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15 hours ago, ricardopalamino said:

The Watch in the center of my pic is an Eco-Drive Sattelite controlled F-100 .

I never cease to be amazed at how much wrist technology these watches can run from such tiny amounts of power.

That you can obtain a micosecond accurate satellite time fix in a few seconds, and use that to adjust the watch,  using a solar panel that is only a few square centimeters in area, that charges a tiny "energy storage device"  requires some pretty smart electronics, especially when you consider that the original GPS receivers tended to look like this.


nasm2013-00529.jpg

Edited by AndyHull

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Let me lower the tone, and get back down to earth for a few seconds. My "watch of today" (now that the OCD pixies have calmed down about the Citizen 200 clone powered "Regency") is yet another Chinese 2650 based "17 jewels" number.

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This arrived with a couple of minor dings, and a heavily scratched crystal, but the real horror story only appeared when I removed its unbranded back cover. The controls ware all slammed over "hard to port" as it were, and the hairspring, as a result had some "interesting" characteristics.

RIMG0586.thumb.JPG.252638bc3b9f597ea60cc25556d02b50.JPGOnce cleaned, I set about making the HS coils concentric once more, and getting it back in beat, which took rather more effort than I care to think about. The value of the watch, relative to my time would have made this completely uneconomical, however as an exercise in patience and manual dexterity I think it was worth it. The beat error is still a little high at around 2.0 ms, and it seems to be almost impossible to get it to settle any lower than this but it now sits +4 to +20 or so s/day, which I can live with. 

RIMG0587.thumb.JPG.ee835423fa490fa9e150e8f05cac7f2c.JPG

The design has a very distinct whiff of "artificial Rolex oyster sauce" flavoring, and would probably look better on a brown leather band, or even a fau-lex styled steel one, however I just grabbed the black strap from the 2650S based "Winner" and popped it on that.  

Another basket case revived to join the 404 club.

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28 minutes ago, yankeedog said:

it takes a 24 cm strap? 

I think that first generation GPS receiver needs a strap of 24cm wide and five feet long.

That reminds me of the first "portable" computer I worked with.

p2000c.png

It was portable in the sense that that you could just about lift it by the carrying strap and you could sit on it on the train if you couldn't find a seat. :D

 

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QHere is another citizen I wear, have had it for twelve years, I take good care of my watches, as you can see, not the slightest scratch or excessive sign of wear.

 

IMG-20190402-WA0001.jpg

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Hi fellow watch fans, I am not normally into quartz watches, but this Casio has impressed me enough to admit I am smitten with it. Accurate, waterproof, (I have well tested it) nice looking, wears well on the wrist and cheap as chips ! £73.00 including jubelee bracelet, £53.00 on black rubber strap. IMG_20190402_183355.thumb.jpg.a2160c3541899f1100bed60a457ed14a.jpg

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23 minutes ago, Johnnie said:

Hi fellow watch fans, I am not normally into quartz watches, but this Casio has impressed me enough to admit I am smitten with it. Accurate, waterproof, (I have well tested it) nice looking, wears well on the wrist and cheap as chips ! £73.00 including jubelee bracelet, £53.00 on black rubber strap. IMG_20190402_183355.thumb.jpg.a2160c3541899f1100bed60a457ed14a.jpg

I agree with you totally. I have this same watch in both black and silver dials. I wear them regularly too.

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Hi TexasDon, you have this watch in silver ! Looked for it in silver but couldn't find one ! If available I will treat myself :biggrin: It's my new motto " be nice to me "  best wishes Texas, Johnnie

Edited by Johnnie
Spelling mistake

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Life expectancy of solar cells, declaired by swiss as fifteen years and twenty by Japs.

I figured solar cell powered watch faced down such that  light wont get to the cell, would spread out the useful life longer, soon this " Home grown  know-how" developed to, motor off with the watch face down, for couple months of storage,  so longer life can be expected of the watch. Sounded good, but I wondered if the rechargable battery/ capacitor would get damaged by irregulare chargeing.

It is incombant upon the members of this, not just friendly but top notch technical forum to come up with a valid recommendation for all.

