Question about RCA RP5420 Clock Radio

3 Answers

Small black device within RCA RP5420

For several weeks, I had been hearing crackling noises coming from my RCA RP5420 alarm clock. I assumed it was coming from the speaker for the radio, but I listened closely and realized it was coming from the bottom of the clock, not the speaker. So I opened up the clock and looked inside and I saw that is a small circular plastic device on the bottom of the clock with a red and black wire coming out of it. I listened again and realized that the crackling noise was coming from this black device. I decided to cut the thin wires that connected the black device to the circuit board. When I did so, the crackling noise went away and the clock seems to be working fine. The radio works, it keeps time, and the alarm works. My question, what was that black device? What was its purpose? What did cutting the wires do and did it ruin the clock?

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  • thepoint Nov 16, 2007

    I don't have an answer for the stated question, but I have the same radio with exactly the same symptom. I opened up the radio and found the same plastic disc, which I assumed was a transducer for the alarm buzzer, but the alarm beeps using the speaker, so obviously that's not it.

    I can't find any part numbers on the part. I haven't cut the wires yet, but if I do, I'll pull the disc apart and post my results.

  • Anonymous Nov 20, 2007

    I just purchased the RCA RP5435 on Nov 17 and it is making the same crackling noise. What's up? Are these defective products?

  • Hikitomete Nov 22, 2007

    It certainly seems like these are defective products. I originally bought another clock from RCA that was very similar to this clock, except that it had smaller numbers, but it had the same kind of alarm and everything. After the first day, the numbers just went away. I listened to the clock and I could hear the humming of the transformer so I know electricity was still going through it, but there were no numbers on the display. I even took it apart, but I couldn't fix it. I eventually found out that people were having problems with that clock as well. It seems that RCA is having some problems with their clocks.

  • b-nix Jun 07, 2008

    I was having the same problem with my RP5435. I don't have the receipt so basically my product is out of warranty even though it's only 6 months old. I figured I didn't have anything to lose so I cut the wires to the black disk. It worked great... Alarms function properly, radio works, it keeps the right time, and now I can sleep at night because the crackling is gone.

  • Jaysito Jul 12, 2008

    Thank goodness for this website! I was having the same problem. The noise was so annoying, I was ready to smash my alarm clock with a hammer. After cutting that mystery wire, the sound is gone! Thank you Hikitomete!



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That black disc is the "backup" alarm if you lose power.... The battery then takes over and "buzzs" throught that little speaker too wake you... even tho there is no power... Mine buzzes too... cut that little speaker outta there.!


Posted on Jul 23, 2008


Thanks Hikitomete, your solution fixed my clock cracking noise. In case you are still wondering, that black disk is a piezo disk. They are commonly used to make noise for buzzers in electronic devices, though on this clock radio it doesn't seem to do anything other than make an annoying cracking nose. Cutting the wires won't do anything bad to your clock other than perhaps stopping a click or buzz at some time.

Posted on Jan 08, 2008


Thanks Hikitomete, my clock was pissing me off by crackling so much. I popped it open and cut the wires, and the problem stopped

Posted on Dec 23, 2007

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I can't take credit for this because on found on a review on Amazon.Com, but I tried it and it works!

"Another update, for everyone who is having the common crackling problem, if you open the clock radio there is a black disk on the bottom with a red and black wire coming out of it. This black disk is a component called a piezo disk. They are commonly used to make noise for buzzers in electronic devices, but appear to have no use whatsoever in this clock radio. If you cut the wires going to this disk, the crackling noise goes away. You can still use both buzzer and radio alarms. There doesn't appear to be any functionality lost other than the annoying crackling sound. Obviously cutting wires would probably void your warranty, but do you really want to try your luck with another RCA clock radio? Chances are the crackling will happen again with the replacement or it will be DOA."

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Hi - You can download the manual from the link underlined in blue below:

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Please update the question & let us know if the information given was useful to you - Good Luck!

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