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RE: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

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  • Dave
    Hi- Your response is really appreciated. I miss most of the beacon signals and not sure why; I m next going to look at the antenna. I use LM-400 cable to my
    Message 1 of 29 , Nov 16, 2009
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      Hi- Your response is really appreciated. I miss most of the beacon signals
      and not sure why; I'm next going to look at the antenna. I use LM-400 cable
      to my vertical and -right now- a PCR-1000 on a Single Freq (21.150Mhz). I
      have an IC-725 for use as my 'all-freq' radio that, if I cannot get the
      PCR-1000 to work on all the beacon freqs, I will use instead.

      I attach an image of my Clock-Accuracy screen, and you can see my problem -I
      think it shows 'slipping time' scatter. I have not used the 150 scale before
      and the slope is not as bad as it is when using the 50ms scale (duh).

      Again, great explanation and thank you. If there's an issue with this please
      let's explore Plan B.

      Dave
      DM78qg // KA0SWT
      /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





      -----Original Message-----
      From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of vk4iu
      Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 22:34
      To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

      Hi Dave,

      I am not sure I understand what you mean by "mult-freq unit", but I think I
      have solved my problems with time and Faros.

      I'm at a rural QTH with a fast Internet connection. But the connection is
      not that suitable for the needs of Faros.

      I have been working with Faros for several weeks, addressing the problem of
      "time precision". On the Internet, knowing the time is a complex thing. It
      works around a few servers knowing the precise time, and most others working
      on an "average time", usually obtained from some other server somewhere on
      the Internet. One Internet server, no matter how fast, does not necessarily
      know the correct time.

      My solution uses nothing but Faros and the Internet and has proved "good
      enough" for reliable beacon observations - depsite the unsuitable nature of
      the Internet connection.

      First, I implemented my own time servers. Bad move - it made things worse,
      not better. So I began work to understand the problem better. At one stage,
      I had five copies of Faros running with four local NTP time servers all
      talking to ten to fifteen Internet time servers. I even attached my own GPS
      to one of my own time server! All to little result. I clearly did not
      understand the problem well enough.

      Clearly, Faros needs to know the time, to a reasonable precision, so it can
      be ready to listen when the beacons transmit. But, much more importantly for
      us amateur radio enthusiasts, it needs a "consistent" measure of time. If
      the time is "consistent", then we can use the "delay adjustment" on the
      Details panel, to make up for all the time lost elsewhere, and Faros will
      not only manage to listen at the right time, but also work out whether the
      signal came short path, or long path. Without consistent time, Faros will
      miss many worthwhile observations, and be unable to tell short path from
      long path.

      Faros starts work before the "beacon time". It asks the sound card for 10
      seconds of sound, and then does an analysis of the sound stream, using
      "Faros time" to find the beacon signal in the sound stream. It then
      calculates the "delay" for the signal.

      You need more than one Internet time server - just ONE will not do. Faros
      will work, but for best results, more than one Internet server of which to
      ask the time is needed to calculate reliable "Faros time". Faros makes no
      use of the PC clock - it is not consistent enough, for this work.

      My Internet time server delays range from 90ms to 500ms. There is no need to
      change the INI file - Faros will do that. My suggestions to help with your
      problem are:

      Faros already has a list of time servers, and they, most probably, will do.
      Use View, UTC Clock info, Test Servers, Click on the Test Servers button.
      But, you must do that repeatedly, at least 10 times (its important) - click
      the button again immediately after Faros gets to the end of the the list
      (that's also important). While its all happening, keep on eye on the server
      delays, and note those that have delays mostly below 128ms (the faster the
      better) - test the servers until you are satisfied - given your values at
      25ms you will have no problems doing that. The server delay times may vary a
      lot. Note the servers that are consistently below 128ms - and tick them -
      and "apply the selection". You are now ready for Faros to start work.

      But, do that all again in a few hours, tomorrow, next week. Note the servers
      that are consistent, day after day, week after week. The immediate goal is
      to find seven to ten servers from the list already in Faros, that result in
      "Faros time" flat lining. If you have less than 10, that's OK. Start with as
      many as you can, you need at least 2, the more the better. But, find a list
      of servers and stick with it for a week before using a different set of
      servers.

      Now you need to do two things - just wait for time to pass, and most
      importantly, leave the PC running continuously with your Internet connection
      active. If there is a storm, disconnect the antenna, but try to leave Faros,
      the PC, and the Internet connection running. Clearly, that may not always be
      possible. You need days and hours, not hours and minutes, to enjoy all the
      features of Faros.

      What happens now depends greatly on the packet delay quality of your
      Internet connection, as compared to its speed, and how consistent the chosen
      servers are in providing time. Its all related.

      My experience is:

      With a good fast, broadband Internet connection, Faros will have consistent
      time within 15 to 30 minutes. But ... I have a fast broadband Internet
      connection, permanently ON, and it often takes THREE HOURS, for Faros time
      to "flat line" and every few hours it "moves a bit". That's because my
      broadband connection is via "broadband 3G wireless" and is not consistent in
      terms of "packet delay" when Faros asks the servers for time. Each and every
      Internet connection will be different. When my daughter arrives for a
      weekend visit, Faros finds my connection extremely slow for that weekend!

      After 24 hours or so of continuous operation of Faros, late in the UTC day,
      look at View, UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. Move the slider on the right
      until the 150ms bar is near the top on the right. You may need to wait 10 to
      15 minutes until the dialogue box is full of data. The red line of "Faros
      time" should be running through the middle of the screen, with lots of dark
      blue dots straddling the red line, and lots of light blue dots scattered
      around - most will have a light blue vertical line running through the dot.
      If the red line is not "flat", we need "plan B" - for now that has to wait
      for later.

      If you have a flat red line for "Faros tme", close the dialogue box and go
      to the Details screen. In the set of beacons to the top left, click on a
      beacon you know is strong at your location and has a high probability of
      being short path - any band will do. Where is the row of "dots"? The row
      should be approximately straight and flat - but may be anywhere on the
      screen. If the row of "dots" is not on the SP line, adjust the "delay
      correction" at the bottom of the screen until the row is ON the SP line.
      For a fast broadband connection the "delay correction" will be of the order
      of 20ms, more or less. My correction is 60ms.

      Now wait another day or two and recheck. The beacons should still be on the
      SP line, and Faros should be making good observations of SP/LP. If not, we
      need "plan B".

      If Internet time is a problem you will see ...

      On the Details panel - the dots wander up and down the screen in large
      amounts. Normal variation is plus or minus 10ms or so on the scale on the
      right - centered on the SO line.

      On the UTC Clock Accuracy dialogue - there are no, or few, dark blue dots
      anywhere, and the red line wanders up and down. The dark blue dots are
      servers with time that varyies little, less than 60ms or so. The light blue
      dots are servers are with large variations in reported time and are given
      much less weight by Faros.

      If you want, sit and watch Faros at work. Its very informative. Display the
      Monitor panel, and then click on View, UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. You
      can leave the dialogue open for hours on end. It does not seem to bother
      Faros. Watch the beacon measurements and note the "delay" - if you have
      everything set correctly it should be around 0 plus or minus 10ms. It will
      vary with the propagation and "Faros time", which of course is related to
      the Internet time. Look in View, Delay Statistics. The graph should narrow
      and sharp - the sharper the better your "system" for Internet time is.

      Peter VK4IU


      --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "davemynatt" <dave@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi group- Wondering what problems folks have with timing inside Faros and
      how they resolved the problem. Is an external timing app best, or, in the
      case of COMCAST, what NTP server are you using? Did you adjust the timing
      INI file and select different servers? What is a typical timing delay; I see
      anywhere from 25 to 100ms delay. Of course I chose the 25ms server, but I
      can't seem to use a multi-freq unit and instead settle upon a single freq
      and get good results. Any suggestions appreciated.
      >
      > Dave
      > KA0SWT
      >




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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • vk4iu
      ... your attached image has been removed Dave. The group moderator does not allow attachments. Clearly, you need to be controlling the IC-PCR1000 via OmniRig
      Message 2 of 29 , Nov 16, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        ... your attached image has been removed Dave. The group moderator does not allow attachments.

        Clearly, you need to be controlling the IC-PCR1000 via OmniRig I see other messages here to show you how to do that. OmniRig with switch the radio to the correct frequency at the correct time. Without that, we will ONLY be able to use ONE beacon on ONE frequency at a time.

        I would approach your whole problem in a slightly different way. You need to "prove" the components one at a time to develop the system as a whole.

        Your IC735 is supported directly by OmniRig and Faros - so start with it. Connect it up, don't worry about signals or time - just watch that Faros and Omnirig drive the 735 to the correct bands and frequencies at about the correct time. If not, solve that problem first.

        When that works, worry about what signals Faros can see. If you are getting little - fix the antenna!

        When that works, worry about the Internet time. Follow the process in my previous message. Plan-B is all about Internet time and your not at that point yet.

        Peter VK4IU

        >
        > I attach an image of my Clock-Accuracy screen, and you can see my problem -I
        > think it shows 'slipping time' scatter. I have not used the 150 scale before
        > and the slope is not as bad as it is when using the 50ms scale (duh).
      • Dave Baxter
        Hi... I m the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 helper app, so it can be used with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M have a copy, and
        Message 3 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
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          Hi...

          I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be used
          with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M have a
          copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be corrected on that if
          any are found directly attributed to that program of mine.

          I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly supported
          by Omni-Rig first, just in case.

          Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try when
          you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
          GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?

          Curious....

          Regards to All.

          Dave G0WBX.

          PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70, and
          another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
          http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/

          Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
        • vk4iu
          G Day Dave, I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which came to a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations because of
          Message 4 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            G'Day Dave,

            I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which came to a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations because of the problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I hope you don't mind if I have a look at the Java on your pages.

            What are the problems caused by the ISP?

            For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time Server software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and 8.10 Server, installing from the standard "package management" using Synaptic. On Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from Meinberg - http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and Meinberg's NTP Time Server Monitor to observe and plot the statistics from all the ntpd servers.

            I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my Garmin eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on Windows, using the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.

            It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of frustrations - all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The actual software installations were relatively simple and straight forward. One could describe the experience like big game hunting - hours and hours of observation and "taking aim", with the actual result occuring in just a minute or two. It is the sort of thing one has to do, to really understand what is happening with time and how it affects the Faros observations.

            I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection to work with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the beacons one could expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially, I selected a few time servers from the list and observed what happened over a day or so. The "dots" on the detail page were all over the place, and the UTC Clock accuracy "red line" went all over the place. Next I updated the TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers for Australia - see www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be things like 0.uk.pool.ntp.org. I got the same result - dots all over the place.

            That's when I implemented my own time servers.

            That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the Details panel went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the line of "dots" for beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day. The coloured blocks on the History page looked wonderful, but the data behind them was rubbish. I sat and watched the Monitor page for hours - time and again I watched Faros totally ignore nice strong beacon signals. Faros ended up following my time servers, which in turn followed the Internet time. Faros followed my servers because they were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time variation. But, over many hours my time servers followed a large sine curve, with the 15 minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.

            A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find the servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference. I then did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest and fastest 10 servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of dots on the Details panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed" observations by Faros. But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it to vary somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not enough for propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.

            The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless - most of the Internet servers had less variation in time.

            In summary, my conclusions.

            My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in terms of "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros. Its nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time keeping, at the accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is mostly in the "wireless link", but add that variability to the variability of the Internet as a whole, the Internet time server load and subsequent variability, and finally, the use of the connection by other people and devices in my household - and Faros cannot "keep time" well enough.

            A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too variable for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether a "good" GPS can do it - see below.

            A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough, provided the connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not overloaded by other uses in your household, or the network between you and the time servers. Only good time server selection, and rigorous observation over time will show whether or not the connection is adequate for serious use with Faros.

            My current plan.

            I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...

            Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.

            Peter VK4IU


            --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi...
            >
            > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be used
            > with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M have a
            > copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be corrected on that if
            > any are found directly attributed to that program of mine.
            >
            > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly supported
            > by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
            >
            > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try when
            > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
            > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
            >
            > Curious....
            >
            > Regards to All.
            >
            > Dave G0WBX.
            >
            > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70, and
            > another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
            > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
            >
            > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
            >
          • Dave
            Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a good program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I ll look at the references in your
            Message 5 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a good
              program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I'll look at the
              references in your email but I hope Alex can help some too. I can't believe
              I only 'see' one beacon a few times a day back-to-back time slots.

