My experience with the AVOS clock chips is that they last at least 5 years, usually much longer. I would guess that Leon County has at least 50% of their machines with the original clock chips (circa 1992).
The indication I used to determine that a chip was losing power was that the time would not stay relatively accurate between elections. If I was setting all of the clocks before an election, most would be within around 15 minutes of each other. The bad chips would be way out of sync, usually the time and date would be completely off. I do not remember ever going into diagnostic mode and not seeing the Set Time/Date option.
850 422-2100 - office/fax
850 322-3226 - cell
Does the Internal Clock Chip have a
If so, how long does it last,
and is there a way to check
how much power is left in the battery???
At the time the diagnostics were written, the clock chip was optional. Since I've not known of any one wanting a unit without that option, perhaps the non-existence of the clock chip data should be a flag to the AV-OS unit that the clock chip needs replacement. That could be written into a future version of the firmware. Submit it as an RCR if you'd like.
Also another feature of the clock chip that the oscillator bit can be turned off conserving the clock chip's battery power. A diagnostic routine could be written to command the clock chip to power down, say after the election is officially over and after the unit's main battery is charged up. You'd lose the time and date and have to set it the next time you turn the unit on, but usually elections require the time to be changed due to daylight savings. It would be more inconvenient to have to set the date during the same routine you'd normally just set the time forward or back an hour, but customers could make that decision for themselves. Currently, the clock chip battery is being run down while the unit is just sitting on the shelf between elections. This clock power down function could also be an RCR. Submit it if you find enough interest.
One of our customers is asking this
question, and I did not see it anywhere in the Accu-Vote Hardware Guide.