How do all your clocks set themselves for Daylight Saving Time?

Spoiler alert: it’s GPS. You know all those self-setting clocks in your weather stations and cell phones? They’re the reason that you don’t have to run around like (as much of) a crazy person on days like today. Hooray for the gadgets that set their own clocks… I wish they all did.

The magic of self-setting clocks comes from GPS. As we discussed in an earlier article, GPS satellites use clock signals and simple math to help you know where you are. A self-setting clock listens for a signal from one of those GPS satellites and then just sets the clock using that signal. It’s brilliantly simple, isn’t it?

Now if only my microwave, oven, 2 older clocks, 2 cars, sprinkler timer, wristwatch, etc… had that technology.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.