Calculate hours elapsed from 2 times

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Milou on 25 Jul 2012
I have a cell array with two columns. It looks like the following:
thetime = ['9:30PM' , '12:30pm', '11:30am' ; '8:00am', '6-6:30am', '7:20am']
I want to find out how many hours have passed from items in column 1 to those in column 2 (same row).
Before subtracting starting time from ending time, I have tried to convert am/pm times to 24hour-time using:
hoursspent = datestr([thetime{:}],'HH:MM');
but this returns: Cannot convert input into specified date string. DATENUM failed.
I have also tried:
hoursspent = datenum([thetime{:}],'HH:MM');
but this returns a 1x1 cell with the number 7.3487e+05
What am I doing wrong? Any ideas as to what I can try instead?
Thank you so much for your time and help!

Answers (2)

Sumit Tandon
Sumit Tandon on 25 Jul 2012
Try using the DATEVEC command to find difference between two dates/times.
For example:
>> a = datevec('9:30 PM');
>> b = datevec('9:40 PM');
>> b-a
ans =
0 0 0 0 10 0
DATENUM converts date information to serial date format.
Milou on 25 Jul 2012
also, i just realized that your example above shows:
9:40pm - 9:30pm = 10.
I want a function that calculates the time elapsed between those times, ie. 12 hours.
Is there any way to do this?

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Star Strider
Star Strider on 25 Jul 2012
See the ‘etime’ function.
thetime = {'9:30PM' , '12:30pm', '11:30am' ; '8:00am', '6-6:30am', '7:20am'}'
time2 = datevec(thetime(1,:), 16)
Td_s = etime(time2(1,:),time2(2,:)) % Elapsed time in seconds
Td_h = Td_s/3600 % Elapsed time in hours
The ‘16’ is a predefined time format. See ‘Numeric Identifiers for Predefined Formats’ about half way down the ‘Date and Time Functions’ page:
Star Strider
Star Strider on 26 Jul 2012
After stopping GlobalSearch (after 18 hours without results) I ran the code I gave you with ‘6-6:30pm’ changed to ‘6:30pm’. After changing this line to guarantee a column vector:
Td_h(k1,:) = Td_s/3600;
got this output:
Td_h =
Since I cannot reproduce your error, I cannot help you figure out what is wrong with your code and why my code won't run in your application.

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