With Daylight Saving Time just around the corner, many folks have asked us how to “Fall Back” with regards to their scheduling. I wanted to share a few techniques related to scheduling and setting the system time.
The first point of note is that the DAD clock is based upon the system time displayed on the Windows clock. This can be changed in Windows, can be offset in DAD, or synchronized with a time server by using a third-party time synchronizing application.
In Windows, there is an option to automatically adjust the clock for Daylight Saving Time. To ensure you have your Windows clock setup to adjust (or not adjust for certain regions), right click on the Windows clock and select Adjust Date/Time. In the window that pops up, click Change Time Zone and look for the check box to indicate whether or not the system clock will adjust itself automatically.
If you wish to synchronize workstation system clocks across the DAD network, there are two batch files in C:DADProgs which will allow you to do this very easily. Running NTPclient on any client machine will indicate the workstation should synchronize its clock to the server, on which you should run the reciprocal, NTPserver file. Then use the internal IP address of the server as the internet time server under the Internet Time tab in the Windows clock. This helps to ensure the clocks on all workstations are in sync with each other.
Finally, if your station takes GPI triggers to denote a certain time of day, you may want to consider using the SYNC DCL. The DCL could be executed from a contact closure and would synchronize the system and DAD time of that workstation to the predefined time. A threshold can even be set to ignore erroneous closures.
You should also be aware of what is necessary from a music scheduling standpoint. Because every music scheduling application is built differently, you should speak with your music scheduling provider to ensure your DST transition will be a smooth one.
If you are using branch events to denote top-of-hours, you may consider changing the 01:00 branch to a Forward Only branch and scheduling 2 hours of content for the 01:00 hour. This will allow clocks to “Fall Back” one hour without repeating the 01:00 hour content. The reason the 01:00 should be changed is that the clock reverts from 01:59 to 01:00 to add the additional hour.
To learn how to best manage time synchronization for your station, or for help scheduling the time change in Ensemble, contact ENCO Systems Technical Support at (248) 827-4440 option 2.