Aloha! We had terrible floods and lost power for a few days last weekend. We
finally got a generator after 2 days without power. Since we got power back
via generator (which we are still running off of), my alarm clock and clock
on the microwave have been gaining time.
My alarm clock is currently 13 minutes fast, and the microwave is 16 minutes
fast. They seem to be picking up speed at about 2 minutes an hour. I
adjusted them before I went to bed 9 hours ago and this is how off they are
Why!! Someone suggested it could be due to the generator not running at true
60hz? Anyone have any ideas whats going on? Is it definitely a side effect
from the generator they are using?
Check generator voltage, unregulated cheap units can run 100- 140v and
55-65Hz, 120v should be 60 hz. You are probably running high and can
damage sensitive equipment like microwaves. Quality regulated gens are
better, but yours may just be running faster than 3600 rpm. Use a
voltmeter and adjust engine speed.
Thanks for all the responses so quick! I live in a dorm here in beautiful
Honolulu, and they have a fairly large generator to power our entire
building. I have no control over the generator. Guess I just have to wait! I
am using the cell phone and computer as they maintain accurate time.
Those circuit people are a tricky bunch.
I aint yet seen a single big top at anyone of those places, they fluff up
the cotton candy with hot air and as soon as you pay for it it shrinks, and
the fat lady never sings when the show is over.
There is even sillier talk. All appliance clocks have their own
crystal based timer. Its just not worth making synchronous motor
clocks to run off the 60Hz main power anymore. The original complaint
about the clocks gaining time at different rates is nonsense.
Xrongor, I have seen several people ruin thousands in electronic
equipment because of improper gen out put. If you knew gen operation or
even checked out new gens you would know this. One example is Coleman
now clearly states on the boxes or in the manual of their units that
their Unregulated gens need power a conditioner if equipment with
circuits-sensitive equipment is to be used. They even supply a # that
sells their aproved units. That is there under 900$ units. Separate
power conditioners will cost 400- 800 for under 6000 watt units. Im
sure they have been sued and lost and understand the liability. Another
poster here witnessed apx 6 furnaces ruined because of generator
operation. Unregulated cheap gens typicaly start at 135 - 140, 65-68Hz
no load, and easily go to 100v or less 54-55Hz full load. Only one
inexpensive home owner model the Honda EU series clearly states the EU
will give power output equal to or better than grid power. With clean
Sign Wave. Which is necessary to not shorten the life or blow many
sensitive products. Remember 20 yrs ago few apliances had circuits, now
most can come with circuits. In the cheap as can be generator marketing
many units are only truely safe running saws and incandesant bulbs. I
bought a new 5500 Generac and returned it within 20 days for a 7500
voltage regulated model, I could not get the correct voltage
consistantly to start my furnace. The Hz was swinging to much. OP
should simply ck voltage and HZ, if his power is out of safe limits
damage may occur. But just simply adjusting motor rpm would likely fix
this, as it is likely a 1200, 1800 or 3600 rpm unit and calibrated at
specific rpms, adjustments are easy and designed for calibrating and
monitoring. There are even Hondas with adjustments and a meter for this
on the front panel. Being blind to a gens output can literaly ruin what
you power. I plug in my Kill a Watt meter and monitor V - HZ and Watts
when generating power. Motors do go out of calibration due to
nothing personal, but its clear you dont know what a 'circuit' is. maybe
you should go look that word up. the saws and incandescant bulbs are still
circuits. since day one everything that runs on electricity needs to form a
circuit. no circuit, no work can get done. its that simple.
based on what i think you mean to say, i agree, its probably best not to put
modern microprocessor based stuff on horrible power.
Clearly what is commomly refered to as 'Circuit " , , is
sensitive electronics with specificaly Computer Chips. Not a bulb or
drill, but Circuits, as in computer circuits, I thought this was clear.
No offence given or taken . Thanks, Sorry...
If you have sensitive equipment, it can easily be powered through a
ferroresonant line stabilizer that can be purchased for a few bucks. I
use one that was used in a commercial darkroom to stabilize light
sources. I picked it up at auction for $20. There's no need to be
concerned about generator output that goes to power water heaters or
Most rotating field brushless generator designs (the cheapest and most
common) put out a very nice sine wave. The voltage and frequency may
vary, but equipment damage is unlikely.
Actually most appliance clock circuits still sync their timebase from the
power source, and other digiatal alarm clocks that plug into AC power.
It is more costly to put the additional circuitry and components necessary
to maintain an accurate enough time without syncing to the power grid.
Since the appliance is most likely required to be connected to power anyway,
is much better to sync from the power source so that most of the clocks
connected to the power grid are all in sync. This is why most cheap battery
clocks and watches will lose a minute or so every month and some even
cheaper models will lose much more. Some better ones can be very close.
The timebase oscillators even if using a phase circuit with a crystal would
still not be that accurate if left to freerun without some sort of external
sync. These cheaper circuits will vary their frequency with different
temperature ranges also.
So even though electronics are more modern than their mechanical
predecessors, Most still rely on the power grid to sync to.
You must have missed the part where the OP said that grid power has *not* been
restored, and his building is running on a generator. _Of_course_ that's why
his clocks are drifting: the generator isn't putting out a perfect 60Hz wave.
Yes its your generator doing it.
If you want an accurate clock the
Atomic digital battery clocks are great.
Mine was $20 shows date, temp, moon
phase and time via radio in sync with
an atomic clock. Adjusts for daylight
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