Here is a picture of and old echo-drive, having retained near 100% photonic energy reception efficiency.

Regards 

 

IMG-20190402-WA0002.jpg

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15 hours ago, Johnnie said:

Hi TexasDon, you have this watch in silver ! Looked for it in silver but couldn't find one ! If available I will treat myself :biggrin: It's my new motto " be nice to me "  best wishes Texas, Johnnie

They aren't rare but they are a bit scarce. I've read that they were only sold for a brief period in the JDM. The silver dial was priced higher than the black and it didn't go over well. For some reason, Casio chose to drop the silver dial rather than distribute it elsewhere. My silver dial version is posted elsewhere in this thread but I'm happy to post it again. I got lucky and found it on evilbay only a few moments after it was posted with a BIN price. I didn't quibble, I just bought it. Literally, mine is the only one I've ever seen in person. Good luck with your quest.

I should mention that the 'apparent' scratch on the crystal at 10:00 is dog slobber. My Great Dane, Harley, has to sniff and lick my watch of the day. I failed to notice his drool prior to shooting the pic. In actuality, the crystal is perfect.

MDV106.JPG

Edited by TexasDon
clarity

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Well I'm no expert, but that won't stop me from chiming in, since I have taken an interest in failure rates of equipment (mainly because I was involved in computer repair and maintenance contracts for many years).

The solar panels in watches, calculators and other small electronic devices have a relatively cushy time of it compared to the photo voltaic panels that might be on a rooftop. The watch panel is similar technology so their lifespan could realistically be stated as probably longer than outdoor PV panels. There is some data about solar panel PV technology, and these panels typically do degrade over time, however we are talking around of the order of 1% per year or less, so that gives a slow decay, which never quite reaches zero.

Where that becomes a problem in a watch would be when the panel can no longer charge the battery, faster than the watch can discharge it, and that is not such an easy thing to estimate. The "battery" in some watches will die long before the panel does, simply because the technology in the battery is less robust.

If you look at the early Seiko Kinetics, you will see that their "energy storage device" - a super capacitor of sorts, rather than a battery, has become unreliable over time, and there are quite a few of these watches turning up on ebay for buttons, because the replacement is more costly than the watch is worth. Seiko changed their "energy storage device" technology to something more akin to a LiPo battery (Seiko will not call this a battery,  'cos this is a watch that will never need its "battery" changed). This newer style of energy cell is more reliable, but it too has a limited working life. You can replace the older supercapacitor in this generation of watch, with this newer technology, "not a battery, honest guvnor.." battery, and realistically expect the watch to last another 15 to 20 years, assuming it doesn't die of some other cause.

The estimates given by the watch manufacturers of 15 or 20 years for their solar watches, is therefore an estimate of the life of the watch, and that includes all of the failure points. Some will fail earlier, some later, but on average, they expect around 15 to 20 years of life. The mechanical life of such a watch is probably a similar time frame, so they will have factored that into their calculations.

Swatch for example according to my recent correspondence with them, only warranty their "not disposable, honest, they 'aint, but not repairable either" watches for 2 years. This is presumably because they have set a price point, such that the mean time between failures is sufficiently low that failures in the first couple of years will make an insignificant dent in their profits.
 

If they thought that the mtbf of their watches was way better than this, they would probably get their marketing team pushing a five, ten  or even fifteen year warranty, but realistically 2 years presumably gives a very small number of failures, but that number increases to a significant percentage in the 3rd and subsequent years. By the time you hit twenty years, perhaps more than half will have failed mechanically. Another large percentage will have died of mechanical abuse, been dropped in a fish pond, left on a bus, be sitting gathering dust in a drawer, or whatever, and thus wont cause the manufacturer any further headaches.

Getting back to the solar panels watches, these too will fail in similar manner, however solar panels also suffer from other aging factors. The material in the panel is a semi-conductor, exposed to daylight as well as other high energy particles. This will, over time degrade its properties. If you want to know more about specifically solar panel degradation, -> click here <-

The failure rate of watches, like most things, will probably follow a rough bell curve. Very few in the first few years, rising as we reach the average lifespan, then dropping back off as fewer and fewer watches remain in the data set, until it eventually trails off and the last remaining watches keep going for an "unexpectedly long" time, which is in fact exactly what we should expect.

