Daylight Saving(s) Time Holdouts

While North America enjoys their Daylight Saving(s) Time and Europe enjoys their Summer Time, most of the rest of the world does not reset their clocks twice a year – by choice. In fact, some countries and some states within certain countries used to have that annual hour offset, but now have decided not to. Whether by latitude or culture, DST was no longer working for their benefit. Many equatorial countries never adopted DST as they get plenty of sunshine year ’round.

Daylight Saving Time.

Blue areas observe Daylight Saving Time. Orange areas used to observe it, but don’t anymore. Red areas (mostly equatorial countries) never observed it. Click to enlarge.

This is an issue we’ve handled at Masterclock because our clocks are sold worldwide. Our clocks and time keeping devices convert the UTC (Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Coordinated Time) synched signals they receive from GPS satellites and other sources to local time when configured to do so. Whether using Time Code or NTP, users are able to custom configure our clocks with easy-to-use computer apps, so there’s no need to go visit the clocks twice a year to reset them manually.

Cover of the 19th (and last) edition of the pa...

Cover of the 19th (and last) edition of the pamphlet “The Waste of Daylight”, written by William Willett, who independently conceived DST in 1905. The pamphlet advocated DST for Britain and reported progress toward that goal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The whole idea, back in Ben Franklin’s day, was to use daylight more wisely since there is so much more of it (in the northern hemisphere) in summer than in winter. William Willett’s pamphlet of 1914 (at right) was a call to adopt Daylight Savings Time in Great Britain. This came at a time when clocks and watches were synchronizing citizens to the beat of the railroad time schedule that brought about the adption of Time Zones. It wasn’t sunup to sundown anymore. Workers had to be at work on time!Daylight Savings Time doesn’t work for everyone. Farmers still get up with the dawn and stop plowing at dark if their plows are driven by cattle or horses. For those tied to their desks and manufacturing positions, however, having a little extra daylight to enjoy in the summer still seems to work out better, as long as everyone else is on board.

Time is important. That’s why we’re in this business.

This blog is brought to you by Masterclock, Inc. We design, build and sell a large catalog of professional-quality digital and analog clocks, master clocks, network clocks, time code clocks, time code generators and other synchronized time devices for precise applications at an affordable price.

If you have any questions about time, GPS, digital clocks or any other subject you’d like to know more about, sent them to us. We’ll be happy to reply directly and post answers.

Come visit us at www.masterclock.com!

What We Do Not Make

Alarm clock

This is the most famous digital clock of all, a Panasonic tabletop model from the movie, “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray as the hapless weatherman who kept waking up on the same day. Masterclock does not make this sort of digital clock, one that gets synced by the AC frequency coming out of the wall socket. No, our clocks are typically referenced to GPS satellites for the ultimate in sync and precision.

If you’re looking for a cute little digital clock for your night stand,
you may have come to the wrong place — but stick around, we’ll take you to the next level in time keeping.

Masterclock Inc. does not make bedside alarm clocks, wristwatches or any other such personal time-keeping devices. Sorry.

Howerver, we DO make digital clocks of professional quality. Ours are referenced to GPS satellites.In this modern world, some organizations need that level of professional precision and synchronization in their time keeping instruments.

A GPS satellite
Every GPS satellite carries an atomic clock that helps regulate time for the entire world. Our clocks and devices listen for these signals with special antennas to provide you with the most precise time available for digital clocks and other devices.

We also make traditional analog clocks, the kind you remember in high school hanging on the wall behind the teacher. But here again, ours are of professional quality. They, too, are linked to atomic clocks aboard GPS satellites. They can also be controlled, as a group or individually, from the comfort of an office computer, rather than having to get out and attend to each one individually, particularly irksome during those twice-a-year trips to reset Daylight Saving(s) Time.

Our other time keeping systems are synchronized to precision Time Codes, like IRIG (for the military) and SMPTE (for the broadcast and movie-making industries).

Some of our devices translate one type of signal  to another. Often several devices are set in series between the satellite receiver and the display units. These distribute and amplify Time Code to any number of clocks, all controlled by a central software application so one person at a keyboard can ‘see’ on screen what each clock is doing without having to actually go out and examine each one.That is indeed a far cry from a nightstand alarm clock.

