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Electronics USA Vintage Digital Clock Museum

Welcome! We are just starting this unique page. Stay tuned for more clocks to be added. NOTE: These clocks are not for sale.

Archerkit vintage clock with VFD display

vfd clock

ArcherKit Model 28-4040 (Japan)

Sold by Radio Shack as an electronic kit

Years produced: 1974 only

Original Price: $59.95

MM5314N clock chip

Availability rating: RARE

This is a really cool clock! It was sold by Radio Shack and offered only as an electronic kit. It was an interesting period in the history of digital clocks. LEDs were becoming more common, and Nixie displays were long gone by this time. But this ArcherKit clock used six individual Japanese manufactured DG-12H Vacuum Flourescent Display tubes to display hours, minutes, and seconds. These displays are beautiful to look at, especially in dim lighting.

Vintage digital clock kit Optoelectronics 850-4

 Optoelectronics clock kit

Optoelectronics Inc. Model 850-4 (USA)

Sold as an electronic kit via ads in electronics magazines

Estimated years produced: 1975 - 1977

Original Price: $23.50

MM5314N clock chip

FND-359 LED displays

Availability rating: RARE - see below

This is one of the first products produced by Optoelectonics Inc., a company that is well known today for RF test and measurement instruments. And it's a gem of a cool digital clock! They offered different kits for sale, but this was their "See The Works" model, a kit that caught the attention of many kit builders and electronics hobbyists in the mid 70's because it was really cool looking. The circuit board is mounted between two clear plexiglas panels. We rate it RARE because over time, the multiplexing transistors fail. This one was built in 1977, and four transistors failed over the years. So we really wonder how many of these are still ticking today. Sadly, I think many of them ended up as land fill.

ramsey clock

ramsey electronics digital clock

Ramsey Electronics Model DC-5 (USA)

Sold as an electronic kit via ads in electronics hobbyist magazines

Estimated years produced: 1975 - 1979

Original Price: $22.95

MM5314N clock chip

Availability rating: FINDABLE sometimes on the famous auction site.

I would venture to say this was the most popular low cost digital clock kit of the 1970's - iconic in this class of clocks. The beautiful aluminum machined case was a great selling point, and very difficult for the competition to beat! The case was available in gold, silver, bronze, black and blue (pictured). It was also lower in price than some of the comparable clock kits of this era. In my high school electronics class, in 1977, most of the kids bought this model. I was different because I built the above Optoelectronics 850-4, which I still think is cooler looking, but the DC-5 is certainly beautiful.

cei caringella ssc-1 clock

Caringella Electronics Model SSC-1 (USA)

Sold fully assembled or as an electronic kit

Estimated years produced: 1974 - ? Ours was made in 1974.

Original Price: Unknown. Anyone out there have a CEI catalog or info?

MM5314N clock chip

Availability rating: Rare

This beautiful six digit clock has a wooden case and is very well made. Like the above clocks, it also uses the 60 Hertz line frequency as its timebase for keeping time. CEI produced several other clocks, and a unique WWV shortwave time signal receiver! Great stuff. Stay tuned for more information on this clock, plus a video will be produced as well.

Data Time Venus Nixie Clock

Data Time Inc. "Venus" Nixie Clock (USA)

Sold fully assembled as a premium gift item

Estimated years produced: Early 1970's

Original Price: $150.00 ($918 in 2019 dollars!)

Not electronic. Electro-mechanical design uses a synchronous motor

Uses Philips ZM1005 nixie tube displays

Availability rating: Rare

This beautiful nixie clock was produced by Data Time Inc., a company that was based in Beaverton and Portland, Oregon, USA. Information on this company is scarce, with rare instances of their products showing up on the famous auction site. Our research shows they produced at least five different clock models: The Venus (featured here), Gemini, Jupiter, Libra, Orion, Pegasus, and the World Clock model, which is verified to also feature nixie tubes. The Venus keeps excellent time with its 60 Hertz synchronous motor. It runs quietly, with some pleasant ticking and clicking sounds. But the star of the show is when it changes time - a really cool "clunk" type sound eminates from its very nice and elegant mahogany wood and smoked acrylic plastic case. The Venus is an enjoyable clock.

Optoelectronics clock

Vintage Optoelectronics digital clock

Optoelectronics Model 5314-5 Clock Kit (USA)

Sold as an electronic kit, pictured with optional case

Estimated years produced: mid to late 1970's

Original Price: $19.95 plus $6.95 for the case

Uniquely shaped acrylic case which served as both the red bezel for the displays and a chassis for the clock. It's nicely designed, efficient, and effective.

MM5314N clock chip

FND-503 LED displays.

Availability rating: Rare

This clock kit was widely marketed in Ham Radio and electronics hobbyist magazines back in the mid to late 70's. It was their "Jumbo Digital Clock Kit" which featured the larger 0.50 inch FND-503 red LED displays compared to the 0.25 and 0.40 inch display kits which Optoelectronics also offered for sale. Unlike the 850-4 (featured above on this page) which had an external wall transformer, this clock has an internal transformer mounted in the case and is directly wired to 120 volts AC. It uses the 60 Hertz AC line frequency as its timebase.

Seth Thomas Model 869 "Solid State" (USA)

An electronic member of the famous and venerable Seth Thomas family of clocks

Estimated years produced: 1974. A 1975 price list actually skips the model 869, so we assume it was dropped that year.

Original Price: Unknown

A unique and somewhat mysterious clock design with faux wood plastic

MM5314N clock chip (speculation, read below...)

Planar gas discharge displays, two sizes

Availability rating: rare

Well, this vintage digital clock is quite a gem, and a VERY unique offering from Seth Thomas - the only digital clock, we believe, they ever made with a six digit display featuring hours, minutes, and seconds! It's also quite fragile and seemingly difficult, if not impossible, to open it to check out what makes it exactly tick. There are no screws anywhere, and it seems to have been glued together or something, as nothing appears to easily "snap" or "twist" away. Anyway, for now, we'll leave it alone. But we can ascertain that it very likely uses the ubiquitous, for its time period, National Semiconductor MM5314N clock chip. It has all the hallmarks of the good ol' 5314 - the Fast setting (hours advance, while minutes rapidly advance), Slow setting (minutes advance, while the seconds rapidly advance), and of course Hold, for stopping the seconds count. It also has the 5314's distinct "b" shape for the 6 digit, and q shape for the 9. Also, it functions very basically, as there is no alarm function on this clock, and it is permanently set for 12 hour format. Curiously there are "AM and PM" indicators on the display but they are not used. The MM5314N does not have the ability to display this at all. Yeah, I think we can guesstimate for now, there's a 5314 inside this unique and cool clock. We love it!!

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