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ELEKTRONIKA 5, B6-202K, 30350K, Russian LCD quartz pocket watch, instructions
I bought recently on ebay a Russian Elektronika 5 LCD pocket watch, a rare type of watch from the 1980s.
Surprisingly it was not possible to find proper English instructions. With the help of a friend who knows Russian I was able to put the following instructions together.
This digital LCD pocket watch was produced between 1977 and 1985. It takes two 1.5V button cell batteries. The watch is supposed to be used with AG10 batteries (AG10= V390= LR1130= SR1130= renata389). However my watch came with AG12 batteries (AG12= V386= LR43= renata301) and AG12 is 1.1mm higher than AG10 but has the same diameter. AG12 batteries bend the battery clip a bit further up but it works. The outer case diameter excluding stem is 41mm and the outer case height is 12mm. The watch weighs 57g with batteries. The watch crystal is actually mineral glass and not plastic. The watch has one button to change the display between showing time and showing the date. There is no light. You need external light to read the watch.
Elektronika B6-202K top view
Elektronika digital pocket watch, buttons on the side
The watch has a total of 4 buttons on the side and 3 of them are receded because you use them to change time / date. The one non receded button is used to show the date instead of time. The display shows the date in the minutes position and the month in the seconds position while you press that button and it goes back to showing time as soon as you release the button.
I have numbered the buttons as shown in the above picture. Button 1 is the "time / date change button". The receded buttons can best be pressed with the end of a wooden match or a dull toothpick.
Setting the time:
- button 2: reset seconds to zero
- button 3: set minutes (advance minutes, hold button to slowly advance forward)
- button 4: set hour (advance the hour, hold button to slowly advance forward), the watch uses 24h time, hours=0-23.
Setting the month, date and week day:
- hold button 1 and press button 2: set the month (small number in seconds position)
- hold button 1 and press button 3: set the day of month (big number in minutes position)
- hold button 1 and press button 4: step week day (left most field = monday, right most field = sunday)
I recommend to set for the date first because you can accidently change the time if you release button 1 even for a fraction of a second. The switch between date and time is instant. There is no delay.
The watch may enter some kind of a sleep mode after battery replacement. It seems the purpose of this sleep mode was to preserve battery life while the watch is transported from the factory to the store. To start the watch and to get out of this sleep mode one has to press buttons 3 and 4 at the same time (you can first press and hold 3 and then 4 or the other way round).
You can enter this sleep mode manually by pressing buttons 2 and 3 at the same time. The watch looses time when it is in sleep mode.
Description/translation of the different display fields
At the top:
Электроника 5 -- Electronika 5, brand name
ЧАС -- Hour
МИН -- Min
СЕК -- Sec
Week days at the bottom of the display (from left to right):
П -- Понедельник -- Monday
В -- Вторник -- Tuesday
С -- Среда -- Wednesday
Ч -- Четверг -- Thursday
П -- Пятница -- Friday
С -- Суббота -- Saturday
В -- Воскресенье -- Sunday
Below the display:
ДЕНЬ НЕДЕЛИ -- day of the week / ЧИСЛО МЕСЯЦ -- Day Month
At the very bottom:
СДЕЛАНО В СССР -- Made in USSR
My watch has also an engraving on the back (not shown in any of the above photos) which says:
Любимому Руслану -- To beloved Russian
в день рождения -- on birthday
от Оксаны -- from Oksana
25.11.84 г. -- 25 November, 84
Inside the watch
Originally I wanted to open the watch only once the batteries are low but 5 days after using the watch it showed suddenly random time. I opened the watch and I found a number of problems.
The watch has 2 batteries in series connected via a bridge shaped nickel clip. The clip is supposed to have a little nose on the side which should prevent it from sliding sideways. That nose was missing on my watch. Nickel can be soldered easily and I fixed the problem by soldering a short copper wire with 1mm diameter to the clip (see photo below).
The watch has also a small metal clip coming out from the plus side of the two batteries and it is supposed to have contact with the back of the case. The bridge on the other hand must not touch the case. The previous owner of the watch had tried to insulate various areas of the back cover with tape while sparing a spot for the clip that needs to have contact with the case. It looked really bad and required a careful alignment of the back cover before closing the watch. I removed all the tape and cut a small disk out of a laser printable plastic foil. This disk is just a little bigger than the movement. On the side I cut a small slot into the disk such that the clip which needs to touch the case can pass trough that slot. You can see it in the photos below. Foils for overhead projectors or a sheet of paper can be used to produce such an insulation. The idea is to have a reliable insulation between the movement and the watch case but to have a small slot for that metal clip that needs to have connection to the case.
