Discussion:
The GPS 1995 problem and the Heol Design solution.
(too old to reply)
Sean Gallagher
2015-05-15 20:16:47 UTC
Permalink
Good afternoon everyone,

So as most (all) of you are aware at this point what seems to be
like all of the Trimble Ace III GPS receivers have looped around their
entire lifespan and are setting the date back to 1995. This is affecting
many people with the Datum/Symmetricom TymServe 2100 units. My company
had two such units (we had purchased a second one when the +1 second UTC
thing happened not realizing it was a firmware v3 and 4 problem) and
also a slew of Datum 635/637 PCI cards which use the Trimble Ace III as
well.

After some scrounging around on the web I found that a company in
France, Heol Design (http://www.heoldesign.com/), had created an Ace III
clone. I contacted them for some information and a quote on what sounded
the most promising. These were the N014 and N024 units which were quoted
to me as 85 euro for the 014 and 90 euro for the 024. I also asked them
if they thought their units would correct the date problem and they
reached out to Trimble who apparently was not able (or willing?) to
provide an answer. Olivier DescoubÚs with Heol Designs however was
willing to work with me for testing purposes and sent me 2 of the N024
units so that I could test and see if they would work as true drop in
replacements. I have attached the data sheets that I received on the
units as well for your viewing. I'm not as technical as most of you so
maybe you'll see something that I don't get that you can work with.

The units came in yesterday after COB and so this morning was the
moment of truth. Short answer to everything is they don't seem to work.
I hooked it in to both of my 2100's first the older Datum branded one
then the newer Symmetricom brand (although they look physically to be
the exact same underlying board) really just to try and cover all my
bases. I let the first one go for about an hour and the second for only
half an hour since I was already thinking this was a bust. While it was
hooked up though I telnetted in and went into the GPS menu. It gave me
my Lat/Long position and the satellites command was able to show me that
I had plenty of coverage, but it was unable to give me the time.

After that I hooked it on to one of my 635PCI cards and got one of
my backup servers going. I started up the Datum application and it did
go into GPS mode which was at first promising. Typically with these
cards if there is a problem between the GPS receiver and the Datum card
then it will automatically come up in Time Code mode and won't even
recognize the GPS. I let it run for about an hour while I ran to lunch
and when I came back it had still not put out time.

My guess is that these new receivers use the "Extended date" format
or whatever it's called that adds more bits on (3? - sorry I can't
remember specifics) to correct the rollover and changes it from 15 years
to like 157 or something like that. And it seems like this older
equipment that a lot of timing solutions use cannot handle this new
output and thus can't decode it. Again I'm just a Junior in college so
this is all just theory but it's what my gut feeling is.

I've also attached pictures of these new units. They are the same
size and have the 8 pin stack. There is additionally a 10 pin stack that
I had to trim down to get it to fit. Also the antenna connector is an
SMB, same as the Ace III, however it is on the other plane of the board.
So if you were looking at putting it in a 635PCI card like me I had to
use tin snips and cut out a notch on the front plate of it to make it fit.

So it looks like I had to take a page from Mr. Andrew Cooper's book
and have set up a rig like his using the two 2100's in unison. I have
GPS going into the older one which I have reverted back to it's oldest
firmware (2.84 I think) and thus avoided the 1 second problem. This
older unit is putting out a 1PPS into the newer one set mode for 1PPS
that is on V3.1 of firmware with the time and date manually being set
through telnet. Trying to do it at the unit face is not feasible don't
try it and I couldn't do this on the 2.84 firmware version for some
reason it wouldn't recognize the commands. A colleague of mine seems to
think for some reason that I might start getting drift again with this
setup. He said that the 1PPS may not be enough to discipline the other
2100 do you guys have any thoughts on that? It doesn't make a lot of
sense to me as it's just a pulse

I had kind of a crazy thought earlier based on a project that I had
considered doing. I've seen on the internet that some people have taken
a Raspberry Pi and made a timing solution out of it. At least one using
what looked like the same type of Trimble III card.

http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Raspberry-Pi-NTP.html
http://musingsfromthe8thfloor.com/2015/02/08/stratum-1-ntp-server-on-raspberry-pi/comment-page-1/
https://digitalnigel.com/wordpress/?p=1781

Does anyone think it would be possible to do this with these new
receivers and get it to work? Even if it was only used to discipline
some larger clock unit like the 2100? Or maybe even using the older
receivers but making the RPi correct the rollover problem somehow? It
looked like without me putting a lot of work into it I wouldn't be able
to get it going because of having to learn the pin programming and
electrical theory etc. And I unfortunately do not have the resources at
work currently to follow this line of thinking.

