Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches
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  1. #1
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    Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    I have a radio-controlled, Junghans Mega Solar Spektrum watch (018/1122.00).

    I am visiting Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. On one occasion the watch failed to synchronise; on another occasion it synchronised with the US transmitter in Fort Collins, Colorado; but today, outside in the open air, it claimed to have synchronised with the EU transmitter near Frankfurt in Germany. This seems to me deeply improbable. Is it conceivable that this was the result of unusual atmospheric conditions, or was it just a bug in the software?

  2. #2
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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    Unusual atmospheric conditions... it's possible, just very unlikely.

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    PJR
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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    Radio waves can bounce on the ionosphere and travel surprising distances so it is theoretically possible. The problem is Fort Collins and Mainflingen don't transmit on the same frequency.

    I'm not familiar with that specific model but the R/C watches I have need to be set to receive the closest transmitter so as not to be confused by multiple receptions from different stations.

    WWV in Fort Collins transmits on a frequency of 60KHZ. DCF77 in Mainflingen transmits on frequency of 77.5KHZ. So if the watch received Fort Collins it shouldn't be able to receive a different frequency unless the watch was adjusted.

    Have you noticed similar anomalies in the UK? The transmitter at Althorn is also 60KHZ and if your watch is receiving both signals for Althorn and Mainflingen you'd notice the occasional switch in time.

    It is also possible that your watch synchronized with station JJY in Japan which is also at 60KHZ.
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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    I had my Casio Oceanus, which usually syncs with Ft. Collins, sync with the EU transmitter when I was in Maine one week.

    I blame it on aliens.....
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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    The Junghans is multiband, so it could in theory receive DCF77 without any special adjustment. The normal operational range of DCF77 is quoted as 2000km, though reception has been reported in Maryland, USA (6500km). Reception in Victoria, BC (8100km) would be impressive, but not impossible, thanks to the oddities of longwave radio propagation.

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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Nokie View Post
    I had my Casio Oceanus, which usually syncs with Ft. Collins, sync with the EU transmitter when I was in Maine one week.

    I blame it on aliens.....
    It is possible for lw and vlf signals to propogate long distances over water.

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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    Thanks for the responses. To answer PJR's points, the watch can synchronise with the transmitters in Frankfurt, Fort Collins and Japan (not Althorn in the UK) . It states clearly on the dial which transmitter it has synchronised with. On the occasion mentioned, it said 'EU'. Today (Edmonton, Alberta), it says it has synced with US transmitter. According to Google, the distance between Fort Collins and Edmonton is nearly 2000km, so even this is quite impressive.

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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    My g-shock (Sydney, Australia) picks up the time signal from Japan. That must be 7500Km+ (I think!).
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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by rd0401 View Post
    My g-shock (Sydney, Australia) picks up the time signal from Japan. That must be 7500Km+ (I think!).
    How? I believe you, but my RC Citizens don't sync here.

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    Re: Long Distance Synchronisation of Radio-Controlled Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by William2 View Post
    Thanks for the responses. To answer PJR's points, the watch can synchronise with the transmitters in Frankfurt, Fort Collins and Japan (not Althorn in the UK) . It states clearly on the dial which transmitter it has synchronised with. On the occasion mentioned, it said 'EU'. Today (Edmonton, Alberta), it says it has synced with US transmitter. According to Google, the distance between Fort Collins and Edmonton is nearly 2000km, so even this is quite impressive.
    Edmonton-Fort Collins is no problem. I have had consistent syncs in Athabasca, another 150 km further north, and get "strong signal" results on my Citizens.

    Places in BC could be more problematic due to the mountains. A few years ago I couldn't get a Citizen Skyhawk or Casio G-Shock Aviation Series to sync even once in the interior Okanagan Valley while staying in Kelowna.
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