Elektronika pocket watch movement, 30350, back
Repaired battery bridge, missing nose replaced by a piece of wire soldered to the bridge
LCD pocked watch movement with batteries installed; the little clip that sticks out needs to have contact with the back of the case
Insulation disk installed on top of the movement; the disk has a small slot and slides over the clip that needs to have contact with the case
Battery replacement procedure
The movement is designed to work with two 1.5V button cell batteries of type AG10 (AG10= V390= LR1130= SR1130= renata389). However my watch came with AG12 (AG12= V386= LR43= renata301) batteries and they are 1.1mm higher than AG10. I will keep using AG12 since the battery clip is already bent up to accommodate AG12 but if your watch is more original then use AG10.
Pry open the case with a case knife. Unscrew the bridge clip. Be careful to not loose the screw. Pull out the clip that touches the back of the case. The left battery will not fall out while that clip is still installed. Note the orientation of the batteries. Turn the watch over and the old batteries will fall out.
Insert the clip that provides a connection with the back of the case. Insert the batteries. Screw on the bridge clip. Install proper insulation such that the bridge clip can not touch the case (see above photo with little insulation disk). Close the case. Check that the watch is running otherwise press button 3 and 4 at the same time to start the watch.
Diagram: exploded view of the 30350 (B6-202) movement
The text in the above diagram reads as follows:
Рис. 187. Часы «Электроника» 30350 (Б6—202):
а - общий вид; б - узлы и детали; А - кнопка коррекции часов; Б - Кнопка коррекции минут; В - кнопка установки секунд; Г - Клавишавьзова показаний числа месяца и месяца; 1 - прижим; 2 - индикатор; 3 - сегменты; 4 - Плата; 5 - элементы питания; 6 - гайка; 7 - пластина; 8 - обойма; 9 - плата; 10 - резонатор
This stands for:
Fig. 187. Watch "Electronics" 30350 (B6-202): a - general view; b - elements and details; A - Hour correction button; Б - Minute correction button; В - button for resetting seconds; Г - button to show the day of the month and month; 1 - clamp; 2 - display; 3 - segments; 4 - circuit board; 5 - batteries; 6 - nut; 7 - plate; 8 - case; 9 - board; 10 - resonator
Many used watches have some sort of problem and to get a perfectly working watch you might need to do some repairs, even on digital watches. Since I started writing this article I have now bought two used watches and both had simiar issues. Therefore this list.
- Unreliable power: LCD watches need uninterrupted power. The Elektronika 30350 uses 2 batteries and battery clip, proper contact and proper insulation are critical. Check the above chapter "Inside the watch" for some suggestions.
- Loose movement or buttons stuck: The sleep mode in the watch can be triggered by pressing the two middle buttons at the same time. These are receded buttons and they should not activate easily but they could. The first thing to check is if the buttons are properly pulled back. If they seem slow or stuck then take out the movement and apply a drop of oil to the buttons until they pull back fully and immediately. Take a tissue and remove excess oil inside and outside. Next put the movement back and check if there is any slag. The movement has a little plastic nose which goes between the center buttons. It should have a snug fit. If it is too loose then take it out and stick small strips of tape onto the areas to the left and right of the buttons.
- Sensitive to static electricity: This problem shows how difficult it was for the Russians to produce low power electronics in the 1980s. This watch is sensitive to static electricity! You will notice this problem only in countries like Canada (I guess also Russia) and it took me a while to figure it out. If I had my jeans on then the watch worked reliably but if I had different pants with pockets made from polyester fabric then the watch would sometimes do funny things. This happens despite a metal case but the protection from the case is incomplete because of the glass. It is a problem that can be observed on dry winter days and there is a simple solution: buy an anti-static spray that contains Quaternium-18 such as Static Guard and spray the glass on the inside of the case (do not spray the movement! you take the movement out and you spay into the case). The Russians could have fixed it during production by coating the back of the glass. It's strange that they did not do it. With the metal case and the glass coated you have faraday cage around the movement and this protects it from electric fields.
It is a good watch despite these weak points. There are fixes for all of them and with regards to static electricity we have to remember that casio and others had similar mishaps. A communist company can continue to produce products with such a problem while others will work on a fix. The good news is however that you can fix it yourself. Static Guard is available in the supermarket if you live in a place that has cold winters.
© 2004-2023 Guido Socher