**** I have just received an email from Olivier and they are aware of
the TS2100 issue from a customer of theirs in France. That customer is
shipping them the unit so that Heol can investigate it in action with a
2100 and can maybe come up with a solution.****
--
Respectfully,


Sean Gallagher
Malware Analyst
571-340-3475
Bob Camp
2015-05-15 22:35:31 UTC
Permalink
Hi
Post by Sean Gallagher
Good afternoon everyone,
So as most (all) of you are aware at this point what seems to be like all of the Trimble Ace III GPS receivers have looped around their entire lifespan and are setting the date back to 1995. This is affecting many people with the Datum/Symmetricom TymServe 2100 units. My company had two such units (we had purchased a second one when the +1 second UTC thing happened not realizing it was a firmware v3 and 4 problem) and also a slew of Datum 635/637 PCI cards which use the Trimble Ace III as well.
After some scrounging around on the web I found that a company in France, Heol Design (http://www.heoldesign.com/), had created an Ace III clone. I contacted them for some information and a quote on what sounded the most promising. These were the N014 and N024 units which were quoted to me as 85 euro for the 014 and 90 euro for the 024. I also asked them if they thought their units would correct the date problem and they reached out to Trimble who apparently was not able (or willing?) to provide an answer. Olivier Descoubès with Heol Designs however was willing to work with me for testing purposes and sent me 2 of the N024 units so that I could test and see if they would work as true drop in replacements. I have attached the data sheets that I received on the units as well for your viewing. I'm not as technical as most of you so maybe you'll see something that I don't get that you can work with.
The units came in yesterday after COB and so this morning was the moment of truth. Short answer to everything is they don't seem to work. I hooked it in to both of my 2100's first the older Datum branded one then the newer Symmetricom brand (although they look physically to be the exact same underlying board) really just to try and cover all my bases. I let the first one go for about an hour and the second for only half an hour since I was already thinking this was a bust. While it was hooked up though I telnetted in and went into the GPS menu. It gave me my Lat/Long position and the satellites command was able to show me that I had plenty of coverage, but it was unable to give me the time.
After that I hooked it on to one of my 635PCI cards and got one of my backup servers going. I started up the Datum application and it did go into GPS mode which was at first promising. Typically with these cards if there is a problem between the GPS receiver and the Datum card then it will automatically come up in Time Code mode and won't even recognize the GPS. I let it run for about an hour while I ran to lunch and when I came back it had still not put out time.
The units in the 2100 probably have a “timing upgrade” in them. It’s a lot like the uBlox LEA-5 and LEA-5t. The magic “t” enables a few commands. Traditionally, unless you paid the extra money (and did an NDA) you didn’t even find out what those commands were. That’s changed quite a bit over the years. The ACE came out in a very different era. Lots of customization …..
Post by Sean Gallagher
My guess is that these new receivers use the "Extended date" format or whatever it's called that adds more bits on (3? - sorry I can't remember specifics) to correct the rollover and changes it from 15 years to like 157 or something like that. And it seems like this older equipment that a lot of timing solutions use cannot handle this new output and thus can't decode it. Again I'm just a Junior in college so this is all just theory but it's what my gut feeling is.
The newer date format will not do any good until the GPS system is re-built (new sat’s launched) and they start broadcasting the new format. When they do, it will be transparent to most devices like the one you have. The only thing that will “see” the change is a device that looks at raw data blocks directly from the sat’s.
Post by Sean Gallagher
I've also attached pictures of these new units. They are the same size and have the 8 pin stack. There is additionally a 10 pin stack that I had to trim down to get it to fit. Also the antenna connector is an SMB, same as the Ace III, however it is on the other plane of the board. So if you were looking at putting it in a 635PCI card like me I had to use tin snips and cut out a notch on the front plate of it to make it fit.
So it looks like I had to take a page from Mr. Andrew Cooper's book and have set up a rig like his using the two 2100's in unison. I have GPS going into the older one which I have reverted back to it's oldest firmware (2.84 I think) and thus avoided the 1 second problem. This older unit is putting out a 1PPS into the newer one set mode for 1PPS that is on V3.1 of firmware with the time and date manually being set through telnet. Trying to do it at the unit face is not feasible don't try it and I couldn't do this on the 2.84 firmware version for some reason it wouldn't recognize the commands. A colleague of mine seems to think for some reason that I might start getting drift again with this setup. He said that the 1PPS may not be enough to discipline the other 2100 do you guys have any thoughts on that? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me as it's just a pulse
I had kind of a crazy thought earlier based on a project that I had considered doing. I've seen on the internet that some people have taken a Raspberry Pi and made a timing solution out of it. At least one using what looked like the same type of Trimble III card.
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Raspberry-Pi-NTP.html
http://musingsfromthe8thfloor.com/2015/02/08/stratum-1-ntp-server-on-raspberry-pi/comment-page-1/
https://digitalnigel.com/wordpress/?p=1781
Does anyone think it would be possible to do this with these new receivers and get it to work? Even if it was only used to discipline some larger clock unit like the 2100? Or maybe even using the older receivers but making the RPi correct the rollover problem somehow? It looked like without me putting a lot of work into it I wouldn't be able to get it going because of having to learn the pin programming and electrical theory etc. And I unfortunately do not have the resources at work currently to follow this line of thinking.
With enough time coding and enough re-wiring, anything is possible. Unless you are doing something very odd with these boxes, they can be replaced for a lot less than the messing around will cost you.

