FAQ

Installation of the PC-Tool

How do I correctly install the PC-Tool?

The PC-Tool for setting up and managing the sounds of your myBIRDy is found on the SD-Card included in delivery, or in the Menu “Service”.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Windows 7
Run the datafile „myBIRDy_V3.xx.xx.exe“ to start up the installation process.Choose the option „Next“ in the Setup Window to start the installation.
Choose the desired installation location on your computer and enter the name that will be shown in the myBIRDy program menu.
To proceed, choose “Next” in the Setup Window.
Choose „Install“ to start the actual installation of the software.

After successful installation of the software, you will find your myBIRDy-Tool in the Windows Start Menu of your computer, under the name that you entered during the installation process. The Standard Name is „myBIRDy Music Selector“.

Now you can start setting up the sounds for your myBIRDy Clock. On the SD-Card you will find a file “Mybirdy Demo Songs” as well as extra Soundmaterial for you to try out. You can also find and use countless sounds in the internet, for instance at www.freesound.org.

You will find detailed instructions for setting up your own individual sounds on the SD-Card in our detailed instructions on the SD-Card, starting with Chapter 5.3.

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You will also find a short Video Tutorial on the SD-Card that is delivered with your myBIRDy. This tutorial will help you with the fast and easy activation of your myBIRDy, as well as explaining the complete PC-Tool for programming your sounds.

FAQ (Frequently asked questions and their answers)

The radio controlled clockwork doesn’t receive the time signal, although other clocks in the room do.

  • Check the batteries (Are the batteries installed in the correct electrical position?
  • Are the batteries strong enough? Try new batteries.)
  • Bring the radio clock out of the area of influence (distance > 1 m) of television,monitors, telephone, etc. and start it again (Insert the batteries again)
  • The surroundings of the clock cannot be completely made of metal. The more metal, the worse is the reception!


How far away can the distance of the radio signal be?

Dissemination of DCF77 signals in Europe: The field strength of the DCF77 signal normally achievable in 2000 km is sufficient for commercial DCF77 receivers.
The DCF77 signal radiated by the transmitting antenna reaches the receiver place in two ways: On the one hand, it propagates as ground wave along the Earth’s surface, on the other hand it reaches the receiver place as a sky wave after reflection on the ionospheric D-layer. In the case of straight propagation and one hop at the lower side of the ionosphere, maximum reach of the DCF77 sky wave is obtained when it leaves the transmitting place tangentially to the Earth’s surface and also incidents tangentially at the receiver place. Under these assumptions, the reach is approx. 1900 km during a day and approximately 2100 km at night. Receivers places at larger distances are reached by the DCF77 signal only after multiple reflections (e.g. two reflections at the D-layer, one reflection at the Earth’s surface) which are, however, associated with a strong decrease in the field strength. The map of Europe shown above illustrates the 2000 km circle around Mainflingen. Beyond this circle, reliable reception has been proved only in individual cases.

dcf77

In summary, the following properties result for ground wave and sky wave:

  • 1. The very stable ground wave has a large reach. Up to distances of a few hundred kilometres, its reception field strength is clearly larger than that of the sky wave. At distances below 500 km from the transmitter, field strengths of the ground wave above 1 mV/m can be expected.
  • 2. In the distance range between approx. 600 and 1100 km, ground and sky wave may occasionally be of equal size which may lead to mutual fading when both signals are out of phase. On the other hand, equal phase may also lead to a strong temporary increase in the field strength. Both phenomena are also observed in Braunschweig (d = 273 km). In this context it is important to know that this “beat” between ground and sky wave is a slow process (it takes a quarter of an hour and longer) and that there is thus sufficient time for a radio-controlled clock to take up the DCF77 time information.
  • 3. At distances of more than 1100 km, the ground wave fraction constantly decreases, and the sky wave, whose propagation at large distances is fairly constant especially during the day, prevails. At distances between 1100 and 2000 km, field strengths of the sky wave between a few hundred and approx. 100 µV/m are to be expected.


”The

  • Check the batteries (voltage? Change the batteries)


”The

  • Check batteries as explained in the first question.
  • Take the batteries out for at least 2 minutes and then put them back in.


The batteries were removed and inserted again but the clockwork doesn’t restart

  • After removing the batteries, wait for approx. 3 minutes. Then insert the batteries again.


Time Change (summer/winter) doesn’t function correctly.

