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The ChronoTune is a concept design for a time-travelling radio. Instead of tuning to the frequency, one tunes to a year and hears music, speeches, and other audio from that year. Version 1 tunes from about 1850 to 2050. If a version 2 is made, it will tune from the Big Bang to the Big Crunch.


The exterior design of the ChronoTune was based upon the Philco 70-series cathedral radio from the 1930s. Eric laser cut lamination layers using the design patent drawings similar to patent #D83957.


The code is here:


i3 Detroit ChronoTune blog page

YouTube video of infomercial and behind the scenes

Lead project in Popular Mechanics

Naming Convention

Sound files must be named like so:


The extension must be .mp3. Note the lower case M and P. The year must be 4 digits with optional - sign appended for years BCE.




  • Handle multiple files in a given year (random?).
  • Remember play-position within a year so you can tune away and back without starting over?
  • Solve the startup bug, is this baud-related?
  • Scale the tuning range so the pointer follows the printed scale properly.
  • Figure out why turning the tuning knob too fast sometimes crashes it.
  • Make the date range exponential and print a new scale.


  • Beef up the amplifier, it's got a nice 6x9 speaker and could make better use of it.
  • Add a Bluetooth A2DP receiver module instead of the FM tuner, for when it's tuned to the present-year?


  • Figure out a way to put the LED display tubes back in? They looked sweet but they didn't quite fit the chassis.
  • Perhaps "behind" the tuning scale...?


  • Make a repository for sound files.
  • Collect a bunch more audio.