Bob
Post by Sean Gallagher
**** I have just received an email from Olivier and they are aware of the TS2100 issue from a customer of theirs in France. That customer is shipping them the unit so that Heol can investigate it in action with a 2100 and can maybe come up with a solution.****
--
Respectfully,
Sean Gallagher
Malware Analyst
571-340-3475
<Heol Design.zip>_______________________________________________
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
and follow the instructions there.
_______________________________________________
time-nuts mailing list -- time-***@febo.com
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
and follow the instructions there.
Mike Cook
2015-05-16 07:46:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean Gallagher
Good afternoon everyone,
Thanks for sharing this with us Sean.
Post by Sean Gallagher
So as most (all) of you are aware at this point what seems to be like all of the Trimble Ace III GPS receivers have looped around their entire lifespan and are setting the date back to 1995. This is affecting many people with the Datum/Symmetricom TymServe 2100 units. My company had two such units (we had purchased a second one when the +1 second UTC thing happened not realizing it was a firmware v3 and 4 problem) and also a slew of Datum 635/637 PCI cards which use the Trimble Ace III as well.
After some scrounging around on the web I found that a company in France, Heol Design (http://www.heoldesign.com/), had created an Ace III clone. I contacted them for some information and a quote on what sounded the most promising. These were the N014 and N024 units which were quoted to me as 85 euro for the 014 and 90 euro for the 024. I also asked them if they thought their units would correct the date problem and they reached out to Trimble who apparently was not able (or willing?) to provide an answer. Olivier Descoubès with Heol Designs however was willing to work with me for testing purposes and sent me 2 of the N024 units so that I could test and see if they would work as true drop in replacements. I have attached the data sheets that I received on the units as well for your viewing. I'm not as technical as most of you so maybe you'll see something that I don't get that you can work with.
The units came in yesterday after COB and so this morning was the moment of truth. Short answer to everything is they don't seem to work. I hooked it in to both of my 2100's first the older Datum branded one then the newer Symmetricom brand (although they look physically to be the exact same underlying board) really just to try and cover all my bases. I let the first one go for about an hour and the second for only half an hour since I was already thinking this was a bust. While it was hooked up though I telnetted in and went into the GPS menu. It gave me my Lat/Long position and the satellites command was able to show me that I had plenty of coverage, but it was unable to give me the time.
After that I hooked it on to one of my 635PCI cards and got one of my backup servers going. I started up the Datum application and it did go into GPS mode which was at first promising. Typically with these cards if there is a problem between the GPS receiver and the Datum card then it will automatically come up in Time Code mode and won't even recognize the GPS. I let it run for about an hour while I ran to lunch and when I came back it had still not put out time.
My guess is that these new receivers use the "Extended date" format or whatever it's called that adds more bits on (3? - sorry I can't remember specifics) to correct the rollover and changes it from 15 years to like 157 or something like that. And it seems like this older equipment that a lot of timing solutions use cannot handle this new output and thus can't decode it. Again I'm just a Junior in college so this is all just theory but it's what my gut feeling is.
From the data sheet, the boards use a Trimble Copernicus II chip and I took a look at the manual. They do indeed use an extended week number field in setting and reporting the week number (packets 0x21 and 0x41). But so does that Ace III. I expect that as stand alone units, they will not be subject the roll over issue as it is just a symptom of inadequate engineering or , dare I say it, programmed obsolescence . The problem with having a supervising firmware is that they can ignore any bits they want.

