Operating instructions

Advice on out-of the box setup, floating advice and any other hints
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Operating instructions

Post by Tony »

Note for Relay+ clocks: The IN-8-2 nixies can be a little slow to start from cold compared to the IN-14 tubes, when it's first set up you may need to wait a while for 1-2 of the tubes to light. Apologies to the last few of our UK and EU customers that I've had to send you a US-pin power supply.

Setting up:

Connect the USB power supply to the GPS 'mouse' using the micro-USB cable and place it where it has an unobstructed view of the sky such as a windowsill, preferably in the same room as the clock will be used.
The GPS receiver is quite insensitive so it wil need a clear sky view until it sees a signal.
On powering up the red LED will light, after a short while once it detects satellite data it will start to flicker.
After 1-5 minutes the green LED should flash, indicating valid time packets are being received.
When it's first powered it will transmit one packet a second for about 2 minutes, after this it will only relay one every 3 minutes to comply with use of the unlicensed 433MHz band.
Watch the yellow LED on the power controller once set up, it should flash each time a packet is transmitted indicating it has been received and validated.
Depending on your home or office, it may work with up to 20-30M between the GPS mouse and power controller but start with it closer.

Connect the power controller to the base unit by plugging the USB connector on the end of the base unit cable into the USB socket next to the power socket on the back of the power controller box.


Make sure the short trailing wire antenna isn't tangled in the other wiring then connect the 'wall wart' cable to the power socket and plug into the mains supply.

On the base, you should see a green flash fron the right hand LED followed by red from the front and green again at the right.

On the power controller, the red (LED1) should light followed by the green (LED2) once the unit's processor has started.
After about 10 seconds the movement sensor will be functional and will activate the amber (LED4).
You'll notice the green LED flickering at times, this indicated data being sent to the base unit.
There is a yellow (LED3) next to the red LED, this indicated data received from either GPS or Bluetooth.

Hold the clock module above the base, about 1.5cm above the top and with its magnet in the centre of the base.
You should feel it being pushed and pulled as you move about the centre point.
When it is centred, slowly release it but be ready to catch it if it suddenly is pulled to one side.
The display will flash on and off a few times until the magnets have stabilised. It takes a little practice but is easy once you're used to it.
It would be a good idea to use a sheet of cushioning material such as foam, bubblewrap or cardboard to cover the base until you've had a bit of practice setting it up, to protect the top.
  • If it refuses to face in the right direction, turn the disc magnet in the 'Relay' base about a quarter of a turn and try again, adjusting it until it faces the right way. If it still isn't quite right, try a small disc magnet stuck to one of the bolt tops on the base unit, this should pull/push it a little more. The clock is behaving as a compass needle and this will depend on where it's set up and facing relative to magnetic north so needs to be adjusted whenever it's moved to a new location.

    If it refuses to float, pulling to one side with no resistance or attempt to 'grab' the magnet (you'll feel it as you move the floating section over the base) then you may consider the following.
    The levitation module at the centre of the base is supplied from the patent holders and we have no control over its design or manufacture. There's a flaw that the hall sensor connector plugs appear to move a little in transit and can fail to connect, possibly due to flux on the connector pins. Looking at the base from underneath, through the ventilation hole at the centre you'll see right at the edge 2 3-pin connectors. Using a wood or plastic stick, try gently pressing them back into place. This has only affected 2 bases that I know of up to now but is worth knowing for future reference.
DOs and DONTs:

DO NOT attempt to move the clock base while it's levitating, remove the floating module first.
DO NOT bump or push the floating module, the electromagnets will attempt to hold it in place but too much force will cause it to drop to one side.

There are 2 control methods, the first and simplest consists of a capacitive sensor button on the base, on the right of the centre front of the base top.

Touching this will cause the clock to beep, the frequency of the beep will increase in steps as it cycles through different options. These are
  • First beep - change to date - change to seconds
    Second beep - change 'profile'
    Third beep - toggle display off/triggered by movement sensor
    Fourth beep - Toggle 12/24 hour mode
    Fifth beep - Toggle DST hour on/off
There are 4 'profiles' numbered 0 to 3, each of these allows an individual combination of base LED colour, clock LED colour, display transition mode, alarm, display dim time etc. to be recalled with a single button.
For a technical list of everything saved in each profile have a look in 'Advanced operating instructions'.

Note that the DST correction is only applied to a time update, not the live hour register so won't take effect until a new GPS time packet is received. Don't worry if it takes a few minutes to show any change.

The second control method is via Bluetooth. Eventually there will be an 'App' to make these commands simpler but for now you can use a phone with a terminal app or PC terminal program plus Bluetooth 'dongle' to manage it.
Many users may prefer this as it gives much more control and will allow the clock to be integrated into your own software as a display device.