Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ask me what time it is and you'll generally get it dead on.

Not 'cell phone time' or 1-800 time time or what someone's computer says, but the time from the Atomic clock in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The same time that they use for celestial navigation, GPS, the space shuttle and anything that requires truly accurate time.

If you have a short wave receiver you can get it from a number of places.

CHU Canada sends out time ticks on 3.300, 7.335 and 14.670 Mhz. I believe they are using Eastern Standard Time there.

WWV in Fort Collins, Colorado sends time ticks out on 2.500, 5.000, 10.000, 15.000 and 20.000 Mhz. They are using UTC, Universal TIme Co-ordinated. I believe this was formerly known as Greenwich Mean TIme but maybe I am wrong.

I hack my watch on WWV every so often and try to keep up with it. I suppose I do this for the simple reason that I can shoot down excuses for not being on time.

I helped a friend fight a parking ticket with this once. He had parked in one of those lanes that you can't park in between 4 and 7 PM because it becomes a lane during rush hour.

We were both downtown and arrived at 3:58 to find a ticket on the car. We cleared the parking space by 3:59 therefore we were legal. I guess some cop or meter maid jumped the gun.

We took the ticket to the magistrate and I fought it. Some say It was my finest hour. It wasn't even my ticket to be honest, it was my friends. 

I set up a portable receiver, tuned it to WWV and showed the judge how the thing worked and explained that it was the same time used by GPS, navigators, NASA, and listed about a dozen more people that use the time established by the National Institute of Standards.

Then I got somewhat dramatic and said that this was more than a parking ticket. I said that with his decision the judge was going to decide if we are using the time set by the NIST or if we were going to have to reset everything (and I included a long, long list here) to revolve around the $15 K-Mart watch of a Pittsburgh police officer.

The policeman there that represented the department was sitting there cringing.

I was still in mid-rant when the judge dismissed the case. I looked up at him and said, "But Your Honor! I was just getting to the good part!"

He outright laughed and said if he ever met me somewhere he'd love to hear the rest of it some other time. I think he dismissed the case when he did out of compassion for the poor cop tht was trying to slither under the table and disappear.

Anyway, Realistic (Radio Shack) used to sell time cubes tat were preset to the WWV frequencies. I have not seen them in years. I just searched eBay and they run about $40-50 in the vintage electronics department. I suppose if I would have snagged one for $20 or less I would have grabbed it.

Still, having the right time is a good thing to have. It tends to give a person a little bit more confidence for some reason or another.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

1 comment:

  1. Cell phone towers use GPS for their clocks. So cell phone time should be synced with WWV