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Reviews Categories | Ham Shack Clocks | Casio Waveceptor Tough Solar Help

Reviews Summary for Casio Waveceptor Tough Solar
Reviews: 8 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Solar rechargable atomic watch, with world time zones
Product is in production.
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W6LBV Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2014 11:17 Send this review to a friend
Reporting for Duty, Sir!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Itís now approaching seven years that I have owned and have used this watch. Overall, its performing exactly as I hoped it would. But time has taken some slight toll on it.

The Tough Solar regularly synchs with WWVB, Ft. Collins on 60 kHz, and the displayed time is always invariantly accurate. The watch receives enough light to its PV cell to keep the on-board battery charged and it has never run out of power. The case and wrist-band have survived well, mechanically. Thus the basic mission of the watch continues.

However, the little position-sensor that activates the electrical back lighting of the dial quit several years ago. I can no longer read the dial when I am in darkness, simply by rotating my wrist.

I have traveled with the watch and have discovered that synching with Ft. Collins is more difficult in the eastern portion of the US than it is at home in the west. Thatís understandable, and not a defect.

I also have noted an significant increase over the years in the VLF noise floor around my home; the spectrum is being increasingly polluted with man-made electrical noise. On a few nights the watch will not synch with Colorado at all, and on other nights it synchs only in the middle of the night but not again later as dawn approaches. This is not a failure, as the watch will continue its time keeping based on the last valid synch, and the accumulated error over a day or two is not significant. I have also noticed the same noise problem with my fixed, wall-mounted 60 kHz clocks. Many of these clocks which used to function perfectly now will not synch at their in-house locations, and I have to take them outside for re-synching.

I am fully satisfied with the service this watch has provided, and I would not hesitate to replace it with a newer model. But only if my Tough Solar ever quit, of course.

KH6DC Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2013 15:56 Send this review to a friend
10 years +  Time owned: more than 12 months
had mine for over 10 years and hasn't missed a heartbeat. It took many lickin's and keeps on tickin.
KQ4KK Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2013 10:58 Send this review to a friend
Keeps on ticking  Time owned: more than 12 months
Another 3 year update. Still works great. Spot time. No battery. No setting anything, unless I change time zones. The plastic band is getting old, but still works fine. Wish I had bought the metal band watch, if I am going to have this watch for the rest of my life.
N3OQD Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2008 20:29 Send this review to a friend
general overview  Time owned: months
There are many different varieties under this product title. I happen to have the GW-300. Over the past four years that I have had it, it has performed flawlessly. The only thing that I have to do occasionally is to clean it. Put warm water in the sink and use a toothbrush. No complaints whatsoever. Even supprized that the resin band is still in great shape after all this time. Paid $73 at Walmart.
W6LBV Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2007 21:43 Send this review to a friend
My untouchable watch  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For many years I've wanted to own a really untouchable wrist watch, and with the recent purchase of a Casio WaveCeptor/Tough Solar watch I now have one.

By my definition an "untouchable" watch is one which never needs attention...ever! No time setting is required, no battery replacement, and the watch always runs perfectly. This is the solar WaveCeptor. Its displayed time is reset early each morning through reception of the NIST WWVB 60 kHz time signal broadcast from Ft. Collins, Colorado via a receiver internal to the watch. There is no consumable battery to be replaced; a small photovoltaic cell in the watch recharges an internal battery. A few minutes of sunlight exposure seems to be sufficient to ensure days of subsequent operation. The watch has more timekeeping "features" included than anyone would probably ever need, and it is mechanically shock resistant and waterproof.

The Casio is slightly thicker and slightly heavier than a "normal" watch, but it is attractive and is still quite comfortable to wear. The main digital time display has numerals that are about a full 1/4 inch in height, and time readability is very good. An internal electroluminescent backlight is activated in darkness by a slight movement of the wrist. Overall, everything about this watch is very satisfactory.

The miniature, thick instruction manual is quite detailed. With only four operating buttons on the watch case, multiple button presses are required for most commands. Frequent use of the manual will be needed when the watch is new.

Casio offers a broad product line for these watches, and for these they use several different models of internal electronics modules. Some study of the Casio Web site will be necessary to find a suitable model with suitable features at a suitable price.