              Timing is the issue I think -and my Faros also hears but does not record
              loud signals- with Faros and solving it will add a lot to the system
              overall. I was wondering if we all sync to a single source if it would
              help... Then again the transmitters all have their own timing patterns, so
              unless we ALL go onto one single time server we'll all be different. Gotta
              be a GPS solution here somewhere.

              Good stuff at Dave Taylor's site.

              Let's keep this thread going... Good stuff here.


              Dave
              DM78qg // KA0SWT
              /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





              -----Original Message-----
              From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
              On Behalf Of vk4iu
              Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 15:53
              To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

              G'Day Dave,

              I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which came to
              a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations because of the
              problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I hope you don't mind if I
              have a look at the Java on your pages.

              What are the problems caused by the ISP?

              For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time Server
              software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and 8.10 Server,
              installing from the standard "package management" using Synaptic. On
              Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from Meinberg -
              http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and Meinberg's NTP Time Server
              Monitor to observe and plot the statistics from all the ntpd servers.

              I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my Garmin
              eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on Windows, using
              the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.

              It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of frustrations -
              all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The actual software
              installations were relatively simple and straight forward. One could
              describe the experience like big game hunting - hours and hours of
              observation and "taking aim", with the actual result occuring in just a
              minute or two. It is the sort of thing one has to do, to really understand
              what is happening with time and how it affects the Faros observations.

              I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection to work
              with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the beacons one could
              expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially, I selected a few time
              servers from the list and observed what happened over a day or so. The
              "dots" on the detail page were all over the place, and the UTC Clock
              accuracy "red line" went all over the place. Next I updated the
              TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers for Australia - see
              www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be things like 0.uk.pool.ntp.org.
              I got the same result - dots all over the place.

              That's when I implemented my own time servers.

              That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in UTC
              Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the Details panel
              went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the line of "dots" for
              beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day. The coloured blocks on
              the History page looked wonderful, but the data behind them was rubbish. I
              sat and watched the Monitor page for hours - time and again I watched Faros
              totally ignore nice strong beacon signals. Faros ended up following my time
              servers, which in turn followed the Internet time. Faros followed my
              servers because they were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time
              variation. But, over many hours my time servers followed a large sine
              curve, with the 15 minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.

              A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to
              decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find the
              servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference. I then
              did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest and fastest 10
              servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of dots on the Details
              panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed" observations by Faros.
              But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it to vary
              somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not enough for
              propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.

              The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless - most of
              the Internet servers had less variation in time.

              In summary, my conclusions.

              My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in terms of
              "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros. Its
              nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time keeping, at the
              accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is mostly in the "wireless
              link", but add that variability to the variability of the Internet as a
              whole, the Internet time server load and subsequent variability, and
              finally, the use of the connection by other people and devices in my
              household - and Faros cannot "keep time" well enough.

              A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too variable
              for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether a "good" GPS can
              do it - see below.

              A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough, provided the
              connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not overloaded by other uses
              in your household, or the network between you and the time servers. Only
              good time server selection, and rigorous observation over time will show
              whether or not the connection is adequate for serious use with Faros.

              My current plan.

              I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
              Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...

              Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I
              have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
              integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
              http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of
              information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high hopes
              of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study, site and
              antenna comparisons.

              Peter VK4IU


              --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi...
              >
              > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be used
              > with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M have a
              > copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be corrected on that
              > if any are found directly attributed to that program of mine.
              >
              > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly
              > supported by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
              >
              > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try when
              > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
              > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
              >
              > Curious....
              >
              > Regards to All.
              >
              > Dave G0WBX.
              >
              > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70, and
              > another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
              > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
              >
              > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
              >




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              No virus found in this outgoing message.
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              Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date: 11/16/09 19:53:00


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Dave
              Hi Dave- I think any timing problems are between Faros and the timing routines, not your application. It is working wonderfully well, but my timing issues are
              Message 6 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Dave- I think any timing problems are between Faros and the timing
                routines, not your application. It is working wonderfully well, but my
                timing issues are huge. I'm working them as I can but not having much luck
                yet. I think I need to get a handle on the transmitter and receiver timing
                concept.


                Dave
                DM78qg // KA0SWT
                /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                -----Original Message-----
                From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                On Behalf Of Dave Baxter
                Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 07:44
                To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                Hi...

                I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be used with
                Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M have a copy, and
                AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be corrected on that if any are found
                directly attributed to that program of mine.

                I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly supported by
                Omni-Rig first, just in case.

                Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try when
                you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
                GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?

                Curious....

                Regards to All.

                Dave G0WBX.

                PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70, and another
                of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
                http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/

                Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.


                ------------------------------------

                Yahoo! Groups Links




                ----------


                No virus found in this outgoing message.
                Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date: 11/16/09 19:53:00


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • vk4iu
                Dave, With so much Internet access variability across the world, there will never be a single Internet source that will give a good result for all - that is
                Message 7 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dave,

                  With so much Internet access variability across the world, there will never be a single Internet source that will give a good result for all - that is why there are hundreds of NTP time servers across the Internet - spread all around the world. With a large population of Time Servers there will always be a few time servers accessible anywhere.

                  The question is still, can you get to the Internet in an adequate form to retrieve time that meets the needs of Faros. Only you can answer that question, by testing your connection. But, we can help you do the tests to find out.

                  The best approach is to divide your problem up. Lets work on one thing at a time - forget the beacons for the moment. First - the Internet connection.

                  What type of Internet connection do you have?
                  How fast is it?
                  Is it connected all the time?

                  Peter VK4IU



                  --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a good
                  > program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I'll look at the
                  > references in your email but I hope Alex can help some too. I can't believe
                  > I only 'see' one beacon a few times a day back-to-back time slots.
                  >
                  > Timing is the issue I think -and my Faros also hears but does not record
                  > loud signals- with Faros and solving it will add a lot to the system
                  > overall. I was wondering if we all sync to a single source if it would
                  > help... Then again the transmitters all have their own timing patterns, so
                  > unless we ALL go onto one single time server we'll all be different. Gotta
                  > be a GPS solution here somewhere.
                  >
                  > Good stuff at Dave Taylor's site.
                  >
                  > Let's keep this thread going... Good stuff here.
                  >
                  >
                  > Dave
                  > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                  > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                  > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                  > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 15:53
                  > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                  >
                  > G'Day Dave,
                  >
                  > I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which came to
                  > a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations because of the
                  > problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I hope you don't mind if I
                  > have a look at the Java on your pages.
                  >
                  > What are the problems caused by the ISP?
                  >
                  > For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time Server
                  > software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and 8.10 Server,
                  > installing from the standard "package management" using Synaptic. On
                  > Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from Meinberg -
                  > http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and Meinberg's NTP Time Server
                  > Monitor to observe and plot the statistics from all the ntpd servers.
                  >
                  > I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my Garmin
                  > eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on Windows, using
                  > the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.
                  >
                  > It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of frustrations -
                  > all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The actual software
                  > installations were relatively simple and straight forward. One could
                  > describe the experience like big game hunting - hours and hours of
                  > observation and "taking aim", with the actual result occuring in just a
                  > minute or two. It is the sort of thing one has to do, to really understand
                  > what is happening with time and how it affects the Faros observations.
                  >
                  > I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection to work
                  > with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the beacons one could
                  > expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially, I selected a few time
                  > servers from the list and observed what happened over a day or so. The
                  > "dots" on the detail page were all over the place, and the UTC Clock
                  > accuracy "red line" went all over the place. Next I updated the
                  > TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers for Australia - see
                  > www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be things like 0.uk.pool.ntp.org.
                  > I got the same result - dots all over the place.
                  >
                  > That's when I implemented my own time servers.
                  >
                  > That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in UTC
                  > Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the Details panel
                  > went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the line of "dots" for
                  > beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day. The coloured blocks on
                  > the History page looked wonderful, but the data behind them was rubbish. I
                  > sat and watched the Monitor page for hours - time and again I watched Faros
                  > totally ignore nice strong beacon signals. Faros ended up following my time
                  > servers, which in turn followed the Internet time. Faros followed my
                  > servers because they were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time
                  > variation. But, over many hours my time servers followed a large sine
                  > curve, with the 15 minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.
                  >
                  > A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to
                  > decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find the
                  > servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference. I then
                  > did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest and fastest 10
                  > servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of dots on the Details
                  > panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed" observations by Faros.
                  > But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it to vary
                  > somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not enough for
                  > propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.
                  >
                  > The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless - most of
                  > the Internet servers had less variation in time.
                  >
                  > In summary, my conclusions.
                  >
                  > My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in terms of
                  > "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros. Its
                  > nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time keeping, at the
                  > accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is mostly in the "wireless
                  > link", but add that variability to the variability of the Internet as a
                  > whole, the Internet time server load and subsequent variability, and
                  > finally, the use of the connection by other people and devices in my
                  > household - and Faros cannot "keep time" well enough.
                  >
                  > A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too variable
                  > for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether a "good" GPS can
                  > do it - see below.
                  >
                  > A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough, provided the
                  > connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not overloaded by other uses
                  > in your household, or the network between you and the time servers. Only
                  > good time server selection, and rigorous observation over time will show
                  > whether or not the connection is adequate for serious use with Faros.
                  >
                  > My current plan.
                  >
                  > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                  > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                  >
                  > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I
                  > have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
                  > integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
                  > http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of
                  > information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high hopes
                  > of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study, site and
                  > antenna comparisons.
                  >
                  > Peter VK4IU
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi...
                  > >
                  > > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be used
                  > > with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M have a
                  > > copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be corrected on that
                  > > if any are found directly attributed to that program of mine.
                  > >
                  > > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly
                  > > supported by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
                  > >
                  > > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try when
                  > > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
                  > > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
                  > >
                  > > Curious....
                  > >
                  > > Regards to All.
                  > >
                  > > Dave G0WBX.
                  > >
                  > > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70, and
                  > > another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
                  > > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                  > >
                  > > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ----------
                  >
                  >
                  > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                  > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                  > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date: 11/16/09 19:53:00
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Dave
                  Hi Peter- High speed full-time Comcast Business service, static IP, dedicated 2.6Ghz PC with 1Gb RAM, running Faros and no other apps. Dave DM78qg // KA0SWT
                  Message 8 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Peter- High speed full-time Comcast Business service, static IP,
                    dedicated 2.6Ghz PC with 1Gb RAM, running Faros and no other apps.


                    Dave
                    DM78qg // KA0SWT
                    /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                    On Behalf Of vk4iu
                    Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 20:30
                    To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                    Dave,

                    With so much Internet access variability across the world, there will never
                    be a single Internet source that will give a good result for all - that is
                    why there are hundreds of NTP time servers across the Internet - spread all
                    around the world. With a large population of Time Servers there will always
                    be a few time servers accessible anywhere.

                    The question is still, can you get to the Internet in an adequate form to
                    retrieve time that meets the needs of Faros. Only you can answer that
                    question, by testing your connection. But, we can help you do the tests to
                    find out.

                    The best approach is to divide your problem up. Lets work on one thing at a
                    time - forget the beacons for the moment. First - the Internet connection.

                    What type of Internet connection do you have?
                    How fast is it?
                    Is it connected all the time?

