Discussion:
Can Lady Heather set PC time directly from a Trimble Thunderbolt?
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Chris Wilson
2017-08-03 13:54:11 UTC
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03/08/2017 14:50

I use an NTP client to set my Windows 7 64 bit PC time for digital
mode amateur radio activities, but I was wondering if my Trimble
Thunderbolt and Lady Heather can do the same job? If it can, how do I
do it please, and can the PC show GMT and not UTC, and finally does
the date glitch affect this? Lady Heather communicates with the GPS
via a true serial port. Thanks!
--
Best Regards,
Chris Wilson. 2E0ILY
mailto: ***@chriswilson.tv

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Chris Albertson
2017-08-03 17:05:46 UTC
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This idea keeps coming up. "Jamming" the time from a GPS into a
computer is NEVER the best idea. When you "jam" the time the PC
internal clock moves in jerks and jumps where it will move forward
and even backward.

The only way that works well is to discipline the PC's clock using the
same method you'd use to discipline the crystal inside A GPSDO. You
compare the phase between the GPS and the local PC clock then adjust
the RATE of the PC clock to keep the peas in sync. That is what NTP
does.

I say all of the above because this is a "timeouts" list. If you
only care that the PC clock by "close enough" that the time printed on
the screen matches your wristwatch then a 50 millisecond error is
acceptable as that is about the limit of human perception. But it
you are a "nut" and want each millisecond of time to be reasonably
equal, that means with "tick" of the PC's clock to advance in time
about the same amount then you can't "jam" the PC's clock from GPS.
You will need to adjust the PC clock's RATE not the PC clock's PHASE.
Post by Chris Wilson
03/08/2017 14:50
I use an NTP client to set my Windows 7 64 bit PC time for digital
mode amateur radio activities, but I was wondering if my Trimble
Thunderbolt and Lady Heather can do the same job? If it can, how do I
do it please, and can the PC show GMT and not UTC, and finally does
the date glitch affect this? Lady Heather communicates with the GPS
via a true serial port. Thanks!
--
Best Regards,
Chris Wilson. 2E0ILY
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Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California
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David J Taylor via time-nuts
2017-08-03 19:16:54 UTC
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I use an NTP client to set my Windows 7 64 bit PC time for digital
mode amateur radio activities, but I was wondering if my Trimble
Thunderbolt and Lady Heather can do the same job? If it can, how do I
do it please, and can the PC show GMT and not UTC, and finally does
the date glitch affect this? Lady Heather communicates with the GPS
via a true serial port. Thanks!

Best Regards,
Chris Wilson. 2E0ILY
=============================================

Chris,

If you have a PPS source you can use that directly with your Windows-7 PC.
I have some notes here:

http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Sure-GPS.htm

Windows works internally in UTC, just choose your time zone from the Control
Panel. I'm guessing that you mean UK local time, as GMT and UTC are the
same (at least as far as wall-clock time is concerned).

73,
David GM8ARV
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software written to your requirements
Web: http://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-***@blueyonder.co.uk
Twitter: @gm8arv

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Adrian Godwin
2017-08-03 19:36:49 UTC
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Could Lady Heather provide an NTP server so a local NTP client could access
the GPS time ? Or is that an overcomplicated way to do it?
Post by Chris Wilson
I use an NTP client to set my Windows 7 64 bit PC time for digital
mode amateur radio activities, but I was wondering if my Trimble
Thunderbolt and Lady Heather can do the same job? If it can, how do I
do it please, and can the PC show GMT and not UTC, and finally does
the date glitch affect this? Lady Heather communicates with the GPS
via a true serial port. Thanks!
Best Regards,
Chris Wilson. 2E0ILY
=============================================
Chris,
If you have a PPS source you can use that directly with your Windows-7 PC.
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Sure-GPS.htm
Windows works internally in UTC, just choose your time zone from the
Control Panel. I'm guessing that you mean UK local time, as GMT and UTC
are the same (at least as far as wall-clock time is concerned).
73,
David GM8ARV
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software written to your requirements
Web: http://www.satsignal.eu
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Martin Burnicki
2017-08-03 19:57:54 UTC
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Post by Adrian Godwin
Could Lady Heather provide an NTP server so a local NTP client could access
the GPS time ? Or is that an overcomplicated way to do it?
If LH can adjust the system time (I don't know if it can) then you could
in addition install ntpd and configure the "local clock" 127.127.1.0 as
the only reference time source.

Then ntpd does not adjust the system time but makes the adjusted system
time available to NTP clients on the network.

