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 Post subject: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #1 Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Well, me and my brother wish to start playing over the board more and more. and the issue is we are nearly taking 2-3 hours a game. as much as this is good and all. we do wish to play blitz games soon.

now i have looked at seperate clocks but cannot desern what would be the "best" to get.

I think my interpretation of best would be.

can play japanesse/ canadian overtime. WITHOUT manually adding time.
ether touchpad or buttons is fine...im leaning more to buttons though.

and one that "screams" in overtime. xD (not litterly but loud)

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #2 Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Citizen (the watch company) makes a Go clock called the Meijinsen. I got one last year, it is AWESOME.

I don't think you can order directly from them, but you can order from Kurokigoishi.

http://www.kurokigoishi.co.jp/english/onlineshop/kanren/index.html

Info from the manufacturer (Japanese only, but Google Translate is good
enough to decipher it):
http://www.tic-citizen.co.jp/meijinsen/index.html

When I ordered it, Mr. Kuroki sent me an English translation of the
instructions, which I typed up on Go Discussions and somebody else
thoughtfully copy/pasted into Sensei's Library:
http://senseis.xmp.net/?MeijinSenClock%2FInstructions

If one of you is much stronger than the other, it even supports a time-based handicap, by giving one player less time or faster byoyomi than the other.

One of my favorite features is that when you pause the clock it shows a picture of a cup of tea. That always tickles me for some reason. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #3 Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:42 pm 
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The two clocks I'm familiar with are the Excalibur Game Time II and the Chronos II. Both will do what you want. The Excalibur is much more affordable (that's the one I own) and the Chronos is much much cooler (that's the one I covet ;))

You can find them at many different game stores and outlets, I just grabbed Amazon links because they were handy.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #4 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:47 am 
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I would recommend to get one which supports Bonus time (sometimes called Fischer time). I see canadian and "japanese" byoyomi as workarounds for analogue clocks that are made superfluous by electronic clocks.

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 Post subject: Meijinsen vs. Excalibur II ?
Post #5 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:03 am 
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ethanb wrote:
Citizen (the watch company) makes a Go clock called the Meijinsen. I got one last year, it is AWESOME.
Hi Ethan, could you write a brief review of the Meijinsen? :)
Have you used the Excalibur II, and if yes, how does it compare with the Meijinsen?
What are some of the features you like about it? Anything you dislike?
How is the display? (hrs., mins., secs., byo-yomi periods, number of moves left for Canadian, etc. -- easy to read?)
Is it easy to set up? ... For example, how many presets are available?
For example, could you have Preset #1: 45 min + 5 x 1 min byo-yomi,
Preset #2: 60 min + 5 x 1 min
Preset #3: 45 min + 5 x 30 secs
Preset #4: Canadian 1 min + 20 moves/20 minutes,
Preset #5: Canadian 1 min + 10 moves/10 minutes, etc.?
How sturdy/durable are the buttons? (This may take a few years to find out...)
How are the different language "voice" announcements?
How configurable are the "voice" announcements?
Can it announce in decreasing time -- "30 seconds left", "20 seconds left", "10 seconds left"?
Can it announce in increasing time -- "10 seconds", "20 seconds", "30 seconds"?
Can it announce in individual seconds "10", "9", "8", ... etc.?
How does it announce out of time? (A light? A voice?)
Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Meijinsen vs. Excalibur II ?
Post #6 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:18 am 
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EdLee wrote:
ethanb wrote:
Citizen (the watch company) makes a Go clock called the Meijinsen. I got one last year, it is AWESOME.
Hi Ethan, could you write a brief review of the Meijinsen? :)
Have you used the Excalibur II, and if yes, how does it compare with the Meijinsen?
What are some of the features you like about it? Anything you dislike?
How is the display? (hrs., mins., secs., byo-yomi periods, number of moves left for Canadian, etc. -- easy to read?)
Is it easy to set up? ... For example, how many presets are available?
For example, could you have Preset #1: 45 min + 5 x 1 min byo-yomi,
Preset #2: 60 min + 5 x 1 min
Preset #3: 45 min + 5 x 30 secs
Preset #4: Canadian 1 min + 20 moves/20 minutes,
Preset #5: Canadian 1 min + 10 moves/10 minutes, etc.?
How sturdy/durable are the buttons? (This may take a few years to find out...)
How are the different language "voice" announcements?
How configurable are the "voice" announcements?
Can it announce in decreasing time -- "30 seconds left", "20 seconds left", "10 seconds left"?
Can it announce in increasing time -- "10 seconds", "20 seconds", "30 seconds"?
Can it announce in individual seconds "10", "9", "8", ... etc.?
How does it announce out of time? (A light? A voice?)
Thanks!


