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Changing a Regular Clock to a Radio Controlled "Atomic" Clock

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Do you have a favorite clock but you wish it had an "atomic clock" movement (a.k.a. motor)? Well, chances are you can convert the clock by simply replacing the original movement. Here's how I did it.
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Text Comments (20)
John Smith (3 months ago)
Greg, did you hear the recent news? They might be shutting down WWV and WWVB. Government wants budget cuts and NIST proposed shutting down their radio transmitters in their most recent budget request. It remains to be seen if it actually happens, but it's in their budget proposal for 2019. If this happens, I guess we'll see GPS clocks take over.
jim thompson (4 months ago)
These directions worked like a champ but, after a day or so the hands start moving again and haven't stopped. I pulled the battery and let it sit for a while like a day, and repeated the procedure and it worked again and then it started running again. I have three other atomic clocks in the house and they work like they should. The position of this clock is in my garage window facing the west. Just about ready to dump this sucker in the trash. Any ideas?
Arlyne Lauro (4 months ago)
I didn’t even know about atomic clocks. Thanks for the information! What happens when the battery dies? Will the clock automatically reset itself when a new battery is put in?
John Smith (3 months ago)
Yes, the clock will go through the process as shown here once you put new batteries in. It will take it a few minutes to find the radio signal (which will be impossible during daylight hours unless you live close to Colorado).
NikTheFix (7 months ago)
I've just upgraded an old brass antique mantle clock to atomic and, as I suspected might be the case, the large amount of metal is interfering with radio signal reception. I'm gonna attempt to move the ferrite antenna outside the movement enclosure to a place away from the brass.
a0cdhd (7 months ago)
Where do these radio controlled atomic clocks get their control signal from?
John Smith (4 months ago)
Colorado. NIST runs a radio tower there that broadcasts the reference time based on an atomic clock they operate. These days, however, the radio system out of Colorado is getting outdated. Why? Because every GPS satellite in orbit has an atomic clock on board and can transmit time of the same accuracy without all the interference of terrestrial radio signals. If you look at your smartphone, the time is always accurate because it's constantly pulling it from the cell tower which gets it's time from GPS satellites. So, really, what we need are bluetooth wall clocks that can sync with your phone (or the wifi in your house). It's a better solution for people who live on the coasts away from Colorado.
Tom Losh (10 months ago)
Actually I have two older clocks with really nice cases whose basic quartz movements have died. One I will be able to replace the movement with an "Atomic Clock" movement, the other I will only be able to replace with a "set-and-forget" movement because of the enclosure, but finally both will now have a new life. Thanks!
johno4521 (1 year ago)
Clock movements come with lots of different shaft sizes (length & diameter.) Not all movements will fit any clock.
fanobennemsi (1 year ago)
I tried it today and it worked well. A very nice thing is that the atomic unit is very quiet !!
fanobennemsi (1 year ago)
Cool! I really enjoyed this video. I love atomic clocks and its nice to see that one can so these tricks to mix and match according to ones own taste. Thank you!
fartwrangler (1 year ago)
Yeah, Klockit will sell you the movement for about $13.  Then charge you $14 to ship it.  LOL.
Albert Chmura (1 year ago)
How big the Hour and Minute Hands are the ones are converted?
Taunter Atwill (1 year ago)
So did you really think we couldn't think ourselves of this "good idea"? ROFL!
Keep Peace (1 year ago)
I think it makes no sense to take a cheap clock and do this. Not worth the time. Just buy one. Really ridiculous contortions.
Taunter Atwill (1 year ago)
ElmertheClep Yeah, don't argue with me. . . PERIOD!!!
ElmertheClep (1 year ago)
It's very simple. I liked this clock. It's clean, simple and a good size. But I wanted it to be radio controlled. So I'm telling everyone something that politicians wish they could say honestly. "Do you want your clock to be an atomic clock? If you like your clock, you can keep your clock, period!"
ι åм иσ σиє (1 year ago)
I see your Casio G-Shock is still going strong! Great video!
ElmertheClep (1 year ago)
Yes, in the middle of recording this I thought about using the Casio watch next to the analog clock while it was setting itself. But I decided that the readout was too small, so I used the Arcron-Zeit clock instead. And then I just wore the Casio watch from that point onward. Some would say it's a glaring continuity error but, hey, YOU got a kick out of it so that's great!

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