                    Peter VK4IU



                    --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a
                    > good program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I'll look at
                    > the references in your email but I hope Alex can help some too. I
                    > can't believe I only 'see' one beacon a few times a day back-to-back time
                    slots.
                    >
                    > Timing is the issue I think -and my Faros also hears but does not
                    > record loud signals- with Faros and solving it will add a lot to the
                    > system overall. I was wondering if we all sync to a single source if
                    > it would help... Then again the transmitters all have their own timing
                    > patterns, so unless we ALL go onto one single time server we'll all be
                    > different. Gotta be a GPS solution here somewhere.
                    >
                    > Good stuff at Dave Taylor's site.
                    >
                    > Let's keep this thread going... Good stuff here.
                    >
                    >
                    > Dave
                    > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                    > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                    > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                    > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                    > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 15:53
                    > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                    >
                    > G'Day Dave,
                    >
                    > I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which
                    > came to a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations
                    > because of the problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I
                    > hope you don't mind if I have a look at the Java on your pages.
                    >
                    > What are the problems caused by the ISP?
                    >
                    > For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time
                    > Server software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and 8.10
                    > Server, installing from the standard "package management" using
                    > Synaptic. On Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from
                    > Meinberg - http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and Meinberg's
                    > NTP Time Server Monitor to observe and plot the statistics from all the
                    ntpd servers.
                    >
                    > I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my
                    > Garmin eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on
                    > Windows, using the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.
                    >
                    > It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of
                    > frustrations - all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The
                    > actual software installations were relatively simple and straight
                    > forward. One could describe the experience like big game hunting -
                    > hours and hours of observation and "taking aim", with the actual
                    > result occuring in just a minute or two. It is the sort of thing one
                    > has to do, to really understand what is happening with time and how it
                    affects the Faros observations.
                    >
                    > I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection
                    > to work with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the
                    > beacons one could expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially, I
                    > selected a few time servers from the list and observed what happened
                    > over a day or so. The "dots" on the detail page were all over the
                    > place, and the UTC Clock accuracy "red line" went all over the place.
                    > Next I updated the TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers for
                    > Australia - see www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be things like
                    0.uk.pool.ntp.org.
                    > I got the same result - dots all over the place.
                    >
                    > That's when I implemented my own time servers.
                    >
                    > That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in
                    > UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the
                    > Details panel went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the line
                    > of "dots" for beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day.
                    > The coloured blocks on the History page looked wonderful, but the data
                    > behind them was rubbish. I sat and watched the Monitor page for hours
                    > - time and again I watched Faros totally ignore nice strong beacon
                    > signals. Faros ended up following my time servers, which in turn
                    > followed the Internet time. Faros followed my servers because they
                    > were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time variation. But,
                    > over many hours my time servers followed a large sine curve, with the 15
                    minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.
                    >
                    > A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to
                    > decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find
                    > the servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference.
                    > I then did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest
                    > and fastest 10 servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of dots
                    > on the Details panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed"
                    observations by Faros.
                    > But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it to
                    > vary somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not
                    > enough for propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.
                    >
                    > The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless -
                    > most of the Internet servers had less variation in time.
                    >
                    > In summary, my conclusions.
                    >
                    > My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in terms
                    of
                    > "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros.
                    Its
                    > nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time keeping,
                    > at the accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is mostly in the
                    > "wireless link", but add that variability to the variability of the
                    > Internet as a whole, the Internet time server load and subsequent
                    > variability, and finally, the use of the connection by other people
                    > and devices in my household - and Faros cannot "keep time" well enough.
                    >
                    > A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too
                    > variable for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether a
                    > "good" GPS can do it - see below.
                    >
                    > A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough,
                    > provided the connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not
                    > overloaded by other uses in your household, or the network between you
                    > and the time servers. Only good time server selection, and rigorous
                    > observation over time will show whether or not the connection is adequate
                    for serious use with Faros.
                    >
                    > My current plan.
                    >
                    > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                    > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                    >
                    > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                    > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                    > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                    > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                    > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time
                    > signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation
                    > for propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                    >
                    > Peter VK4IU
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Hi...
                    > >
                    > > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be
                    > > used with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M
                    > > have a copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be corrected
                    > > on that if any are found directly attributed to that program of mine.
                    > >
                    > > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly
                    > > supported by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
                    > >
                    > > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try when
                    > > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
                    > > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
                    > >
                    > > Curious....
                    > >
                    > > Regards to All.
                    > >
                    > > Dave G0WBX.
                    > >
                    > > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70, and
                    > > another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
                    > > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                    > >
                    > > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ----------
                    >
                    >
                    > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                    > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                    > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date:
                    > 11/16/09 19:53:00
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >




                    ------------------------------------

                    Yahoo! Groups Links




                    ----------


                    No virus found in this outgoing message.
                    Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                    Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date: 11/17/09 19:26:00


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • vk4iu
                    Back again, Dave. The PC should be no problems. Looking at COMCAST.COM, my guess is you have a Cable Internet connection. Do you know the speed? 1.5mega bits
                    Message 9 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Back again, Dave.

                      The PC should be no problems.

                      Looking at COMCAST.COM, my guess is you have a Cable Internet connection. Do you know the speed? 1.5mega bits per second download?
                      Upload 64k? No matter, that's the "gloss on the brochure" anyway.

                      Go to www.speedtest.net. It will suggest a server to test. Report back what speed you actually get - do it a couple of times, and see if it varies much. You will get a measure for Download, Upload and Latency or "ping".

                      Peter VK4IU

                      --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Peter- High speed full-time Comcast Business service, static IP,
                      > dedicated 2.6Ghz PC with 1Gb RAM, running Faros and no other apps.
                      >
                      >
                      > Dave
                      > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                      > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                      > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                      > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 20:30
                      > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                      >
                      > Dave,
                      >
                      > With so much Internet access variability across the world, there will never
                      > be a single Internet source that will give a good result for all - that is
                      > why there are hundreds of NTP time servers across the Internet - spread all
                      > around the world. With a large population of Time Servers there will always
                      > be a few time servers accessible anywhere.
                      >
                      > The question is still, can you get to the Internet in an adequate form to
                      > retrieve time that meets the needs of Faros. Only you can answer that
                      > question, by testing your connection. But, we can help you do the tests to
                      > find out.
                      >
                      > The best approach is to divide your problem up. Lets work on one thing at a
                      > time - forget the beacons for the moment. First - the Internet connection.
                      >
                      > What type of Internet connection do you have?
                      > How fast is it?
                      > Is it connected all the time?
                      >
                      > Peter VK4IU
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a
                      > > good program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I'll look at
                      > > the references in your email but I hope Alex can help some too. I
                      > > can't believe I only 'see' one beacon a few times a day back-to-back time
                      > slots.
                      > >
                      > > Timing is the issue I think -and my Faros also hears but does not
                      > > record loud signals- with Faros and solving it will add a lot to the
                      > > system overall. I was wondering if we all sync to a single source if
                      > > it would help... Then again the transmitters all have their own timing
                      > > patterns, so unless we ALL go onto one single time server we'll all be
                      > > different. Gotta be a GPS solution here somewhere.
                      > >
                      > > Good stuff at Dave Taylor's site.
                      > >
                      > > Let's keep this thread going... Good stuff here.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Dave
                      > > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                      > > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                      > > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                      > > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                      > > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 15:53
                      > > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                      > >
                      > > G'Day Dave,
                      > >
                      > > I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which
                      > > came to a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations
                      > > because of the problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I
                      > > hope you don't mind if I have a look at the Java on your pages.
                      > >
                      > > What are the problems caused by the ISP?
                      > >
                      > > For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time
                      > > Server software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and 8.10
                      > > Server, installing from the standard "package management" using
                      > > Synaptic. On Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from
                      > > Meinberg - http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and Meinberg's
                      > > NTP Time Server Monitor to observe and plot the statistics from all the
                      > ntpd servers.
                      > >
                      > > I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my
                      > > Garmin eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on
                      > > Windows, using the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.
                      > >
                      > > It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of
                      > > frustrations - all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The
                      > > actual software installations were relatively simple and straight
                      > > forward. One could describe the experience like big game hunting -
                      > > hours and hours of observation and "taking aim", with the actual
                      > > result occuring in just a minute or two. It is the sort of thing one
                      > > has to do, to really understand what is happening with time and how it
                      > affects the Faros observations.
                      > >
                      > > I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection
                      > > to work with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the
                      > > beacons one could expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially, I
                      > > selected a few time servers from the list and observed what happened
                      > > over a day or so. The "dots" on the detail page were all over the
                      > > place, and the UTC Clock accuracy "red line" went all over the place.
                      > > Next I updated the TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers for
                      > > Australia - see www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be things like
                      > 0.uk.pool.ntp.org.
                      > > I got the same result - dots all over the place.
                      > >
                      > > That's when I implemented my own time servers.
                      > >
                      > > That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in
                      > > UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the
                      > > Details panel went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the line
                      > > of "dots" for beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day.
                      > > The coloured blocks on the History page looked wonderful, but the data
                      > > behind them was rubbish. I sat and watched the Monitor page for hours
                      > > - time and again I watched Faros totally ignore nice strong beacon
                      > > signals. Faros ended up following my time servers, which in turn
                      > > followed the Internet time. Faros followed my servers because they
                      > > were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time variation. But,
                      > > over many hours my time servers followed a large sine curve, with the 15
                      > minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.
                      > >
                      > > A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to
                      > > decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find
                      > > the servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference.
                      > > I then did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest
                      > > and fastest 10 servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of dots
                      > > on the Details panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed"
                      > observations by Faros.
                      > > But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it to
                      > > vary somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not
                      > > enough for propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.
                      > >
                      > > The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless -
                      > > most of the Internet servers had less variation in time.
                      > >
                      > > In summary, my conclusions.
                      > >
                      > > My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in terms
                      > of
                      > > "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros.
                      > Its
                      > > nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time keeping,
                      > > at the accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is mostly in the
                      > > "wireless link", but add that variability to the variability of the
                      > > Internet as a whole, the Internet time server load and subsequent
                      > > variability, and finally, the use of the connection by other people
                      > > and devices in my household - and Faros cannot "keep time" well enough.
                      > >
                      > > A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too
                      > > variable for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether a
                      > > "good" GPS can do it - see below.
                      > >
                      > > A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough,
                      > > provided the connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not
                      > > overloaded by other uses in your household, or the network between you
                      > > and the time servers. Only good time server selection, and rigorous
                      > > observation over time will show whether or not the connection is adequate
                      > for serious use with Faros.
                      > >
                      > > My current plan.
                      > >
                      > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                      > > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                      > >
                      > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                      > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                      > > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                      > > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                      > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time
                      > > signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation
                      > > for propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                      > >
                      > > Peter VK4IU
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Hi...
                      > > >
                      > > > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be
                      > > > used with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave M
                      > > > have a copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be corrected
                      > > > on that if any are found directly attributed to that program of mine.
                      > > >
                      > > > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly
                      > > > supported by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
                      > > >
                      > > > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try when
                      > > > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
                      > > > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
                      > > >
                      > > > Curious....
                      > > >
                      > > > Regards to All.
                      > > >
                      > > > Dave G0WBX.
                      > > >
                      > > > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70, and
                      > > > another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
                      > > > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                      > > >
                      > > > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ------------------------------------
                      > >
                      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ----------
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                      > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                      > > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date:
                      > > 11/16/09 19:53:00
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ----------
                      >
                      >
                      > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                      > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                      > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date: 11/17/09 19:26:00
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                    • Dave
                      Yes, sorry, full-time Comcast Business Class broadband cable. Dave DM78qg // KA0SWT /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/ ... From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                      Message 10 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Yes, sorry, full-time Comcast Business Class broadband cable.


                        Dave
                        DM78qg // KA0SWT
                        /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                        On Behalf Of vk4iu
                        Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 22:15
                        To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                        Back again, Dave.

                        The PC should be no problems.

                        Looking at COMCAST.COM, my guess is you have a Cable Internet connection.
                        Do you know the speed? 1.5mega bits per second download?
                        Upload 64k? No matter, that's the "gloss on the brochure" anyway.

                        Go to www.speedtest.net. It will suggest a server to test. Report back what
                        speed you actually get - do it a couple of times, and see if it varies much.
                        You will get a measure for Download, Upload and Latency or "ping".

