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Re: WWV Time

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  • unclefesterman
    Sometimes the simplest reason is the right one-- Replace the clock battery. Clean the battery contacts while you re at it. Actually, just opening it, saying
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 23, 2013
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      Sometimes the simplest reason is the right one--

      Replace the clock battery. Clean the battery contacts while you're at it. Actually, just opening it, saying "What should I do now? Awww, forget it!!" and closing it up is enough (accidental) cleaning to fix the problem. I've seen these clocks wander all over just from someone walking by and shaking the mass-produced floor.

      As for 50KHz, just like WWL in Cincinnati (700K), it's a multiple of the Canadian Shield of limestone most of the contiguous USA sits on.

      Jerry
      KD8SRH
    • sfkaney
      So you re saying the signal is not even ground wave but subterranean wave? Clocks are now fine without my lifting a finger. Seems to me they were
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 23, 2013
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        So you're saying the signal is not even ground wave but subterranean wave?

        Clocks are now fine without my lifting a finger. Seems to me they were broadcasting an erroneous signal for a little while, I.e. either a status bit or the hour field was screwed up.


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        From: unclefesterman <UncleFester@...>;
        To: <GRARA@yahoogroups.com>;
        Subject: [GRARA] Re: WWV Time
        Sent: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 10:27:05 PM

         

        Sometimes the simplest reason is the right one--

        Replace the clock battery. Clean the battery contacts while you're at it. Actually, just opening it, saying "What should I do now? Awww, forget it!!" and closing it up is enough (accidental) cleaning to fix the problem. I've seen these clocks wander all over just from someone walking by and shaking the mass-produced floor.

        As for 50KHz, just like WWL in Cincinnati (700K), it's a multiple of the Canadian Shield of limestone most of the contiguous USA sits on.

        Jerry
        KD8SRH

      • sfkaney
        Oh P.S. In the past when the batteries get low the LCD starts getting pale but even then the clock stays right on. In this case the LCD was still crisp but
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 23, 2013
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          Oh P.S. In the past when the batteries get low the LCD starts getting pale but even then the clock stays right on. In this case the LCD was still crisp but hour field was off by EXACTLY 3 hours west on the Oregon Scientifics and EXACTLY 2 hours west on the Sony.!?


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          From: unclefesterman <UncleFester@...>;
          To: <GRARA@yahoogroups.com>;
          Subject: [GRARA] Re: WWV Time
          Sent: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 10:27:05 PM

           

          Sometimes the simplest reason is the right one--

          Replace the clock battery. Clean the battery contacts while you're at it. Actually, just opening it, saying "What should I do now? Awww, forget it!!" and closing it up is enough (accidental) cleaning to fix the problem. I've seen these clocks wander all over just from someone walking by and shaking the mass-produced floor.

          As for 50KHz, just like WWL in Cincinnati (700K), it's a multiple of the Canadian Shield of limestone most of the contiguous USA sits on.

          Jerry
          KD8SRH

        • Hank Greeb
          Are you retired? Or can you leave your work for a day or more to help out? Red Cross needs YOU! Call Red Cross at 616-456-8661 - ext 3521 and volunteer. This
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 24, 2013
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            Are you retired?  Or can you leave your work for a day or more to help out?  Red Cross needs YOU!  Call Red Cross at 616-456-8661 - ext 3521 and volunteer. This won't involve ham radio, and probably won't involve communications, but help is needed.  The cleanup is expected to last well into next week - and Red Cross will be involved in various relief efforts.

            As Jim said in an earlier message, there's no communications emergency.   But, Red Cross can use several (probably many) more volunteers to help with various tasks.  Nothing glamorous, but surely necessary.

            For example, Steve Provost, KC8WQL, has been helping with various things, including his specialty, technical support of the computer system at 1050 Fuller.

            Jim, KD8CAN, was spotted @ Red Cross HQ on Monday.  Didn't have time for a chat, so ask him what he's been doing if you get a chance.

            There are probably other GRARA members who have been helping - but I haven't run across them.

            I've been helping fill "clean up kits" for distribution by ERV's and at shelters for the past two days, but can't be full time.  Americorps volunteers are doing much of this work, but welcome help.

            I'm only a "grunt" so don't know any details of needs, except the people at 1050 Fuller seem to need considerably more help.   So if you can help, call Red Cross at 616-456-8661 - ext 3521 and volunteer.  Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.  It won't be pushing a mike button and handling communications traffic, but you can be sure it will be needed.