The ACEIII System Designer Reference Manual says:

Caution – Trimble OEM GPS receivers have reported the true GPS Week Number in TSIP
messages 0x41 and 0x8F-20 as a number between 0 and 1023. The ACE III GPS outputs
the Extended GPS Week Number as the absolute number of weeks since the beginning of
GPS time or 06 January 1980. If the true GPS Week Number is desired, the system
developer should ignore the extra MSBs of the Extended GPS Week Number and use only
the 10 LSBs.

Unfortunately I don’t have an Ace III to check if that is correct.
Post by Sean Gallagher
I've also attached pictures of these new units. They are the same size and have the 8 pin stack. There is additionally a 10 pin stack that I had to trim down to get it to fit. Also the antenna connector is an SMB, same as the Ace III, however it is on the other plane of the board. So if you were looking at putting it in a 635PCI card like me I had to use tin snips and cut out a notch on the front plate of it to make it fit.
So it looks like I had to take a page from Mr. Andrew Cooper's book and have set up a rig like his using the two 2100's in unison. I have GPS going into the older one which I have reverted back to it's oldest firmware (2.84 I think) and thus avoided the 1 second problem. This older unit is putting out a 1PPS into the newer one set mode for 1PPS that is on V3.1 of firmware with the time and date manually being set through telnet. Trying to do it at the unit face is not feasible don't try it and I couldn't do this on the 2.84 firmware version for some reason it wouldn't recognize the commands. A colleague of mine seems to think for some reason that I might start getting drift again with this setup. He said that the 1PPS may not be enough to discipline the other 2100 do you guys have any thoughts on that? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me as it's just a pulse
I had kind of a crazy thought earlier based on a project that I had considered doing. I've seen on the internet that some people have taken a Raspberry Pi and made a timing solution out of it. At least one using what looked like the same type of Trimble III card.
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Raspberry-Pi-NTP.html
http://musingsfromthe8thfloor.com/2015/02/08/stratum-1-ntp-server-on-raspberry-pi/comment-page-1/
https://digitalnigel.com/wordpress/?p=1781
Not the same receivers. Anyway as Bob said, it would probably not be cost effective to go down that path.
Post by Sean Gallagher
Does anyone think it would be possible to do this with these new receivers and get it to work? Even if it was only used to discipline some larger clock unit like the 2100? Or maybe even using the older receivers but making the RPi correct the rollover problem somehow? It looked like without me putting a lot of work into it I wouldn't be able to get it going because of having to learn the pin programming and electrical theory etc. And I unfortunately do not have the resources at work currently to follow this line of thinking.
**** I have just received an email from Olivier and they are aware of the TS2100 issue from a customer of theirs in France. That customer is shipping them the unit so that Heol can investigate it in action with a 2100 and can maybe come up with a solution.****
Please update here with any news you get.
Post by Sean Gallagher
--
Respectfully,
Sean Gallagher
Malware Analyst
571-340-3475
<Heol Design.zip>_______________________________________________
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
and follow the instructions there.
"Ceux qui sont prêts à abandonner une liberté essentielle pour obtenir une petite et provisoire sécurité, ne méritent ni liberté ni sécurité."
Benjimin Franklin
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Brooke Clarke
2015-05-17 22:32:50 UTC
Permalink
Hi Sean:

Do you have any data on how many TymServe 2100 units have this problem?
Would a solution be to add a daughter board between the existing GPS and the TymServe 2100 that would correct the year?
This might be a straight forward PIC microcontroller.

