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How to keep a solar watch powered in winter


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Hi all.

I joined this group a couple of weeks ago, but haven't been able to find an answer in the forum about charging my Seiko Astron 7X52, during our dark ... and often sunless UK winter. If there is and answer in the forum to my following question, then forgive me that I couldn't find it.

I somehow managed to 'put away' my  Seiko Astron in a drawer some 18 months ago and forgot about it until 3 weeks  ago. After checking it over and finding no charge (not surprisingly), I placed it on a front windowsill, facing the sun (of which there hasn't been a great deal where I live) in the morning and moving it to the back of the house in the afternoon to recharge it. It took 5 days before the watch was ticking along nicely and I was able to set to the correct time.

The question I would like to get an answer to, (apart from not hiding it away in a dark place again for so long) is, are there recommended LED light chargers to boost the Astron's energy storage, to get it going again, more quickly if the same happens again .... or just as a top up during the winter. Or is it not recommended at all to use such a device. I have seen several on websites, but would value opinions on this subject, from those, far more knowledgeable than me .

Regards ... Steve s21

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If you let the watch fully discharge in a drawer, it will take a good bit of time to get it back up to full charge again, as you've found out, but once it is, it should take very little regular exposure to daylight to keep it going at full charge.

I've found with my various solar watches that just the odd day on the windowsill once a month or so, keeps them going up to speed if I'm not wearing them, and I've never needed a special light source for the job. Perhaps a stint under a normal table lamp occasionally in winter if it's particularly dim, but that's about it. I find once charged they do take a long time without exposure of light of some sort to run down but take very little light to keep them up to speed when charged again ...

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1 hour ago, Steve s21 said:

Hi all.

I joined this group a couple of weeks ago, but haven't been able to find an answer in the forum about charging my Seiko Astron 7X52, during our dark ... and often sunless UK winter. If there is and answer in the forum to my following question, then forgive me that I couldn't find it.

I somehow managed to 'put away' my  Seiko Astron in a drawer some 18 months ago and forgot about it until 3 weeks  ago. After checking it over and finding no charge (not surprisingly), I placed it on a front windowsill, facing the sun (of which there hasn't been a great deal where I live) in the morning and moving it to the back of the house in the afternoon to recharge it. It took 5 days before the watch was ticking along nicely and I was able to set to the correct time.

The question I would like to get an answer to, (apart from not hiding it away in a dark place again for so long) is, are there recommended LED light chargers to boost the Astron's energy storage, to get it going again, more quickly if the same happens again .... or just as a top up during the winter. Or is it not recommended at all to use such a device. I have seen several on websites, but would value opinions on this subject, from those, far more knowledgeable than me .

Regards ... Steve s21

An LED light source, although bright, does not contain anything like as much light as the overcast sky.  I explain it this way.  A Bunsen burner flame is much hotter than a camp fire flame, but if you wanted to cook soup for 12 scouts, you would be waiting a long time using a Bunsen burner under 6 pints of soup.  Although the heat from the camp fire is lower grade, there is much more of it.  Same thing with the sun versus an LED.  But on scales of magnitude.

I have a Citizen GPS watch, which  has a very big battery, and goes to sleep in the dark.  I am guessing the Astron has a big battery too.  I keep mine in a dark place, but make sure they get a day or two of full sun every 3 to 6 months, and wear them now and again. And definitely if we have one of those bright sparkly days in January I line them up on the window ledge!

A GPS watch will take a long time to charge fully, and if flat it may try to run through time-setting activities with a big battery drain, as soon as it starts to see some charge, so you just have to keep piling in those rays!

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When not on my wrist I leave mine on a cheap Casio watch stand where it gets plenty light, not directly in front of a glass window where it is likely to get too hot. This has worked perfectly well for over five years without the need for any other forms of light source.

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1 minute ago, WRENCH said:

When not on my wrist I leave mine on a cheap Casio watch stand where it gets plenty light, not directly in front of a glass window where it is likely to get too hot.

