Radio Cronos - History and technical data - Clock radio

Radio Cronos - History and technical data - Clock radio

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What does the article present?

The Cronos radio receiver produced by Electronics Bucharest works in the range of medium and ultrashort waves. This device is equipped with an electrically driven clock mechanism. By means of a switch, the radio receiver can be switched on or off at a preset time.

This switching is done on the secondary of the mains transformer. For the reception of ultrashort waves, the device is provided with an antenna connected to the mains and with an external antenna.

Production of the Cronos radio receiver

The production of the Cronos radio receiver began in the year 1979, when the first model called 131.Cronos appeared, followed by 147d.Junior in 1980, and 168d.Browni made in 1983. The first variant was manufactured for the domestic market with reception on UM and FM East Band, and the other two for export with UM and FM West Band reception.

If we look closely at the design of the 3 variants presented below, we can see that the variant for the domestic market used a lower quality carcass wood with a superficial varnish, which leads more to a matte appearance than to a glossy one as opposed to the other two variants for export, where the wood texture and varnishing is more qualitative.

Presentation of model 131.Cronos (1979)

Presentation of model 147d.Junior (1980)

Presentation of model 168d.Browni (1983)

Clock with synchronous motor at 50Hz

It is noteworthy that the element of surprise that made this radio unique compared to the others at that time was the clock with synchronous motor at 50Hz, product imported from Japan.

Because the electrical network in Romania at that time was not able to maintain a constant frequency at 50Hz, this product did not have much notoriety among Romanian radio enthusiasts. Here we consider that there was a design mistake in the construction of this product, because we would not see why we chose a precision watch brought from Japan, controlled by an extremely simple frequency generator, which at room temperature variations of +/- 6C loses 30 seconds every 24 hours.

Because the clock often lagged behind, additional electronic adjustments were made by end customers., mostly amateur electronics. Thus, in order to synchronize the frequency with the seconds of the clock, generators piloted with tuning fork were built, these replacing the 50 Hz generator presented below:

For a better understanding of the functionality of this radio receiver we will also need electronic scheme presented below:

Another thing to note in the history of this radio is that due to the economic problems in Romania after 1983The "Electronics" plants completely reduced or stopped imports, so that the production of this radio would be stopped because the watch was imported from Japan. Later, using the same 'chassis' or the same housing, it would appear as the next option, Superson radio.

Next, for a much clearer view of this radio, we present detailed pictures from inside:



  1. The display of trains in Gara de Nord, at that time… I was very young when I watched the plaques that formed the numbers rumble. Then Cronus appeared and I opened it to see the mechanism. It was fascinating for that time.

  2. As an aspect, I understand that it had a different impact, being something new at that time. If we consider the electronic design for ordering the watch, I still think that the device was not made for Romania.

  3. I don't know what mine had, I was small then, but it was always behind me. It was rubbish like clockwork, but a pretty good radio.

  4. Exactly what I was thinking! It used the 50Hz (haha, only 50Hz was not) from the network, just like I said. A clock dump.

  5. It was not the clock that was the problem, but the frequency generator used. At variants of the ambient temperature of +/- 6C, it lost 30 seconds every 24 hours. The frequency generator was a Romanian concept and the clock (mechanism) was from Japan.

  6. I built a frequency generator for the clock motor. The assembly turned out quite large. A successful experience! I gave it to my brother.

  7. I had one bought, under warranty, which, in addition to the inaccuracy shown due to the network frequency, blocked its local oscillator. I took it to the service and they gave it to me as well. Too bad money !!

  8. Well, what else to say? The dissent of the clock radios against the communist regime, the communist riot, the security.
    If you had put this radio in an RFG socket, you would have found that it would have shown the time correctly. At its peak, Romania exports electricity to Western countries, leaving Romanian villages in the dark and in the hysteria of capitalist propaganda, the Voice of America (379m wavelength) and Free Europe, where we were told how hard we are in the communist regime.

    In Romania, the Cronos clock lagged behind. Proportionally, it shows the mentality of the people of the Mioritic lands and inversely proportional to the efficiency of the RSR industry.

    eh 'the "reaction of the inductor" of the generators, which with an increase of the debited power, decreases the speed of rotation of the rotor and therefore of the frequency. To see the villainy of the communist system: you set the CRONOS clock to wake you up at 2 AM to go by train to kiss the relics. You actually woke up at 3 and not only did you miss the train, but you also forgot about Arsenie Boca's Miracle Maker on the nightstand.

  9. The placard displays from the North Station panels (and Brasov I think) were made at ISAF, the Institute for Railway Studies and Automation. I did my high school internship there.

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