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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I see that my watches time hasn't synced with my phone since 6/4. But still it says "RCVD." Two questions: 1. Does that mean that it synced with Fort Collins? Also, how long does "RCVD" remain displayed?
 

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I recently bought a B5600MG-1JF and am disappointed that the battery meter is gone. I have noticed that several of newer solar Gs don't have that. Does it seem as though Casio is getting rid of it?
Because the GW-B5600 (and GMW-B5000) have the bluetooth connection allowing battery to be checked on your phone, it allows the watch to retain the 1983 display style, which is why I prefer that module to any other
so I wouldn't say it has been removed or phased out as such, but more that it was added to the solars originally as it was initially the only way to check the level, and bluetooth means they don't need it adding to the display anymore
 

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Totally agree that it could and should be a 鈥渉idden鈥 display feature.

I have an analog/digital ProTrek that only displays the charge level when returning to the timekeeping mode. It鈥檒l flash 鈥淗鈥 briefly before going back to time display.

There when I need it, invisible when I don鈥檛.
 

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I couldn鈥檛 get the GIF to work, but hey.
With the ana-digis I have with this "hidden" battery meter, pressing and holding the Mode button is an easy way to display the battery level (rather than going through all the modes and back to timekeeping).
 

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Yup, that鈥檚 exactly what I did for that photo!

The new BT modules improve a lot of things, but it sounds like there are still a few left over we WIS would appreciate. (Independent toggling of MB6/BT syncing, hidden charge display, etc.)
 

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Anyone know if it's possible to for Casio to push firmware updates to the module via the app?
I鈥檓 confident that it is not possible for them to update the firmware. My understanding is that the low power draw and low cost of digital watches is made possible by the use of a application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). In an ASIC, the application logic is cast into the tiny silicon chip as a pattern of transistors (gates) and other passive circuit components. The application logic cannot be changed once the chip is fabricated. Fabrication requires a significant up-front investment, but once it鈥檚 set up, the cost per unit is very very low. You can think of it like pressing a record.

ASICs can have onboard memory registers for storing data, but the 鈥減rogram鈥 cannot be changed.

A related technology is field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These are comparatively expensive (hundreds or thousands of dollars, rather than pennies), but the silicon can be 鈥渇lashed鈥 with a new configuration to change its behavior. They鈥檙e often used in prototyping rather than in consumer products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
I鈥檓 confident that it is not possible for them to update the firmware. My understanding is that the low power draw and low cost of digital watches is made possible by the use of a application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). In an ASIC, the application logic is cast into the tiny silicon chip as a pattern of transistors (gates) and other passive circuit components. The application logic cannot be changed once the chip is fabricated. Fabrication requires a significant up-front investment, but once it鈥檚 set up, the cost per unit is very very low. You can think of it like pressing a record.

ASICs can have onboard memory registers for storing data, but the 鈥減rogram鈥 cannot be changed.

A related technology is field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These are comparatively expensive (hundreds or thousands of dollars, rather than pennies), but the silicon can be 鈥渇lashed鈥 with a new configuration to change its behavior. They鈥檙e often used in prototyping rather than in consumer products.
Thanks for the info. That makes sense. I get the impression that an ASIC is a CPU that is designed just for this one purpose.
 

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Thanks for the info. That makes sense. I get the impression that an ASIC is a CPU that it designed just for this one purpose.
Exactly right. A CPU is designed to run 鈥渋nstructions鈥 that are part of, or arrive through, an 鈥渙perating system鈥. It has a sophisticated bootstrapping process to get all the various software elements up and running, loaded into volatile memory (RAM), etc. We use these all the time, but they鈥檙e fantastically complex.

One step down in complexity is a microcontroller. Still generally has separate RAM modules (if I鈥檓 mot mistaken), but there鈥檚 no operating system. On startup, the program is read into memory from a nonvolatile store, and it simply runs. There鈥檚 no multitasking and very little bootstrapping. These are great for applications where timing is important: you don鈥檛 have to worry about your task being interrupted. Some of them even have built-in WiFi. They鈥檙e very cool. You can get them from for $30 (or even less) and use them in projects, there鈥檚 lots of good tutorials online. Arduino is a brand serving the hobby/education community.

Then you have ASICs. They may be configurable, in well-defined and limited ways, but they can鈥檛 be arbitrarily made to do something new. The behavior is baked into the silicon (which is basically a fancy rock).
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
That is very interesting. Someone once wrote here that a watch as a state-machine, rather than a processor, microcontroller, or CPU. I didn't think that was the case then, and I really doubt it with these new Bluetooth watches. Thanks for posting that.
 

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That is very interesting. Someone once wrote here that a watch as a state-machine, rather than a processor, microcontroller, or CPU. I didn't think that was the case then, and I really doubt it with these new Bluetooth watches. Thanks for posting that.
That鈥檚 an interesting choice of words. It鈥檚 not really a hardware term (to me), more of a mathematics or computer science term. Those fields would probably regard all of these devices as state machines, just with different levels of complexity. I wonder what they would make of a calculator watch.
 
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