I believe I did cook a Casio ana-digi solar watch, as it suffered some LCD bleed, so I do restrict their sunbathing on the cill to winter days, and in summer I have been known to put them in a plant pot so the leaves of the plant give a bit of intermittent shade.   But yes, they don't need full sun to stay charged.

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11 minutes ago, Jet Jetski said:

I believe I did cook a Casio ana-digi solar watch, as it suffered some LCD bleed, so I do restrict their sunbathing on the cill to winter days, and in summer I have been known to put them in a plant pot so the leaves of the plant give a bit of intermittent shade.   But yes, they don't need full sun to stay charged.

925b5db6b7b40645f9e2416106590cb0.png

Isn't annoying how this advert doesn't inform you that a "special light", suitable window, specific plant, will be required after purchasing this watch. What I find amazing is how the human race can immediately transform a simple consumer  item into something complex beyond comprehension. :laughing2dw:

I would imagine that this solar charging dilemma exists as a result of WIS types having too many watches. :hmmm9uh: 

Now, I'm off to finish developing the solar tracking motor I've got fitted to the washing "whirly" so I can hang my solar G Shock on it for charging purposes. Then I'll need to fabricate a canopy to protect it from the weather.

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4 hours ago, Steve s21 said:

Hi all.

I joined this group a couple of weeks ago, but haven't been able to find an answer in the forum about charging my Seiko Astron 7X52, during our dark ... and often sunless UK winter. If there is and answer in the forum to my following question, then forgive me that I couldn't find it.

I somehow managed to 'put away' my  Seiko Astron in a drawer some 18 months ago and forgot about it until 3 weeks  ago. After checking it over and finding no charge (not surprisingly), I placed it on a front windowsill, facing the sun (of which there hasn't been a great deal where I live) in the morning and moving it to the back of the house in the afternoon to recharge it. It took 5 days before the watch was ticking along nicely and I was able to set to the correct time.

The question I would like to get an answer to, (apart from not hiding it away in a dark place again for so long) is, are there recommended LED light chargers to boost the Astron's energy storage, to get it going again, more quickly if the same happens again .... or just as a top up during the winter. Or is it not recommended at all to use such a device. I have seen several on websites, but would value opinions on this subject, from those, far more knowledgeable than me .

Regards ... Steve s21

I posted this on another thread regarding GShock solar but it is also relevant to Seiko solar. As far as solar watch "chargers" I have read elsewhere they work fine. Other thing to look out for is a tired capacitor which will reduce the ability of the watch to hold charge. 

 

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My Casio has a state of charge indicator. When I first got it, it had obviously been lying in a store for ages and was totally flat. It took two days in direct sunlight to fully charge, and since then I've never seen the charge indicator read anything other than "Hi". The watch only gets worn for outdoor stuff, walking etc, and never had any special attention as to where it is left. So for anyone who is worried about "state of charge", perhaps getting something with a charge indicator would be a good idea. Do Seiko Solar have the two seconds jump low power indicator?

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When I recently fitted a new Varta  re-chargeable cell to my vintage (1977) Citizen Crystron solar watch

X6ijhNZ.jpg

it took two days under a circular fluorescent  bench light to get a solid charge into it.  That was a couple of weeks ago. I have been wearing it since then, rarely leaving the house and it has kept going perfectly since.

My other Citizen solar watch, bought as a working wreck about 5 or 6 years ago  for £15,

FekoMzi.jpg

hasn't missed a beat since I got it, despite rarely getting any direct sunlight, and has mostly just sat around on the bench, often covered up with 'things', though a new crystal has probably helped......

7ARWLlC.jpg

 

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Ambient natural light is better than any other source really for practical purposes so my Solar sits on the window sill all winter and has only a couple of times gone into the power saving mode .... photons bounce around quite easily so any thing close to a big-fish window will work.

 

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got a couple of solar G shocks in a glass lidded watch box  on an east facing window sill (in sunny Fife) - have a cloth over box in bright sunny weather and when i forget to remove it. neither  G shocks have never indicated below Full. 

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