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Discussion Starter #1
Most of us know about the analog clock's trick of stopping its display, by having the clock hands point straight up after a while. (Well, most of us who haven't substituted a compass, or Sport Chrono, or something else for the analog clock.) I've read a post or two in which someone theorized that this is done to save the small draw on the battery that the clock consumes; this seems like a reasonable theory to me (especially given the 6,000-mile-per-year battery warranty requirement, and some other ways that Porsche expresses concern vis-a-vis battery usage).

In any case, I think this is a cute feature, and I often show folks new to the car its trick of spinning the hands to the correct time, once you open a door, or the liftgate, and so forth. That is, as I mentioned, after the car has been unused for a while. The question that's been nagging at me for two years now -- and I'm sure that most of you were wondering this, as well -- is exactly what time interval constitutes "a while."

Spoiler alert: if you want to make a guess, do so now, without any more scrolling, because I reveal the answer below.

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Well, I finally got around to determining that idle interval, the one that results in the clock's hibernation.

This morning, I set my GoPro on a mission to watch the clock. Here's the setup:



And after uploading the video chunks to my Mac, combining them, and adding a timer, I knew the answer to that question.

After that determination, I opened and closed the car door again, started a stopwatch with the closing of the door, did other things, and then strolled back in the garage with about a minute to go, eyeing the clock from outside. And sure enough, at the appointed interval, to the second, the clock struck noon (so to speak) again. Thus, my work was repeatable.

(I cannot, however, guarantee that the Macan's software doesn't also, or instead, use some other mechanism in its decision-making. For instance, it's certainly theoretically possible that the software checks for a miniscule drop in battery voltage, and reaching that point then resets the clock. Thus, if some criterion other than a simple time interval is used, then I haven't provided the true answer, but I'll ignore that possibility for now -- you know, Occam's razor, and that sort of thing.)

Okay, here's the 38-second summary video (paste vimeo.com/361392735 if it doesn't work in-line):


Note that the door closure can be heard at about the 0:04 mark. And the clock does its trick at about the 26:15 mark. So, we have a clock time-to-hibernate, to the nearest second, of 26 minutes and 11 seconds.

I know I can sleep easier tonight, finally knowing that information. You?
 

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God help me but I was fascinated with that video! Thanks!
Follow up investigation: How long does it take until your PCM computer resets your drive time? :unsure:
 

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LOL
 

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Slightly off topic, but your video shows a rectangular panel on the top of the dash on the passenger side. I assume that's for an airbag. I've seen it on other pictures too. My 2018 S doesn't have that. Does anybody know why some have it and others don't? Could it be that it only appears on cars with the leather covered dash option?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Slightly off topic, but your video shows a rectangular panel on the top of the dash on the passenger side. I assume that's for an airbag. I've seen it on other pictures too. My 2018 S doesn't have that. Does anybody know why some have it and others don't? Could it be that it only appears on cars with the leather covered dash option?
Hey, as the thread starter here, I admit that the whole thread is kind of off topic, so no worries.

I don't have the answer to your question, but in case you or other folks would like a clearer picture of what you're referring to, I just went out and snapped a still photograph:



Yep, it has "AIRBAG" embossed in the leather, which in our case (2018 S) is the option "VN, Leather Interior in Saddle Brown, $3,630" (and which, in our opinion, while we're on the subject, is an option that very nicely compliments the Mahogany Metallic outside paint, but I digress even more than you did).
 

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based on what I'd seen from sitting in the car waiting for someone, and seeing the clock do it's thing, my guess for what time interval constitutes "a while" was 30 minutes. pretty close!
 

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OP, I'm nominating you for an Ig Noble Award. Thank you for your service.
 

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LOL, I have always wondered about this. Glad we now have proof what actually happens with the clock.

Well done! :golf clap meme inserted here:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay, since I've gotten a fair number of replies now, surely one (or more) of you will be duplicating my work, right? I mean, that's how supposed discoveries in the sciences are given credibility: some other university, lab, particle-accelerator group, etc., duplicates an experiment and gets the same result.

All you have to do is:
  • Open the stopwatch app on your smartphone.
  • Close the door with one hand, and as it thunks press the stopwatch's start button with the other.
  • Come back to the vicinity of the car in c. 26 minutes, don't touch the car, peer in, and hit the stopwatch's stop button in 11 seconds, as the clock's hands reposition themselves.
I've done this verification twice now, but I'm not a disinterested observer. It's much easier knowing what to expect; I mean, you don't have to stand there staring -- instead, you could be reading or writing forum posts for most of that time, and just wander back to the car when the time's almost up.

Anyone?
 

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Great sleuthing, and love the setup! I have been lying awake for weeks wondering about this. Now I can lay awake wondering about something completely different 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Great sleuthing, and love the setup! I have been lying awake for weeks wondering about this. Now I can lay awake wondering about something completely different 🤣
Thanks for the compliments. It was very easy to slide the video-playback progress bar on my Mac, after the upload, to zero in on the movement of the clock hands. (And then I just added a timer to the video, and made a shortened version.)

BTW, I had a loaner for a few days last week. This was a model year 2019 Base Macan, and naturally I performed the same test on it (to compare it with my MY '18 S), after parking it in my garage when I got home. But armed with prior knowledge, and assuming, for now, that nothing had changed, I didn't need a video camera.

I closed the door with one hand and started my phone's stopwatch app with the other. I did other things around the house, and wandered back in the garage as the phone's timer neared 26 minutes. And peered through the car's window for a bit. I clicked the phone just as the hands started to sweep up to "noon." And then I took a screenshot, cuz "pics or it didn't happen":

2020-05-14_14-13-43.PNG
 

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Anecdote on a '15 S - I was sitting in the grocery store parking lot this morning waiting for senior hour to end. I turned the motor off at around 7:56 or so, but left accessories running. I don't know how long exactly it was, but the clock reset to 12:00 before I got out of the car at 8:00 to head in.

Perhaps it's a combo of timer and battery voltage?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Anecdote on a '15 S - I was sitting in the grocery store parking lot this morning waiting for senior hour to end. I turned the motor off at around 7:56 or so, but left accessories running. I don't know how long exactly it was, but the clock reset to 12:00 before I got out of the car at 8:00 to head in.

Perhaps it's a combo of timer and battery voltage?
That's worthy of further investigation!
 
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