Martin

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David J Taylor via time-nuts
2017-08-04 07:10:00 UTC
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Apologies for the off list reply.

The site www.davehart.net does not appear to be online any more. Would
you know of an alternative source for the Dave Hart Windows port of
NTP ?

Cheers

Arne
================================

Arne,

The official distribution contains a Windows port which compiles under a
variety of MS Visual Studio versions.

https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/ntp_spool/ntp4/ntp-4.2/ntp-4.2.8p10.tar.gz
https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/ntp_spool/ntp4/ntp-dev/ntp-dev-4.3.93.tar.gz

Many people have contributed to this port, including Dave Hart, of course.

Whatever became of Dave?

Cheers,
David
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software written to your requirements
Web: http://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-***@blueyonder.co.uk
Twitter: @gm8arv

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Clay Autery
2017-08-04 13:18:48 UTC
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I use Meinberg's NTP for Windows... and their Monitor program.

https://www.meinbergglobal.com/english/sw/ntp.htm

73,

______________________
Clay Autery, KY5G
MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389
Post by David J Taylor via time-nuts
Apologies for the off list reply.
The site www.davehart.net does not appear to be online any more. Would
you know of an alternative source for the Dave Hart Windows port of
NTP ?
Cheers
Arne
================================
Arne,
The official distribution contains a Windows port which compiles under
a variety of MS Visual Studio versions.
https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/ntp_spool/ntp4/ntp-4.2/ntp-4.2.8p10.tar.gz
https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/ntp_spool/ntp4/ntp-dev/ntp-dev-4.3.93.tar.gz
Many people have contributed to this port, including Dave Hart, of course.
Whatever became of Dave?
Cheers,
David
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David J Taylor via time-nuts
2017-08-04 14:50:21 UTC
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From: Clay Autery

I use Meinberg's NTP for Windows... and their Monitor program.

https://www.meinbergglobal.com/english/sw/ntp.htm

73,
=======================

Clay,
Post by David J Taylor via time-nuts
https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/ntp_spool/ntp4/ntp-4.2/ntp-4.2.8p10.tar.gz
made into a rather nice installable package. I also offer a guide to
installing the software:

http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/setup.html

and some recent binaries if all you need are updates (although the Meinberg
installer also offers an update only mode):

http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/x86/index.html

I have a PPS/GPS attached to several Windows-10 PCs for better timekeeping -
down to the hundred-microsecond level:

http://www.satsignal.eu/mrtg/performance_ntp.php#windows-stratum-1

73,
David GM8ARV
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software written to your requirements
Web: http://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-***@blueyonder.co.uk
Twitter: @gm8arv

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Clay Autery
2017-08-04 14:58:13 UTC
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Doh! Sorry David... I actually found the Meinberg references from the
stasignal.eu page. <blush>
Can't tell you the number of hours I've spent reading your page.

Working on both my GPSDO and NTP Stratum-1 solutions now... well,
they're "on the list". <wink>

73,

______________________
Clay Autery, KY5G
MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389
Post by David J Taylor via time-nuts
From: Clay Autery
I use Meinberg's NTP for Windows... and their Monitor program.
https://www.meinbergglobal.com/english/sw/ntp.htm
73,
=======================
Clay,
Post by David J Taylor via time-nuts
https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~ntp/ntp_spool/ntp4/ntp-4.2/ntp-4.2.8p10.tar.gz
made into a rather nice installable package. I also offer a guide to
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/setup.html
and some recent binaries if all you need are updates (although the
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/x86/index.html
I have a PPS/GPS attached to several Windows-10 PCs for better
http://www.satsignal.eu/mrtg/performance_ntp.php#windows-stratum-1
73,
David GM8ARV
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Mark Sims
2017-08-03 20:41:01 UTC
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Answer to second question: For GMT time display set the time zone name to GMT with a time zone offset of 0. (TZ keyboard command TZ GMT, command line option /tx=GMT).

First question: Yes Heather can set your system clock (assuming the program has access privileges to the change the clock. Check out the TS keyboard command or /ts? command line options. The clock setting routine is rather rude and crude. It just jams the system clock with the receiver time on a once per minute/hour/day interval or whenever the receiver and system clocks diverge by more the "x" milliseconds. The main purpose of the time set feature is for use when you don't have a net connection or NTP available.

The next version of Lady Heather has the ability to echo the receiver data (in either native format or NMEA format) to another serial port / IP address.

