10 Best wireless AM of 2020

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wireless clock advisor

wireless-controlled watches are characterized primarily by the fact that they reproduce the time very precisely. In this guide, the functioning and history of the relatively young watch genre are highlighted.

This is how a radio clock works

For the accuracy of a radio clock, the perfect interaction between the time signal transmitter and the straight receiver is responsible. The DCF77 in Mainflingen near Frankfurt am Main acts as a time signal transmitter for the Central European region. The straight-ahead receiver is located directly in the respective radio clock and forms the heart of the time indicator.

The time information corresponding to the (legally stipulated) time in Germany is transmitted by the time signal transmitter constantly on long wave 77.5 KHZ. Once a day, the ferrite rod antenna installed inside the radio clock receives the same time signal. This usually happens between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning.

As a result, the ferrite rod antenna, which is approximately the size of a mignon battery cell, passes the received time signal to the microcomputer (microchip) of the radio-controlled clock. This computer has the task to control the stepper motor of the movement continuously and to correct the time after the arrival of the signal to +/- 0 seconds deviation from the time signal transmitter.

As a result, the clock error of the radio-controlled clock is compensated regularly – by matching the time with the radio-transmitted signal. The progress of the hands on the dial is controlled by the microcomputer stepper motor.

Important: radio Controlledare always quartz watches (not available in mechanical form with automatic or manual wind) – but special versions with integrated circuits (ICs). The latter regulate the described functionality of the radio clock. If the human carrier now and then moves outside the radio signal, the time indicator continues to operate as a conventional quartz watch.

Note: Around the globeThere are now many time signal transmitter, which works similar to the settled in Mainflingen DCF77. Here is a selection:

– MSF (England)
– Sender Allouis (France)
– JJY (Japan)
– WWVB (USA)

Usually, different codes and carrier frequencies are used (for example, the IRIG timecode in the USA). Very modern radio clocks are equipped with the technical ability to receive and evaluate time signals from different time signal transmitters.

The most important historical milestones

In 1967, Wolfgang Hilbert applied for a patent for the digitally coded time transmission for radio clocks. Half a decade later, the German engineer and professor of electrical engineering developed the first prototypes. Along with this, he also created the essential components of the outstanding watch type.

In 1973, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig first emitted cesium clock time signals via the DCF77 transmitter. From then on, clocks with an adequate receiver were able to adjust themselves with high precision to the current time.

In the 1970s, radio clocks were made only in small numbers for the (semi) professional use. The first IC appeared in 1986 – manufactured by the former company Telefunken, for which Wolfgang Hilbert once worked.

This integrated circuit and its improved successors formed the basis for the production of mass-market radio clocks. It was not until 1990, a wristwatch IC was presented – and then released with her the world’s first radio clock for the wrist.

At the beginning, radio-controlled wristwatches housed amorphous-band antennas in their leather straps. This caused occasional contact problems in the transition area from the bracelet to the watch case. To solve the problem miniature ferrite rod antennas were soon installed in the housing of the radio clocks.

wireless clocks as a rarity

Although they are extremely accurate, radio-controlled watches are (still) a rarity on the international watch market. Only a fraction of the manufacturers of modern wristwatches create versions of the genre. This is probably because the combination of classic quartz watch and radio timepiece with ICs is quite complex. In addition, it should not be forgotten that the type of watch is comparatively young and probably therefore not the very big attention. So, if you’re interested in the timesheets, you’ll have to look around to discover models that suit your taste.

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*Last update on 2020-11-04 / Affiliate links(we get a commission when you buy on amazon) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API