                        Peter VK4IU

                        --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Peter- High speed full-time Comcast Business service, static IP,
                        > dedicated 2.6Ghz PC with 1Gb RAM, running Faros and no other apps.
                        >
                        >
                        > Dave
                        > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                        > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                        > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                        > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                        > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 20:30
                        > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                        >
                        > Dave,
                        >
                        > With so much Internet access variability across the world, there will
                        > never be a single Internet source that will give a good result for all
                        > - that is why there are hundreds of NTP time servers across the
                        > Internet - spread all around the world. With a large population of
                        > Time Servers there will always be a few time servers accessible anywhere.
                        >
                        > The question is still, can you get to the Internet in an adequate form
                        > to retrieve time that meets the needs of Faros. Only you can answer
                        > that question, by testing your connection. But, we can help you do
                        > the tests to find out.
                        >
                        > The best approach is to divide your problem up. Lets work on one
                        > thing at a time - forget the beacons for the moment. First - the Internet
                        connection.
                        >
                        > What type of Internet connection do you have?
                        > How fast is it?
                        > Is it connected all the time?
                        >
                        > Peter VK4IU
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a
                        > > good program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I'll look at
                        > > the references in your email but I hope Alex can help some too. I
                        > > can't believe I only 'see' one beacon a few times a day back-to-back
                        > > time
                        > slots.
                        > >
                        > > Timing is the issue I think -and my Faros also hears but does not
                        > > record loud signals- with Faros and solving it will add a lot to the
                        > > system overall. I was wondering if we all sync to a single source if
                        > > it would help... Then again the transmitters all have their own
                        > > timing patterns, so unless we ALL go onto one single time server
                        > > we'll all be different. Gotta be a GPS solution here somewhere.
                        > >
                        > > Good stuff at Dave Taylor's site.
                        > >
                        > > Let's keep this thread going... Good stuff here.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Dave
                        > > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                        > > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                        > > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                        > > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                        > > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 15:53
                        > > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                        > >
                        > > G'Day Dave,
                        > >
                        > > I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which
                        > > came to a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations
                        > > because of the problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I
                        > > hope you don't mind if I have a look at the Java on your pages.
                        > >
                        > > What are the problems caused by the ISP?
                        > >
                        > > For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time
                        > > Server software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and
                        > > 8.10 Server, installing from the standard "package management" using
                        > > Synaptic. On Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from
                        > > Meinberg - http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and
                        > > Meinberg's NTP Time Server Monitor to observe and plot the
                        > > statistics from all the
                        > ntpd servers.
                        > >
                        > > I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my
                        > > Garmin eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on
                        > > Windows, using the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.
                        > >
                        > > It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of
                        > > frustrations - all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The
                        > > actual software installations were relatively simple and straight
                        > > forward. One could describe the experience like big game hunting -
                        > > hours and hours of observation and "taking aim", with the actual
                        > > result occuring in just a minute or two. It is the sort of thing one
                        > > has to do, to really understand what is happening with time and how
                        > > it
                        > affects the Faros observations.
                        > >
                        > > I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection
                        > > to work with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the
                        > > beacons one could expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially,
                        > > I selected a few time servers from the list and observed what
                        > > happened over a day or so. The "dots" on the detail page were all
                        > > over the place, and the UTC Clock accuracy "red line" went all over the
                        place.
                        > > Next I updated the TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers
                        > > for Australia - see www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be
                        > > things like
                        > 0.uk.pool.ntp.org.
                        > > I got the same result - dots all over the place.
                        > >
                        > > That's when I implemented my own time servers.
                        > >
                        > > That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in
                        > > UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the
                        > > Details panel went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the
                        > > line of "dots" for beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day.
                        > > The coloured blocks on the History page looked wonderful, but the
                        > > data behind them was rubbish. I sat and watched the Monitor page
                        > > for hours
                        > > - time and again I watched Faros totally ignore nice strong beacon
                        > > signals. Faros ended up following my time servers, which in turn
                        > > followed the Internet time. Faros followed my servers because they
                        > > were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time variation. But,
                        > > over many hours my time servers followed a large sine curve, with
                        > > the 15
                        > minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.
                        > >
                        > > A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to
                        > > decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find
                        > > the servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference.
                        > > I then did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest
                        > > and fastest 10 servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of
                        > > dots on the Details panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed"
                        > observations by Faros.
                        > > But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it
                        > > to vary somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not
                        > > enough for propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.
                        > >
                        > > The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless -
                        > > most of the Internet servers had less variation in time.
                        > >
                        > > In summary, my conclusions.
                        > >
                        > > My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in
                        > > terms
                        > of
                        > > "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros.
                        > Its
                        > > nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time
                        > > keeping, at the accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is
                        > > mostly in the "wireless link", but add that variability to the
                        > > variability of the Internet as a whole, the Internet time server
                        > > load and subsequent variability, and finally, the use of the
                        > > connection by other people and devices in my household - and Faros
                        cannot "keep time" well enough.
                        > >
                        > > A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too
                        > > variable for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether
                        > > a "good" GPS can do it - see below.
                        > >
                        > > A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough,
                        > > provided the connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not
                        > > overloaded by other uses in your household, or the network between
                        > > you and the time servers. Only good time server selection, and
                        > > rigorous observation over time will show whether or not the
                        > > connection is adequate
                        > for serious use with Faros.
                        > >
                        > > My current plan.
                        > >
                        > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server -
                        > > the Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                        > >
                        > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                        > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will
                        > > proceed to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is
                        > > a reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                        > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good
                        > > time signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros
                        > > installation for propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                        > >
                        > > Peter VK4IU
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Hi...
                        > > >
                        > > > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be
                        > > > used with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave
                        > > > M have a copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be
                        > > > corrected on that if any are found directly attributed to that program
                        of mine.
                        > > >
                        > > > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly
                        > > > supported by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
                        > > >
                        > > > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try
                        when
                        > > > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
                        > > > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
                        > > >
                        > > > Curious....
                        > > >
                        > > > Regards to All.
                        > > >
                        > > > Dave G0WBX.
                        > > >
                        > > > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70,
                        > > > and another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
                        > > > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                        > > >
                        > > > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ------------------------------------
                        > >
                        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ----------
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                        > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                        > > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date:
                        > > 11/16/09 19:53:00
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ----------
                        >
                        >
                        > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                        > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                        > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date:
                        > 11/17/09 19:26:00
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >




                        ------------------------------------

                        Yahoo! Groups Links




                        ----------


                        No virus found in this outgoing message.
                        Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                        Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date: 11/17/09 19:26:00


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Dave
                        Here s the results: ________________1______2______3_______4______5______6______7 Download: 7.93Mb/s 6.92 7.28 7.70 6.47 6.39 7.24 Upload:
                        Message 11 of 29 , Nov 17, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Here's the results:

                          ________________1______2______3_______4______5______6______7

                          Download: 7.93Mb/s 6.92 7.28 7.70 6.47 6.39 7.24
                          Upload: 4.80Mb/s 4.44 4.16 4.76 4.59 4.59 4.47
                          Ping: 59ms 57 58 56 59 59 61

                          Server: Denver, CO


                          Dave
                          DM78qg // KA0SWT
                          /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                          On Behalf Of vk4iu
                          Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 22:15
                          To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                          Back again, Dave.

                          The PC should be no problems.

                          Looking at COMCAST.COM, my guess is you have a Cable Internet connection.
                          Do you know the speed? 1.5mega bits per second download?
                          Upload 64k? No matter, that's the "gloss on the brochure" anyway.

                          Go to www.speedtest.net. It will suggest a server to test. Report back what
                          speed you actually get - do it a couple of times, and see if it varies much.
                          You will get a measure for Download, Upload and Latency or "ping".

                          Peter VK4IU

                          --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi Peter- High speed full-time Comcast Business service, static IP,
                          > dedicated 2.6Ghz PC with 1Gb RAM, running Faros and no other apps.
                          >
                          >
                          > Dave
                          > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                          > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                          > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                          > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                          > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 20:30
                          > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                          >
                          > Dave,
                          >
                          > With so much Internet access variability across the world, there will
                          > never be a single Internet source that will give a good result for all
                          > - that is why there are hundreds of NTP time servers across the
                          > Internet - spread all around the world. With a large population of
                          > Time Servers there will always be a few time servers accessible anywhere.
                          >
                          > The question is still, can you get to the Internet in an adequate form
                          > to retrieve time that meets the needs of Faros. Only you can answer
                          > that question, by testing your connection. But, we can help you do
                          > the tests to find out.
                          >
                          > The best approach is to divide your problem up. Lets work on one
                          > thing at a time - forget the beacons for the moment. First - the Internet
                          connection.
                          >
                          > What type of Internet connection do you have?
                          > How fast is it?
                          > Is it connected all the time?
                          >
                          > Peter VK4IU
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a
                          > > good program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I'll look at
                          > > the references in your email but I hope Alex can help some too. I
                          > > can't believe I only 'see' one beacon a few times a day back-to-back
                          > > time
                          > slots.
                          > >
                          > > Timing is the issue I think -and my Faros also hears but does not
                          > > record loud signals- with Faros and solving it will add a lot to the
                          > > system overall. I was wondering if we all sync to a single source if
                          > > it would help... Then again the transmitters all have their own
                          > > timing patterns, so unless we ALL go onto one single time server
                          > > we'll all be different. Gotta be a GPS solution here somewhere.
                          > >
                          > > Good stuff at Dave Taylor's site.
                          > >
                          > > Let's keep this thread going... Good stuff here.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Dave
                          > > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                          > > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > -----Original Message-----
                          > > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                          > > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                          > > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                          > > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 15:53
                          > > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                          > > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                          > >
                          > > G'Day Dave,
                          > >
                          > > I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which
                          > > came to a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations
                          > > because of the problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I
                          > > hope you don't mind if I have a look at the Java on your pages.
                          > >
                          > > What are the problems caused by the ISP?
                          > >
                          > > For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time
                          > > Server software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and
                          > > 8.10 Server, installing from the standard "package management" using
                          > > Synaptic. On Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from
                          > > Meinberg - http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and
                          > > Meinberg's NTP Time Server Monitor to observe and plot the
                          > > statistics from all the
                          > ntpd servers.
                          > >
                          > > I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my
                          > > Garmin eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on
                          > > Windows, using the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.
                          > >
                          > > It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of
                          > > frustrations - all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The
                          > > actual software installations were relatively simple and straight
                          > > forward. One could describe the experience like big game hunting -
                          > > hours and hours of observation and "taking aim", with the actual
                          > > result occuring in just a minute or two. It is the sort of thing one
                          > > has to do, to really understand what is happening with time and how
                          > > it
                          > affects the Faros observations.
                          > >
                          > > I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection
                          > > to work with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the
                          > > beacons one could expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially,
                          > > I selected a few time servers from the list and observed what
                          > > happened over a day or so. The "dots" on the detail page were all
                          > > over the place, and the UTC Clock accuracy "red line" went all over the
                          place.
                          > > Next I updated the TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers
                          > > for Australia - see www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be
                          > > things like
                          > 0.uk.pool.ntp.org.
                          > > I got the same result - dots all over the place.
                          > >
                          > > That's when I implemented my own time servers.
                          > >
                          > > That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in
                          > > UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the
                          > > Details panel went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the
                          > > line of "dots" for beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day.
                          > > The coloured blocks on the History page looked wonderful, but the
                          > > data behind them was rubbish. I sat and watched the Monitor page
                          > > for hours
                          > > - time and again I watched Faros totally ignore nice strong beacon
                          > > signals. Faros ended up following my time servers, which in turn
                          > > followed the Internet time. Faros followed my servers because they
                          > > were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time variation. But,
                          > > over many hours my time servers followed a large sine curve, with
                          > > the 15
                          > minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.
                          > >
                          > > A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to
                          > > decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find
                          > > the servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference.
                          > > I then did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest
                          > > and fastest 10 servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of
                          > > dots on the Details panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed"
                          > observations by Faros.
                          > > But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it
                          > > to vary somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not
                          > > enough for propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.
                          > >
                          > > The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless -
                          > > most of the Internet servers had less variation in time.
                          > >
                          > > In summary, my conclusions.
                          > >
                          > > My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in
                          > > terms
                          > of
                          > > "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros.
                          > Its
                          > > nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time
                          > > keeping, at the accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is
                          > > mostly in the "wireless link", but add that variability to the
                          > > variability of the Internet as a whole, the Internet time server
                          > > load and subsequent variability, and finally, the use of the
                          > > connection by other people and devices in my household - and Faros
                          cannot "keep time" well enough.
                          > >
                          > > A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too
                          > > variable for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether
                          > > a "good" GPS can do it - see below.
                          > >
                          > > A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough,
                          > > provided the connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not
                          > > overloaded by other uses in your household, or the network between
                          > > you and the time servers. Only good time server selection, and
                          > > rigorous observation over time will show whether or not the
                          > > connection is adequate
                          > for serious use with Faros.
                          > >
                          > > My current plan.
                          > >
                          > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server -
                          > > the Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                          > >
                          > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                          > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will
                          > > proceed to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is
                          > > a reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                          > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good
                          > > time signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros
                          > > installation for propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                          > >
                          > > Peter VK4IU
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Hi...
                          > > >
                          > > > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be
                          > > > used with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave
                          > > > M have a copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be
                          > > > corrected on that if any are found directly attributed to that program
                          of mine.
                          > > >
                          > > > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly
                          > > > supported by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
                          > > >
                          > > > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try
                          when
                          > > > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
                          > > > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
                          > > >
                          > > > Curious....
                          > > >
                          > > > Regards to All.
                          > > >
                          > > > Dave G0WBX.
                          > > >
                          > > > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70,
                          > > > and another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
                          > > > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                          > > >
                          > > > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ------------------------------------
                          > >
                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ----------
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                          > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                          > > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date:
                          > > 11/16/09 19:53:00
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ------------------------------------
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ----------
                          >
                          >
                          > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                          > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                          > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date:
                          > 11/17/09 19:26:00
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >




                          ------------------------------------

                          Yahoo! Groups Links






                          ----------


                          No virus found in this outgoing message.
                          Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                          Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date: 11/17/09 19:26:00


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • vk4iu
                          OK. Nice connection - I was mine was like that! The ping time of around 60ms, looks repeatable, should be more than adequate. Using the same test, my system
                          Message 12 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            OK. Nice connection - I was mine was like that!