The central issue, of course, is whether the internal receiver is reliable and usable for setting exact NIST time. I live in San Diego, CA, about 864 miles (1390 km, great circle distances) from the WWVB 50 kW (ERP) transmitter station. Judging by the watch face's permanent RSSI display, the received signal here has never dropped below the maximum indicated level, independent of time of day.

Synching of the watch with WWVB occurs automatically four times each morning, at 2 a.m., 3 a.m, 4 a.m, and 5 a.m. local time. Each night I set the watch on an interior bedroom table, with its internal antenna oriented toward Colorado but with no other special precautions. It has never failed to synch up each morning (and that action is user-verifiable), and the watch usually synchs on all of its four daily attempts. Manual synching is available at any time.

Several years ago NIST performed an upgrade of the WWVB transmitting station, increasing its ERP to the present level. In recent months I've noticed that all of my WWVB-controlled clocks are synching much more rapidly (much less delay, and/or not having to wait until darkness) than in past years. I believe that the WWVB signal strength has been improved, and that the watch should be synchable in most of North America.

So with this watch I finally have what I have wanted: time on my wrist known to be as exact as NIST's own clocks (neglecting the 5 millisecond average radio propagation delay time between Colorado and California!). But why the craving for time accuracy? Well, it's satisfying to watch the network television news begin to roll at exactly 6:00:00 p.m., NIST-based time. Or to note that a local broadcast radio station has an eighteen second delay loop on their network program feeds. Or to meet a friend for a noon lunch, and to know that it really is exactly noon and I haven't missed the start time. Or even, as I once did, to walk into NIST physics division headquarters in Boulder, Colorado (home of the country's primary standard atomic clock), glance at the digital time display panels in the hallways and then at my watch, and happily note "weíre in complete agreement!" In short, to be "totally accurate."

Only one higher level of time accuracy still remains to be achieved: GPS-derived time! But it will take a few more years until that technology becomes affordable. Until then, I'll rely on my fine untouchable watch.

KC3RT Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2007 08:04 Send this review to a friend
Very Convenient  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my Wave Ceptor WV100 from the internet when they first appeared on the market years ago. The first one would not charge properly so I exchanged it for a new one. I use mine for logging purposes and I love the fact that I don't have to consistently re-adjust the time. I think I paid $69 plus shipping and it is well worth the money. I have had no problems getting updates while inside the continental United States. I noticed that it would not update when I was cruising in the Caribbean but since I was only away for 7 days the accuracy did not change more than 1 second. The night light works from a separate battery cell and I have noticed that once charged it will illuminate for 5-10 seconds before it needs to recharge. This is plenty for me since I can usually press the nightlight button at least 6 times in an evening before I notice any dimmimg.
VA7CPC Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2007 01:28 Send this review to a friend
Miracle on the wrist  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got mine (a "Forest" model, browns and brown/green colors) for $80 Cdn at a local department store, "on special". It's a bulky watch, but not a heavy one -- model GW-002KA.

It's solar powered, with both local time and GMT (or time in any other zone). Has a glass crystal, recessed deeply into the bezel so it won't get scratched or broken.

It picks up WWVB (60 kHz), from Vancouver BC, every night, if left near a window. Has an indicator to tell you if it's been synchronized within the past 24 hours, and will flash the date/time of the last synchronization with one button-press.

So accuracy is better than one second.

A really neat, reasonably-priced, very tough toy.
KE0MF Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2007 16:14 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have now had this watch for almost 3 years. It has performed flawlessly. While the exact model I bought may not still be available (that's the downside of falling in love with a specific Casio), there appear to be models with very similar capabilities and feature sets still sold. I paid about $80 for mine, not sure what current models go for. The thing works great here in CO, admittedly a perfect case. I have had a few trips to FL and once to CA where the watch did not reliably set its time every night. But even then, it keeps decent time. It is NEVER off by as much as a second. The world time zone feature is great for radio, and the version I have with the rechargable battery is still going strong at 3+ years. I can't imagine not having one of these. It is fun to tell the guy with the Rolex that your watch is closer to the actual time than his - and then prove it! Well worth the money, a great watch in every way. The models without recharging are good too (I have a ham friend with one) - you just have to deal with a dead battery periodically.

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