Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
DuraTime Wireless Synchronized Clock Systems provide correct time from the U.S. Time Standard.
The DuraTime wireless clock system is specifically designed for applications where precision and reliability are of great importance. Time updates using the standard Network Time Protocol (NTP) and/or optional Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) provides the master clock(s) with constant time updates. All clocks in the system will not only display the same time, but the true legal time. Any combination of clock shapes, style or size may be synchronized. DuraTime clocks are designed for organizations that require reliable and accurate synchronized time.
The DuraTime multi-path wireless clock system is highly reliable. The system operates on the license-free 2.4 GHz Industrial, Scientific and Medical band. Frequency Hopping, Spread Spectrum radios are used to enhance signal coverage, along with AES 128 bit encryption to enhance security and reliability. Multi-path wireless communications are used to propagate the time signal throughout any size facility. The failure of any single clock will not affect the remaining clocks in the system. Supervision is available to automatically check the operation of all wireless devices on the system.
Q. Why purchase the DuraTime system?A. The DuraTime wireless clock system is the most reliable synchronized clock system available anywhere, wired or wireless, and the most competitively priced.
Q. How is the DuraTime system more reliable than other systems?
A. The DuraTime system was designed for increased reliability from the ground up using redundancy throughout. Robust DuraTime systems include:
- Dual redundant time sources (GPS and NTP)
- Dual redundant master clocks
- Multi-path (mesh) communications
- Quad redundant battery packs
- Redundant time updates (86,400 times per day)
- No configuration required
- And more
Q. Why use multiple processors in analog wall clocks?
A. Multiple processors allow the most efficient use of the battery. A high speed processor and high current processor is used for radio data processing. A medium speed processing is used for internal data communications, while a low speed processor is used to control the movement motors.
Q. What is the advantage of using clocks that receive and retransmit time updates?
A. Clocks that repeat time updates, form a self-healing mesh network, greatly reduce the infrastructure required to propagate the radio signals across the facility or campus. Without this important feature, expensive high power transmitters or other distribution systems would be required.
Q. Will the DuraTime system interfere with, or be interfered by our WiFi network?
A. DuraTime utilizes the upper portion of the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) portion of the 2.4 GHz band, while WiFi uses the lower portion of the 2.4 GHz band. DuraTime does not use WiFi frequencies. For a detailed explanation, Click here.
Q. Why not use our existing WiFi system to distribute time updates?
A. WiFi is much too complex and ever changing to support a reliable clock system. A WiFi clock requires that every IP network parameter, in every clock be configured precisely or it will not work. Furthermore, it’s been our experience that computer networks are often evolving, often without warning, which may require constant clock parameter reconfiguration.
Q. If WiFi clocks require that all network parameters be constantly maintained, how does this compare with a DuraTime clocks?
A. DuraTime analog wall clocks require no configuration. Simply insert the batteries and hang on the wall. The DuraTime network configuration will not change over time.
Q. Why is AES 128 data encryption important in a clock system?
A. Believe it or not, students have been known to hack into time systems and change, or otherwise disrupt the system. AES 128 data encryption simply removes the possibility of hacking the system.
Q. How does the DuraTime wireless mesh radios used in the clocks compare with other mesh clock systems?
A. DuraTime clocks incorporate advanced digital radio technology that has 16 times the transmit power of competing clock systems, while at the same time, using much less battery power. This greatly reduces the infrastructure required to distribute the radio signal across the facility or campus. Clocks can be spaced ten times the distance of competing products, greatly reducing the need for signal repeaters.
Q. What type of batteries do DuraTime analog clocks use?
A. The advanced processor design of the DuraTime clocks allow the use of inexpensive and thin “AA” batteries, while competing products typically use several thick and bulky “D” cell batteries, or in some cases, expensive custom batteries. The use of common “AA” batteries allows for a thinner clock profile compared to those using large “D” cell batteries.
Q. I assume the DuraTime system will automatically change all clocks between Standard and Daylight Saving time, but what if the Government changes the dates again?
A. Unlike most competing systems that use a lookup table to determine when to switch between Standard and Daylight Saving time, the DuraTime system uses a rule based method. Simply enter the new rule, and the system immediately implements it. This DuraTime system will not become outdated or require factory maintenance to update a lookup table.
Q. What if we don’t want battery powered clocks and we want to use power from our old clock wiring?
A. DuraTime clocks are available in a variety of power configurations including:
- Battery power (4 AA Batteries)
- 12-24 volts AC or DC
- 110 VAC
- 220 volts VAC (50/60 cycles).
Q. We have a grade school and middle school across the street from each other. Will the DuraTime system work for both schools without interfering with one another?
A. Absolutely. The DuraTime system can be configured to your specific needs. You have the choice of operating two completely independent clock systems that will not interfere with one another, or DuraTime can be configured to operate as one large system, with independent bell ring schedules.
Q. Why is IPv4 and IPv6 Ethernet compatibility important?
A. The Ethernet network interface used by the DuraTime master clock is used for alarm schedule configuration and time acquisition. It’s important that this interface be compatible with current and future Ethernet standards.
Q. Do I need an FCC license?
A. No. Unlike high powered wireless time systems, DuraTime radios are pre-approved by the FCC and require no additional license.
Q. What happens if the DuraTime master clock stops receiving GPS and/or NTP time updates?
A. If one time source is lost, the DuraTime master clocks will automatically use the remaining time source. In the unlikely event that both time sources are lost, the DuraTime master clocks will rely on their internal temperature compensated, high precession oscillator that is accurate to a few seconds per year. DuraTime master clocks utilize a ten year internal battery to maintain clock accuracy during power outages.
Q. In a DuraTime dual-redundant master clock configuration, what happens of one master clock fails to send time updates?
A. If the DuraTime primary master clock fails to send time updates, the secondary master clock will automatically detect the loss and begin transmitting time updates. When the primary master clock resumes transmissions, the secondary master clock will switch to an idle state. All operations are automatic, requiring no operator intervention.
Q. How does multiple time sources work?
A. DuraTime dual-redundant master clock configurations are capable of simultaneously obtaining time updates from two independent NTP time sources. In addition, a single wireless GPS receiver can be utilized to obtain additional time updates for both master clocks. All time updates will be compared for accuracy and utilized. As long as a single time source is available, the system will distribute accurate synchronized time.
Q. We're interested in installing an Emergency Mass Notification System later. Will the DuraTime system work with an EMN system.
A. Absolutely! The DuraTime system is designed work work in concert with a BRG 2.4 GHz Emergency Mass Notification (EMN) System. Repeaters and hardwired clocks act as signal repeaters for an EMN system. Conversely, all EMN wireless alert devices act at signal repeaters for the DuraTime clock system. The DuraTime master clocks listen for EMN activity and automatically cease time transmissions until the activity is clear.