Radio Controlled Clock (“Atomic Clock”)


Wall clock with to-the-second accuracy

We keep a wall clock in our main morning shower/prep area. The one we’ve been using for years was starting to get a bit unreliable. Time to upgrade? Oh, yeah. La Crosse makes a clock with a radio in it ($29) to sync to WWV, the USA’s broadcast time sync signal from a high-grade atomic clock source in the NIST system.

It was surprising to find the LaCrosse clock to be essentially the same price as “normal” clocks. (BTW, these are “radio controlled clocks”, not atomic clocks per se, but you get it.) We picked up a 10″ model. Once it did its thing and got synched, it’s to-the-second accurate. Piece of cake! It was a cool process to see, too. Not your normal tech. (It was weird at the start of DST: The overall system uses UTC, so that kicked in at 2a on the GMT timezone — several hours in advance of when it kicked in locally. Didn’t expect that, but NBD.)

So, for those who’ve known about and perhaps discounted these things as expensive or complicated, they’re not. (There are some reviews where a few people didn’t get them to work, perhaps they were defective or in a bad place. If that happens to you, move it or try a replacement. It’s overall a good system.)

-- Wayne Ruffner 04/25/19