I haven't used the Excaliber II, but a big draw for me to the Meijinsen was the voice option (the Excaliber II is beep only, from what I understand.) With silent clocks I always miss my opponent's (or occasionally my) flag falling because I'm studying the board. Beeping is better, but you still are forced to pay more attention to the clock than I like (did that beep mean 1 minute left, overtime starting, or 10 seconds left?) Then once you look at the clock, there's always the tendency to stare at it and watch your last few seconds tick away in horrified awe. The Meijinsen does have both silent and beep options available for those who prefer it, but I think that voice counting is MUCH better.

There is seriously nothing I dislike about the clock (although it would be nice if the instruction book had an English section. Thanks again to Mr. Kuroki for sending me a translation of the Quick Start instructions.) - I think it is a shining example of its kind, and a model for others to follow.

The display is very large and quite easy to read even in sub-optimal light conditions.

It doesn't have presets, but it remembers the last time setting even if you turn it off, so you can save battery life between rounds during a tournament.

But it also doesn't really need them. The interface is so easy to work with that presets are unnecessary. The only way they could speed things up at all would be if you added individual buttons for each one, which would just clutter it up in my opinion.

My clock has seen only light use (despite having it for quite a while now, I only remembered to bring it to its first tournament last weekend - it gets occasional use in friendly games as well.) but the buttons seem very durable and show no signs of wear. The turn buttons are big hard targets on top of the clock that you can smack freely and quickly, which should be much less prone to wear and difficulty pressing than the ING clocks' smaller rubbery buttons, and also far superior to the tiny brass pins that get difficult to push in on heavily-used common chess clocks.

The different languages are all announced by clear and pleasant female voices - the English voice has a detectable British accent on some phrases, especially "Let's start the game" and "Pause."

The announcements are (as far as I know - there may be hidden functionality in the instruction manual that I can't read) not configurable with regard to when they start counting.

Announcements in English:
Canadian time; 6 minute main, 2 moves in 5 minute overtime

"Byoyomi begins" -- indicator light for player's turn changes from green to red
(beep) -- on period reset (I played 2 moves for each player to test that)
"One minute left"
"Thirty seconds"
"Twenty seconds"
"Ten seconds"
"Nine"
"Eight"
"Seven"
"Six"
"Five"
"Four"
"Three"
"Two"
"One"
"Zero - time is up." -- clock display for that player shows "End"

Japanese byoyomi; 60 seconds main, 3 periods of 15 seconds

"Byoyomi begins" -- Note: seconds count UP for Japanese byoyomi instead of down - unexpected if you haven't watched a televised pro match where they are in overtime.
"Ten seconds" -- five seconds left, since it is counting up to 15
"Lost time" -- on losing one byoyomi period
"Ten seconds"
"No more times left" -- on starting final byoyomi period
"Ten seconds"
"1"
"2"
"3"
"4"
"5"
"Time is up"

After time ends, when you press Cancel it resets to the same clock setting - ready for the next round.