  • See batteries as explained in the first question.
  • Check to see if the clock is receiving a signal.


myBIRDy doesn’t play any melodies or sounds

  • Check to see if the SD-Card is inserted correctly.
  • Check to see if the volume control could be turned to zero (all the way down in counterclockwise direction), and, if so, turn up the volume to the desired level.
  • Have you configured the sounds with your PC-Tool and synchronized your SD-Card with the PC-Tool?
  • Is an external speaker hooked up to the clock? In this case, the internal speaker is deactivated.
  • Push the Demo-Button (2) to see if your sounds and the cuckoo are played.
  • Synchronize the sounds/melodies once again onto your SD-Card following the instructions on the Video Tutorial that is on the SD-Card.
  • On removing the SD-Card from your PC, be careful that you disconnect the SD-Card by clicking with the right-mouse-click “Remove Hardware Safely”.


The myBIRDy doesn’t accept mp3 files.

  • Check to see if you have connected the external converter „Lame.exe“
    (Chapter 5.4 in the detailed instructions on the SD-Card)
  • Check to see if you have typed in the right path name for the external converter
  • Upon selecting a sound, you can choose between “mp3” and “wav”.
    Did you accidently choose “wav” as the data file type?

HOW IN THE WORLD DO I GET MY CLOCK RUNNING? Here’s how!

Introduction

  • Congratulations on the purchase of your new myBIRDy. The myBIRDy Cuckoo Clock combines tradition with innovation in a modern design and awesome colors.
    You can choose and set up your own sounds, creating your own personal Cuckoo Clock. Have a great time with your myBIRDy!


Functions and overview of the myBIRDy Features

In the following chapter, the functions of the myBIRDy will be described.
The myBIRDy plays the “Cuckoo” sound on every full hour, according to the number of the hour, and afterwards plays the sound/melody that is set up on your SD-Card for that hour. This sound/melody can be freely configured for each hour to play exactly what you want it to play. At the half-hour, the myBIRDy plays “Cuckoo” one time, just like a traditional cuckoo clock.

The sounds will be played from the SD-Card which you have configured ahead of time with the PC-Tool software program. All you need is a PC, a SD-Cardreader and your own sounds/songs. The PC-Tool can import any sound in “wav” format. With an extra program which you can download free from the internet, the PC-Tool can convert any “mp3” file to “wav” format.

You can find detailed instructions in Chapter 5.3 “PC-Tool” in the detailed instructions on the SD-Card. The length of the sounds can be between 5 and 30 seconds.
You will find 15 pre-installed demo sounds on the SD-Card, assigned to the hours 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. (08:00 – 22:00). You can exchange these sounds for your own sounds/melodies at any time using the PC-Tool (Chapter 5.3).

The default setting for the clock is the cuckoo on the hour and half-hour from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., and every hour an assigned sound/melody for each hour from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. after the cuckoo calls.

The default setting for the clock for the timeframe 11:00 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. (23:00 – 7:30) is no cuckoo call or sound/melody.


TIP


Using the PC-Tool, you can choose which hours the cuckoo calls, and which sounds/melodies are played (or not played) during all 24 hours of the day. (Chapter 5.5, illustration 1).

  • No checkmark on the hour: No cuckoo or sound/melody plays.
  • Checkmark on the hour but no sound selected under “Select”: the cuckoo calls at the hour and half-hour, but no sound/melody is played.
  • Checkmark on the hour and sound/melody assigned using “Select”: the cuckoo calls at the hour and half-hour, and on the hour after the cuckoo call, the sound/melody that you have assigned for that hour plays.

The standard default settings of the myBIRDy sounds/melodies can be reset at any time using the help of the PC-Tool.


Usage and Batteries

  • The clock is run by two alkaline batteries (D/LR20), which you insert in the clock after removing the back wall. Upon inserting the batteries, you will hear a “Welcome” sound, and the radio receiver will search for the radio signal with the local time. The alkaline battieries will allow for the clock to run for about one year. The operating endurance of the batteries depends on the number and length of the melodies. Operating with non-alkaline batteries, the operating endurance of the batteries will be much shorter. If the batteries are empty, there will be no cuckoo sounds and no melodies. In that case, you only hear a “beep” sound every half-hour and hour. This is the signal for you to insert new batteries into your myBIRDy. This clock is only designed for domestic use. The operating temperature may range from -5 to +55°C with a maximal air humidity of 95%.


Initialization of the DCF77 Radio-Controlled Clockwork

  • After inserting the batteries, the clock hands will move to 4:00, 8:00 or 12:00 o’clock, depending upon which position is the nearest from their starting point.

    After reaching one of these positions, the clock hands will stand still. The radio receiver will wait for the time signal. Once the signal is received, myBIRDy automatically sets the right time. This process takes a few minutes.

    If it is not possible for the clock to receive a radio signal within 10 minutes, the reception will be stopped and repeated after two (2) hours.