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on February 14, 2006
Clock itself is decent, except very hard to figure out w/o manual. For those who have lost manual, below may be helpful:

SETTING THE TIME ZONE

* In the Normal Time Display, press the [MODE] key to enter

the Alarm Time Mode.

* Press the [SET] key to set the desired time zone.

* Press the [MODE] to return to the time mode position.

SETTING THE ALARM

* While in the normal time display mode, press [MODE]

button to enter the alarm time mode, the letters "AL" will

appear on the display.

* Hold the [SET] hotton for 2 seconds until the hour digit

flashes, then release the [SET] button.

* Press the [ADJUST] button to set the desired hour.

* Press the [SET] button again. The minute digits will begin

to flash.

* Press the [ADJUST] button key to change the minutes.

* Press the mode button once.

* To activate the alarm, press the [ADJUST] button and the

bell indicator will appear.

* Press the [ADJUST] button again to activate the snooze

and the snooze indicator will appear.

* To deactivate the alarm and snooze, press the [ADJUST]

button until both indicators disappear.

Press the [MODE] button to exit the alarm setting mode.
1919 comments|195 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 8, 2009
I have this clock for about 6 months now. Setting the time is a big pain and has to be done twice a year if you observe DST, which is today here in Philly.

I found these instuctions on the internet and thought it would be mindful to put them here for easy access to all who need them.

Instructions & Warranty for Atomic Clock - Model SPC364

Thank you for your purchase of this quality clock. The utmost care has gone into the design and manufacture of your clock. Please read these instructions carefully and store them in a safe place for future reference.
FEATURES

* Radio Controlled Accuracy - Sets Time Automatically
* Four separate time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain or Pacific
* Calendar shows Month, Day & Date
* Alarm
* Snooze
* Backlight for nighttime viewing
* Daylight savings time function (DST)

Product Descriptions

1. SNOOZE/LIGHT bar
2. LCD clock display
3. MODE button
4. SET button
5. ADJUST button
6. RECEIVE button
7. RESET button

SPC364 Front and Back
Display Symbols
Normal Time Mode

1. Time zone map
2. Signal strength indicator
3. Clock display
4. Day of the week
5. Month
6. Date
7. Daylight savings indicator

SPC364 Display
Alarm Time Mode

1. Alarm mode indicator
2. Alarm time indicator
3. Alarm on indicator
4. Snooze on indicator

SPC364 Display Alarm Indicator
INSTALLATION OR REPLACING THE BATTERY

* Begin by opening the battery compartment cover at the back of the clock.
* Insert one AA battery (not included) into the battery compartment and make sure the polarity is correct by following the (+ or -) symbols engraved inside.
* Replace the battery whenever the display becomes dim or difficult to read.

RADIO CONTROL AUTOMATIC OPERATION

Once the battery is installed the clock will begin to seek the radio signal to update the time. This typically takes between 5-8 minutes in good conditions. If after eight minutes the signal has not been received, use the [MODE] button to set the time manually. (See Setting the Time Instructions.) After the first signal is received the clock will automatically seek out the atomic clock signal in Fort Collins, Colorado each evening at 2:00 AM and continue to do so each night.
SETTING THE TIME ZONE

* In the Normal Time Display, press the [MODE] button to enter the Alarm Time Mode.
* Press the [SET] button to set the desired time zone. Refer to the Time Zone map on the display, P=Pacific, M=Mountain, C=Central and E=Eastern.
* Press the [MODE] to return to the time mode position.

AUTOMATIC DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME FUNCTION

Please note: This clock is automatically DST enabled. That means if you live in an area of the US which does not observe Daylight Savings Time your clock will likely by 1 hour ahead or behind at certain times of the year. ALSO note that this clock does NOT know about the change enacted in 2007 that changed when daylight savings time begins (at 2 AM on the second Sunday in March) and ends (at 2 AM on the first Sunday in November.) It still follows the "Uniform Time Act revision 1986" when daylight savings time began on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday of October. Since the old rules are burned into the logic of the clock, and since it resets itself every night, your clock will likely by 1 hour ahead or behind at certain times of the year. The US Congress has reserved the right to reverse the Energy Policy of 2005 (enacted in 2007) should the change prove unpopular or if the energy savings were not significant.

SETTING THE TIME AND DATE MANUALLY

* While in the normal display mode press and hold the [SET] button for 2 seconds until the hour digit flashes, then delease the [SET] button.
* Press the [ADJUST] button to change the hour.
Note: Be careful to set the AM or PM time correctly. When PM time is set the letters "PM" will appear on the display. When AM time is set the letters "AM" will appear on the display.
* Press the [SET] button again. The minute digit will begin to flash.
* Press the [ADJUST] button to change the minutes.
* Repeat the preceeding two steps to set the > Seconds > Date > Month and > Year.
Note: The day of the week will be set automatically after selecting the proper date, month & year.
* Press [MODE] button to exit the time setting mode.
Note: If no buttons are pressed after 30 seconds, the clock will retrn to normal timekeeping mode.

