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atomic solar watches

Old 12-08-06, 08:42 AM
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atomic solar watches

JUst curious if anyone has used Atomic Solar watches while on an extended tour. I'm looking for a new watch and overstock has some good deals on these. From what I've read, they work within the US and Western Europe, but have not heard anything else.

And speaking of good deals, I just picked up a new (out of the box) set of Ortlieb Front Roller Classics for $40 @ the REI store in Raleigh. Yay for me.
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Old 12-08-06, 09:44 AM
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Why in the world would you need something so precise while on tour?
Part of the reason for being on tour (for me) is to throw schedules and deadlines out the window.
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Old 12-08-06, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
Why in the world would you need something so precise while on tour?
Part of the reason for being on tour (for me) is to throw schedules and deadlines out the window.
I like having a watch; I just thought they were cool (not having to set them or replace a battery) and was just curious about them. Ha ha I can't seem to make deadlines or keep schedules even when not on holiday.
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Old 12-08-06, 10:22 AM
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If you carry a radio on tour, get a little one that has shortwave... like the little Grundig radios. If you listen in to WWV at 5, 10, 15, or 20 MHz, you get the exact world time, you can keep your watch set to the exact second.

The "atomic" watches rely on a sister station to WWV called WWVB, it's longwave, not shortwave, and I don't think it reaches out past North America.

But why? Having an accurate watch doesn't make you on time for appointments or allow you to meet deadline. Being organized does. Take a time management course.
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Old 12-08-06, 10:23 AM
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I use the clock on my cycle computer, that's all I carry. Can't help you with the watches. What is atomic about them?
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Old 12-08-06, 01:49 PM
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Different countries transmit time code signals at different frequencies and with different formats. If you plan to tour worldwide, you may have trouble syncing to a time signal in many places. The watch also needs to be able to be set for the time zone you are in. A watch made for use in the US may not be settable for a European time zone.

If you are touring in the US or Europe, you should have little trouble so long as you buy a watch designed for the region. I have a Casio solar powered watch that sets itself using the signals in the US. It works fine.
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Old 12-09-06, 12:45 PM
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The Casio watch can only set itself when WWV is available between 12 and 4 am local time I believe.

Most of the world isn't covered by WWV.

I have one and will never have another watch. You have to be careful in the winter to make sure that it gets enough sunlight. Also you have to make sure that the "look light" isn't turned on since if you wear this in the night and move your arm around alot the backlight keeps turning on and runs the power down significantly and then the display blanks until you charge it up again.

Too bad they didn't make it so that it used GPS time signals. Those are available worldwide.
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Old 12-09-06, 01:44 PM
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wouldn't any gps provide the accurate time? cheap ones probably cost the same as an atomic clock synced solar watch
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Old 12-09-06, 02:43 PM
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Old 12-09-06, 02:44 PM
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A friends of mine gave me a solar casio g-shock and I really like it. It's well built, keeps good time, and is comfortable. I did some searching online re: the atomic solar g-shock variety and read the solar charging system doesn't work that well. Though that probably applies to my watch as well, I haven't had any problems with it since I've had it (only a few months).
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Old 12-09-06, 11:11 PM
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I have one of the CASIO atomic solar G-shock watches that I got for $ 40 USD at my local Costco. The ruggedness, accuracy and no maintenance required are my favorite features. Really a nice watch, and since I also have several atomic clocks in the house, I like the precision timekeeping, which, although, of no practical purpose, fits my personality.
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Old 12-09-06, 11:35 PM
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I don't like atomic watch's; if you crash and break the watch it may either espose you to radiation, or ignite you into a mushroom cloud.

But seriously, are you taking a cell phone? T-Mobile works in a a lot of countries that others don't and that will give you accurate time for whatever time zone your in. Actually my T-Mobile had better reception in Iraq then I do here in Indiana!!!!
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Old 12-10-06, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek
I have one of the CASIO atomic solar G-shock watches that I got for $ 40 USD at my local Costco. The ruggedness, accuracy and no maintenance required are my favorite features. Really a nice watch, and since I also have several atomic clocks in the house, I like the precision timekeeping, which, although, of no practical purpose, fits my personality.
'A person with one clock knows the time, a person with two clocks does not'. Unless they're all electronically sync'd I guess. Our kitchen has 3 clocks (stove, microwave, coffeepot) that disagree w/ each other, NPR, and our kid's school bell. I think I've got my bike clock sync'd to schoolbell, but it is many minutes off from the computer network at work which, for whatever reason, daily syncs all our pc's to some wrong time (but it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less wrong our v-mail system). Our alarm clock is right onto the NPR time (w/in 30 sec anyway, best we can tell). The company car I had checked out for most of the last week was 7 min slower than NPR, that eventually got to me and I had to find extra schedule time to dig out the manual to the car and learn how to reprogram it. Our phone message machine at home is close enough to real time for practical purposes.
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Old 12-10-06, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by froze
I don't like atomic watch's; if you crash and break the watch it may either espose you to radiation, or ignite you into a mushroom cloud.

