Possible method to improve atomic time syncing
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  1. #1
    Member Watch_Geekmaster's Avatar
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    Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    I live in an urban area over a 1000 miles (1600 km) from the nearest atomic time radio tower, so I usually have great difficulty in receiving the signal. For months my AWGM100 was unable to receive the signal. Until one night I left it inside a metal wire cube shelf (see below), and "magically" it was able to sync that night. I repeated the same experiment by putting the watch on the same shelf, it was able to sync for at least 2 more nights within a week. It has to be a clear night though, for that to happen, as I discovered. But I think the metal shelving definitely improved the reception, probably by acting as an antenna. The most interesting thing is the shelf is not even close to a window, it's inside a closet!

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    Obviously with only 1 watch, it is not enough of a sample size to prove my theory. I would like someone else to try this experiment. Pretty simple, just put your watch inside a similar metal shelving and see if it improves your time signal reception. Make sure you post back here for your results, thanks!

  2. #2
    Member tiha's Avatar
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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    This resembles to the Faraday cage: Faraday cage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Syncing should be worse when the watch is inside one.
    TixTox and sidecross like this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    Quote Originally Posted by tiha View Post
    This resembles to the Faraday cage: Faraday cage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Syncing should be worse when the watch is inside one.
    That's what I was thinking also as I read the OP.
    “Time is an illusion.” ― Albert Einstein

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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    Sorry watch_geek for not being able to add to your test, but I'm testing my GW6900 and it works great here in Washington state, it sync's at 1204am every morning since getting it (sitting on a dresser next to a window). Last night I left the watch in my gun safe and woke up at 0445 and no RECV on face, and last received signal was yesterday, I moved the watch to the dresser and am waiting to see the last attempt. Good luck with your tests.

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    Member Oldbugr's Avatar
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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    OK, my testing is done, my watch received a signal at 0504 in the same spot as before, so I'm good. I didn't figure mine would work in the gun safe, but that's were I store my watches when not being worn. Good luck Watch_geek

  7. #6
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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    the human body/skin is a great antenna! ill never have sync problems as long as im wearing my watch(es). :)

    i think your cube as long as it isnt closed on all sides, may or may not (see post from tiha) also work as a kind of antenna.

    ill would say wear them to sync time near a window and see if its syncing. on night no sleep shoudnt be a problem for a experiment.
    Collection: DW-004X-8T, GW-9100-1, AWG-101-1

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    Member Kilovolt's Avatar
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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    Quote Originally Posted by tiha View Post
    This resembles to the Faraday cage: Faraday cage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Syncing should be worse when the watch is inside one.

    The OP's structure being inside a closet is not earthed and consequently it does not screen the radio waves. It is on the contrary likely that it acts as an antenna as sgpch says.
    sidecross, tiha and watch_geek2014 like this.

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    Member Watch_Geekmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    For all the Faraday Cage comments, the time signal from WWVB is of 60kHz frequency, meaning the wavelength is 5km wide, so the small grids of my wire cube definitely can block the signal. But... like sgpch already pointed out above, it's not a complete enclosed cage. My wire cube only covers 5 sides, with one side open in front, so I can put stuffs in there. With the watch sitting on the bottom, I guess it's kind of acts like a loop antenna, which is one of the antenna types for receiving long wave radio signals. With the back panel, it also helps reflecting the signal back onto the watch.

    So that's my theory. I will continue monitoring how frequently my watch receives the signal inside the cube and without the cube. Meanwhile, I still like to hear from others, how well their signal reception or not with similar wire shelf. Thanks for the participation.
    Last edited by watch_geek2014; December 8th, 2014 at 16:25.
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    Member StephenWatch's Avatar
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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbugr View Post
    Last night I left the watch in my gun safe...
    Only in America... LOL
    Never argue with an idiot - they'll only bring you down to their level and win from experience...



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    Re: Possible method to improve atomic time syncing

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenWatch View Post
    Only in America... LOL
    And we intend to keep it that way.

    I would store my watches in one of my gun safes but there's no room for them.
    Queen6, cpietras, Geopro and 1 others like this.
    “Time is an illusion.” ― Albert Einstein

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