How to Set the SkyScan Atomic Clock

By Andrew Tennyson

Atomic clocks are made to give you the most accurate time possible. SkyScan's atomic clocks use radio signals to sync time directly from the atomic clock at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Time and Frequency in Boulder, Colorado. SkyScan's clocks can be programmed to set themselves automatically. You can also set them manually.

Nine O'Clock
credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Close-up of digital clock reading

Best Clock Position

SkyScan's clocks sync time each morning between midnight and 6 a.m. to give you the most accurate time each day. According to NIST, its atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado, is so accurate it will gain or lose just a single second of time every 300 millions years. Because personal atomic clocks such as those manufactured by SkyScan use radio signals for synchronization, they can sometimes have trouble setting themselves automatically if environmental obstructions are present. Mountains and tall buildings, for instance, can prevent the clock from setting time automatically. If your clock has trouble acquiring a signal, place it in an upright position near a window. Also keep it away from microwaves, cordless phones and other household devices that transmit wireless signals.

Set Automatically

Most SkyScan clocks are designed to set themselves automatically after you insert the battery. Twist the battery compartment cover and remove it from the back of the clock to put the batteries in. Use the clock's "Time Zone" and "+" buttons to select your time zone. After you select your time zone, the clock automatically searches for a radio signal and, when it locates one, sets itself to your local time. Replace the battery compartment cover when you're finished.

Set Manually

Certain SkyScan models enable you to set time and adjust clock settings manually. This feature comes in handy if a clock cannot acquire a signal from the NIST clock. When the signal cannot be acquired automatically, the device instead functions as a standard quartz clock. To access your clock's manual settings, press and hold the "Set" button for three seconds, and then use the "+" button to scroll through, select and adjust available settings. Press "Set" again to save your changes.

Additional Information

If your clock comes with a temperature transmitter, you must insert batteries in that device before attempting to set the clock. Wait 10 minutes after inserting batteries in the temperature transmitter before selecting the time zone on the clock. SkyScan recommends using standard nonrechargeable alkaline batteries in its clocks.