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Clock Repair: Troubleshooting Clocks that Aren't Keeping Time in a Clock System

Posted by American Time on Oct 15, 2020 3:00:00 PM

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In rare cases, you may have issues with clocks that are supposed to display precise time and synchronize with each other. If they start to drift or not keep the correct time, here are a few quick and easy ways to troubleshoot and keep them ticking on the right time.

Is it the Clock or the Location?
Regardless of the type of clock you have, first determine whether the problem is with the clock or its location in your building. If just one clock is out, swap it with a working clock from a different location and see if the issue follows the clock or stays at the location. Once determined, the issue of the clock or location can then be addressed.

Hit the Home Button
If bumped or moved, the hands on a clock can f
all out of alignment. If this happens, American Time analog clocks for AllSync, Wi-Fi and SiteSync feature a “Home” button that can get you back on track. Turn the clock over and find the Home button on the movement component. Pushing it will return the hands to the 12 o’clock position. From there, they should properly re-sync.

For more detail descriptions for this technique, see our Homing Hands guides on our Tech Tips page.

If you have several clocks that aren’t keeping the correct time, look for your clock technology below and its troubleshooting suggestions….

SiteSync Wireless Clocks

If your SiteSync wireless clocks are drifting or did not update for daylight saving time changes, it may be that the Master Clock’s transmitter is not broadcasting at full strength or at all. To test this, power cycle the Master Clock unit.

  • Take a clock off the wall, disconnect the power and then power it back up.
  • Verify whether it’s getting a signal from the Master Clock by ensuring the LED on the receiver turns green.
  • If does not, then the radio on the Master Clock may be bad. Contact our support team and we’ll help fix it. 

The problem may also be as simple as bad batteries.

  • If the battery output is 1.4 volts or less, the clock won’t correct to the right time. The batteries will need to be replaced.

If your wireless clocks get power from an A/C connection, check to make sure there’s power at the outlet.

If your SiteSync wireless clocks are more than six years old and use GPS to get the correct time, there is a known issue with Garmin that has affected some GPS master units.

  • The Garmin antenna is unable to decipher the time and date, which will cause the master to send out the completely wrong date and time to the clocks.
  • Go here to learn more about how to troubleshoot this.

Wi-Fi Clocks

If Wi-Fi clocks are not showing the correct time, a common culprit is something that has changed on your IT network.

  • Changes to the network can accidently block the port that the clocks need to go out and get the correct time.
  • Check with your IT team: Did they update or change anything?

You can also test the strength of your Wi-Fi signal with the receiver on the back of the clock.

  • Repower the clock and determine whether it’s seeing the network and getting the time.
  • You can go to the Wi-Fi clock installation and operation manual for more information on how to do this.

Another common culprit: The material in your wall.

  • Just because a Wi-Fi clock works on one side of a wall doesn’t mean it will work on the other side.
  • Building materials that block a Wi-Fi signal can hamper where you put your Wi-Fi clocks.

Finally, the problem may be as simply as bad batteries.

  • If the battery output is 1.4 volts or less, the clock will not correct itself and the batteries will need to be replaced.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Clocks

Like Wi-Fi, PoE clocks have a port on your IT network through which they go out and get the precise time.

  • If your clocks aren’t showing the correct time, check with the IT department to see if they updated anything on the network. They may have inadvertently blocked or closed the port that the clocks need open.

AllSync Wired Clocks

For a single wired clock that isn’t showing the correct time, check the voltage on it.

  • If all of the clocks on the system are out of sync, check the voltage on the Master Clock. (21.7V minimum on 24V systems) 110V systems are typically not an issue unless there is no power at all. 
  • Ensure the Master clock is activating the relays at the correct times, depending on the clock code being utilized.
  • Check that the proper voltage is making it to the clocks – 24V systems may have more issues because power gets diminished over the length of the wire runs. The connections and number of clocks on the line also affect the power.

We can Help!

If you still can’t figure out what’s wrong with your clocks, or if you know the reason and need help resolving it, contact us! Our clock experts are ready to help at 800-328-8996.

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Topics: Clock Maintenance and Repairs, Synchronized Clock Systems, Wired Clock Systems, AllSync, Wi-Fi Clock Systems, Wireless Clock Systems, PoE Clock Systems, SiteSync

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