How Do Atomic Clocks Work!
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HomeFeatured ProductsAtomic ClocksHow Do Atomic Clocks Work!

  This is how

Atomic Clocks and Watches

(Radio-Controlled Clocks and Watches)


ALL types work:

Atomic Clocks, How They Work

Some day, every timepiece will be made this way!

ALL atomic clocks work the same way.

Super-Precise time keeping is available to everyone* in the contiguous USA with these attractive, brand new, Radio-Controlled "Atomic" timepieces. In the USA, all "Atomic" (Radio-Controlled) timepieces have built-in radio receivers tuned to the World's Most Accurate Clock , the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Atomic Clock in Fort Collins, Colorado. At NIST a team of atomic scientists is continually measuring every second, of every day, to an accuracy of almost TEN BILLIONTHS of a SECOND.

All so-called "Atomic" Clocks, Watches, and other consumer Atomic timepieces are actually Radio-Controlled devices. They receive signals based on the international standard: one second as 9,192,631,770 vibrations of a Cesium 133 atom in a vacuum. These signals come from the real Atomic Clock in Fort Collins (Boulder), CO. As a result, "Atomic" or Radio-Controlled timepieces are exceedingly accurate, and never need resetting!  Plus, twice a year your timepiece can automatically adjust for the change to or from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time. (You may disable Daylight Savings Time, if it is not observed in your area.) And, you can reset the time to various time zones at the touch of a button. Although properly, the "Real" US Atomic Clock is the one in Fort Collins, and all consumer timepieces, such as clocks and watches are actually Radio-Controlled, rather than Atomic, usually the public just calls them all "Atomic."

You are always absolutely, unequivocally on time when you mark time with an Atomic timepiece. With an Atomic timepiece you are guaranteed accuracy as it automatically synchronizes up to 7 times each day to the official United States Atomic Clock to insure consistent daily accuracy. This is the same technology and precision that keeps America moving. It is the same time standard demanded by NASA, the military, banks, airplanes, and TV and radio stations. In the event of a local power failure, Atomic timepieces provide an accurate time standard for resetting all your other timepieces.

Now you can have a timepiece that keeps guaranteed accurate time for your home or office. Whether you are keeping appointments on a schedule or meeting friends, you will always be EXACTLY ON TIME.

Join the new, modern era in timekeeping and NEVER BE LATE AGAIN!

*Special Note: The radio-controlled time-setting will not work in Hawaii, Alaska, or Newfoundland. (It may work in southern Canada, or northern Mexico, but there is no guarantee.)  However,  if you are  traveling, the quartz mechanism keeps superb time in the ordinary super-accurate quartz fashion until you return to the contiguous 48 US states where it will automatically start resetting itself. One year manufacturer's warranty. The mechanism in these timepieces is actually more accurate than a Rolex. Truly the BMW of time.

50,000 Watts
 Fort Collins, CO

Simple to use, Always Accurate!

1. Insert a single AA alkaline battery to power your clock for about 2 years. (You don't even have to do this, if your Atomic timepiece is a watch!)

2. Set the timepiece to your time zone using the enclosed instructions.

3. Your timepiece will automatically find and keep the official U.S. time, even adjusting itself for daylight savings.

Atomic Timepiece FAQs

Q: How do these timepieces work?
A: In addition to a regular quartz mechanism, Atomic (Radio-Controlled) timepieces contain an antenna and a microchip. The antenna receives the official time signal from the US Government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (the real Atomic clock") and the microchip translates the time signal and adjusts the time display to the correct time.

Q: What is the signal that these timepieces receive?
A: Atomic clocks and watches receive a 60-kilohertz, low frequency AM radio signal from the WWVB radio station maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST is the official timekeeper for the US and is located in Boulder, Colorado. Its WWVB station is located nearby in Ft. Collins. The NIST and its sister agency, the US Naval Observatory, participate with an international coalition of agencies to determine official world time, called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Both of these agencies establish time through use of atomic clocks with Greenwich as the 0 median. The NIST " distributes"the official time via high frequency short-wave and low frequency AM radio signals, satellite transmission, Internet, and via telephone. Atomic timepieces make this technology accessible to everyday consumers.

Q: How does this time relate with Greenwich Mean Time?
A: Greenwich Mean Time and Coordinated Universal Time are roughly the same. As explained above, world time or UTC, is determined through an averaging of several atomic clocks from around the world. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a 24-hour astronomical time system based on the local time at Greenwich, England. UTC is considered to be more accurate when fractions of a second are not important.

Q: Will the atomic clocks and watches reset everywhere?
A: Atomic watches and clocks will reset anywhere they receive the WWVB signal from the NIST. This signal is broadcast to reach across the contiguous 48 US states and into parts of Canada and Mexico.

? There are some environments and weather conditions that may influence the reception of the AM radio signal. Just as with an AM radio, the timepiece can be positioned for optimal reception. For instance, it is best to position the timepiece away from metal studs and toward the direction of the tower in Colorado. Since these timepieces contain highly accurate quartz movements, they function with very high levels of accuracy between signal receptions. Atomic will function as a regular quartz clock or a watch without having to receive the signal.

Q: Is it true these timepieces change all by themselves for Daylight Savings Time?
A: An Atomic timepiece will automatically adjust for daylight savings time when it receives the signal from the NIST's WWVB station. If your area doesn't observe DST, they take care of that, too.

? This change may not occur precisely at 2 am on the date of the time change. The change will occur when the timepiece gets a clear signal. Also, some devices use a different setup time.

? The feature that allows the daylight savings switch to occur can be turned off on all of the clocks and watches.

Q: What will I see at 2 am when the time changes in the spring and fall?
A: When it receives signal from the NIST, the display on an Atomic timepiece will automatically change. In the spring the timepiece will advance an hour. Since the hands do not actually move backward, the timepiece will move forward eleven hours in the fall to reflect the correct time. In either case, you will see the hands spin on a analog clock or watch and the numbers advance with speed on a digital clock or watch. (See above for more DST detail).

Q: How often do these timepieces search for the correct time?
A: Both clocks and watches are programmed to seek for the signal once everyday. Some more often.

? Initially the clocks will search for a signal once per hour until it is able to decode the correct time and set. Once the clock has initially set, it will search for the signal from 5 to 7 times per day to maintain accuracy, depending on model.

? The watches will seek out a signal once a day during the early morning hours (1:00 am). This is when the signal from the WWVB is the strongest, when there is the least amount of interference from other sources, and the watch is least likely to be moving.

Q: Can I set my timepiece to the time of any other place in the world?
A: For analog (dial) clocks: You can set your clock to any world time by manually turning the clocks hour hand to show the time that you want to see. The minute and the second hands automatically adjust to reflect the official time to the second. For digital clocks: automatic presets to the four United States time zones. Digital clocks will display the time anywhere in the world by programming the clock with a +/- adjustment to UTC.  

Q: What will happen when I physically move from time zone to time zone?
A: Both clocks and watches need to be manually changed between time zones, but doing so is easy and you will maintain extreme accuracy even as you change.

Q: Will the watch work if I leave the country?
A: Atomic timepieces are tuned to receive only the WWVB signal from Boulder. HOWEVER, since they also function as highly accurate quartz timepieces, they will continue to function while outside the reception area and when you return to the US, they will resume normal functioning receiving the WWVB radio signal and adjusting as necessary. The radio-controlled time-setting will not work in Hawaii, Alaska, or Newfoundland. (It may work in southern Canada, or northern Mexico, but there is no guarantee.)

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