            And, don't be surprised at periods of "hurry up and wait" - scheduling of supplies, etc., from outside (and even within the area) can be difficult - so if you get assigned to go somewhere, and supplies, or other personnel, etc., aren't immediately available, it won't be the first time.  I was asked to be @ Red Cross Monday for assignment to "clean up kit duty" but the warehouse and supplies weren't available when expected.  Instead, I did a few "gopher" jobs and came back yesterday after things got set up.

            As one staff person said, this is the largest flood in recent history - so things are a bit chaotic, and they're all learning.

            72/73 de n8xx Hg
            QRP >99.44% of the time
          • Jerry L. Elya
            A fascinating problem. That s why I love troubleshooting. Can t be a stuck bit in the signal; you re the only one with the problem. Most clock batteries fade
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 24, 2013
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              A fascinating problem. That's why I love troubleshooting.

              Can't be a stuck bit in the signal; you're the only one with the problem.

              Most clock batteries fade due to age and not due to current draw. See,
              household batteries aren't "charged", they have a set amount of energy
              AVAILABLE from chemicals; when used, they don't "discharge", but their
              internal resistance increases as by-products are created via use.
              There's actually a LOT of untapped power available that's blocked by
              these byproducts-- solving this issue is the Holy Grail of battery
              engineers. When the internal resistance drops most of the created
              voltage, you have a dead battery. That's also why a dead battery shows
              a substantial voltage even though it's dead.

              Could it be a stuck bit at YOUR end? YES. Iffy solder joints,
              defective printed circuit board traces, undocumented/untested revisions,
              even bad programming-- all contribute to mass-produced equipment being
              far less identical to one another than what you'd expect. Michael
              Collins (Apollo 11) pointed out that x-raying every single wire, part
              and even bolt accomplished nothing other than a dozen highly-individual
              spaceships.

              Supply voltages and available current vary wildly throughout the
              circuitry. Don't forget, batteries have impedence too, and it's
              connected to every component on the board (think about it: V+ and
              ground). Impedance affects radio. I used to DX LW, MW & SW, and always
              used the "Radio Shack Reds"-- shorter life but allowed far better
              sensitivity, which I proved many times by swapping them for Alkalines
              and the whole band drying up. A sad day for me when they stopped making
              them (mercury content).

              SO, back to your problem:

              Off by exact hours/minutes/seconds means it's screwed up in the BCD
              section. Slowly changing error means the free-running clock is
              fast/slow AND the BCD isn't getting used.

              happening at the hours stage? Well, that's when the processor is
              checking your preferences and changing UCT to local time zone. This
              takes extra processor steps. Extra steps take extra current. EXtra
              current increases voltage drop across stray resistances. Extra drop
              leaves less voltage to run things. Bits drop out, or too low to be read
              correctly.

              And here's the fun part: It happened over and over too fast for the
              display to dim.

              NOW, WHY INTERMITTENT? Well, batteries do that. Quite a few op-amp
              circuits gave a battery bypass cap. I've had three radios over the
              years where I had to put the radio on battery power and tap every cap
              with a screwdriver handle until the shop fills with static. Ever swap
              batteries around in a TV remote and it works? In theory it shouldn't
              work, but don't tell that to an 8-year-old. If you can fix
              intermittents, you can fix anything.

              SO, I'll stick with the replace-battery diagnosis. Although you won't
              have that grand "AHA!! IT WORKS!!" moment, the problem will go away--
              until the next time the battery gets low. Give it a try withya NEW
              battery and let me know. I'm accidentally right far more often than I'm
              stubbornly wrong.

              Jerry
              KD8SRH
            • sfkaney
              Like I said, batteries are fine, and clock is now fine so I guess it was bad solder so the gnomes came and resoldered it Sent from Yahoo! Mail
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 24, 2013
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                Like I said, batteries are fine, and clock is now fine so I guess it was bad solder so the gnomes came and resoldered it


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                From: Jerry L. Elya <UncleFester@...>;
                To: <GRARA@yahoogroups.com>;
                Subject: [GRARA] WWV, batteries and stuck bits
                Sent: Wed, Apr 24, 2013 12:53:50 PM

                 

                A fascinating problem. That's why I love troubleshooting.

                Can't be a stuck bit in the signal; you're the only one with the problem.

