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Author Topic: Hacking an Atomic Clock  (Read 5632 times)
WV1N
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Posts: 18




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« on: April 17, 2013, 05:44:52 AM »

Recently I bought a LaCrosse digital atomic clock (WT8005) that is driving me crazy.  I set it to GMT but it always reverts to EST.  I called Lacrosse but they say that it will only work in the US time zones.
The signal from WWVB is sent in GMT so my problem is to disable the offset that is built into the clock.
Does anyone know how to do this?  I assume that it is built into an IC but can I disable the offset somehow?
If I remove the antenna I can use it as a normal digital clock but that is not an elegant solution.
Any ideas?

Bill,WV1N
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 08:14:55 AM »

The function is very likely to be software driven and in firmware these days. 

That might make this project rather involved...


73
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W5CPT
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Posts: 556




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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 10:54:46 AM »

I have two SkyScan brand atomic clocks from Sam's Club and one is set to GMT. It is here in my shack.  I use it to make time marks when I am listening around and keeping track of what I hear when.  The one in my shack was inexpensive at around $20.

Clint - W5CPT - 
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 11:15:06 AM »

I have the same clock as you do and have the same problem. The factory says it is preset to the four US time zones, annoying but not a big problem, as I am only interested in the minutes and seconds. The UST hour I can easily figure out. The Skyscan is the way to go if you want the UST. I bought the La Crosse because my sight is poor and the clock is very big and easy to see.

73s

K2OWK
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W9GB
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Posts: 2600




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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »

Quote
Recently I bought a LaCrosse digital atomic clock (WT8005) that is driving me crazy.  I set it to GMT but it always reverts to EST.  I called Lacrosse but they say that it will only work in the US time zones.
The signal from WWVB is sent in GMT so my problem is to disable the offset that is built into the clock.
Does anyone know how to do this?  I assume that it is built into an IC but can I disable the offset somehow?
Clocked designed and made in China.  

Likely a simple processor (PIC, Atmel, Arudino, etc.) with 4 switch settings "programmed" in firmware.
Need someone willing to HACK the design (just like Asian mfg. do for USA designs).
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SWMAN
Member

Posts: 548




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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 01:31:53 PM »

 I have one very similar to that clock, LaCross and mine has a setting to either go manual settings with the time or go auto which would activate the atomic settings. check the manual under settings, maybe yours does the same.
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KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 341




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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 02:47:16 PM »

I use a Lloytron clock made for sale in the UK to tell me what time it is in UTC. The clock isn't that accurate, but I can figure out the exact time via my atomic clock that's set to Pacific time. I used to have an atomic clock that would show two times, US and UTC, but I got rid of it when I got out of the hobby for a couple years. That clock wouldn't set the second time accurately anyway. You can buy 24 hour digital battery operated clocks on Ebay, I got mine from Ebay UK (a long time ago) but Ebay USA has some clocks too. If you need to know just the general time in UTC, a battery operated clock will do, then use the atomic clock for the exact time.
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WB2EOD
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Posts: 215




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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 10:16:24 PM »

Looks like you have the wrong model.   If you can exchange it, try La Crosse model 9412.
I own one of these and it is versatile and VERY reliable. 
The 9412 can be user set for
1.  Any one of 13 time zones including Conus Alaska, Hawaii, UTC and a few others
2.  12/24 hour display
3.  Enable/Disable Daylight savings time
4.  Display either room temperature or seconds
Naturally, mine is set for UTC, 24 hour, disable DST and show seconds.
Even in my basement, it can receive the WWVB signal and is ALWAYS correct.

Perfect for us hams who have a "thing" about time.

73
WB2EOD
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 04:19:16 AM »

I've got two cheap Casio watches, they were around $20 each--one in the car for mobile HF and one in my shack.  They set themselves to WWVH (always accurate), they're solar-powered (no batteries), and the "dual zone" feature lets me leave them set to GMT.   The only downside is that they're small (harder for old eyes to read at times).  These  suit my needs really well, FWIW.
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W9GB
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Posts: 2600




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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 11:17:34 AM »

Quote
Recently I bought a LaCrosse digital atomic clock (WT8005) that is driving me crazy.
The LaCrosse model that LOOKS exactly like your WT8005 is the newer WT8115U model.
It sells for only $5.00 more, and features an Outdoor Temp. sensor.
http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/8115/index.php

WT8115U Manual
http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/8115/manual.pdf
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 01:13:32 PM »

It would then be interesting to have both the WT8005 and the newer WT8115U opened p side-by-side on the bench and perform a visual exam around the controller unit, looking for a possible pin that is not tied low (probably low, but might be hi) in one but not the other. 

That would mean that there is but one internal software going on, with differing feature sets selected by the state of different digital inputs on the chip, a common practice.  Much the same as the many radio "mods" for changing transmit/receive freq lockouts. 


73
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N7BMW
Member

Posts: 110




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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 03:38:37 PM »

Groupon goods right now is offering an atomic clock that they say can display GMT.  I just ordered two for my shack.

20 bucks.  As I write this there is about 30 hours left on this deal.

http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-la-crosse-technology-atomic-digital-wall-clock-with-in-out-temperature?c=all&p=10
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ANDREW_P
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 09:53:22 AM »

Looks like you have the wrong model.   If you can exchange it, try La Crosse model 9412.

Would that be the La Crosse model WS-9412U?  The description at the La Crosse Technology site doesn't mention that it can be set to more than the four continental U.S. time zones; it just says "Time Zone Setting".
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 10:04:44 AM by ANDREW_P » Logged
KF5ER
Member

Posts: 103




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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 02:28:19 PM »

You can easily set your computer (windows) to display local and GMT time.
Click on time on the bottom right of the screen, select 'change date and time setting',
select 'additional clocks' on the tabs, then select GMT for a second clock. Cheesy
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ANDREW_P
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 09:51:37 AM »

I sent an inquiry to La Crosse Technology Ltd., asking which of their clocks support GMT, and here is what they replied:

Quote
(Redacted)
Dear Andrew_P,

Case Number: 59x,xxx

Please refer to this case in all future correspondence.

Regarding Model Number: WS-9412U

(Please contact us if the model above is not correct and complete).

Yes WS-9412U does have GMT TZ option. Some of the stations with atomic clock that have GMT include, but are not limited to, are WS-8117U-IT, WS-8157U-IT, WS-8248U-IT, WS-8148U-IT, etc.

You can also check manual and features for any model of weather station that might be of interest to you @ http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/##/  (Put your Weather station model number in place of ## after the web address.)

For efficient processing when responding to this e-mail please use your email program's "Reply" option to maintain the email thread. Please do not change the subject line of your email.

If you have not already done so, please provide your full name and contact information. This will enable us to serve you better and more efficiently.

Regards,
Indira
Technical Support Representative
La Crosse Technology Ltd.
2817 Losey Boulevard S
La Crosse, WI 54601
www.lacrossetechnology.com/support

It's not quite as good as having a feature comparison chart or parametric product search on the site, but at least it's a pointer on how to find their GMT-capable clocks.  Wink
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