Time is important. That’s why we’re in this business.

This blog is brought to you by Masterclock, Inc. We design, build and sell a large catalog of professional-quality digital and analog clocks, master clocks, network clocks, time code clocks, time code generators and other synchronized time devices for precise applications at an affordable price.

If you have any questions about time, GPS, digital clocks or any other subject you’d like to know more about, sent them to us. We’ll be happy to reply directly.

Come visit us at www.masterclock.com to see what we can do for you!

The 50th Anniversary of the First Visible Light LED

Masterclock digital clocks and a 30" analog clock

Several Masterclock digital clocks (at right) and a 30″ analog clock (at left) on a rack ready for display at the next electronics convention.

The LED (light emitting diode) has been around for 50 years. And for most of those years they’ve been lighting up Masterclock digital clocks (see image at left).

The University of Illinois recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the invention of the visible spectrum LED and its inventor, Professor Nick Holonyak Jr.

Top scientists from around the world paid homage to Dr. Holonyak recently in a symposium held October 24 and 25, 2012 at the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois where the professor has been since 1963. This is only the latest of many honors Dr. Holonyak has earned in his career.

Back in 1962…
Within two decades after the invention of the transistor in 1947,  LEDs were being produced, but they were only capable of emitting infrared light, otherwise known as invisible heat. In 1962 young Holonyak, then working for a General Electric research lab in New York state and just out of grad school, mixed gallium arsenide and gallium phosphide to create the first diode that could produce visible light. Unfortunately, the practical benefits of his invention had to wait several years before they were more fully appreciated and commercially available.

Holonyak calls the LED the “ultimate lamp.”
The electrical current itself generates light, rather than heating a filament, making the LED fast, efficient and affordable. At first the only color was red. Today, LEDs come in every color and can be found in low-tech and hi-tech products, serving the world and lighting up kids’ toys. In the February 1963 issue of Reader’s Digest Holonyak predicted that LEDs would someday replace the incandescent light bulb of Thomas Edison. Unfortunately it took fifty years for that idea to catch on.

Pulsar Watch, ca. 1972,

Pulsar Watch, ca. 1972, now worth more than 10x its original price of $2,100.

LEDs and Time-Keeping
In 1972 watch manufacturer, Pulsar, introduced the first LED watch. Dubbed the Time Computer, the watch was said to be accurate to within 60 seconds a year. It cost $2,100 at the time. because it was the first to utilize LED technology in a small package and it relied on electronics to tell the time. Unfortunately, all this new technology devoured battery-life, which is why the watch required the wearer to press a button to see the time only when he needed to.Red
The first LEDs were red. This wasn’t a choice.  Blame it on physics. LEDs are created by layering semiconductor crystals on a tiny wafer. As layers are added, dopants (trace impurities) are also added to  color the LED. Gallium arsenide phosphide was the original dopant and it creates a natural red color when electrified.

New processes and new elements create all the colors of the rainbow in today’s LEDs.

Blue
In 1993 Shuji Nakamura invented the bright blue LED using gallium nitride.

White
Blue LEDs coated with yellow phosphors provide white light. This was also a Nakamura invention.

A Mastercock TCDS8646 with a row of red LED digits over a row of smaller amber LEDs.

A Mastercock TCDS8646 digital display with a row of red LED digits over a row of smaller amber LEDs.

Masterclock designs and makes digital clocks in a wide variety of sizes and types using red, green, blue and yellow digits. You can mix and match them in some of our larger clocks. They portray the day, date, the day of the year and can even perform countdowns and provide alphanumeric messages.

If you’d like to learn more, come visit us soon at www.masterclock.com

Time is important. That’s why we’re in this business.

This blog is brought to you by Masterclock, Inc. We design, build and sell a large catalog of professional-quality digital and analog clocks, master clocks, network clocks, time code clocks, time code generators and other synchronized time devices for precise applications at an affordable price.

If you have any questions about time, GPS, digital clocks or any other subject you’d like to know more about, sent them to us. We’ll be happy to reply directly and post answers.

Come visit us at www.masterclock.com!