Out of time?
March 13, 2007 7:25 AM   Subscribe

My Timex T311T Auto-set clock did not update this past Sunday morning with the time change. I've tried unplugging it, and removing the two AAA backup batteries, and when I give it juice again, it refuses to auto set. I've had this clock for a few years and it has never misbehaved. Any one else experience this with a similar model this weekend? Or am I missing something?
posted by tdischino to Technology (16 answers total)
The manufacturer probably daylight savings time rules into the firmware guessing that nobody would ever be foolish enough to change how daylight savings time works.
posted by mrbugsentry at 7:34 AM on March 13, 2007

You're missing something. It adjusts for DST based on its internal calendar, which doesn't know that DST changed this year.
posted by amro at 7:34 AM on March 13, 2007

Response by poster: I guess I forgot this piece of information... When i plugged it back in, it isn't even auto-setting to 1 hour off, it just started at 12:00 (didn't auto-set the date either).
posted by tdischino at 7:41 AM on March 13, 2007

Yep... the DST change (from mid-april to mid-march) was only announced... a few months ago? Anyway, definitely after "a few years" ago. See if Timex has an update on their website or something; good luck.
posted by rkent at 7:43 AM on March 13, 2007

It will be correct again on April 1. No, really.
posted by DU at 7:44 AM on March 13, 2007

If the clock was made to synchronize with the atomic clock signal from Colorado, then it would've updated itself. My Casio Waveceptor was showing the right time after it synced at 4:03 AM on Sunday.

As others have said above, your clock must have the DST settings hard coded and unfortunately it means you need to upgrade to a newer clock, I would recommend a clock that syncs with the the atomic clock radio signal, it works anywhere in the continental United States and Hawaii has its own tower as well.
posted by riffola at 7:46 AM on March 13, 2007

Yep... the DST change (from mid-april to mid-march) was only announced... a few months ago?

posted by mendel at 7:51 AM on March 13, 2007

it just started at 12:00 (didn't auto-set the date either).

When you removed the two AA backup batteries, it lost the lil piece of memory that was storing the date and time. It's not the type of clock that auto updates from a sattelite - it's just a normal ol' clock that used the back-up batteries to store the date/time in case of a power outage.
posted by muddgirl at 7:54 AM on March 13, 2007

Back-up batteries? They wouldn't need to put those into the type of clock which aligns itself to the atomic clock. They are just for back-up when your power goes out. muddgirl is correct that removing them stopped the back-up clock and that is why you see 12:00. It does seem like it has the DST hard coded. You might try resetting the date for a month, at least then the time will be correct.
posted by caddis at 8:07 AM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: From the manual:
This unit will automatically adjust the clock at the beginning and end of Daylight-Saving Time each year. It will also adjust the month/day display for leap year automatically. This unit automatically advances one hour at the start of daylight-Saving Time on the first Sunday of April, and moves back one hour at the end of Daylight-Saving Time on the last Sunday of October. If you live in an area that does not observe Daylight-Saving Time, it will be necessary for you to manually adjust the clock back one hour at the beginning of Daylight-Saving Time and forward one hour at the end of Daylight-Saving Time.
posted by caddis at 8:13 AM on March 13, 2007

There are two separate issues here:

1. Your clock has outdated rules for Daylight Savings Time in its memory, so it did not update when it should. It never will. You will have to manually adjust the time each spring, and manually correct it again on the first Sunday of April when it tries to follow the old rules.

2. Your clock does not set itself to an atomic clock. It was pre-set at the factory. By unplugging it and removing the batteries, that preset time was lost. You need to reset the time manually, following the instructions in the manual linked by caddis:
Manual Time and Date Settings

1. To change your time setting, press and hold the Time Set Button so that the clock display begins flashing.

2. While the display flashes, press the Reverse and Forward Buttons to set the time. Hold a button for a few seconds to set the time rapidly. Be sure to set the correct AM/PM time, shown by the PM Indicator.

3. After setting the time, press the Enter Button or wait about ten seconds for the clock to beep twice and the setting to lock into place.

4. To change the calendar, press and hold the Date/7-5-2 button until the display shows the flashing year.

5. Press the Reverse and Forward Buttons to set the current year. When you have selected the year, press the Enter Button, then use the Reverse and Forward Buttons to set the month/day.

6. After you have set the date, press the Enter Button or wait for the display to beep twice and lock into place.
posted by designbot at 8:25 AM on March 13, 2007

I have a clock that is supposed to auto-set, but didn't. It doesn't track the date (and came without a battery). How can I make it update?

It had no problem setting itself when I bought it and put a battery in.

I've tried moving it near a window overnight.
posted by Four Flavors at 9:16 AM on March 13, 2007

One thing to note is that many "auto-set" clocks simply have the time pre-set set at the factory, and have an internal non-replaceable lithium battery that will last for 10 years or so. They don't get a time signal from WWVB like "atomic" or "radio controlled" clocks do, and as such they have no idea if the DST changeover date gets changed. If your clock sets itself pretty much immediately after plugging it in, that's a good sign that it's of the non-radio-controlled variety.

However, having a radio-controlled clock doesn't necessarily guarantee that it'll track any DST changes automatically. I had a WWVB radio-controlled clock not update itself this weekend. It failed to recognize DST even after forcing the clock to synchronize to the signal again (I took out the batteries). Hopefully the manufacturer will replace it with one that honors the WWVB DST signal.
posted by marionnette en chaussette at 10:07 AM on March 13, 2007

I had a similar issue with an Emerson Research clock. I think all the input about the factory preset and the backup battery is spot on. There's nothing to be done about the hard-coding of DST times either (well, if you're me you can write a nasty letter about it and vow to never buy another product from the company in question - Target sold me this defective clock less that 6 months ago, inexcusable). Their website actually told me to manually change the time zone and then change it back when it automatically shifted at midnight at the old DST date. Thanks a bundle, looking forward to having THAT morning every single year. I did get a real nice "apology for the inconvenience."

Yes, I am bitter about being told the clock I bought so as not to have to change for DST I'm now supposed to change twice every spring (has fall changed too? I supposed I could be blamed for my own ignorance but dammit, I PAID to have a piece of plastic think this through FOR me).

So I'm in the market for a new clock if anyone has any recommendations (presuming the basic question here has been answered and tdischino is probably going to end up with the same need.)
posted by nanojath at 10:24 AM on March 13, 2007

(has fall changed too?

Yes, it has. DST is observed for an additional week in the fall now, so instead of "falling back" on October 28, it's now November 4. (Those are the dates this year; from now on, it's second Sunday in March through first Sunday in November, instead of first Sunday in April through last Sunday in October.)
posted by bedhead at 10:50 AM on March 13, 2007

Response by poster: From the manual:

caddis! you rock! I searched and searched but found nothing. the timex.com site had nothing on this model, I had no idea about that other timex site.

When I bought this, I thought I was buying something that synced with "the atomic clock" or something similar via radio waves. I spent $40 on it at Costco in 2004. Now, it's even more worthless than a $10 clock radio from a drug store. Would be cool if timex offered a discount on an upgraded clock, which I will end up getting any way because I absolutely loved this clock radio.

Thanks for the info, people.
posted by tdischino at 2:15 PM on March 13, 2007

« Older failing editors?   |   Is the solution for us all to become Peruvians? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.