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Interesting Find: Auto DST in GW-3000B

6905 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mikenbetts
Found something interesting in my new GW-3000B (Module 5121): at least in the USA, it sets Daylight Savings Time (DST) to "on" when it synchs within the four continental USA time zones.

Here's the situation: I'm in Arizona, where it's MST year-round (except for the Navajos).

1. Set my home city to Denver (DEN).
2. Set DST to off (the indicator says STD, meaning standard time).
3. Returned to normal mode, and everything is kosher.
4. Let the watch synch overnight.
5. Next morning, watch is an hour ahead, and when I display my home time zone, it still shows it as Denver, but with DST "on".
6. Checked the synch indicator, and it says "Y" (Yes, I synched).

So... I figured I made a mistake with the home time zone, so I tried it again. Very carefully following the manual.

Next morning, guess what? Denver is magically set to DST "on" again. Tried this two nights running, with the same results.

The GW-3000B has an undocumented auto-DST feature. Only thing that I could find supporting this in the manual was this cryptic entry: "As of November 2009, China does not use Daylight Savings Time (DST). If China does go to the Daylight Saving Time system in the future, some functions of this watch may no longer operate correctly." In other words, there is an automatic DST setting for certain time zones, and China is not currently one of them (implying that other zones, namely North America and maybe Europe, are).

I'm posting this for the benefit of others in non-DST locations (AZ, IN), who might otherwise be scratching their heads, thinking that they did something wrong by setting their watch to the correct time zone, overriding DST, and then finding the watch an hour off after a successful synch.

Personally, I'd rather Casio left well enough alone, and allowed an override of DST for every time zone, but there you have it. My fix for the thing, of course, is to simply set my home city to LAX for Summer, and DEN for Winter... oh how I wish they had an AZ zone on their watches. ;)
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What the watch does must be wrong.

It seems to me like you have discovered an error in the firmware of the watch and it would be worth the while contacting Casio.

The manufacturer has taken into account the fact that there are areas which do not observe DST.

For this reason there are intentionally three possible settings for DST: 1. AUTO (the DST will be driven by whatever the radio signal says), 2. OFF (the DST will be off; and whatever the signal says about DST will be ignored), 3. ON (the DST will be on, and whatever the signal says about DST will be ignored).

If you are sure you set your DST to OFF, but the watch is behaving as if it were AUTO, you should write to Casio as they have a mistake somewhere in their plans.

If you set your timezone "one zone back", this might be a solution for you to display correct time in the main timekeeping mode, but of course will affect the time shown for other time zones in the world time mode :(
1. There is nothing wrong with the watch. A simple workaround solves the problem.

2. There is no independent setting for DST as you describe for the 5121 module. If one sets the watch for a time zone that receives a signal, DST is ALWAYS set to AUTO. DST can temporarily be set to ON/OFF, but this setting will be overridden when the watch next syncs successfully to conform to the DST info in the time signal.

3. Setting the time zone one zone back will have no effect on world times. In this case, setting the watch to LAX (GMT -8) will display the correct time for Arizona when LAX is on DST (GMT -7). Since the watch thinks it is in LAX and displaying the correct time for LAX, all other world times will also be correctly displayed. The fact that the watch is physically in Arizona (also GMT -7) has no effect on world times.

The only way to turn DST permanently ON or OFF is to set the watch for a time zone that does not receive a signal and set all time/date functions manually. In this case, the watch will not even attempt a sync. If the watch is set to a time zone that receives a signal, it will ALWAYS be overridden by the DST information in the time signal.

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^ This statement alone tells it all. If there was nothing wrong with the watch, then there wouldn't be a problem that requires a simple workaround!

The watch has a design flaw, whether it was a conscious decision or an oversight, 2% of the U.S. are burdened with a diminished user experience (semi-annual workaround). I suppose when one considers the extra cost it must have meant to have a fifth position (DST Off) for the radio control dial, perhaps the potential loss in sales was not substantial enough to justify including it. And in the case of me - this would be true! I bought the watch. But I am wiser now. Pay attention, Casio: I buy watches. Make any more "atomic" watches without this feature and you can count me out.
Sorry. I had not fully realized the severity of the burden this workaround places on the owner.

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