Mail_Attachment --
Have Fun,

Brooke Clarke
http://www.PRC68.com
http://www.end2partygovernment.com/2012Issues.html
http://www.prc68.com/I/DietNutrition.html
Post by Sean Gallagher
Good afternoon everyone,
So as most (all) of you are aware at this point what seems to be like all of the Trimble Ace III GPS receivers
have looped around their entire lifespan and are setting the date back to 1995. This is affecting many people with the
Datum/Symmetricom TymServe 2100 units. My company had two such units (we had purchased a second one when the +1 second
UTC thing happened not realizing it was a firmware v3 and 4 problem) and also a slew of Datum 635/637 PCI cards which
use the Trimble Ace III as well.
After some scrounging around on the web I found that a company in France, Heol Design
(http://www.heoldesign.com/), had created an Ace III clone. I contacted them for some information and a quote on what
sounded the most promising. These were the N014 and N024 units which were quoted to me as 85 euro for the 014 and 90
euro for the 024. I also asked them if they thought their units would correct the date problem and they reached out to
Trimble who apparently was not able (or willing?) to provide an answer. Olivier Descoubès with Heol Designs however
was willing to work with me for testing purposes and sent me 2 of the N024 units so that I could test and see if they
would work as true drop in replacements. I have attached the data sheets that I received on the units as well for your
viewing. I'm not as technical as most of you so maybe you'll see something that I don't get that you can work with.
The units came in yesterday after COB and so this morning was the moment of truth. Short answer to everything is
they don't seem to work. I hooked it in to both of my 2100's first the older Datum branded one then the newer
Symmetricom brand (although they look physically to be the exact same underlying board) really just to try and cover
all my bases. I let the first one go for about an hour and the second for only half an hour since I was already
thinking this was a bust. While it was hooked up though I telnetted in and went into the GPS menu. It gave me my
Lat/Long position and the satellites command was able to show me that I had plenty of coverage, but it was unable to
give me the time.
After that I hooked it on to one of my 635PCI cards and got one of my backup servers going. I started up the Datum
application and it did go into GPS mode which was at first promising. Typically with these cards if there is a problem
between the GPS receiver and the Datum card then it will automatically come up in Time Code mode and won't even
recognize the GPS. I let it run for about an hour while I ran to lunch and when I came back it had still not put out
time.
My guess is that these new receivers use the "Extended date" format or whatever it's called that adds more bits on
(3? - sorry I can't remember specifics) to correct the rollover and changes it from 15 years to like 157 or something
like that. And it seems like this older equipment that a lot of timing solutions use cannot handle this new output and
thus can't decode it. Again I'm just a Junior in college so this is all just theory but it's what my gut feeling is.
I've also attached pictures of these new units. They are the same size and have the 8 pin stack. There is
additionally a 10 pin stack that I had to trim down to get it to fit. Also the antenna connector is an SMB, same as
the Ace III, however it is on the other plane of the board. So if you were looking at putting it in a 635PCI card like
me I had to use tin snips and cut out a notch on the front plate of it to make it fit.
So it looks like I had to take a page from Mr. Andrew Cooper's book and have set up a rig like his using the two
2100's in unison. I have GPS going into the older one which I have reverted back to it's oldest firmware (2.84 I
think) and thus avoided the 1 second problem. This older unit is putting out a 1PPS into the newer one set mode for
1PPS that is on V3.1 of firmware with the time and date manually being set through telnet. Trying to do it at the unit
face is not feasible don't try it and I couldn't do this on the 2.84 firmware version for some reason it wouldn't
recognize the commands. A colleague of mine seems to think for some reason that I might start getting drift again with
this setup. He said that the 1PPS may not be enough to discipline the other 2100 do you guys have any thoughts on
that? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me as it's just a pulse
I had kind of a crazy thought earlier based on a project that I had considered doing. I've seen on the internet
that some people have taken a Raspberry Pi and made a timing solution out of it. At least one using what looked like
the same type of Trimble III card.
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Raspberry-Pi-NTP.html
http://musingsfromthe8thfloor.com/2015/02/08/stratum-1-ntp-server-on-raspberry-pi/comment-page-1/
https://digitalnigel.com/wordpress/?p=1781
Does anyone think it would be possible to do this with these new receivers and get it to work? Even if it was only
used to discipline some larger clock unit like the 2100? Or maybe even using the older receivers but making the RPi
correct the rollover problem somehow? It looked like without me putting a lot of work into it I wouldn't be able to
get it going because of having to learn the pin programming and electrical theory etc. And I unfortunately do not have
the resources at work currently to follow this line of thinking.
**** I have just received an email from Olivier and they are aware of the TS2100 issue from a customer of theirs in
France. That customer is shipping them the unit so that Heol can investigate it in action with a 2100 and can maybe
come up with a solution.****
_______________________________________________
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
and follow the instructions there.
_______________________________________________
time-nuts mailing list -- time-***@febo.com
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
and follow the instructions there.
Sean Gallagher
2015-05-18 20:00:13 UTC
Permalink
Most likely all of them. There may still be some out there with GPS receivers made later in the year that still work but by the end of 2015 they will probably all be bad.  The 1995 problem is  actually with the GPS receiver which just plugs into the TS2100's. They can be used in other things as well and that's actually where I first caught it but didn't pick up on what it was. I think Bob Camp made a note about something like that but was suggesting against it since it will add complexity to the system. I don't know that it's possible though as it would have to do it in real time on the fly or you'll lose time in the calculation.  
I made the comment about the RPI projects I'd seen and adding in the 1023 weeks myself but from other time - nuts it would be very complex. 


Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Brooke Clarke <***@pacific.net>
Date: 05/17/2015 18:32 (GMT-05:00)
To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement <time-***@febo.com>
Subject: [time-nuts] TymServe 2100 was: The GPS 1995 problem and the Heol
Design solution.

Hi Sean:

Do you have any data on how many TymServe 2100 units have this problem?
Would a solution be to add a daughter board between the existing GPS and the TymServe 2100 that would correct the year?
This might be a straight forward PIC microcontroller.

Mail_Attachment --
Have Fun,

Brooke Clarke
http://www.PRC68.com
http://www.end2partygovernment.com/2012Issues.html
http://www.prc68.com/I/DietNutrition.html
Post by Sean Gallagher
Good afternoon everyone,
     So as most (all) of you are aware at this point what seems to be like all of the Trimble Ace III GPS receivers
have looped around their entire lifespan and are setting the date back to 1995. This is affecting many people with the
Datum/Symmetricom TymServe 2100 units. My company had two such units (we had purchased a second one when the +1 second
UTC thing happened not realizing it was a firmware v3 and 4 problem) and also a slew of Datum 635/637 PCI cards which
use the Trimble Ace III as well.
     After some scrounging around on the web I found that a company in France, Heol Design
(http://www.heoldesign.com/), had created an Ace III clone. I contacted them for some information and a quote on what
sounded the most promising. These were the N014 and N024 units which were quoted to me as 85 euro for the 014 and 90
euro for the 024. I also asked them if they thought their units would correct the date problem and they reached out to
Trimble who apparently was not able (or willing?) to provide an answer. Olivier Descoubès with Heol Designs however
was willing to work with me for testing purposes and sent me 2 of the N024 units so that I could test and see if they
would work as true drop in replacements. I have attached the data sheets that I received on the units as well for your
viewing.  I'm not as technical as most of you so maybe you'll see something that I don't get that you can work with.
     The units came in yesterday after COB and so this morning was the moment of truth. Short answer to everything is
they don't seem to work. I hooked it in to both of my 2100's first the older Datum branded one then the newer
Symmetricom brand (although they look physically to be the exact same underlying board) really just to try and cover
all my bases. I let the first one go for about an hour and the second for only half an hour since I was already
thinking this was a bust. While it was hooked up though I telnetted in and went into the GPS menu. It gave me my
Lat/Long position and the satellites command was able to show me that I had plenty of coverage, but it was unable to
give me the time.
     After that I hooked it on to one of my 635PCI cards and got one of my backup servers going. I started up the Datum
application and it did go into GPS mode which was at first promising. Typically with these cards if there is a problem
between the GPS receiver and the Datum card then it will automatically come up in Time Code mode and won't even
recognize the GPS. I let it run for about an hour while I ran to lunch and when I came back it had still not put out
time.
     My guess is that these new receivers use the "Extended date" format or whatever it's called that adds more bits on
(3? - sorry I can't remember specifics) to correct the rollover and changes it from 15 years to like 157 or something
like that. And it seems like this older equipment that a lot of timing solutions use cannot handle this new output and
thus can't decode it. Again I'm just a Junior in college so this is all just theory but it's what my gut feeling is.
     I've also attached pictures of these new units. They are the same size and have the 8 pin stack. There is
additionally a 10 pin stack that I had to trim down to get it to fit. Also the antenna connector is an SMB, same as
the Ace III, however it is on the other plane of the board. So if you were looking at putting it in a 635PCI card like
me I had to use tin snips and cut out a notch on the front plate of it to make it fit.
     So it looks like I had to take a page from Mr. Andrew Cooper's book and have set up a rig like his using the two
2100's in unison. I have GPS going into the older one which I have reverted back to it's oldest firmware (2.84 I
think) and thus avoided the 1 second problem. This older unit is putting out a 1PPS into the newer one set mode for
1PPS that is on V3.1 of firmware with the time and date manually being set through telnet. Trying to do it at the unit
face is not feasible don't try it and I couldn't do this on the 2.84 firmware version for some reason it wouldn't
recognize the commands. A colleague of mine seems to think for some reason that I might start getting drift again with
this setup. He said that the 1PPS may not be enough to discipline the other 2100 do you guys have any thoughts on
that? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me as it's just a pulse
     I had kind of a crazy thought earlier based on a project that I had considered doing. I've seen on the internet
that some people have taken a Raspberry Pi and made a timing solution out of it. At least one using what looked like
the same type of Trimble III card.
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Raspberry-Pi-NTP.html
http://musingsfromthe8thfloor.com/2015/02/08/stratum-1-ntp-server-on-raspberry-pi/comment-page-1/
https://digitalnigel.com/wordpress/?p=1781
Does anyone think it would be possible to do this with these new receivers and get it to work? Even if it was only
used to discipline some larger clock unit like the 2100? Or maybe even using the older receivers but making the RPi
correct the rollover problem somehow? It looked like without me putting a lot of work into it I wouldn't be able to
get it going because of having to learn the pin programming and electrical theory etc. And I unfortunately do not have
the resources at work currently to follow this line of thinking.
**** I have just received an email from Olivier and they are aware of the TS2100 issue from a customer of theirs in
France. That customer is shipping them the unit so that Heol can investigate it in action with a 2100 and can maybe
come up with a solution.****
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Bob Camp
2015-05-19 00:56:13 UTC
Permalink
Hi