And for radio operations Heather has the ability to display the location in Maidenhead format.
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Chris Wilson
2017-08-04 14:39:15 UTC
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Hello,
Post by Mark Sims
Answer to second question: For GMT time display set the time zone
name to GMT with a time zone offset of 0. (TZ keyboard command TZ
GMT, command line option /tx=GMT).
First question: Yes Heather can set your system clock (assuming
the program has access privileges to the change the clock. Check
out the TS keyboard command or /ts? command line options. The
clock setting routine is rather rude and crude. It just jams the
system clock with the receiver time on a once per minute/hour/day
interval or whenever the receiver and system clocks diverge by more
the "x" milliseconds. The main purpose of the time set feature is
for use when you don't have a net connection or NTP available.
The next version of Lady Heather has the ability to echo the
receiver data (in either native format or NMEA format) to another serial port / IP address.
And for radio operations Heather has the ability to display the location in Maidenhead format.
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Thanks to everyone for the replies, so basically would you say that
with a permanent internet connection I should forget using GPS time to
set the PC clock and just use Meinberg or NTP (which is what I am
currently using and seems to work just fine)?
--
Best Regards,
Chris Wilson.

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David J Taylor via time-nuts
2017-08-04 16:18:12 UTC
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Thanks to everyone for the replies, so basically would you say that
with a permanent internet connection I should forget using GPS time to
set the PC clock and just use Meinberg or NTP (which is what I am
currently using and seems to work just fine)?

Best Regards,
Chris Wilson.
=============================================

Chris,

That would be fine, but if you are interested make yourself a stratum-1
server based on, for example, a Raspberry Pi card. Then if the Internet
/does/ go down, you'll still keep time.

BTW: you refer to "GPS time". Not my area of expertise, but GPS time and
UTC aren't the same - GPS time doesn't use leap-seconds, for example, so
it's many seconds off from NTP.

Cheers,
David
--
SatSignal Software - Quality software written to your requirements
Web: http://www.satsignal.eu
Email: david-***@blueyonder.co.uk
Twitter: @gm8arv

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John Hawkinson
2017-08-04 17:46:35 UTC
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Post by David J Taylor via time-nuts
BTW: you refer to "GPS time". Not my area of expertise, but GPS
time and UTC aren't the same - GPS time doesn't use leap-seconds,
for example, so it's many seconds off from NTP.
We've been though this before, but I'll say it again.
This is not a very helpful thing to say.

"GPS time" is a very bad phrase to use, because it can mean "UTC derived via GPS," which is what most people mean. This accounts for leap seconds as most people expect. It is what essentially all consumer GPS receivers will display.

But "GPS time" can also mean "GPS system time," the internal time used by the GPS system that does not include leap seconds. It is extremely rare that anybody means this, but it does happen (esp. on time-nus). And many GPS receivers can be convinced to display GPS system time.


So, please don't say "GPS time," because it is ambiguous. But please also don't suggest that when people say "GPS time" they must mean "GPS system time," because they rarely do and it's just an unnecessary bit of confusion.

--***@mit.edu
John Hawkinson
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Chris Albertson
2017-08-04 18:28:48 UTC
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Post by Chris Wilson
Thanks to everyone for the replies, so basically would you say that
with a permanent internet connection I should forget using GPS time to
set the PC clock and just use Meinberg or NTP (which is what I am
currently using and seems to work just fine)?
You'd be using the same NTP software in either case. The difference
is it you were to add a GPS reference clock to the current setup.
Even with GPS you's till want to keep the internet based reference
clocks.

Currently your PC clock might be accurate that the few milliseconds
level. Adding a GPS receiver into the mix will improve accuracy to
the tens of microseconds level. You'd gain abut two orders of
magnitude over the current setup.

Do you need this? I can think of uses for a highly accurate clock in
amateur radio. Perhaps you are measuring propagation delay. Doing
this 100 times more accurately might be helpful. On the other hand
maybe you only need log files time stamps to be with a second or so of
correct? When I got into this may application was pointing
telescopes and measuring the light from variable stars. Usually you
can start with you application and work backwards to place a
requirement on time accuracy

On the other hand this is a "time nuts" list and some people here just
want the BEST they can get.

I'm not a fan of Meinberg because of the way they market freely
available software.
--
Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California
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Tim Shoppa
2017-08-04 19:44:48 UTC
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I'm all for building NTPD from source (as a former refclock developer).

But for those not building from source and wanting to install on Windows,
Meinberg NTPD's self-installing package is very easy and does everything
right.

They distribute this for free. I think they've done a great service. And
having real NTPD is so much superior to the many poor quality commercial
programs out there that a newbie might otherwise install.

