Looking for writing-related posts? Check out my new writing blog, www.larrykollar.com!

Tuesday, July 02, 2019 5 comments

Tech Tuesday: Y'all Watch This

While we were cleaning up the house, a Casio wristwatch turned up. Sizzle didn’t claim it, and I had never seen it before. Mason thought he might like to have it, once it had a battery in it. It has an analog face with a small LCD display, not terribly geeky-looking. I’m used to Casio watches having a tiny keypad and a zillion functions.

So I got out the little tools and the magnifying light, and popped the back off. There was the battery, but the number (16xx) was a new one, and there was a small metal clip holding it down. Not seeing an obvious way to get it off, I did what anyone does these days: Googled for instructions. The watch is a Wave Ceptor, and the first thing that popped up is “this watch has a solar panel and a rechargeable battery.” It was a bright sunshiny day, so I put it back together and stuck it in the window. Sure enough, after a few hours, the little display coughed to life, showing what I thought at first was t  1.

We get signal.
Having no idea what to do next, I headed back to Google to find a manual. That’s when I found out you need only set the timezone and the watch does the rest, using a long wave receiver at night to download the time from WWVB (if using a North American timezone). The link has all the gory details, but WWVB transmits time data at a blazing 1 bit per second (actually, it's a tri-state, with values of 0, 1, or marker—does that make it a trit?). The watch tries receiving at the top of each hour from midnight to 4 a.m.

Just for grins, I watched it the other night. Sure enough, it showed its “receiving” display at 1 a.m., made a small adjustment, and moved on.

The other thing I found out was that the first display I saw wasn’t a lowercase T, it was 土 (an abbreviation for Saturday in Japan). The watch’s epoch (first time) is January 1, 2000. It also has a “Y2.1K” problem, in that its year doesn’t go past 2099. If it’s still around then, I guess one of Mason’s kids will have it.

So once again, Casio made a geeky watch—but this time, they hid the geekiness on and under the face. Oh, and it does have a stopwatch, alarms, and a “world time” mode (uses the little LCD to show the time in a second timezone). It has a light, but the hands and numbers are phosphorescent, so you can at least see what time it is in the dark without using the battery. Putting it in a sunny window for half an hour is more than enough to keep it running another day.

So we tried to put it on Mason, and his wrist is too skinny for a large-face watch like this one. I’d been wearing an iFitness watch for a while, but it often misses steps and has lately developed a habit of trying to pop out of the band (I lost it for over a week that way). It has a decent sleep monitor, and my phone does a better job of counting steps, so now I wear it at night and the Wave Ceptor during the day.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...