28 March 2021

TIDE CLOCK FAQ’S

What is a tide clock?

A tide clock is a visual representation of the state of the tide at a location set by you.

How does a tide clock work?

Our tide clocks use a mechanical device similar to a time clock, but the hand takes 12 hours and 25 minutes to go around once.This period of 12 hours and 25 minutes is the average time between successive tides in most of Ireland and many other places around the world.So the tide clock mechanism tracks the changing of the tides using this average value.

Sounds simple.How accurate are your tideclocks?

They are accurate enough to be useful. We’ve been using tide clocks for longer than we have been making them because we find they give us a good, fast indication of what’s happening at the beach.
If you think about it, you will have no problem understanding that the tides aren’t going to slavishly obey a 12hr 25 minute cycle every day.The timing is based on the average time between daily tides. The main force affecting the tides is gravitational, and this varies throughout a month as the moon and earth rotate and revolve.So there are going to be variations between your tide clock and what is actually happening at the location that you have set it for.

How big are these variations likely to be?

It is possible that these variations in certain areas could be as much as an hour and a half over the course of a month. If you set the tide clock using the most accurate method then you minimize the error.

I need mission critical tidal information.Can I use a tide clock for it?

Ha.No. If you need that level of information you need to contact the Marine Institute and use their predictive modelling.

I live in an area that has strong tidal flows, will your tide clock work there?

Places that have strong tidal flows or are in estuary areas may have more complex tidal patterns than normal.Checking tidal predictions for the area can give you some information-if you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact us.

I just put a new battery in my tide clock but the clock doesnt seem to work.What should I do?

The first thing to check is the battery.Is it in the correct way? Is it charged?
We have seen battery failures many, many times.Even a brand new pack can have batteries in it that have no power .If you have a multi meter you can check the battery voltage, otherwise please make sure that you try batteries from more than one pack.Ideally use a known working battery from some other device as a test.
If you are sure that the battery is charged but the hand doesn’t move at all, then contact us.

My tide clock was working fine but seems to be slow now, what should I do.

It sounds like the battery needs replacing, but it could also be that there has been a series of very large tidal variations occurring that has made the difference between successive tides larger than the average 12h 25mins.If the clock doesn’t come back to a more accurate state over the next few days, then replace the battery.

My tide clock hand is moving ok, but isn’t keeping accurate track of the tides.

The first thing to check is the speed at which the hand is rotating.If you look at the tide clock two days in a row at exactly the same time each day, on the second day the hand should be 50 minutes behind where it was on day 1.If this is the case, then the mechanism is ok.See the previous question for a possible explanation.If the clock continues to be very innacurate, please contact us.

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