Tim N3QE
Post by Chris Albertson
Post by Chris Wilson
Thanks to everyone for the replies, so basically would you say that
with a permanent internet connection I should forget using GPS time to
set the PC clock and just use Meinberg or NTP (which is what I am
currently using and seems to work just fine)?
You'd be using the same NTP software in either case. The difference
is it you were to add a GPS reference clock to the current setup.
Even with GPS you's till want to keep the internet based reference
clocks.
Currently your PC clock might be accurate that the few milliseconds
level. Adding a GPS receiver into the mix will improve accuracy to
the tens of microseconds level. You'd gain abut two orders of
magnitude over the current setup.
Do you need this? I can think of uses for a highly accurate clock in
amateur radio. Perhaps you are measuring propagation delay. Doing
this 100 times more accurately might be helpful. On the other hand
maybe you only need log files time stamps to be with a second or so of
correct? When I got into this may application was pointing
telescopes and measuring the light from variable stars. Usually you
can start with you application and work backwards to place a
requirement on time accuracy
On the other hand this is a "time nuts" list and some people here just
want the BEST they can get.
I'm not a fan of Meinberg because of the way they market freely
available software.
--
Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California
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Martin Burnicki
2017-08-05 11:01:56 UTC
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Chris,
Post by Chris Albertson
I'm not a fan of Meinberg because of the way they market freely
available software.
I'm sorry you feel this way.

We at Meinberg have supported the NTP project for many years, by
donations of money and hardware, testing, submitting bug reports and
patches. There've been also enhancements like the initial leap second
handling code in the Windows port of ntpd, workarounds for limitations
in Windows to increase the possible accuracy under Windows, etc.

Quite some years ago there was no easy way to install ntpd under
Windows, so one of my colleagues had the idea to put a GUI setup program
together which makes installation under Windows as simple as possible
even for inexperienced users.

When we started this, we also discussed with the other NTP developers
and agreed that we would and should provide the installer via the
Meinberg download page, where we clearly say that the setup program
provides a precompiled version built from the public source code that is
available at ntp.org.

The installer is also free of charge, and there are no duties implied by
using it.

So once more, I feel sorry that you have such a bad feeling about this,
which has just been introduced to make NTP more popular even for users
who are not time nuts.

If you know how to do it you can still build your own binaries from the
original source code.

Martin

(who is biased since working at Meinberg)

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Attila Kinali
2017-08-05 13:19:36 UTC
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On Sat, 5 Aug 2017 13:01:56 +0200
Post by Martin Burnicki
Post by Chris Albertson
I'm not a fan of Meinberg because of the way they market freely
available software.
I'm sorry you feel this way.
We at Meinberg have supported the NTP project for many years, by
donations of money and hardware, testing, submitting bug reports and
patches. There've been also enhancements like the initial leap second
handling code in the Windows port of ntpd, workarounds for limitations
in Windows to increase the possible accuracy under Windows, etc.
I have to second Martin here. Meinberg made ntp on windows a thing.
Before them, it took a lot of effort to get it working (if you ever
got that far). Also, Meinberg is one of the few companies out there
who finance the development of ntp through the network time foundation.

I also do not see how Meinberg "markets" ntp. If putting it on their
webpage, free of charge with lots of explanation what it is, where
it comes from and how to use it properly is marketing, then yes.
But then time-nuts is marketing Microsemi 5071s and Trimble Thunderbolts.


Attila Kinali
--
You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common.
They don't alters their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to
fit the views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the
facts that needs altering. -- The Doctor
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Chris Caudle
2017-08-04 22:15:56 UTC
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Post by Chris Wilson
Thanks to everyone for the replies, so basically would you say that
with a permanent internet connection I should forget using GPS time to
set the PC clock and just use Meinberg or NTP (which is what I am
currently using and seems to work just fine)?
I think you asked the wrong question, so you got the question to the
answer you asked and not what you wanted to know.

You asked whether Lady Heather can set PC time, the answer is yes but it
is a crude way to set the time.

What you really wanted to know is how to get time from a GPS receiver into
the PC, and the answer to that is that gpsd has a driver that can
communicate with a Thunderbolt (Palisade driver), and gpsd also knows how
to communicate with a Thunderbolt. So use ntp directly to communicate
with the Thunderbolt. Lady Heather is an awesome program for doing lots
of things with a Thunderbolt, but disciplining the system clock to follow
the GPS receiver is not really one of those things.
--
Chris Caudle


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