So... should we wear the watch, and keep charging it, or leave it face down so as to not wear out the solar panel.

In my opinion, you should wear it and enjoy it. The "enjoyed" lifespan of a well looked after watch will be longer than one that sits in a drawer. However if you wish to keep it in pristine condition, then you should also maintain it at the regular service intervals the manufacturer requires, assuming that unlike Swatch, you can in fact actually maintain it in any meaningful sense.

The energy storage device will possibly suffer if deeply drained, and if the technology is similar to a lipo battery, (as is the case with the kinetics I referred to), as there is a risk in the drained state that copper dendrites will form and short out the cell. This will kill the watch by stopping it charging. There are other failure modes of these cells, and different lithium technologies, so this may not apply to all solar watches, but generally speaking most rechargeable battery technology works best  and last longest if not deeply discharged.

The solar panel on the other hand,  would most probably need to be exposed to direct sunlight for much more than 20 years before its capacity to charge the battery faster than the  watch can discharge it would be significantly impacted.  The 1% energy loss per-anum compounded over 30 rather than 20 years, would leave the panel at 73.97% of its original capacity, which I suspect is plenty. If it originally needed a couple of hours in the sunshine each day to charge the battery, then after 30 years, it would need about  two and three quarters.

In summary.. don't worry too much about wearing the panel out, or wearing the "not a battery" out, just wear the watch outside and enjoy it. :D

Edited by AndyHull

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Living in Scotland, as I do, the chance of my ever wearing out a solar panel watch's solar panel is pretty slim.

However since today is a typical wet and windy spring day, I thought I'd treat myself to a little bit of "Indian sunburst time" in the form of this vintage HMT Chethan.

RIMG0600.thumb.JPG.4febd01bec71f7e53c425302b4efac39.JPG

I repaired this about a month back, but it has only just made it on to my wrist. As you might have gathered I have a bit of a soft spot for HMTs.

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Thank you AndyHull for the solar life span post.  I've often wondered about exactly that, and your post was informative and much enjoyed.  I have a simple three-hander Oceanus (Casio) which I really like.  It's solar and "atomic" and so one of the watches I use to set others.  I also just bonded with it, and wear it pretty often. That said, I'd wondered about the best course of action re long term life.  I live in the Atlanta, Georgia USA area and so get PLENTY of bright sunshine, even in winter (the un-Scotland :)). 

The watch, and my other solars, all live on a windowsill on a eastern exposure. This side of the house gets filtered indirect light due to the tree cover. I was trying to avoid heating up of the watch too much on an August day. Moderation is best in most things.... 

Anyhow - thanks!

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55 minutes ago, BigSapphire said:

Thank you AndyHull for the solar life span post.  I've often wondered about exactly that, and your post was informative and much enjoyed.  I have a simple three-hander Oceanus (Casio) which I really like.  It's solar and "atomic" and so one of the watches I use to set others.  I also just bonded with it, and wear it pretty often. That said, I'd wondered about the best course of action re long term life.  I live in the Atlanta, Georgia USA area and so get PLENTY of bright sunshine, even in winter (the un-Scotland :)). 

The watch, and my other solars, all live on a windowsill on a eastern exposure. This side of the house gets filtered indirect light due to the tree cover. I was trying to avoid heating up of the watch too much on an August day. Moderation is best in most things.... 

Anyhow - thanks!

I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I suspect that in you location, even of the watches were simply sitting in a glass cabinet in the middle of the room, and not in direct sunlight, they would probably still easily manage to charge the battery. I have a little "Solar 2000" which I left sitting on the desk under a 6W LED table lamp, and it went from dead to running, overnight, so I don't think they need much energy.

I guess it would be possible to figure out the minimum amount necessary to keep things ticking along, but that would of course vary depending on the exact make/model of the watch, the size of the battery and the output of the solar panel.

I believe most solar panels are more sensitive to the higher energy (UV) end of the light spectrum than the lower (IR) end, so perhaps all you need to do is keep them under a few bright blue or white  LEDs to charge them up. 