                            The ping time of around 60ms, looks repeatable, should be more than adequate. Using the same test, my system gets "reasonable time" to Faros and has a latency time of 160ms, with variations between 80 and 250ms. So we should expect reasonable time observations getting to your Faros installation.

                            Now we move on to Faros time.

                            Start up Faros, click the PAUSE button - we don't need the complications of working with the radio or the sound card.

                            Go to View, UTC Clock Info, Time Servers. I assume you have not changed the list of time servers - they are as supplied by the Faros install. Go ahead and do the things I mention in the earlier email. Get your set of ten, and click on Apply Selection. I want to know how many of the time servers have a Delay consistently below 128ms - how many you "Selected" - remember the target is about 10 of them.

                            Leave Faros running continuously - and wait. At those Internet speeds and latency I expect good time in 30 minutes. Send me a snapshot of the Clock Accuracy after at least 1 hour, longer is OK, when the 15 minute panel is nearly full. Send it to my email address at vk4iu@...

                            Peter VK4IU

                            --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Here's the results:
                            >
                            > ________________1______2______3_______4______5______6______7
                            >
                            > Download: 7.93Mb/s 6.92 7.28 7.70 6.47 6.39 7.24
                            > Upload: 4.80Mb/s 4.44 4.16 4.76 4.59 4.59 4.47
                            > Ping: 59ms 57 58 56 59 59 61
                            >
                            > Server: Denver, CO
                            >
                            >
                            > Dave
                            > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                            > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                            > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                            > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 22:15
                            > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                            >
                            > Back again, Dave.
                            >
                            > The PC should be no problems.
                            >
                            > Looking at COMCAST.COM, my guess is you have a Cable Internet connection.
                            > Do you know the speed? 1.5mega bits per second download?
                            > Upload 64k? No matter, that's the "gloss on the brochure" anyway.
                            >
                            > Go to www.speedtest.net. It will suggest a server to test. Report back what
                            > speed you actually get - do it a couple of times, and see if it varies much.
                            > You will get a measure for Download, Upload and Latency or "ping".
                            >
                            > Peter VK4IU
                            >
                            > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Hi Peter- High speed full-time Comcast Business service, static IP,
                            > > dedicated 2.6Ghz PC with 1Gb RAM, running Faros and no other apps.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Dave
                            > > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                            > > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > -----Original Message-----
                            > > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                            > > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                            > > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                            > > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 20:30
                            > > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                            > > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                            > >
                            > > Dave,
                            > >
                            > > With so much Internet access variability across the world, there will
                            > > never be a single Internet source that will give a good result for all
                            > > - that is why there are hundreds of NTP time servers across the
                            > > Internet - spread all around the world. With a large population of
                            > > Time Servers there will always be a few time servers accessible anywhere.
                            > >
                            > > The question is still, can you get to the Internet in an adequate form
                            > > to retrieve time that meets the needs of Faros. Only you can answer
                            > > that question, by testing your connection. But, we can help you do
                            > > the tests to find out.
                            > >
                            > > The best approach is to divide your problem up. Lets work on one
                            > > thing at a time - forget the beacons for the moment. First - the Internet
                            > connection.
                            > >
                            > > What type of Internet connection do you have?
                            > > How fast is it?
                            > > Is it connected all the time?
                            > >
                            > > Peter VK4IU
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > Hi to you too Peter! Nice hearing from you again. Yep, Faros is a
                            > > > good program but *somehow* timing has to be addressed. I'll look at
                            > > > the references in your email but I hope Alex can help some too. I
                            > > > can't believe I only 'see' one beacon a few times a day back-to-back
                            > > > time
                            > > slots.
                            > > >
                            > > > Timing is the issue I think -and my Faros also hears but does not
                            > > > record loud signals- with Faros and solving it will add a lot to the
                            > > > system overall. I was wondering if we all sync to a single source if
                            > > > it would help... Then again the transmitters all have their own
                            > > > timing patterns, so unless we ALL go onto one single time server
                            > > > we'll all be different. Gotta be a GPS solution here somewhere.
                            > > >
                            > > > Good stuff at Dave Taylor's site.
                            > > >
                            > > > Let's keep this thread going... Good stuff here.
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > Dave
                            > > > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                            > > > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > -----Original Message-----
                            > > > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                            > > > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                            > > > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                            > > > Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 15:53
                            > > > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                            > > > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                            > > >
                            > > > G'Day Dave,
                            > > >
                            > > > I like your web site. I have a similar goal in mind - all of which
                            > > > came to a halt when I realised I was getting useless observations
                            > > > because of the problem of delivering stable time data to Faros. I
                            > > > hope you don't mind if I have a look at the Java on your pages.
                            > > >
                            > > > What are the problems caused by the ISP?
                            > > >
                            > > > For my journey through "time", I used the the usual ntpd NTP Time
                            > > > Server software and drivers on both Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Desktop and
                            > > > 8.10 Server, installing from the standard "package management" using
                            > > > Synaptic. On Windows XP, I used a port of the same software from
                            > > > Meinberg - http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm - and
                            > > > Meinberg's NTP Time Server Monitor to observe and plot the
                            > > > statistics from all the
                            > > ntpd servers.
                            > > >
                            > > > I used many, and varied Internet time servers, and also connected my
                            > > > Garmin eTrex Vista GPS via a serial port to the Meinberg software on
                            > > > Windows, using the NMEA data strings only - the eTrex has no PPS output.
                            > > >
                            > > > It was all a very good learning experience, but with a lot of
                            > > > frustrations - all with "the time", and my Internet connection. The
                            > > > actual software installations were relatively simple and straight
                            > > > forward. One could describe the experience like big game hunting -
                            > > > hours and hours of observation and "taking aim", with the actual
                            > > > result occuring in just a minute or two. It is the sort of thing one
                            > > > has to do, to really understand what is happening with time and how
                            > > > it
                            > > affects the Faros observations.
                            > > >
                            > > > I went through the usual careful steps - got the radio-PC connection
                            > > > to work with OmniRig, checked for reasonable signals from all the
                            > > > beacons one could expect, then I simply fired up Faros. Initially,
                            > > > I selected a few time servers from the list and observed what
                            > > > happened over a day or so. The "dots" on the detail page were all
                            > > > over the place, and the UTC Clock accuracy "red line" went all over the
                            > place.
                            > > > Next I updated the TimeServer.lst with the usual "pool" of servers
                            > > > for Australia - see www.pool.ntp.org. For the UK they would be
                            > > > things like
                            > > 0.uk.pool.ntp.org.
                            > > > I got the same result - dots all over the place.
                            > > >
                            > > > That's when I implemented my own time servers.
                            > > >
                            > > > That gave me a reasonably straight line for the red "Faros time" in
                            > > > UTC Clock Info, Clock Accuracy. But the Faros observations on the
                            > > > Details panel went on a "roller coaster ride" day after day - the
                            > > > line of "dots" for beacon observations varying by 80-90ms over the day.
                            > > > The coloured blocks on the History page looked wonderful, but the
                            > > > data behind them was rubbish. I sat and watched the Monitor page
                            > > > for hours
                            > > > - time and again I watched Faros totally ignore nice strong beacon
                            > > > signals. Faros ended up following my time servers, which in turn
                            > > > followed the Internet time. Faros followed my servers because they
                            > > > were the fastest in terms of packet delay, and time variation. But,
                            > > > over many hours my time servers followed a large sine curve, with
                            > > > the 15
                            > > minute panel in the Clock Accuracy looking very flat.
                            > > >
                            > > > A last act, which has proven reasonably successful so far, was to
                            > > > decommission my time servers, but trawl through their logs and find
                            > > > the servers that were used for long periods of time as the reference.
                            > > > I then did ping tests, and trace routes on them, to find the closest
                            > > > and fastest 10 servers. I now have reasonable, straight lines of
                            > > > dots on the Details panel, and good SP/LP observations with no "missed"
                            > > observations by Faros.
                            > > > But ... I really don't expect it to last, and I certainly expect it
                            > > > to vary somewhat. I think it is good enough for casual use, but not
                            > > > enough for propagation studies, or good radio contest planning.
                            > > >
                            > > > The observations from the Garmin eTrex NEMA strings were useless -
                            > > > most of the Internet servers had less variation in time.
                            > > >
                            > > > In summary, my conclusions.
                            > > >
                            > > > My "broadband wireless" Internet connection is far too variable in
                            > > > terms
                            > > of
                            > > > "packet delay" for good time keeping at the precision needed by Faros.
                            > > Its
                            > > > nice and fast under normal use, but not good enough for time
                            > > > keeping, at the accuracy we need for Faros. The packet delay is
                            > > > mostly in the "wireless link", but add that variability to the
                            > > > variability of the Internet as a whole, the Internet time server
                            > > > load and subsequent variability, and finally, the use of the
                            > > > connection by other people and devices in my household - and Faros
                            > cannot "keep time" well enough.
                            > > >
                            > > > A NEMA strings based "consumer" GPS is not good enough - much too
                            > > > variable for the accuracy we need for Faros. I will report whether
                            > > > a "good" GPS can do it - see below.
                            > > >
                            > > > A "wired" ADSL or cable Internet connection may be good enough,
                            > > > provided the connection is stable in packet delay - that is, not
                            > > > overloaded by other uses in your household, or the network between
                            > > > you and the time servers. Only good time server selection, and
                            > > > rigorous observation over time will show whether or not the
                            > > > connection is adequate
                            > > for serious use with Faros.
                            > > >
                            > > > My current plan.
                            > > >
                            > > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server -
                            > > > the Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                            > > >
                            > > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                            > > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will
                            > > > proceed to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is
                            > > > a reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                            > > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good
                            > > > time signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros
                            > > > installation for propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                            > > >
                            > > > Peter VK4IU
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@> wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Hi...
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I'm the guy who created the IC-PCR1000 "helper" app, so it can be
                            > > > > used with Faros/Omni-Rig. I did test it here before letting Dave
                            > > > > M have a copy, and AFIK no timing issues, but I stand to be
                            > > > > corrected on that if any are found directly attributed to that program
                            > of mine.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I do agree with Peter, try things with a rig that is directly
                            > > > > supported by Omni-Rig first, just in case.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Question for Peter. What software, program, tool, etc, did you try
                            > when
                            > > > > you tried a local GPS driven NTP server of your own? Did the
                            > > > > GPS/Server use a 1PPS signal, or just the NMEA data from the GPS?
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Curious....
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Regards to All.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Dave G0WBX.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > PS: My Faros status page, all working from an old Icom IC-R70,
                            > > > > and another of my own programs to glue it all toghether.
                            > > > > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Yes, I too have some NTP issues, but caused by my ISP.
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > ------------------------------------
                            > > >
                            > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > ----------
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                            > > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                            > > > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.68/2507 - Release Date:
                            > > > 11/16/09 19:53:00
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > ------------------------------------
                            > >
                            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > ----------
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                            > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                            > > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date:
                            > > 11/17/09 19:26:00
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ----------
                            >
                            >
                            > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                            > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                            > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.71/2510 - Release Date: 11/17/09 19:26:00
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • Dave Baxter
                            Hi Peter (David) Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit. Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the David Taylor
                            Message 13 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hi Peter (David)

                              Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.


