Author Topic: 24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?  (Read 3415 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?
« on: May 23, 2014, 10:36:04 AM »
As I'm getting my feet wet in HAM, I continue to be fascinated by folks who've assembled mobile rigs in portable cases.

While this isn't in my immediate plans, I may get there eventually.  One item that I'm not sure I've seen, is a digital clock - ideally set to UTC in 24hr format.
I noticed these are cheap on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/190898607463?lpid=82

Supposedly these cheap little clocks I linked to should keep time when powered off (somehow).

Quote
Features : 
Dimensions: 40.5mm ×24mm×17.5mm
Cutting size: 37.5mm×21mm×17.5mm
Power voltage: DC 7v-30V
Time mode: 24 Hours
Display Color: blue
Display: four 0.30" LED digital tube
Refresh rate: about 300ms
Time setting: single button to a sliding scale
Power off: keep time working 2 years (LED do not light)
Accuracy: 10ppm
Overload: four times the range
Operating temperature: -40°c - 85°c

I think having UTC time and current voltage displayed could be really helpful esp. for longer distance HF rigs spanning time zones.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: 24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 11:13:28 AM »
Supposedly these cheap little clocks I linked to should keep time when powered off (somehow).
Probably just powers down the LED display.  The internal clock won't draw very much at all.  It may have a little battery just to keep the internal clock going.

Quote
I think having UTC time and current voltage displayed could be really helpful esp. for longer distance HF rigs spanning time zones.
Immensely useful, especially when doing very long-rang stuff, keeping log books, sending QSL cards, etc.  Also good to have around for shortwave listening, since most stations post their broadcast times in UTC.

I use this little MFJ UTC/Local time unit: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-108B  It gets the job done, and is small enough to haul on a bug-out.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: 24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 12:12:05 PM »
As much trash talk as there is against "cheap chi-com" stuff, it's amazing I can order stuff like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390844253562

for less than a cup of coffee.


Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: 24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 12:18:26 PM »
It's not bad.  I have used a cheapie LCD stick-on clock set to UTC.  MFJ Enterprises (known affectionately in the ham world as "Mighty Fine Junk") sells several UTC LCD clocks, with dual displays and the like, and one even sets itself to WWVB.

--bw

Offline Carl

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Re: 24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2014, 03:41:46 PM »
Kind of a "CURB FEELER", ie extra chrome to have to adjust ,re-adjust, or stick back on when it fails. The VOLTAGE reading is OK though, and useful. As UTC is just and HOUR conversion from local time,rather than a completely different standard it is just something EXTRA to carry and support.

On the battery condition line though,in use we have found THIS a handy device: WATTS-UP

http://www.amazon.com/Watts-Meter-Analyzer-WU100-Version/dp/B001B6N2WK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400881192&sr=8-1&keywords=RC+voltage+current+meter

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: 24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 10:58:28 PM »
Carl, I have a volt/amp/power analyzer like that connected to my mobile rig, so I can tell how deep I am discharging the marine starting battery in my truck, when operating ham radio with key off.

Offline Carl

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Re: 24hr LED clock on HAM "go box" ?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2014, 05:04:08 AM »
Carl, I have a volt/amp/power analyzer like that connected to my mobile rig, so I can tell how deep I am discharging the marine starting battery in my truck, when operating ham radio with key off.

Even that is more of a gizmo but as Radios are our grownup toys ,go for it.

There is what you NEED
What you HAVE
and what you NEED TO HAVE

The need to have,is the personal add-ons that personalize you hobby
They may not help you ,or your radio,but like a slinky on an escalator
they can provide hours of fun.