electronic gizmo notes
Review of G-Shock GW-4000D-1A (Casio 5087)
by T.J. Nelson
am an amateur astronomer, and needed a watch that was visible in the dark so I don't have to walk around in the dark carrying a big alarm clock. This watch is nice, but did not suit my needs. It is also very hard to figure out how to set the time, mainly because the manual is very badly written.
In spite of the terrible manual, I finally figured out how to set the time and created this page as a reminder. Hopefully it will help other owners as well. The first part of this document is a review. Part two is the Instructions.
It's a watch, so really the only relevant questions are: does it look nice? Is it easy to read the time? and Is it accurate? The answers are: yes, yes, and only if you can figure out how to set it.
The other question is: are the extra features, which include a UTC display, alarms, battery-free operation, a stopwatch mode, and automatic wireless time setting, worth the extra cost? After using this watch for a year, I would have to say no. But would I buy it again? Heck, yeah.
After wearing the GW-4000D for a few weeks, I feel I am ready for something bigger. Next week I will strap a refrigerator to my wrist. If that works, I'm ready for something really big, like a Dodge Camaro.
There are 4 buttons:
A B o C D
What makes this watch tricky is that the buttons do different things depending on the mode, and there's no indication of which mode you're in. For example: to get back to timekeeping mode at any time, press C for 2 seconds, unless you're in time setting mode, in which case pressing C would cause you to screw up the calendar, and you have to press A instead. If you're in time-setting mode, pressing and holding D sets the time, but if you're in normal mode pressing and holding D re-sets the hand positions, which can make the watch unusable.
A symptom of this is when the date changes at noon or some other random time instead of midnight. For example, if the date changes at noon, it means the hand positions are messed up, and you have to correct them manually so the upper left dial points to 24. (Page E-61 in the manual says 12, which is wrong.)
Another symptom of this is when it keeps time accurately until it picks up a radio signal.
To put watch in manual radio receive mode
Press and hold A for 2 seconds, then release A.
The second hand will spin around and point to Yes (= it received a radio signal before), or No (= it did not receive radio signal). Then it will move to R (= Ready to receive). If there is a radio signal, it will automatically move to W (= Working). If the signal is too noisy it jumps back to R and tries again. After several attempts it gives up and returns to timekeeping mode. It is very rare for it to ever receive a signal, but it probably depends on how noisy your electric wiring is. One solution is to put it inside a tuned loop antenna tuned to 60 kHz, which will strengthen the radio signal.
To set the time
Press+hold A, passing through Manual Radio Set mode to get to Time Zone mode. You must continue to press A for at least 6–8 seconds. The second hand will move to Y or N, then to R, then to a time zone and stop. Don't release A until it points to a time zone. You are now in Time Zone/DST mode. From here, you press C to cycle to the next mode or A at any time to escape.
You can cycle through the time-setting modes by repeatedly pressing C. The modes are:
Time Zone/DST → Hour/minute → Year tens → Year ones → Month → Day → Hour/minute.
1. Press and hold A for 6–8 seconds ⇒ Time Zone/DST Mode.
Press B to toggle between DST and standard time.
Press D to move second hand until it points to the correct time zone.
After you set the time zone, the hour and minute hands will move. If they are now correct, press A for 2 seconds to get back to timekeeping mode. (Example: NYC = New York City = Eastern Time Zone.)
2. Press C ⇒ hour-minute mode.
You are now in hour/minute time-setting mode. The second hand should point straight up. Press D until time is correct AND upper left dial points to the correct 24-hour location (left=PM, right=AM). If the second hand starts moving, it means you are not really setting the time but changing the time zone, and the watch will jump to some other time when you are finished.
3. Press C ⇒ Year–tens mode.
Pressing C again puts you in Year – tens mode. You can only go in one direction. Press D to set 1=2010, 2=2020, etc. If you go past 9 it jumps to 12 (=2000). (Example: the second hand pointing at the 5-minute position means it is between 2010 to 2019.)
4. Press C⇒ Year–ones mode.
Pressing C again puts you in Year – ones mode. Change the year by pushing D. The second hand points to the last digit of the year. You can only go in one direction. If you go past 9 it jumps to 12 (2010, 2020, etc.)(Example: the second hand pointing to 4 (the 20-minute position) means it is 2014.)
5. Press C ⇒ Month mode.
Pressing C again puts you in Month mode. The second hand points to the month. Change it with D. The months are 1=January, 2=February, etc.
6. Press C ⇒ Date.
Pressing C again puts you Date mode. The second hand moves to 12 and stops. Press C or D until the small number in the date window is correct. It moves very slowly and centers itself when you release the button.
This is the last mode, but pressing C again does NOT return you to timekeeping mode. It puts you back in Hour/minute mode. Press A for 2 seconds to escape.
There is no way to set the day of the week. It is calculated automatically from the above. Whatever you do, don't press and hold D unless you're in time-setting mode. If you do, it puts you in the Hand Positions Correction mode. If you change the time without realizing you're in this mode, weird things will happen.
I also had a Casio 1330. It looks OK, it's inexpensive, and it's somewhat accurate (about 1 minute per month) and it only weighs 19.03 grams. But it's junk. The first time I used it the knob fell out. This made it a lot harder to set the time.
Here's how to set DST in a Casio 5230 (G Shock AWG-M100B). First make sure the watch is not upside-down. Then, to set Daylight Savings time, press A for two seconds. Wait for the hands to move so that the dials become visible. Press C to enter DST setting mode. It will say "On" or "Off". Then press B to toggle it on or off, or else press D to cycle between on, off, and auto. (Auto is useless because it's such a pain setting the date.) Then press A to get back to timekeeping mode.
1. After you set the time manually, the watch will operate normally for a while, then the second hand jumps to R. This appears to mean it has decided to listen for a radio signal, and has picked one up. The minute hand will move to the correct time and it will start up again.
2. If second hand begins spinning around, it means one of three things:
(a). You somehow entered stopwatch mode. Press C for 2 seconds to return to normal mode.
(b). Charge is very low. Expose it to light.
(c). It is broken.
3. Second hand jumping two seconds at a time means the charge is very low. Expose it to light.
4. If it spontaneously goes into Stopwatch mode (as mine does at random times), press C for two seconds until it beeps.
That's what makes this watch so great. When other watches give the correct time, it's routine. When this one does it, it's like a miracle from God. And what could be better than carrying a miracle around on your wrist?
Nov 02 2014
8:30 pm 2:13 am 4:00 pm 9:30 pm;
updated Nov 21 Nov 18 Nov 20 Nov 19