Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock

This will be a short one about this clock module I just received from Banggood – not much you can say about a radio clock module that isn’t in the spec above though I have changed my original reviwe having realised the clock is not entierly reliable here in Granada region of Spain.

I’ve been using clock modules like this for years, this one works off the “Rugby” Transmitter in the UK (these days the signal is transmitted from the Anthorn radio station in Cumbria and is more correctly referred to as the “MSF Radio Time Signal”). Why now? Well, my wife has been griping about the “ticking” noise in our normal battery powered wall clock you see here.

So what’s good and bad about this module and what are the circumstances? Good – it runs off a single AA battery and given my recent experiments with batteries elsewhere in the blog, I’ve used an Energiser Lithium Ultimate version – should last a long time -years.

Not quite so good are the minute and hours hands. Those in the original clock were slightly better than those supplied with the module and would not QUITE fit this unit – so I used the hands that came with the module (and the mounting bracket as “someone” lost the original). The mounting bracket is supposed to go to the centre of the clock before you mount it onto the face but I didn’t notice that until I’d installed the module and the hands – so – simple double-sided adhesive got the job.

Circumstances? We’re based in Southern Spain and there are lots of conversations about Rugby clocks working this far away from the transmitter in the UK. Well, I can tell you, it works but not entirely reliably. I simply set all 3 hands to 12 – ie the top of the clock face. All worked for a couple of days (Lithium AA batteries, known good) and then I got up in the morning to find the time was wrong by a couple of hours.

Shown here is the module attached to our original clock face, I just binned the original module.

This thing is utterly silent I have the clock mounted on an inner wall in a “cave home” in rural Southern Spain, an hour or so Northeast of Granada – so that answers that question – it works – it automatically set itself up.

That’s about all I can say – instructions are in English and generally not needed. Be wary however of location, these are basically intended for use in the UK in which case I’m sure they’ll be fine. Here in southen Spain however, at least, a couple of walls deep in our home, not 100% reliable. I’ll put the clock on the outer wall and report back.


7 thoughts on “Atomic Radio-Controlled Silent Clock

    1. I stand corrected – long time since I’ve been there. For those who want to know more, here’s even mo info…

      The MSF radio signal is a dedicated standard-frequency and time broadcast that provides an accurate and reliable source of UK civil time. It is available 24 hours a day across the whole of the UK and beyond. The signal operates on a frequency of 60 kHz and carries a time and date code that can be received and decoded by a wide range of readily-available radio-controlled clocks.

      The MSF signal is transmitted from Anthorn Radio Station in Cumbria by Babcock International, under contract to NPL. The signal covers the whole of the UK, and can also be received throughout most of northern and western Europe. It is monitored against the national time scale UTC(NPL) and corrected when necessary, ensuring that the transmitted time is always correct.

  1. It’s a conventional build (brick and breeze lock walls) but with reinforced concrete support pillars and floors – which are pretty good at blocking WiFi signals 😕 I’d have expected a cave house to be much better at blocking the signal.
    We’re on high ground, and I’ve even tried putting the clocks on the roof terrace for 24 hours, but no joy.
    The neighbour’s house is identical, and it seems that their clocks synchronise with the German system regardless of where they are within the house.
    I guess we’re just that bit too far south for the MSF signal.

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