SPC364 Setting Diagram
USING THE 12/24 TIME FEATURE

Pressing the [SET] button will toggle between 12 and 24 hour (military) time modes.
ABOUT THE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME (DST)

The clock has been programmed to automatically switch when daylight savings time is in effect. Your clock will show "DST" on the display during this time.

Please note: With the pre-programmed DST feature, if you live in an area where Daylight Savings Time is not observed, the time display on your clock will read +/- one hour during the DST time period. ALSO note that this clock does NOT know about the change enacted in 2007 that changed when daylight savings time begins (at 2 AM on the second Sunday in March) and ends (at 2 AM on the first Sunday in November.) It still follows the "Uniform Time Act revision 1986" when daylight savings time began on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday of October. Since the old rules are burned into the logic of the clock, and since it resets itself every night, your clock will likely by 1 hour ahead or behind at certain times of the year. The US Congress has reserved the right to reverse the Energy Policy of 2005 (enacted in 2007) should the change prove unpopular or if the energy savings were not significant.
SETTING THE ALARM

* While in the normal time display mode, press [MODE] button to enter the alarm time mode, the letters "AL" will appear on the display.
* Hold the [SET] button for 2 seconds until the hour digit flashes, then release the [SET] button.
* Press the [ADJUST] button to set the desired hour.
* Press the [SET] button again. The minute digits will begin to flash.
* Press the [ADJUST] button to change minutes.
* Press the mode button once.
Note: If no buttons are pressed after 30 seconds, the clock will retrn to normal timekeeping mode.
* To activate the alarm, press the [ADJUST] button and the bell indicator will appear ( SPC364 Alarm Bell Icon ).
* Press the [ADJUST] button again to activate the snooze and the snooze indicator will appear (Zz).
* To deactivate the alarm and snooze, press the [ADJUST] button until both indicators disappear.
* Press the [MODE] button to exist the alarm setting mode.

SPC364 Alarm Mode

Note: When the snoose function is activated, the alarm will automatically snooze once every 4 minutes for a total of 4 times.
RADIO CONTROL FEATURE

Note: At any time you can press the [RECEIVE] button to make the clock seek the atomic radio signal and set itself automatically. The signal strength indicator will bink on the display as the clock seeks out the signal.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The NIST continuously broadcasts the time signal (WWVB, 60KHz) which can be received anywhere in the continental United States where long wave (AM) radio reception is possible. The signal can reach approximately 2,000 miles through the internal antenna in the Radio Controlled Clock. However, due to the nature of the Earth's atmosphere, reception is very limited during the daylight hours. The radio controlled clock will search for a signal every night when reception is best.

The WWVB radio station delivers its signal from the NIST Atomic Clock in Bolder, Colorado. When the WWVB tower icon on the clock flashes, this indicates that the clock is receiving the radio signals from the WWVB radio station. When the time code is received the WWVB tower icon turns on and the time of the selected time zone will be displayed. If only part of the WWVB tower icon turns on or the WWVB tower does not appear at all and the time is not yet set, please take note of the following.

* We recommend keeping the minimum distance of 8 feet from any interfering source like TV's or computer monitors.
* Within concrete rooms (basements, superstructures, office buildings), the received signal will be weakened. In extreme cases, the unit should be placed close to a window and/or point the clock face or back toward the Fort Collins, Colorado transmitter.
* During the night, the atmospheric disturbances are ususally less severe and reception is possible in most cases. A single daily reception is adequate to keep the accuracy within 1 second.
* If all else fails, (at night) insert the tip of a bent paperclip into the [RESET] hole in the back of the clock to press the internal reset button. Then press the [RECEIVE] button to make the clock seek the atomic radio signal and set itself automatically.

NOTE: It is recommended that for the first use of the clock, you set the clock manually and then allow the Radio Control signal to update the clock setting each day.
CARE OF YOUR CLOCK

* Replace the battery properly when necessary and store the clock without batteries when not in use. It is time to replace the batteries with the LCD display becomes dim.
* Clean your clock with a soft cloth or paper towel. Do not use corrosive cleaners or chemical solutions on the clock.
* Avoid putting the clock in a highly humid environment such as poolside or in a bathroom.
* Do not expose the clock to direct sunlight, extreme hot or cold temperatures.
44 comments|24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 11, 2005
I have read other reviews, but to the contrary, I now have 3 of them around various places in my home, ie. bathroom, desk & now the laundry room. They all were able to sync up with the appropriate time, however gettting out of daylight saving time, one did not shift the time zone. Which brought me to buy this 3rd one with instructions. Which said to change the zone you hit mode, set (change the zone), and then mode again. Pretty easy. Then I hit recieve and we're all good. It's nice to have accuracy if that's what you're into. Nice personal clock.
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on January 4, 2007
The alarm on this clock is a medium-soft beeping. It is not quite loud enough to wake a deep sleeper. If I'm on the end of a sleep cycle or ready to wake up, it's just barely enough to alert me. Also, the "light" function is grossly inadequate, so don't expect to check the time in the middle of the night without an additional light source. Only the far right edge of the clock face is illuminated by the tiny, tiny light.

