My La Crosse Radio Controller clock will not set itself. I have tried setting the time manually but it always advances by approximately 1/2 hour after the manual set. Why?
I have the same problem with my 16" analog La Crosse wall clock - it was adding 30 minutes to the time every time I set it manually because, even in manual mode, it will continue to search for the signal. Mine is the WT-3161BL with blue dial. This series of clock, which are still being sold with a black and a white dial, have only mediocre reviews on Amazon. Users report they are unreliable or reliable for only a couple of years before they become incapable of keeping time. Others have received their radio-controlled clocks - as I did - with the hands disconnected (because they're flimsy). They are very nice looking (with a stainless bezel) but quality control, not failure to understand the directions, is the greater issue.
I am responding to this post even though it is old because these clocks are still being sold - and not cheaply, in most cases, either. It would be nice if someone could PUBLISH the La Crosse instructions for re-calibrating these clocks. Why? Because from my own attempts to repair this clock I think the issue is that the hands, especially if they become misaligned or fall off in shipping and are subsequently reattached, are not in sync with what the circuit board is configured to "understand" as the 12, 4, and 8 o'clock positions. What this means is that when you select your time zone it may not, in fact, advance to one of the above-indicated times and await the signal. It may advance in a seemingly random fashion. It's not random rather the hands are not aligned with what the circuitry expects to be the 12, 4 and 8 o'clock position. If this is the case no matter what time zone you select or how good your radio reception it will never "catch" the correct time.
I have seen references in some of the Amazon reviews for those who obtained warranty service that La Crosse Technologies "calibrates" it and then sends it back. If I had to guess, calibration of a radio-controlled (analog!) clock involves aligning the hands to the position the circuitry "expects" to be the default (factory) preset. If that is correct, pushing the Time Zone button will allow it to advance the correct number of revolutions. If the hands are not in the factory defaults due to shipping damage or a defect with the assembly, it will continue to set itself incorrectly.
What is frustrating about La Crosse Technology radio control analog clock design is that "Manual Set" continues, nonetheless, to engage the atomic time signal. So even if you compensate by setting the time manually it will, as it states in the user manual, continue to "search". When it thinks it receives a signal it will reset the time, if only partially. This accounts for why, when the radio signal is not strong enough, that these clocks cannot seem to "keep time". It also accounts for why, when they are assembled incorrectly or otherwise damaged (or repaired by re-attaching the hands) that it still cannot keep time.
If La Crosse would simply design their analog wall clocks so that Manual Set DOES NOT continue to search for the atomic time radio signal it would FIX a lot of the issues encountered by owners who A) received a damaged or defective radio-controlled wall clock, and B) those who do not have good atomic signal strength in their location but for which the clock continues to attempt to make use of an intermittent (incomplete) signal. Alas, this is not how La Crosse Technologies designs these analog clocks to function in Manual Set mode, so when the signal is too weak or the hands are misaligned it will continue to try to reset itself but inevitably to the WRONG TIME. (My suggestion to the manufacturer is that they design these clocks to at least have the option to go on working correctly in Manual time set mode, as opposed to having one linked to the other in such a way that when the Radio Control fails the Manual set options also go awry.) Alas, the only real solution that I know of, short of someone obtaining La Crosse Technologies factory calibration instructions, is to DIY replace the radio-controlled quartz module with an aftermarket (non-radio) mechanism. Otherwise, a good percentage of these clocks that did not survive shipping or were not assembled well to begin with will not hold the time.
Apr 11, 2015 |
La Crosse Radio Controlled Atomic Clock