But seriously, are you taking a cell phone? T-Mobile works in a a lot of countries that others don't and that will give you accurate time for whatever time zone your in. Actually my T-Mobile had better reception in Iraq then I do here in Indiana!!!!
No, not taking a phone. Is the T-moble phone a global one? Do you have a link? I'm planning a trip, year or longer, starting in Western Europe and plan on heading East. India, SE Asia are in the plans and from there I'm not sure where. Depends on the money.

Thanks for the imput. And like I said before, I like having a watch and need a new one, just trying to figure out which one and was wondering about the atomic ones while outside of the US and Western Europe.
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Old 12-10-06, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
A friends of mine gave me a solar casio g-shock and I really like it. It's well built, keeps good time, and is comfortable. I did some searching online re: the atomic solar g-shock variety and read the solar charging system doesn't work that well. Though that probably applies to my watch as well, I haven't had any problems with it since I've had it (only a few months).
My solar Casio g-shock has been running continuously for about three years now. Sad to hear that it doesn't charge very well. I guess it's going to quit any day now.
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Old 12-10-06, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
The Casio watch can only set itself when WWV is available between 12 and 4 am local time I believe.

Most of the world isn't covered by WWV.

I have one and will never have another watch. You have to be careful in the winter to make sure that it gets enough sunlight. Also you have to make sure that the "look light" isn't turned on since if you wear this in the night and move your arm around alot the backlight keeps turning on and runs the power down significantly and then the display blanks until you charge it up again.

Too bad they didn't make it so that it used GPS time signals. Those are available worldwide.
Casio did make a GPS based watch several years ago. Perhaps they still so. But it was a rather large beast due the the antenna requirements, so is not all that practical. However, taking a handheld GPS on a tour is a very worthwhile thing which would provide a good time source for setting a watch as helping with navigation.
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Old 12-10-06, 03:31 PM
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It charges fine. But you have to put it into direct sunlight every couple of months. The solar cell is TINY and requires direct sunlight to put a full charge into the battery. However you only need it in direct sunlight - say like on your wrist while you're riding your bike - for about an hour.

When the cell charge gets low enough the display shuts down though it continues to keep time. Putting it into sunlight long enough to put a charge back in the battery will bring it back to life with no loss of time.

Great watch though the display and the number of buttons (5) and a gazillion modes certainly were a bad idea.
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Old 12-10-06, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by eric von zipper
No, not taking a phone. Is the T-moble phone a global one? Do you have a link? I'm planning a trip, year or longer, starting in Western Europe and plan on heading East. India, SE Asia are in the plans and from there I'm not sure where. Depends on the money.

Thanks for the imput. And like I said before, I like having a watch and need a new one, just trying to figure out which one and was wondering about the atomic ones while outside of the US and Western Europe.
T-Mobile uses the GSM system which you will have to get a GSM compatiable phone and sim card; neither of which are difficult to get by any means, mine is a Motorola that came with the plan and it's compatiable as was the sim card. See a T-Mobile dealer for more info.

There are a couple of different sim cards that are NOT T-Mobile sim cards but work in their phones that you can get depending on your needs like PrePaid sim cards and Roaming sim cards which are best for someone going to several countries on one visit; see: https://www.telestial.com/sim_cards.php

If your solder let me know I can clue into several different plans that will keep you cost down to nothing most of the time.
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Old 12-11-06, 02:13 AM
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I don't know about the model the OP asked about, but I do have a solar watch by casio. The one with a thermometer, compass, altimeter and all the bells and whistles. It's great, never runs out of power.
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Old 12-11-06, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
Too bad they didn't make it so that it used GPS time signals. Those are available worldwide.
Someone already mentioned that the GPS antenna requires a relatively large space. And GPS uses a lot of power. I think making such a system small enough to wear around your wrist and solar powered would be quite a challenge. Suunto X9i comes close in size, but its battery needs to be charged frequently. Very frequently if you use the unit's GPS features and the electronic compass.

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Old 12-12-06, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by eubi
Sun up? Ride

Hungry? Eat

Sun down? Sleep.
+1
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Old 12-12-06, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by eubi
Sun up? Ride

Hungry? Eat

Sun down? Sleep.
Sounds good, but when you're at the base of a pass and the sign says "Only Place Available 35 miles" you might want to know how much time you have to cover that distance before the snow gets too deep at the top or the sun gets too hot at the bottom. And I've been in exactly that position before - 107 degrees on the flat and snow at the top and sub freezing temperatures.
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Old 12-12-06, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gregw
+1
+.99997 -1.0003 close enough
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