For Harlequin, it does support Fischer time - the five modes available are:
1) Sudden Death
2) Japanese Byoyomi
3) Fischer Time
4) Canadian Overtime
5) Xiangqi/Shogi International Time


Last edited by ethanb on Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

This post by ethanb was liked by 3 people: Bonobo, EdLee, xed_over
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 Post subject: Re: Meijinsen vs. Excalibur II ?
Post #7 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:29 am 
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ethanb wrote:
But it also doesn't really need them. The interface is so easy to work with that presets are unnecessary.



I should expound on that.

The front of the clock has a "Jog Dial" - a dial which can be turned with your thumb easily and can also be pressed as a button. This is used to make selections when configuring.

So to set the time, you press the time button until the mode you want is selected, then turn the dial to get the right number of hours, press it in, turn to the right number of minutes, press it in, turn to the right number of something (depending on what overtime setting), press it, turn to the right number of the other variable, then press it and you're done.

It's easy to turn and nice and large so you can quickly go from 30 minutes to 1 minute - after setting it a couple of times, since it's just a few thumb movements, I find that presets are totally unnecessary. Especially since most common use is going to be at a tournament or club games, where you're not changing the setting between every opponent. Since the clock remembers the last setting, even if you turn it off...

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #8 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:45 am 
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This is only vaguely related to the original topic, but are there any programs that one could run on a (mini)laptop to function as a clock?

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Post #9 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:49 pm 
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tj86430 wrote:
This is only vaguely related to the original topic, but are there any programs that one could run on a (mini)laptop to function as a clock?

I remember seeing a posting on GoDiscussions somewhere about a software (browser applet) clock.

It would certainly be the cheapest available for personal, home and perhaps even small club use.

edit: see http://senseis.xmp.net/?Clocks

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Post #10 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:37 pm 
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tj86430 wrote:
This is only vaguely related to the original topic, but are there any programs that one could run on a (mini)laptop to function as a clock?


I'm not aware of any laptop programs that do this, but I do have an Ipod touch app that does it. It's called GameClock. When I got it the "full" program was only 99 cents.

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Post #11 Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:46 pm 
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thanks guys im going to look into this Meijinsen or a Excaliber. i think the voice on the Meijinsen is a awsome feature (reminds me of wbaduk)

and i used the online clock with him today it was a bit odd.... xD

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 Post subject: Re: Meijinsen vs. Excalibur II ?
Post #12 Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:41 am 
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ethanb wrote:
So to set the time, you press the time button until the mode you want is selected,
then turn the dial to get the right number of hours,
press it in, turn to the right number of minutes,...
Hi Ethan, thank you so much for taking the time to explain about the Meijinsen.
When you set the times for the 2 players, which way does it work:
1. You set all the time controls for player 1 first, then, everything for player 2; or
2. You set player 1's hours, then player 2's hours, then player 1's mins., then player 2's mins., etc. ? (I'm just curious. :))

Have you tried it with Canadian time control?
Does the voice announce seconds up or down in that case? :)
(I'm guessing the voice does not announce how many moves left you must play...
So in Canadian mode, does it display the number of required moves left?)
I have the Excalibur II, and it works OK, but it does have some obvious drawbacks,
some of which you already mentioned.

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Post #13 Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:42 am 
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EdLee wrote:
ethanb wrote:
So to set the time, you press the time button until the mode you want is selected,
then turn the dial to get the right number of hours,
press it in, turn to the right number of minutes,...
Hi Ethan, thank you so much for taking the time to explain about the Meijinsen.
When you set the times for the 2 players, which way does it work:
1. You set all the time controls for player 1 first, then, everything for player 2; or
2. You set player 1's hours, then player 2's hours, then player 1's mins., then player 2's mins., etc. ? (I'm just curious. :))

Have you tried it with Canadian time control?
Does the voice announce seconds up or down in that case? :)
(I'm guessing the voice does not announce how many moves left you must play...
So in Canadian mode, does it display the number of required moves left?)
I have the Excalibur II, and it works OK, but it does have some obvious drawbacks,
some of which you already mentioned.



