock is set one time, at the factory, and that's it!?! There doesn't appear to be a manual set available, so I guess if it ever drifts too much, I'm SOL :(
 
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N_Jay

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W4KRR said:
Well, that's a letdown! So, the clock is set one time, at the factory, and that's it!?! There doesn't appear to be a manual set available, so I guess if it ever drifts too much, I'm SOL :(

I have to believe it has a manual set.
It may have a lock switch that needs to get unlocked to set.
That is the way my GE and Timex both work.
 

jparks29

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I call BS, if that were the case, it'd be off...

different time zones....



I suggest WWV ...
 

n3bxv

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jparks29 said:
I call BS, if that were the case, it'd be off...

different time zones.....
Already Explained -


W4KRR said:
On the one I got, there's a switch to select daylight savings time or not, and another to select your time zone. Once you set these, the time is set correctly as soon as you plug it in.
 

W4KRR

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N_Jay's explanation seems most reasonable, it's just too quick to be set by WWV.

I was under the impression that the clock aquired the correct time somehow, and then set the clock to display it. It would seem that the time is already set; AA batteries came installed in it, to "hold" the correct time, I presume.

BTW, the clock is an RCA model RP5420, but a Google search comes up with lots of similar clocks that have the same "auto set" feature. Maybe instead of "auto set" it should be called "already set". :confused:
 

nd5y

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NightFox

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These have a Lithium battery installed in a concealed area. I have one from walmart that operates in the same manner. It sets the date then sets the time. At first I thought it was getting it from a cell phone tower but after reading the directions, it says to turn off the alarms if the clock will be turned off for extended periods of time to preserve the lithium battery. Go figure...
 

W4KRR

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AZScanner said:
That's cool... I need one of those. Everytime the power goes out (happens alot with our monsoon storms out here) I wake up to flashing 12:00's all over the house.

-AZ
That's one reason I like this design. I have an older clock radio that uses a 9 volt battery as a backup in the event of a power failure. Problem is, when it's keeping time on battery power, it gains about 20 minutes for every 10 minutes the power is out.
 

W4KRR

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dkpierce said:
Check ou this link to Seth Thomes.

http://www.seththomas.com/faqs_Autoset.cfm

This explains how the auto set works.
Thanks for the link, dk. I'll assume mine works in the same way, although the box was missing the instruction manual, it only had a "Quick Setup" slip which explained nothing. I tried Googling for "RCA RP5420" but came up only with places to purchase them.
 

jim202

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I would be willing to bet that if you took the time to read the paper that came with the clock, you would find that it has a radio receiver in it. Probably tuned for 60 KHz for the WWVB transmission. I know that CVS and a number of other stores sell these for between $8.00 and about $15.00 each.

The clock updates itself when it syncs with the radio station. The time base in it is fairly good and can free wheel between locking on the WWVB signal. Normally it does best at night when the low frequency propagation is best.

I have a couple that also have a built in temperature display as well as normal time and alarm funtion. There may be a button on the clock that shows what looks like a radio tower. Try pressing that button for about 15 or 20 seconds or so and it might start flashing the tower symbol on the display to indicate it is trying to sync to the radio signal.

Jim



N_Jay said:
They got a battery inside and the "clock" circuit always runs.
They are set at the factory and don't drift enough for most people to care.
 
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N_Jay

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jim202 said:
I would be willing to bet that if you took the time to read the paper that came with the clock, you would find that it has a radio receiver in it. . . . . .

Jim
I would bet that if you took the time to read the whole thread, and maybe a Google link or two, and then if you are REALLY dense take trip to Walmart, you would see you are F--ing WRONG!!!:twisted:

(said with a grin so people don't get too pissed at me):lol:
 
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N_Jay

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jim202 said:
I would be willing to bet that if you took the time to read the paper that came with the clock, you would find that it has a radio receiver in it. . . .

Jim
Ooops,

What I meant to say was;
I'll take that bet for $1000.

I accept paypal and money orders.:lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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So how do these cheapy clock radios set the time? It isn't connected to the phone line, computer, nothing except the AC power.
For the conspiracy theorists on this board that dont seem to like N_Jay's idea of how it works, I propose a new theory:

The power company is secretly transmitting signals along power lines that only these clocks can receive and interpret. This is in accordance with the master plan to make all clocks simultaneously get set to the wrong time at some appointed moment in the near future thus causing millions of people to be late for work, miss their kid's graduation etc etc. The purpose of this is as of yet unknown but will undoutedly become immediately clear once the aforementioned circumstances have taken place.

:lol:
 

NeFire242

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Actually I've thought about this. Think of how many things are GPS locked, and time locked. If you changed the GPS time by just a few seconds.... hmmmm
 

W4KRR

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The bottom line seems to be that calling these clocks "self setting" is a misnomer, they really don't set anything, they're already set from the factory, the end user has only to select daylight saving time or not, and select the correct time zone.
 
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