The complexity is not in the data translation, it’s in the timing of the whole thing. The firmware in the TS2100 was designed and tested with a particular order of sentences and timing between them and the pps output of the Trimble ACE. Upset that timing (by delaying the data) and you may up upset the firmware’s expectations about when the data
gets there. You may only “nuke” the firmware once a month, but that’s plenty of trouble. Since you have to do some pretty complex gyrations to translate the information, doing it all on a “character in/ character out” minimum delay basis is non-trivial.

Even if you get that part of it working, you still have the ACE off in limbo as far as leap seconds are concerned. It has a very odd idea of when June 30th is going to be. It will leap at odd times. You will have to do a bit of testing to work out exactly when (or maybe if) it’s going to do a leap second.

Not at all simple. Thus not at all cheap.

Bob
Most likely all of them. There may still be some out there with GPS receivers made later in the year that still work but by the end of 2015 they will probably all be bad. The 1995 problem is actually with the GPS receiver which just plugs into the TS2100's. They can be used in other things as well and that's actually where I first caught it but didn't pick up on what it was. I think Bob Camp made a note about something like that but was suggesting against it since it will add complexity to the system. I don't know that it's possible though as it would have to do it in real time on the fly or you'll lose time in the calculation.
I made the comment about the RPI projects I'd seen and adding in the 1023 weeks myself but from other time - nuts it would be very complex.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone
-------- Original message --------
Date: 05/17/2015 18:32 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: [time-nuts] TymServe 2100 was: The GPS 1995 problem and the Heol
Design solution.
Do you have any data on how many TymServe 2100 units have this problem?
Would a solution be to add a daughter board between the existing GPS and the TymServe 2100 that would correct the year?
This might be a straight forward PIC microcontroller.
Mail_Attachment --
Have Fun,
Brooke Clarke
http://www.PRC68.com
http://www.end2partygovernment.com/2012Issues.html
http://www.prc68.com/I/DietNutrition.html
Post by Sean Gallagher
Good afternoon everyone,
So as most (all) of you are aware at this point what seems to be like all of the Trimble Ace III GPS receivers
have looped around their entire lifespan and are setting the date back to 1995. This is affecting many people with the
Datum/Symmetricom TymServe 2100 units. My company had two such units (we had purchased a second one when the +1 second
UTC thing happened not realizing it was a firmware v3 and 4 problem) and also a slew of Datum 635/637 PCI cards which
use the Trimble Ace III as well.
After some scrounging around on the web I found that a company in France, Heol Design
(http://www.heoldesign.com/), had created an Ace III clone. I contacted them for some information and a quote on what
sounded the most promising. These were the N014 and N024 units which were quoted to me as 85 euro for the 014 and 90
euro for the 024. I also asked them if they thought their units would correct the date problem and they reached out to
Trimble who apparently was not able (or willing?) to provide an answer. Olivier Descoubès with Heol Designs however
was willing to work with me for testing purposes and sent me 2 of the N024 units so that I could test and see if they
would work as true drop in replacements. I have attached the data sheets that I received on the units as well for your
viewing. I'm not as technical as most of you so maybe you'll see something that I don't get that you can work with.
The units came in yesterday after COB and so this morning was the moment of truth. Short answer to everything is
they don't seem to work. I hooked it in to both of my 2100's first the older Datum branded one then the newer
Symmetricom brand (although they look physically to be the exact same underlying board) really just to try and cover
