Radio Controlled Clock

A radio controlled clock offers many advantages over conventional clocks. They can keep perfect time without ever having to be adjusted. That’s right you never even have to adjust them for daylight savings time. This type of clock is found in all sorts of applications including wrist watches, wall, alarm and travel clocks.

How it clock works

Although some manufactures say their radio controlled clocks are atomic clocks this is not really true. An atomic clock is operated by a atomic oscillator, while a radio controlled clock has a small radio inside. The radio inside receives a signal from an atomic clock.

The signals received by most radio controlled clocks in America originate near Fort Collins, Colorado from the NIST radio station WWVB. The radio station broadcasts on 60KHZ frequency and the clock with its miniature radio inside is tuned to receive the signal.

The signal 60KHZ is located so far below most other radio signals that it is not interrupted by any other signals put out by radio or television. The signals from radio and television stations are generally transmitted at no lower then 530KHZ. The 60 KHZ can not carry voice or audio and only transmits a code. The code that is broadcast is a binary code or bits and are sent at a slow rate of one bit per second. It is so slow that it takes a full minute to generate a complete time code. This slow rate is why the first time you set it may take up to five full minutes to show the correct time.

Once the clock has received and decoded the code sent from the radio station it will then apply a time zone correction so that it shows local time. The radio station provides the time as Universal Time. When your clock is set and running for the first time it probably will not read the radio signal for at least 4 hours and more likely will only do so once a day. Instead it uses a quartz crystal oscillator to keep time.

Radio controlled clocks are very accurate time keepers that actually set themselves one or more times per day. They use a 60KHZ low frequency signal from a radio station to set themselves so they are always right even during daylight savings time.

Another type of radio controlled clock is radio controlled digital clock, to know more about it visit

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