Dictionary Series – Wired Master Clock System Lingo: A Reference Guide

Thinking about purchasing a wired master clock system but don’t know what questions to ask? When researching wired clocks, some of the terminology can be overwhelming to new users. Not fully understanding all the terms that are involved can leave you confused and keep you from asking the questions that truly help decide what kind of wired clock system is right for you. By getting to know the clock system terms below, Sapling hopes understanding the lingo of the industry will make choosing the appropriate wired clocks for your premises a breeze.

Master Clock: a system controller that acts as a main hub for all other wireless and/or wired clocks grouped within a system to correlate their time with and often offer additional capabilities

GPS Receiver: receiver of extremely precise time data distributed from Global Positioning System satellites that infer time based on the location of the receiver

Interfacing: when a different clock system(s) connects to the existing system to keep all of the times in sync with one another. Can also mean when an auxiliary system connects to the clock system to keep the times in sync

2-Wire Digital Communication: means of correction to wired clocks within a system that allows for both data and power to be sent on the same pair of wires

RS485 Communication: a communication protocol that distributes a digital signal to the clocks to keep them on time. Each slave clock is powered locally while a pair of wires for communication is daisy chained from clock to clock

Sync-Wire Communication: most popular means of correction of wired clocks within the U.S. involving pulses sent to individual slave clocks for correction every 12 hours

Automatic Protocol Detection: when the analog clocks in the system are capable of functioning with multiple correction standards in the event of retrofitting a new clock with an older system

Converter Box: acts as a power supply and an amplifier of a data signal so it can both power and synchronize wired clocks on a 2-Wire Digital Communication system

Daisy Chain: refers to a method of wiring where the data wire is ran from one clock to the next as they are added to a system, leaving each device dependent upon the working connection of the preceding clock

Transformer: takes a 220V (or 110V) power supply and steps it down to a 110V (or 24V) power supply in order to safely power devices, such as wired clocks

Local Power Supply: when a device is capable of using a power source that is within range of its location and eliminates the need for additional wiring during installation