Ordinarily you set the time once and it takes care of both players.

If you want to give both players different time settings it takes more button presses (which makes sense, it's optimized for what is by far the more usual case - both players using the same time control.)

Once you push the "Time" button to get into time setting mode, set the time control, (which will be for the right-hand player) and press "Change" instead of clicking the Jog Dial for the final time.
The voice says "Set left side monitor." The display shows a small unbalanced scale icon, the left-side green indicator is lit, and the time control you just set has the hours digit blinking and you are now modifying the time for the left-side player.

If you accidentally forgot you were setting right-side first, you can press the Change button again and it says "Set right-side monitor" and lights the right-side indicator. If you didn't mean to be setting different time controls in the first place, press it again and you hear "Set both monitors."

Another feature of the Change button that I discovered is if you pause an ongoing game and hold it down for 2 seconds, it swaps the remaining time of both players. Unusual feature, but definitely earns cool points. :)

My first test above is a Canadian time test - the seconds count down, and it does display the number of moves remaining, as smaller digits in the corner - it also displays the number of Byoyomi periods remaining in the same place. It does not announce how many moves remain in the Canadian period, but it does beep when the period resets (when you've played all your stones.)

Also, the language is set separately for each player, so one can get announcements in Chinese and the other in English (or beep, or silent) if they wish.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #14 Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:18 am 
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xed_over wrote:
tj86430 wrote:
This is only vaguely related to the original topic, but are there any programs that one could run on a (mini)laptop to function as a clock?

I remember seeing a posting on GoDiscussions somewhere about a software (browser applet) clock.

It would certainly be the cheapest available for personal, home and perhaps even small club use.

edit: see http://senseis.xmp.net/?Clocks


The first entry in senseis is pretty good for laptop use. From what I remember, you don't need it to be connected to the internet, as long as you save the whole page and allow javascript.

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 Post subject: Re: Meijinsen vs. Excalibur II ?
Post #15 Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:55 pm 
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ethanb wrote:
Another feature of the Change button that I discovered is if you pause an ongoing game and hold it down for 2 seconds, it swaps the remaining time of both players. Unusual feature, but definitely earns cool points. :)
Yes, indeed this is unusual, like the "swap sides" feature in many chess programs. Thanks again.

Someone, like Citizen or Kuroki, should post a Youtube demo clip of the Meijinsen in action.
The 10-minute limit should be plenty of room to demo all the cool features. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #16 Posted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:31 am 
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the DGT 2010. I think it's a great clock. It has Go settings including Japanese & Canadian Byoyomi. Personally, I also like the sleek asthetic but of course that's just my opinion. Also, the price is less than Chronos & Meijinsen.

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Post #17 Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:25 am 
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And what about a nice Ing clock xD

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a go clock >.<
Post #18 Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:52 am 
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LovroKlc wrote:
And what about a nice Ing clock xD

I'm not sure you can even buy Ing clocks anymore. Does anyone have a link for a store that does?

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Post #19 Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:23 pm 
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Redbeard wrote:
LovroKlc wrote:
And what about a nice Ing clock xD

I'm not sure you can even buy Ing clocks anymore. Does anyone have a link for a store that does?


I'm not sure you ever could - I think the only way to get them was to be a large organization promoting Go who pledged to use Ing rules for some high-profile tournaments, and they would ship you clocks and stones.

If I could have, I would have bought an Ing v1 clock several years ago (since voice countdown is a high-priority in features for me.) But then I wouldn't have bought a Meijinsen, which is (in my opinion) far superior to the Ing clocks.

It's a rare cloud without a silver lining, I suppose. :)

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Post #20 Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:21 am 
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You never buy Ing clocks. I am back from a tournament that used them, we wanted to use 1 minute byoyomi per player but winded up using 59 seconds cus 1 minute is too much for the clock :)

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