                              Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                              David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine suposedly
                              configured to work as needed, from the same distro and version as he
                              used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and work with a Garmin
                              GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it to RS232 levels.)
                              The problem I have with all that, is I know next to nothing about that
                              level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix, that and the 'nix
                              community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks questions that they do
                              not see as relavant to their latest and greatest distro. (or more
                              relevantly, they do not themselves understand.)


                              You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                              timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                              currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                              need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                              good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.

                              Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well with
                              mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.


                              VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but again,
                              the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none of the PC
                              software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF, DCF, WWV
                              etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP, that's
                              about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it seems.)

                              My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                              seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                              anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough,
                              it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of
                              mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.)
                              Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                              During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                              out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                              etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                              plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                              effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                              it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                              effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing with
                              lots of other systems it seems too.

                              As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                              synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                              trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                              state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at it,
                              and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as that is
                              much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current desktop I
                              have sort of working.

                              I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                              outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                              people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also uninterested
                              in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other forums, and I don't
                              know enough to do it myself.

                              I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...

                              When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                              propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                              (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                              someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                              perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?


                              For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                              plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                              storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/

                              As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                              beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.


                              What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                              itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                              reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                              Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                              course, only Alex can implement that.

                              Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on Alex's
                              part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons, and
                              one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                              two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                              (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                              ignored.

                              Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature VLF
                              clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use that to
                              set Faros's time.


                              That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                              use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                              look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                              where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                              for originality on that subject.


                              Cheers All.


                              Dave Baxter
                              G0WBX.


                              --- Original Message ---

                              My current plan.

                              I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                              Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...

                              Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I
                              have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
                              integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
                              http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of
                              information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high
                              hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study,
                              site and antenna comparisons.

                              Peter VK4IU
                            • Dave
                              Hi Dave Baxter- That s the issue and that s the solution. The closer we get to a true timing signal the better the app will work. Has Alex responded? I
                              Message 14 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi Dave Baxter- That's the issue and that's the solution. The closer we
                                get to a true timing signal the better the app will work. Has Alex
                                responded? I haven't any idea how difficult adding a timing routine to
                                extract time from a GPS would be, but the true value in the app has to be
                                rooted in timing. I prefer the GPS serial-port/USB solution as opposed to a
                                receiver into a sound card channel if I had a voice. Some GPS receivers
                                boards are fairly inexpensive, but, if one has a GPS already, why not use
                                that device and not buy more *stuff*?

                                2c worth,

                                Dave
                                /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                On Behalf Of Dave Baxter
                                Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:19
                                To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                                Hi Peter (David)

                                Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.


                                Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the David
                                Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine suposedly
                                configured to work as needed, from the same distro and version as he used,
                                but I've yet to get it to successfully see and work with a Garmin GPS16LVC,
                                that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it to RS232 levels.) The problem I
                                have with all that, is I know next to nothing about that level of tweakage
                                at the kernel level of any 'nix, that and the 'nix community seems intent on
                                flaming anyone who asks questions that they do not see as relavant to their
                                latest and greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                understand.)


                                You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the timing
                                accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver currently
                                available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                                need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                                good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.

                                Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well with
                                mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.


                                VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but again, the
                                hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none of the PC
                                software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF, DCF, WWV etc,
                                provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP, that's about the
                                best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it seems.)

                                My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to anything,
                                evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough, it's variable
                                one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of mS variation, but
                                no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.) Evenings, early mornings and
                                weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches out
                                to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                                plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing with
                                lots of other systems it seems too.

                                As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at it, and
                                see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as that is much
                                smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current desktop I have sort
                                of working.

                                I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                                outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                                people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also uninterested in
                                helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other forums, and I don't know
                                enough to do it myself.

                                I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...

                                When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the propriatry
                                TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then perhaps
                                sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?


                                For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the plots,
                                the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow storm of white
                                "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/

                                As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a beacon
                                has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.


                                What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros itself,
                                that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                course, only Alex can implement that.

                                Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on Alex's
                                part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons, and
                                one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                                two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                                (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be ignored.

                                Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature VLF
                                clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use that to set
                                Faros's time.


                                That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you look
                                on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                for originality on that subject.


                                Cheers All.


                                Dave Baxter
                                G0WBX.


                                --- Original Message ---

                                My current plan.

                                I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...

                                Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I
                                have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
                                integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
                                http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of
                                information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high hopes
                                of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study, site and
                                antenna comparisons.

                                Peter VK4IU


                                ------------------------------------

                                Yahoo! Groups Links




                                ----------


                                No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.72/2511 - Release Date: 11/18/09 07:50:00


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • vk4iu
                                Morning Dave, ... it is 5am here. I m enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of storms and hot weather. It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very
                                Message 15 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Morning Dave,

                                  ... it is 5am here. I'm enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of storms and hot weather.

                                  It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very similar feel to them. But, I am a bit puzzled. While our Internet connections have similar figures for "latency", you are not getting a good result, whereas, here, I have got Faros giving acceptable results.

                                  All this discussion that Alex should put more "stuff" into Faros to solve our problems, is missing the point about getting accurate time. The task of Faros is to listen to the sound stream, analyse it, and make a report. Alex has implemented a good solution for time, we just have to deliver to his algorithm time data that is good enough, and his Kalman filter will sort out the variations.

                                  Time on the Internet has always been a difficult thing - witness the size of the information on ntp at the SatSignal site. Variability is the order of the day, and the ntpd implementation does a fantastic job of delivery of time under difficult circumstances. The "radio based time services" only exist in the USA and Europe. There are none here - only GPS, which is universal. The world wide radio based time services are just not suitable for what we want to do. The Internet, or GPS, are the only real alternatives for amateur radio. There will never be an RF feed of any sort into an NTP server - its fundamentally not a useful technique - they used an atomic clock to time the broadcast - at the other end it has to be too grossly degraded for use by ntpd - and, with the Internet so wide spread few will be bothered to attempt it.

                                  Ones own "time reference" is clearly the solution - if the Internet fails to deliver with sufficient accuracy. The most appropriate is GPS. For around $600 US http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm will provide a complete solution - just as Dave has attempted, and I want to implement, right out of the box. Its down side, apart from the price, is the use of a Windows PC. But, I would not be surprised to find one could get a good enough result with it and Faros on the ONE PC.

                                  I find the $600 US too expensive, when I can buy the same GPS 18x LVS for about $90 US, and implement my own system using ntpd. I am lucky that I have 30 years experience in IT Technical Support from old mainframes to multiple PC servers and large PC networks. But, Dave's experience with the Garmin 16 LVS has given me plenty of reason to tread carefully. My first look at the sites referenced in my previous messages got me very excited. The devil may be in the serial port of the PC.

                                  Dave is correct, in that most of us simply want to know that we can hear the beacons. I want to do a lot more than that. Let me state the problem we are trying to solve as I see it.

                                  We want Faros to record observations of beacons, with sufficient accuracy that we: 1) don't miss any observations, and 2) can easily tell short path from long path. Faros time needs continuous time data randomly distributed within about 60ms of the correct time.

                                  Using the data we can then: Analyse band openings over time to improve our DX - find/create matching holes in our busy schedules to work DX; Use different antennas and work out the actual radiation patterns - help us tune the antenna; Compare antennas; Study RF propagation; Plan contest operation to maximise our score; Listen in real time during a contest for band openings; Compare QTHs; and lots more I have not thought of yet.

                                  Note that I said "we" can tell short path from long path. Let me describe what I do with Faros to help sort out signals, and compensate for minor time variation.

                                  I have an ICOM IC-706IIG, and a muli-band vertical antenna, disconnect the antenna when storms are about, but otherwise the system runs continuously. Faros creates a GIF image to a schedule. I personally make little use of them. The Details Panel, and the History panel, are created from, and can be re-created from the beacon logs. So I simply let Faros do its thing day after day. I use a "scheduled task" at 00:01 UTC in Windows, and a free Windows SDK tool, called ROBOCOPY to copy the logs from the Faros directory to a "holding directory" which is "shared" to my network - I carefully avoid the "current" beacon log created at 00:00. When time permits, on anther PC, I start TWO copies of Faros, click on pause, arrange the windows side by side, and on each Details panel, load a beacon log from the month/day I want to analyse/compare from the "holding directory". The "delay correction" on the second PC could be anything - I adjust it to put the signals where I want them - the SP line probably, then make the analysis. If I need to, I save a GIF image of the period for reference in my notes - mainly I use GreenShot or Snagit or MS OneNote to take snapshots of the screen.

                                  Clearly if time is all over the place, this technique becomes less useful. But, even with a high, and variable, latency Internet connection I have found acceptable results - that is signals that follow the SP line 90% of the time intra-day, with only small variation over days, small enough that I can compensate with the technique described. The results are good enough one can see the Ionosphere's "path time" changing for some beacons. I would provide images, but the "black hats" on the Internet have caused that to be off limits.

                                  As you seem to have discovered with the Garmin 16lvs, the devil is in the detail, in getting any system of anything to work correctly. I am headed in the same direction, I am sure I will need a lot of luck.

                                  How can I help you find a "configuration of time servers" that will give you better results. Over time I may be able to help with the Garmin 16 LVS and the Linux software. My Garmin 18x LVS is on back order - I expect delivery in a few weeks, and will implement it over the coming months. These days, I am a "house husband" and I have a new found appreciation for the effort of house wives and mothers and carers. Time to make the troops breakfast!

                                  Peter VK4IU

                                  Dave Baxter wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hi Peter (David)
                                  >
                                  > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                  >
                                  > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                  > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine suposedly
                                  > configured to work as needed, from the same distro and version as he
                                  > used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and work with a Garmin
                                  > GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it to RS232 levels.)
                                  > The problem I have with all that, is I know next to nothing about that
                                  > level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix, that and the 'nix
                                  > community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks questions that they do
                                  > not see as relavant to their latest and greatest distro. (or more
                                  > relevantly, they do not themselves understand.)
                                  >
                                  > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                  > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                  > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                                  > need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                                  > good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                  >
                                  > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well with
                                  > mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                  >
                                  > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but again,
                                  > the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none of the PC
                                  > software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF, DCF, WWV
                                  > etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP, that's
                                  > about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it seems.)
                                  >
                                  > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                  > seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                  > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough,
                                  > it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of
                                  > mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.)
                                  > Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                  > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                  > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                  > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                                  > plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                  > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                  > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                  > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing with
                                  > lots of other systems it seems too.
                                  >
                                  > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                  > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                  > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                  > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at it,
                                  > and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as that is
                                  > much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current desktop I
                                  > have sort of working.
                                  >
                                  > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                                  > outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                                  > people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also uninterested
                                  > in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other forums, and I don't
                                  > know enough to do it myself.
                                  >
                                  > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                  >
                                  > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                  > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                  > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                  > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                  > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                  >
                                  > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                  > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                  > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                  >
                                  > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                  > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                  >
                                  > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                  > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                  > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                  > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                  > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                  >
                                  > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on Alex's
                                  > part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons, and
                                  > one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                                  > two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                                  > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                  > ignored.
                                  >
                                  > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature VLF
                                  > clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use that to
                                  > set Faros's time.
                                  >
                                  > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                  > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                  > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                  > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                  > for originality on that subject.
                                  >
                                  > Cheers All.
                                  >
                                  > Dave Baxter
                                  > G0WBX.
                                  >
                                  > --- Original Message ---
                                  >
                                  > My current plan.
                                  >
                                  > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                  > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                  >
                                  > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I
                                  > have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
                                  > integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
                                  > http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of
                                  > information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high
                                  > hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study,
                                  > site and antenna comparisons.
                                  >
                                  > Peter VK4IU
                                  >
                                • vk4iu
                                  Hi Dave, Accurate time is a difficult thing. As the other messages explain - a serial port/USB based consumer GPS just does not deliver time accurately
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hi Dave,

                                    Accurate time is a difficult thing. As the other messages explain - a serial port/USB based "consumer" GPS just does not deliver time accurately enough for use by Faros, even if the routines were included inside Faros - they were never designed to do so.

