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#163 - New Radio Controlled Station Clocks

I finally decided to upgrade the wall clocks in my radio station to clocks that I do not have to worry about resetting every time we have a power outage, and that occurs quite frequently. In an emergency or disaster, radio communications is extremely important, and in EmComms, accurate times are extremely important.

I decided on the 14" UltrAtomic wall clock from La Crosse Technology that uses radio broadcasts each hour on HF frequencies from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to ensure it always displays the correct time.

I ordered two of these 14 inch platinum wall clocks so that I could have one set for the local time, and the other set for UTC time, the two times used in ham radio. This clock is also available in a stainless steel version if that fits into your decor better.

I also ordered two matching engraved plastic plates in platinum color with black lettering to place under each clock.

With these atomic clocks, all you have to do is choose the correct time zone on the back of the clock, place either 2 or 4 C-sized batteries in it and wait for the next NIST radio transmission to be received by the clock which will automatically adjust the clock to the correct time. The clock will run on just two batteries, however if you place four batteries inside, it will allow the clock to run for 6 months before the batteries need to be replaced.

If you happen to live in an area which observes Daylight Savings Time (unlike here in Hawaii), be sure to choose the DST setting on the back of the clock so the time stays correct when the time changes in spring and fall each year.

With the older Atomic Clocks you had to mount the clock onto certain walls in your house so that it could receive the signal from NIST. If you put the clock on the wrong wall, it couldn't receive the signal which would cause issues with the clock functioning correctly. With the new UltrAtomic clocks, that is no longer a problem.

Supposedly, the new clocks will also have less of a chance of receiving RF interference from your ham radios when you are transmitting. This is one of the things that I will be testing over the next few months as these clocks will both be mounted directly above my radio station.

Hopefully this will take care of all of my clock issues here in the ham shack, even during our almost weekly power outages.

Until Next Time,

Aloha and 73