23 Mar 2015

Internet time servers

I noticed that, by default, my PC synced to internet time only once a week, far too long on an old PC. I have downloaded a package (atomic.exe) that allows you to program any chosen interval and hope now the PC clock will be very regularly updated to internet time. This is essential for WSPR. At the moment it is set to sync every 5 minutes, but once every few hours is probably frequent enough.

I used atomic.exe before on my previous PC for many years. It worked well. A virus scan showed no threats. For now I'll stick with this, although (see comments below) there may be better solutions when the internet may be down, but this is very rare. Virgin Media cable seems very reliable and very fast.


David (G0LRD) said...

Hi Roger,
I would recommend that you use NTP (Network Time Protocol). This has the advantage that instead of just updating the clock periodically (which can suffer from jitter depending on the internet delay) it implements a software frequency locked loop which learns the offset of your PC's clock crystal. This means that it can then 'holdover' the correct time even when internet connectivity is lost.



David G0LRD

David Cope said...

Agree with David. But would a more interesting radio related solution to be your own MSF RX and feed that into your PC?

Is it right that are timing issues in the software and frequency stability in the RF hardware that need to be solved? Not sure what the window of error is with WSPR or how much that error has a bearing on encode/decode errors and thus spotting range, but interesting stuff.

Cheers, David. G8JGO