                                    You may be confused by the use of the serial port to interface the PPS - pulse per second - industrial GPSs to a PC - the ones G0WBX and I intend using.

                                    The technique makes use of the CHIP that implements the serial port - it does NOT use data sent serially from the GPS. The GPS has a wire that connects directly to the CD - carrier detect - bit of the CHIP that implements the serial port on the PC. Special, real time, high performance, sometimes kernel mode, "driver software", is needed in the NTP software on the PC to respond to the "pulse" every second on the carrier detect line and from that, keep accurate time. The pulse is generated by the GPS chip from signals received from the GPS satellites. Fundamentally, the GPS system uses time to calculate position, and knows time accurate to microseconds.

                                    In a serious implementation they even worry about the temperature of the CPU chip in the PC causing instability of the "PC clock" that starts and stops - schedules - the "driver software" that responds to the "pulse" on the carrier detect - causing errors in time in the NTP software. They try to ensure that the intensity of activity on the PC is smooth and regular to maintain an even temperature.

                                    Given the intense, real time nature of the Faros activity with the sound card and the "DSP style" analysis of the signal, the two requirements - signal analysis, and PPS time calculations - could very well interfere with each other if implemented on the ONE PC. Only real practical experiments will determine that. Clearly the raw speed of the PC CPU would be a factor. Alex's use of a Kalman filter, with very low CPU load, in Faros, against ntp based internet time, ensures there is plenty of CPU power for the intense analysis of the beacon signal even on the low power PCs common in amateur radio.

                                    Have you found a suitable list of time servers for your system?

                                    Peter VK4IU

                                    --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi Dave Baxter- That's the issue and that's the solution. The closer we
                                    > get to a true timing signal the better the app will work. Has Alex
                                    > responded? I haven't any idea how difficult adding a timing routine to
                                    > extract time from a GPS would be, but the true value in the app has to be
                                    > rooted in timing. I prefer the GPS serial-port/USB solution as opposed to a
                                    > receiver into a sound card channel if I had a voice. Some GPS receivers
                                    > boards are fairly inexpensive, but, if one has a GPS already, why not use
                                    > that device and not buy more *stuff*?
                                    >
                                    > 2c worth,
                                    >
                                    > Dave
                                    > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                    > On Behalf Of Dave Baxter
                                    > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:19
                                    > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                                    >
                                    > Hi Peter (David)
                                    >
                                    > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the David
                                    > Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine suposedly
                                    > configured to work as needed, from the same distro and version as he used,
                                    > but I've yet to get it to successfully see and work with a Garmin GPS16LVC,
                                    > that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it to RS232 levels.) The problem I
                                    > have with all that, is I know next to nothing about that level of tweakage
                                    > at the kernel level of any 'nix, that and the 'nix community seems intent on
                                    > flaming anyone who asks questions that they do not see as relavant to their
                                    > latest and greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                    > understand.)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the timing
                                    > accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver currently
                                    > available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                                    > need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                                    > good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                    >
                                    > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well with
                                    > mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but again, the
                                    > hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none of the PC
                                    > software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF, DCF, WWV etc,
                                    > provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP, that's about the
                                    > best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it seems.)
                                    >
                                    > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                    > seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to anything,
                                    > evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough, it's variable
                                    > one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of mS variation, but
                                    > no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.) Evenings, early mornings and
                                    > weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                    > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches out
                                    > to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                    > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                                    > plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                    > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                    > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                    > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing with
                                    > lots of other systems it seems too.
                                    >
                                    > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                    > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                    > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                    > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at it, and
                                    > see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as that is much
                                    > smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current desktop I have sort
                                    > of working.
                                    >
                                    > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                                    > outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                                    > people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also uninterested in
                                    > helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other forums, and I don't know
                                    > enough to do it myself.
                                    >
                                    > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                    >
                                    > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the propriatry
                                    > TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                    > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                    > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then perhaps
                                    > sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the plots,
                                    > the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow storm of white
                                    > "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                    >
                                    > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a beacon
                                    > has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros itself,
                                    > that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                    > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                    > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                    > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                    >
                                    > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on Alex's
                                    > part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons, and
                                    > one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                                    > two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                                    > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be ignored.
                                    >
                                    > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature VLF
                                    > clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use that to set
                                    > Faros's time.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                    > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you look
                                    > on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                    > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                    > for originality on that subject.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Cheers All.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Dave Baxter
                                    > G0WBX.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- Original Message ---
                                    >
                                    > My current plan.
                                    >
                                    > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                    > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                    >
                                    > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I
                                    > have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
                                    > integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
                                    > http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of
                                    > information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high hopes
                                    > of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study, site and
                                    > antenna comparisons.
                                    >
                                    > Peter VK4IU
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ------------------------------------
                                    >
                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ----------
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                    > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                    > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.72/2511 - Release Date: 11/18/09 07:50:00
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                  • Dave
                                    Hi Peter- Are you saying that an external PPS source should be sufficient if it could be isolated from the PC clock? Or, conversely, one Faros machine and one
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hi Peter- Are you saying that an external PPS source should be sufficient
                                      if it could be isolated from the PC clock? Or, conversely, one Faros machine
                                      and one Timing source PC?

                                      Yes, I found a list of suitable time servers and they seem to be okay. I
                                      sent a bunch images but moderator properly drops them so as to maintain
                                      control. In any event, the list seems to be okay.

                                      I think we need to work on a solution to this timing issue; maybe the
                                      solution is an external GPS-driven PIC-based board that sync's Faros (and
                                      maybe other software too).


                                      Dave
                                      DM78qg // KA0SWT
                                      /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                      On Behalf Of vk4iu
                                      Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 17:17
                                      To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                                      Hi Dave,

                                      Accurate time is a difficult thing. As the other messages explain - a
                                      serial port/USB based "consumer" GPS just does not deliver time accurately
                                      enough for use by Faros, even if the routines were included inside Faros -
                                      they were never designed to do so.

                                      You may be confused by the use of the serial port to interface the PPS -
                                      pulse per second - industrial GPSs to a PC - the ones G0WBX and I intend
                                      using.

                                      The technique makes use of the CHIP that implements the serial port - it
                                      does NOT use data sent serially from the GPS. The GPS has a wire that
                                      connects directly to the CD - carrier detect - bit of the CHIP that
                                      implements the serial port on the PC. Special, real time, high performance,
                                      sometimes kernel mode, "driver software", is needed in the NTP software on
                                      the PC to respond to the "pulse" every second on the carrier detect line and
                                      from that, keep accurate time. The pulse is generated by the GPS chip from
                                      signals received from the GPS satellites. Fundamentally, the GPS system
                                      uses time to calculate position, and knows time accurate to microseconds.

                                      In a serious implementation they even worry about the temperature of the CPU
                                      chip in the PC causing instability of the "PC clock" that starts and stops -
                                      schedules - the "driver software" that responds to the "pulse" on the
                                      carrier detect - causing errors in time in the NTP software. They try to
                                      ensure that the intensity of activity on the PC is smooth and regular to
                                      maintain an even temperature.

                                      Given the intense, real time nature of the Faros activity with the sound
                                      card and the "DSP style" analysis of the signal, the two requirements -
                                      signal analysis, and PPS time calculations - could very well interfere with
                                      each other if implemented on the ONE PC. Only real practical experiments
                                      will determine that. Clearly the raw speed of the PC CPU would be a factor.
                                      Alex's use of a Kalman filter, with very low CPU load, in Faros, against ntp
                                      based internet time, ensures there is plenty of CPU power for the intense
                                      analysis of the beacon signal even on the low power PCs common in amateur
                                      radio.

                                      Have you found a suitable list of time servers for your system?

                                      Peter VK4IU

                                      --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hi Dave Baxter- That's the issue and that's the solution. The closer
                                      > we get to a true timing signal the better the app will work. Has Alex
                                      > responded? I haven't any idea how difficult adding a timing routine to
                                      > extract time from a GPS would be, but the true value in the app has to
                                      > be rooted in timing. I prefer the GPS serial-port/USB solution as
                                      > opposed to a receiver into a sound card channel if I had a voice. Some
                                      > GPS receivers boards are fairly inexpensive, but, if one has a GPS
                                      > already, why not use that device and not buy more *stuff*?
                                      >
                                      > 2c worth,
                                      >
                                      > Dave
                                      > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                      > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                      > On Behalf Of Dave Baxter
                                      > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:19
                                      > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                                      >
                                      > Hi Peter (David)
                                      >
                                      > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                      > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine
                                      > suposedly configured to work as needed, from the same distro and
                                      > version as he used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and
                                      > work with a Garmin GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it
                                      > to RS232 levels.) The problem I have with all that, is I know next to
                                      > nothing about that level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix,
                                      > that and the 'nix community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks
                                      > questions that they do not see as relavant to their latest and
                                      > greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                      > understand.)
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                      > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                      > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                                      > need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                                      > good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                      >
                                      > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well
                                      > with mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but
                                      > again, the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none
                                      > of the PC software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF,
                                      > DCF, WWV etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP,
                                      > that's about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it
                                      > seems.)
                                      >
                                      > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day,
                                      > there seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                      > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad
                                      > enough, it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to
                                      > 100's of mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it
                                      > seems.) Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly
                                      25mS.
                                      > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                      > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                      > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                                      > plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                      > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                      > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                      > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing
                                      > with lots of other systems it seems too.
                                      >
                                      > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                      > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                      > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                      > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at
                                      > it, and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as
                                      > that is much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current
                                      > desktop I have sort of working.
                                      >
                                      > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                                      > outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                                      > people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also
                                      > uninterested in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other
                                      > forums, and I don't know enough to do it myself.
                                      >
                                      > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                      >
                                      > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                      > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                      > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                      > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                      > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                      > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                      > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                      >
                                      > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                      > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                      > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                      > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                      > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                      > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                      >
                                      > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on
                                      > Alex's part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons,
                                      and
                                      > one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                                      > two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                                      > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                      ignored.
                                      >
                                      > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature
                                      > VLF clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use
                                      > that to set Faros's time.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                      > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                      > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                      > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                      > for originality on that subject.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Cheers All.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Dave Baxter
                                      > G0WBX.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- Original Message ---
                                      >
                                      > My current plan.
                                      >
                                      > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                      > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                      >
                                      > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                                      > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                                      > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                                      > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                                      > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time
                                      > signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for
                                      > propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                                      >
                                      > Peter VK4IU
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ------------------------------------
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ----------
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                      > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                      > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.72/2511 - Release Date:
                                      > 11/18/09 07:50:00
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >




                                      ------------------------------------

                                      Yahoo! Groups Links




                                      ----------


                                      No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                      Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                      Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.72/2511 - Release Date: 11/18/09 07:50:00


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • vk4iu
                                      ... you guys are going to get me into trouble - I m too excited about the potential for all this GPS stuff and Faros to start the housework - but its hours
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        ... you guys are going to get me into trouble - I'm too excited about the potential for all this GPS stuff and Faros to start the housework - but its hours before the wife gets home.

                                        Dave,

                                        I can see why you have not got a reply from the inquiry on the Microprocessor based system. There is a lot of "bagage" that comes with doing "embedded systems" - he just doesnt want the hassles. The guy cannot release any complete version of it - his hands are tied by his use of the CCS TCP/IP stack. He can only release the stuff he created - which he has done on his site - he cannot distribute the code without the proper license from CCS which costs a bomb - source code or binary.