all my bases. I let the first one go for about an hour and the second for only half an hour since I was already
thinking this was a bust. While it was hooked up though I telnetted in and went into the GPS menu. It gave me my
Lat/Long position and the satellites command was able to show me that I had plenty of coverage, but it was unable to
give me the time.
After that I hooked it on to one of my 635PCI cards and got one of my backup servers going. I started up the Datum
application and it did go into GPS mode which was at first promising. Typically with these cards if there is a problem
between the GPS receiver and the Datum card then it will automatically come up in Time Code mode and won't even
recognize the GPS. I let it run for about an hour while I ran to lunch and when I came back it had still not put out
time.
My guess is that these new receivers use the "Extended date" format or whatever it's called that adds more bits on
(3? - sorry I can't remember specifics) to correct the rollover and changes it from 15 years to like 157 or something
like that. And it seems like this older equipment that a lot of timing solutions use cannot handle this new output and
thus can't decode it. Again I'm just a Junior in college so this is all just theory but it's what my gut feeling is.
I've also attached pictures of these new units. They are the same size and have the 8 pin stack. There is
additionally a 10 pin stack that I had to trim down to get it to fit. Also the antenna connector is an SMB, same as
the Ace III, however it is on the other plane of the board. So if you were looking at putting it in a 635PCI card like
me I had to use tin snips and cut out a notch on the front plate of it to make it fit.
So it looks like I had to take a page from Mr. Andrew Cooper's book and have set up a rig like his using the two
2100's in unison. I have GPS going into the older one which I have reverted back to it's oldest firmware (2.84 I
think) and thus avoided the 1 second problem. This older unit is putting out a 1PPS into the newer one set mode for
1PPS that is on V3.1 of firmware with the time and date manually being set through telnet. Trying to do it at the unit
face is not feasible don't try it and I couldn't do this on the 2.84 firmware version for some reason it wouldn't
recognize the commands. A colleague of mine seems to think for some reason that I might start getting drift again with
this setup. He said that the 1PPS may not be enough to discipline the other 2100 do you guys have any thoughts on
that? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me as it's just a pulse
I had kind of a crazy thought earlier based on a project that I had considered doing. I've seen on the internet
that some people have taken a Raspberry Pi and made a timing solution out of it. At least one using what looked like
the same type of Trimble III card.
http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/Raspberry-Pi-NTP.html
http://musingsfromthe8thfloor.com/2015/02/08/stratum-1-ntp-server-on-raspberry-pi/comment-page-1/
https://digitalnigel.com/wordpress/?p=1781
Does anyone think it would be possible to do this with these new receivers and get it to work? Even if it was only
used to discipline some larger clock unit like the 2100? Or maybe even using the older receivers but making the RPi
correct the rollover problem somehow? It looked like without me putting a lot of work into it I wouldn't be able to
get it going because of having to learn the pin programming and electrical theory etc. And I unfortunately do not have
the resources at work currently to follow this line of thinking.
**** I have just received an email from Olivier and they are aware of the TS2100 issue from a customer of theirs in
France. That customer is shipping them the unit so that Heol can investigate it in action with a 2100 and can maybe
come up with a solution.****
_______________________________________________
To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
and follow the instructions there.
_______________________________________________
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_______________________________________________
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