It's nice not to be blasted out of bed in the morning, but don't count on the soft alarm if you're a habitual oversleeper. Also, it took a couple turns with the instructions to figure out how to make the alarm turn off after just one cycle of beeping. You EITHER get to have a snooze function OR have the alarm turn off immediately, but not both. You have to choose ahead of time what you want your morning experience to be like.

After knocking this little clock off my bedside table one night, I discovered that the alarm turns itself off after 60 seconds of beeping. Although I'm sure that feature was engineered to conserve battery power, it's also convenient if you're a little too lazy to jump out of bed first thing to fetch it off the floor.

This item takes one alkaline AA battery, which is good if you are subject to periodic power outages or brownouts, since there is no resetting required in those instances. AAs are also cheaper and easier to find than button batteries if your clock lives long enough to need a replacement.

My clock does not pick up the time-setting signal in northern Indiana. This is a big disappointment, because never having to set the time again was the main reason I picked out this alarm clock over the other ones in the store. Given the lack of the major advertised function and the non-intuitive layout for adjustments (keep those instructions!) I would probably not buy the same clock again.

Updated May 2010: Well, I may have to eat my words about not buying the same item again. This clock has proved to be surprisingly sturdy. It's been used and abused by several of my children, and still works perfectly. It's outlasted several similar makes and models. It's back by my bedside, and I've figured out how to make use of the atomic clock function, although it doesn't always pick up the signal here, which makes it not nearly as convenient as advertised.

I've had to refer to the product instructions on this page more often than not when reinserting a battery that was knocked out. I think it's consumed one AA battery in the three years its been in use (meaning it's on its second battery.) The black LCD display uses an absolute minimum of energy, which is a plus for me. I don't enjoy buying batteries or constantly fiddling with rechargables, which run down more quickly than alkalines when used in low-demand products like this.

Update February 2012: The little clock that could finally died, making its usable lifespan five years.
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on November 21, 2005
I actually found this page while searching for instructions for the two that I have. It's impossible to figure outhow to set almost anything without them. The "backlighting" is actually an incandescent bulb that is virtually useless. OTOH, the clock functionality seems to be fine.

Anyone know how to turn off DST?

I wouldn't purchase these again.
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on December 26, 2006
I attached images of the instructions above since it seems they're not available anywhere else on the web.
review image review image
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on July 23, 2005
I love the looks of the clock and it got the radio signal within 10 minutes but when it got dark and I pressed the backlight to see the time a tiny dim light came on in the right hand corner of the clock and about all you can see are the seconds. However, I still like it and will put up with straining to see the time at night.
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on November 7, 2006
Frustrated by not being able to get off DST, I decided to try pressing the "reset" hole on the back of the clock. My clock was not only displaying and keeping DST time after we fell back an hour, but the date and day were not in sync. By morning, everything was correctly set, and DST was gone!
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on December 3, 2007
I am an atomic clock "fan" and this purchase is the latest of several atomic clock purchases. I purchased four of this particular item..two for me and two for a son in Calif. This is a compact ..easy-to-use item and becauwe of its nature, does not require re-setting when one does much traveling across the country.
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on March 10, 2007
I was given this clock by someone who didn't want it any more. It definitely keeps accurate time. It looks good and doesn't take up much space in my office, where I have it on my desk near my computer monitor.

I don't ever use this clock as an alarm clock, so I can't comment on that particular feature.

I'd give this clock a rating of 4 or 5 except for the one problem that several people have commented on: This clock is without a doubt very difficult to set and adjust. Don't believe me? Can't see how anyone should have trouble setting a clock? Have a look at the reviews where the authors have written how to adjust some setting. Someone else posted images here at Amazon of the instructions that come with the clock. Search the web for keywords like [spc364 sharp clock adjust] and see how many people are trying to find out how to adjust some setting on this clock.

Believe me, when you have all these people trying to find out how to adjust one setting or another on a clock, this should tell you that the user interface design for this clock is poor.

(I happen to get periodic practice adjusting my clock's settings, since every few months my granddaughter plays with the clock by pressing all the buttons on the back ;^)
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