If you are living beyond the arctic circle and only see daylight for half of the year, or have moved in to a cave to escape the news of Brexit,  you easily could build yourself a solar "autowinder" from an LED torch. :D

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2 hours ago, AndyHull said:

I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I suspect that in you location, even of the watches were simply sitting in a glass cabinet in the middle of the room, and not in direct sunlight, they would probably still easily manage to charge the battery. I have a little "Solar 2000" which I left sitting on the desk under a 6W LED table lamp, and it went from dead to running, overnight, so I don't think they need much energy.

I guess it would be possible to figure out the minimum amount necessary to keep things ticking along, but that would of course vary depending on the exact make/model of the watch, the size of the battery and the output of the solar panel.

I believe most solar panels are more sensitive to the higher energy (UV) end of the light spectrum than the lower (IR) end, so perhaps all you need to do is keep them under a few bright blue or white  LEDs to charge them up. 

If you are living beyond the arctic circle and only see daylight for half of the year, or have moved in to a cave to escape the news of Brexit,  you easily could build yourself a solar "autowinder" from an LED torch. :D

One already exists Andy if you happen to have an electrical outlet in that cave.

https://www.amazon.com/CoolFire-Charger-compatible-watches-TC-1046/dp/B00ZOWJI7A

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1 hour ago, TexasDon said:

One already exists Andy if you happen to have an electrical outlet in that cave.

https://www.amazon.com/CoolFire-Charger-compatible-watches-TC-1046/dp/B00ZOWJI7A

At $28.00 US, shipped, it is a little pricey for what is essentially a cheap LED torch, but on the plus side, it runs off a USB port, and every Brexit proof cave is bound to have built in USB. :P

I guess if your cave is not USB equipped, you could always go for the HMT Chetham option. I'm sure the action of shivering in front of the candle in the back of your cave would be enough to keep it ticking away.

Edited by AndyHull

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Bought it used, have had if for nearly twnety five years, says Louis Russel on the dial, houses a good grade genuine swiss eta2836 variant, the case is satin finished, water has never got inside. Keeps 34 hr power reserve, all original  parts. 

Probably retailed for less than a Rado or Fortis of the same grade.

IMG-20190402-WA0006.jpg

IMG-20190402-WA0004.jpg

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18 hours ago, AndyHull said:


I believe most solar panels are more sensitive to the higher energy (UV) end of the light spectrum than the lower (IR) end, so perhaps all you need to do is keep them under a few bright blue or white  LEDs to charge them up. 

 

Your run of the mill solar cell has a a threshold wavelength (energy per photon),  A photon above that wavelength will release an electron and a photon below that won't.  If you shine shorter wavelength on the cell you get no extra electric power, that extra energy dissipates as heat.

You might be able to make multiple layer (and multiple threshold) cells, but that would cost and you would be dealing with multiple voltages.  I don't see that happening in a watch,

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30 minutes ago, Doninvt said:

 

Your run of the mill solar cell has a a threshold wavelength (energy per photon),  A photon above that wavelength will release an electron and a photon below that won't.  If you shine shorter wavelength on the cell you get no extra electric power, that extra energy dissipates as heat.

You might be able to make multiple layer (and multiple threshold) cells, but that would cost and you would be dealing with multiple voltages.  I don't see that happening in a watch,

Hi,  So am I gathering right that, crystaline structure of the photo cell deformed by the heat is how photo cells get destroyed? Therefore if the light deployed supplies no or little excess energy to be converted to heat, we get longer life out of the cell? 

Or intermolleculare bonds in the crystal alters too, due to uncalled for, ionization for instance.

Second question, Didn,t you make the same mistake as marconi ? Shorter wavelength carry more energy in EM field.:P

And if the photonic energy exceed the threshold enough to energize two or multiple electrons, would it? Since the extra energy no matter how little, goes to forming a new photon, photons pop into existance don,t they? 

Electron Physics, electronics, metallurgical....? Your decipline please.

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Today's offering is my Orient watch, runs perfectly,,,, but needs a new crystal as this one is cracked and burnt ! Done before my ownership. Any suggestions where I can got one would be appreciated.

IMG_20190403_144047.jpg

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