                Most clock batteries fade due to age and not due to current draw. See,
                household batteries aren't "charged", they have a set amount of energy
                AVAILABLE from chemicals; when used, they don't "discharge", but their
                internal resistance increases as by-products are created via use.
                There's actually a LOT of untapped power available that's blocked by
                these byproducts-- solving this issue is the Holy Grail of battery
                engineers. When the internal resistance drops most of the created
                voltage, you have a dead battery. That's also why a dead battery shows
                a substantial voltage even though it's dead.

                Could it be a stuck bit at YOUR end? YES. Iffy solder joints,
                defective printed circuit board traces, undocumented/untested revisions,
                even bad programming-- all contribute to mass-produced equipment being
                far less identical to one another than what you'd expect. Michael
                Collins (Apollo 11) pointed out that x-raying every single wire, part
                and even bolt accomplished nothing other than a dozen highly-individual
                spaceships.

                Supply voltages and available current vary wildly throughout the
                circuitry. Don't forget, batteries have impedence too, and it's
                connected to every component on the board (think about it: V+ and
                ground). Impedance affects radio. I used to DX LW, MW & SW, and always
                used the "Radio Shack Reds"-- shorter life but allowed far better
                sensitivity, which I proved many times by swapping them for Alkalines
                and the whole band drying up. A sad day for me when they stopped making
                them (mercury content).

                SO, back to your problem:

                Off by exact hours/minutes/seconds means it's screwed up in the BCD
                section. Slowly changing error means the free-running clock is
                fast/slow AND the BCD isn't getting used.

                happening at the hours stage? Well, that's when the processor is
                checking your preferences and changing UCT to local time zone. This
                takes extra processor steps. Extra steps take extra current. EXtra
                current increases voltage drop across stray resistances. Extra drop
                leaves less voltage to run things. Bits drop out, or too low to be read
                correctly.

                And here's the fun part: It happened over and over too fast for the
                display to dim.

                NOW, WHY INTERMITTENT? Well, batteries do that. Quite a few op-amp
                circuits gave a battery bypass cap. I've had three radios over the
                years where I had to put the radio on battery power and tap every cap
                with a screwdriver handle until the shop fills with static. Ever swap
                batteries around in a TV remote and it works? In theory it shouldn't
                work, but don't tell that to an 8-year-old. If you can fix
                intermittents, you can fix anything.

                SO, I'll stick with the replace-battery diagnosis. Although you won't
                have that grand "AHA!! IT WORKS!!" moment, the problem will go away--
                until the next time the battery gets low. Give it a try withya NEW
                battery and let me know. I'm accidentally right far more often than I'm
                stubbornly wrong.

                Jerry
                KD8SRH

              • R. Mark Barnett
                I ve been reading this thread... I have a Sharp and an Oregon Scientific... I didn t notice anything out of the ordinary...  The Sharp is on my TV stand and
                Message 7 of 15 , Apr 24, 2013
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                  I've been reading this thread... I have a Sharp and an Oregon Scientific... I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary...  The Sharp is on my TV stand and I use it quite a bit... The Oregon Scientific is my alarm clock.... I only look at it twice a day, so it "could" have been off at some point, but it has been waking me at the right time. 

                  I have never had a problem with them even when the battery is low... the displays just loose contrast... It took almost an hour for the Oregon Scientific to change to daylight savings time, the Sharp made the change immediately... 

                  Mark B.  N8PGV
                • sfkaney
                  I ve never had a problem with mine either except the one morning. I also use one of mine for an alarm clock. I emailed NIST using the link someone
                  Message 8 of 15 , Apr 24, 2013
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                    I've never had a problem with mine either except the one morning. I also use one of mine for an alarm clock.

                    I emailed NIST using the link someone provided and they said it was most likely caused by local RF interference.


                    Sent from Yahoo! Mail for iPhone


                    From: R. Mark Barnett <orgelkraft@...>;
                    To: <GRARA@yahoogroups.com>;
                    Subject: RE: [GRARA] Re: WWV Time
                    Sent: Wed, Apr 24, 2013 8:49:07 PM

                     

                    I've been reading this thread... I have a Sharp and an Oregon Scientific... I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary...  The Sharp is on my TV stand and I use it quite a bit... The Oregon Scientific is my alarm clock.... I only look at it twice a day, so it "could" have been off at some point, but it has been waking me at the right time. 

                    I have never had a problem with them even when the battery is low... the displays just loose contrast... It took almost an hour for the Oregon Scientific to change to daylight savings time, the Sharp made the change immediately... 

                    Mark B.  N8PGV

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