[CQ-Contest] WWVB: What time is it? You mean now?

ktfrog007 at aol.com ktfrog007 at aol.com
Thu Aug 23 14:44:19 EDT 2018

According to an article in Wikipedia there are over 50 million radio clocks and wrist watches that use WWVB.  There's bound to be a handful of unhappy campers in that group if WWVB goes QRT.

I have one of the wrist watches and have used it in recent years to verify that my WSJT-X timing (from Dimension4) is on the money.  However, it uses an obscure watch battery I used to buy at Radio Shack (SK).  My battery died recently and the watch is just sitting on my desk, dead by association.

Here's something about WWVB that maybe some more knowledgeable person can verify.  It transmits a ground wave signal (which follows the earth's surface) at 60 kHz, a very low frequency, and covers a wide area with no skip zones like the higher frequency WWV sky wave stations.  I assume the path from it to me is a great circle path of constant distance (also considering terrain. bodies of water, etc) from which I could make a latency correction to get the most accurate time.

You can't do this with the sky wave stations via the fluctuating ionosphere.

My wrist watch's manual warns that the signal is weakest during the daylight hours and there are some areas of the US where reception is poor (East Coast, the Los Angles basin).  It resets during the night, after midnight for me.  I had to take it off every evening and set it on a wooden window sill, its plastic case broadside to Ft Collins, CO, to get consistent resets.  If I did that it worked well and always correlated with Dimension4 and the WWV stations.

WWV and WWVB have been part of the sound track of my life ever since I got interested in radio.  But so were Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee  and Johnny Cash, and they went away, too.

Ken, AB1J

-----Original Message-----
From: Maarten van R <pd2r.maarten at gmail.com>
To: Keith Dutson <kdutson at sbcglobal.net>
Cc: Cq-Contest <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Wed, Aug 22, 2018 9:38 pm
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] WWV and WWVH may go off the air. 100, 000 signatures needed by Sept. 15th.

I know that Casio watches use WWVB’s signal from Fort Collins CO. If I’mnot mistaken, most radio controlled clocks use this 60 kHz frequency whichis much better for this application then the 5, 10 and 15 MHz signals ofWWV and WWVH. So I doubt there will be many users of consumer electronicsthat will be disappointed.73, Maarten PD2R/OV2T 

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