Overview - Saddleback College is a community college located in Mission Viejo, Calif. It sits on 110 acres of rolling hills and serves more than 26,000 students. Its mission is to enrich students and the south Orange County community by providing a comprehensive array of high-quality courses and programs. It is the largest member of the South Orange County Community College District.
Challenge - Saddleback College relied on an old wired clock system that was installed years ago when the campus was one-third the size of what it is today. With the expanded acreage and additional buildings, the college did not have consistent or accurate synchronized time.
Without clocks that displayed the same, precise time, meetings and classes often started at varying times. Or participants would unknowingly arrive too late or too early. Saddleback College sought a synchronized timekeeping solution that would keep every clock in every building on the exact same time – down to the second.
Solution - The college examined four vendors and tested three different synchronized time systems. American Time was eventually chosen, and the school selected the American Time SiteSync IQ wireless clock system using CDMA (code division multiple access) to synchronize time. Saddleback also selected a 40-watt controller and a combination of hard-wired clocks and battery-operated clocks, all with the school’s logo displayed on the clocks for free. The funding for the clock system was a capital improvement and was included in the school’s building renovation plan.
With SiteSync IQ, Saddleback College has a synchronized timekeeping solution that can wirelessly synchronize and control any device with a signal circuit. The CDMA sync option allows SiteSync IQ to receive a time signal from a nearby cell phone tower. This makes it simple to program the system controller because there is no outside cable or wire installation needed. Saddleback College has guaranteed signal coverage with one transmitter, 100 percent FCC compliance without the hassle of extra paperwork, and pinpoint accuracy to NIST, the official world time.
“American Time’s system was by far the easiest to install and operate,” said Jerry Doolittle, lead electrician at Saddleback College. “We have a new science building going up, and it’s just so easy to add a clock. Plus, we don’t have to worry about signal strength with American Time.”
Doolittle went on to explain how easy it was decide on the American Time system. “One master clock takes care of it all, whereas other vendors required repeaters and more equipment to synchronize the whole campus. American Time’s demonstration showed how easy their system is to install and operate. Between that, the price and the service, there really was no competition.”
Results - Saddleback College has been particularly happy that the clocks have been maintenance-free. They now have approximately 450 American Time clocks across campus. Tamper brackets were ordered for most of the clocks, which allowed them to be installed more securely. The bracket is attached to the wall and the clock is attached to the bracket with a screw. Clocks cannot be removed from the wall without tools.
“We have one signal that feeds the entire campus, and our campus is very hilly. But we’ve never had an issue with anything. That really sets American Time apart from other providers,” said Doolittle. “And if we do have a minor question or problem, the team at American Time is all over it. They’re ready to help in an instant.”
Accurate clocks go unnoticed, but inaccurate clocks cause a lot of headaches and hassle. “No one notices the clocks anymore, and that’s a good thing,” explained Doolittle. “I hardly ever get calls about clocks, unless it’s been several years and one needs a battery change. They keep up with daylight saving timing changes and they free up a lot of our maintenance staff’s time. It’s one less system to worry about.”
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