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November 14, 2019

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Don't waste your money putting a 9V battery in digital alarm clocks: "Battery backup" doesn't


Long story short: I have four (4) electric digital alarm clocks — two upstairs, two downstairs.

When I do stuff like replace light switches, I have to go down to the basement to turn a succession of poorly labeled circuit breakers on and off to isolate the switch I'll be working on to make sure I don't electrocute myself.

It's tiring, going back up and down the stairs 5-10 times before I can begin work.

After my electrical adventure, as a rule each of the clocks is blinking on and off from the disconnect, which means I have to reset them.

That's irritating but not as irritating as it used to be, when I had inserted a 9V battery into the compartment in back or on the bottom to enable so-called "Battery backup."

What a crock.

Not once ever did a clock come back online with the correct time after I restored electrical power.

Instead, they were either blinking "12:00" or displayed the incorrect time, same as if there was no 9V battery in situ.

Reminds me of elevator buttons for "Door Open/Close" or crosswalk "Walk" buttons, which as a rule don't seem to do much — if anything.

What with a 9V Duracell battery costing $2 on Amazon, I'm thinking you'd be better off buying a couple Kit Kats.

November 14, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


In random order:

We had such a clock. Gave it away. Partly for the reason you stated: Backup didn’t.

When my digitally — semiliterate wife needs an alarm to set, she picks up her iPad and tells Siri to set the alarm. Mirabile dictu! It works!

I have a wind-up wall clock in the living room so I can tell what time it is at night simply by listening. It strikes the time on the hour and strikes once on the half hour. Sometimes (no pun intended) it can be a little annoying but mostly it gives me comfort. Only the 12:30-1 o’clock-1:30 striking is a little confusing. Of course.

P.S., We had our circuit breaker box replaced. When I went to map the wiring, there was no rationale to the layout at all. I welcome any suggestions.

We have always also had a Kitcat clock. Getting the tail to wag has been the only problem.

Posted by: Paul Tempke | Nov 16, 2019 2:16:19 PM

Hmmm. Mine work fine.

Two are the ubiquitous RCA RCD30, and one is a 20-something year old Sony.

No color-changing Hello Kitty, but, OK.

Posted by: Luke | Nov 16, 2019 9:08:12 AM

Scott, you are spot-on. Although it occurred to me, reading your comment, that wall-plug/on-the-grid clocks do offer one advantage battery-powered devices don't: knowledge that the power went out.

Posted by: bookofjoe | Nov 15, 2019 8:38:16 AM

Speaking as a resident of a power grid that blips off consistently, Skipping the wall plug entirely with battery *powered* alarms are the only way to go. Or you could just use your phone (also battery powered and synched with network time).

Posted by: Scott | Nov 15, 2019 8:25:30 AM

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