                                        But, I can see great potential here, particularly with the Ethernet connection of the device. I have been using the Microelectronic BigPic5 development system and their C Compiler, for my needs. For family reasons I have had to put it aside for over 12 months, but I am about to get back into it - I have forgotten a lot, but the old brain will quickly get back into gear I'm sure. I will down load the material and see what develops.

                                        My plan is:

                                        Continue to watch Faros using Internet time servers

                                        Implement the Garmin 18x LVS on FreeBSD and Windows and Linux - in that order, creating a Linux LiveCD of the implementation for use by anyone.

                                        In parallel, investigate this microprocessor based system.

                                        Peter VK4IU


                                        --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Hi Peter (David)
                                        >
                                        > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                        > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine suposedly
                                        > configured to work as needed, from the same distro and version as he
                                        > used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and work with a Garmin
                                        > GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it to RS232 levels.)
                                        > The problem I have with all that, is I know next to nothing about that
                                        > level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix, that and the 'nix
                                        > community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks questions that they do
                                        > not see as relavant to their latest and greatest distro. (or more
                                        > relevantly, they do not themselves understand.)
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                        > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                        > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                                        > need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                                        > good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                        >
                                        > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well with
                                        > mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but again,
                                        > the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none of the PC
                                        > software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF, DCF, WWV
                                        > etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP, that's
                                        > about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it seems.)
                                        >
                                        > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                        > seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                        > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough,
                                        > it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of
                                        > mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.)
                                        > Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                        > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                        > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                        > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                                        > plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                        > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                        > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                        > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing with
                                        > lots of other systems it seems too.
                                        >
                                        > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                        > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                        > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                        > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at it,
                                        > and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as that is
                                        > much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current desktop I
                                        > have sort of working.
                                        >
                                        > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                                        > outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                                        > people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also uninterested
                                        > in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other forums, and I don't
                                        > know enough to do it myself.
                                        >
                                        > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                        >
                                        > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                        > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                        > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                        > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                        > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                        > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                        > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                        >
                                        > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                        > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                        > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                        > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                        > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                        > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                        >
                                        > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on Alex's
                                        > part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons, and
                                        > one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                                        > two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                                        > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                        > ignored.
                                        >
                                        > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature VLF
                                        > clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use that to
                                        > set Faros's time.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                        > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                        > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                        > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                        > for originality on that subject.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Cheers All.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Dave Baxter
                                        > G0WBX.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- Original Message ---
                                        >
                                        > My current plan.
                                        >
                                        > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                        > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                        >
                                        > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org I
                                        > have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
                                        > integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
                                        > http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a fantastic source of
                                        > information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high
                                        > hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study,
                                        > site and antenna comparisons.
                                        >
                                        > Peter VK4IU
                                        >
                                      • Dave
                                        Hi Peter and Dave Baxter- The comments are wonderfully clear and pertinent. I think we have circumscribed the issue while a single solution doesn t present
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Hi Peter and Dave Baxter-

                                          The comments are wonderfully clear and pertinent. I think we have
                                          circumscribed the issue while a single solution doesn't present itself
                                          clearly.

                                          I would like to suggest a solution and see if it can be a starting point for
                                          discussion:

                                          1. A GPS unit
                                          2. A PIC-based timing module with intelligence to establish predictable
                                          time pulses (we don't need minutes or seconds, just a pulse, from a single
                                          reference time point).
                                          3. An interface
                                          4. Software to provide Faros a pulse train.

                                          That is, once a timing mark, composed of a minute and second sourced from
                                          the GPS, is established for Faros, then thereafter all that's needed is a
                                          pulse. The PC timing pulse wouldn't matter. A really inexpensive PIC timer
                                          isn't expensive, is it?

                                          Is this an additional burden on Alex? I don't know. But if the hook where
                                          timing is identified and that point is opened, this solution would work. We
                                          wouldn't have to worry about PC time at all.

                                          What say ye all?


                                          Dave
                                          DM78qg // KA0SWT
                                          /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                          On Behalf Of vk4iu
                                          Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 16:48
                                          To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                                          Morning Dave,

                                          ... it is 5am here. I'm enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of storms and
                                          hot weather.

                                          It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very similar feel to them.
                                          But, I am a bit puzzled. While our Internet connections have similar figures
                                          for "latency", you are not getting a good result, whereas, here, I have got
                                          Faros giving acceptable results.

                                          All this discussion that Alex should put more "stuff" into Faros to solve
                                          our problems, is missing the point about getting accurate time. The task of
                                          Faros is to listen to the sound stream, analyse it, and make a report. Alex
                                          has implemented a good solution for time, we just have to deliver to his
                                          algorithm time data that is good enough, and his Kalman filter will sort out
                                          the variations.

                                          Time on the Internet has always been a difficult thing - witness the size of
                                          the information on ntp at the SatSignal site. Variability is the order of
                                          the day, and the ntpd implementation does a fantastic job of delivery of
                                          time under difficult circumstances. The "radio based time services" only
                                          exist in the USA and Europe. There are none here - only GPS, which is
                                          universal. The world wide radio based time services are just not suitable
                                          for what we want to do. The Internet, or GPS, are the only real
                                          alternatives for amateur radio. There will never be an RF feed of any sort
                                          into an NTP server - its fundamentally not a useful technique - they used an
                                          atomic clock to time the broadcast - at the other end it has to be too
                                          grossly degraded for use by ntpd - and, with the Internet so wide spread few
                                          will be bothered to attempt it.

                                          Ones own "time reference" is clearly the solution - if the Internet fails to
                                          deliver with sufficient accuracy. The most appropriate is GPS. For around
                                          $600 US http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm will provide a complete
                                          solution - just as Dave has attempted, and I want to implement, right out of
                                          the box. Its down side, apart from the price, is the use of a Windows PC.
                                          But, I would not be surprised to find one could get a good enough result
                                          with it and Faros on the ONE PC.

                                          I find the $600 US too expensive, when I can buy the same GPS 18x LVS for
                                          about $90 US, and implement my own system using ntpd. I am lucky that I
                                          have 30 years experience in IT Technical Support from old mainframes to
                                          multiple PC servers and large PC networks. But, Dave's experience with the
                                          Garmin 16 LVS has given me plenty of reason to tread carefully. My first
                                          look at the sites referenced in my previous messages got me very excited.
                                          The devil may be in the serial port of the PC.

                                          Dave is correct, in that most of us simply want to know that we can hear the
                                          beacons. I want to do a lot more than that. Let me state the problem we
                                          are trying to solve as I see it.

                                          We want Faros to record observations of beacons, with sufficient accuracy
                                          that we: 1) don't miss any observations, and 2) can easily tell short path
                                          from long path. Faros time needs continuous time data randomly distributed
                                          within about 60ms of the correct time.

                                          Using the data we can then: Analyse band openings over time to improve our
                                          DX - find/create matching holes in our busy schedules to work DX; Use
                                          different antennas and work out the actual radiation patterns - help us tune
                                          the antenna; Compare antennas; Study RF propagation; Plan contest operation
                                          to maximise our score; Listen in real time during a contest for band
                                          openings; Compare QTHs; and lots more I have not thought of yet.

                                          Note that I said "we" can tell short path from long path. Let me describe
                                          what I do with Faros to help sort out signals, and compensate for minor time
                                          variation.

                                          I have an ICOM IC-706IIG, and a muli-band vertical antenna, disconnect the
                                          antenna when storms are about, but otherwise the system runs continuously.
                                          Faros creates a GIF image to a schedule. I personally make little use of
                                          them. The Details Panel, and the History panel, are created from, and can
                                          be re-created from the beacon logs. So I simply let Faros do its thing day
                                          after day. I use a "scheduled task" at 00:01 UTC in Windows, and a free
                                          Windows SDK tool, called ROBOCOPY to copy the logs from the Faros directory
                                          to a "holding directory" which is "shared" to my network - I carefully avoid
                                          the "current" beacon log created at 00:00. When time permits, on anther PC,
                                          I start TWO copies of Faros, click on pause, arrange the windows side by
                                          side, and on each Details panel, load a beacon log from the month/day I want
                                          to analyse/compare from the "holding directory". The "delay correction" on
                                          the second PC could be anything - I adjust it to put the signals where I
                                          want them - the SP line probably, then make the analysis. If I need to, I
                                          save a GIF image of the period for reference in my notes - mainly I use
                                          GreenShot or Snagit or MS OneNote to take snapshots of the screen.

                                          Clearly if time is all over the place, this technique becomes less useful.
                                          But, even with a high, and variable, latency Internet connection I have
                                          found acceptable results - that is signals that follow the SP line 90% of
                                          the time intra-day, with only small variation over days, small enough that I
                                          can compensate with the technique described. The results are good enough
                                          one can see the Ionosphere's "path time" changing for some beacons. I would
                                          provide images, but the "black hats" on the Internet have caused that to be
                                          off limits.

                                          As you seem to have discovered with the Garmin 16lvs, the devil is in the
                                          detail, in getting any system of anything to work correctly. I am headed in
                                          the same direction, I am sure I will need a lot of luck.

                                          How can I help you find a "configuration of time servers" that will give you
                                          better results. Over time I may be able to help with the Garmin 16 LVS and
                                          the Linux software. My Garmin 18x LVS is on back order - I expect delivery
                                          in a few weeks, and will implement it over the coming months. These days, I
                                          am a "house husband" and I have a new found appreciation for the effort of
                                          house wives and mothers and carers. Time to make the troops breakfast!

                                          Peter VK4IU

                                          Dave Baxter wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Hi Peter (David)
                                          >
                                          > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                          >
                                          > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                          > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine
                                          > suposedly configured to work as needed, from the same distro and
                                          > version as he used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and
                                          > work with a Garmin GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it
                                          > to RS232 levels.) The problem I have with all that, is I know next to
                                          > nothing about that level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix,
                                          > that and the 'nix community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks
                                          > questions that they do not see as relavant to their latest and
                                          > greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                          > understand.)
                                          >
                                          > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                          > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                          > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level
                                          > we need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise
                                          > a good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                          >
                                          > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well
                                          > with mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                          >
                                          > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but
                                          > again, the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none
                                          > of the PC software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF,
                                          > DCF, WWV etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP,
                                          > that's about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it
                                          > seems.)
                                          >
                                          > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                          > seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                          > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough,
                                          > it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of
                                          > mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.)
                                          > Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                          > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                          > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                          > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy plot
                                          > in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                          > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                          > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                          > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing
                                          > with lots of other systems it seems too.
                                          >
                                          > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                          > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                          > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                          > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at
                                          > it, and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as
                                          > that is much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current
                                          > desktop I have sort of working.
                                          >
                                          > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are
                                          > way outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too.
                                          > The people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also
                                          > uninterested in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other
                                          > forums, and I don't know enough to do it myself.
                                          >
                                          > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                          >
                                          > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                          > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                          > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                          > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                          > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                          >
                                          > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                          > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                          > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                          >
                                          > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                          > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                          >
                                          > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                          > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                          > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                          > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                          > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                          >
                                          > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on
                                          > Alex's part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the
                                          > beacons, and one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS
                                          > needed, just two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like
                                          thing.
                                          > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                          > ignored.
                                          >
                                          > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature
                                          > VLF clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use
                                          > that to set Faros's time.
                                          >
                                          > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                          > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                          > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                          > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                          > for originality on that subject.
                                          >
                                          > Cheers All.
                                          >
                                          > Dave Baxter
                                          > G0WBX.
                                          >
                                          > --- Original Message ---
                                          >
                                          > My current plan.
                                          >
                                          > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                          > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                          >
                                          > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                                          > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                                          > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                                          > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                                          > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time
                                          > signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for
                                          > propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                                          >
                                          > Peter VK4IU
                                          >




                                          ------------------------------------

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                                        • vk4iu
                                          Dave, Send your images to my email address AT dot org - if you wish. I see that I cannot even put a real email address in here.
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Dave,

                                            Send your images to my email address <mycallsign> AT <mycallsign> dot org - if you wish. I see that I cannot even put a real email address in here.

                                            Something fundamental is slipping down between the cracks in the floor boards here.

                                            Yes, one PC to tell the time, one PC to run Faros. I personally will be trying to get it all to work on ONE PC. Experiments will tell if its feasible.

                                            One cannot isolate anything from the PC Clock on a PC - its fundamental to how the PC works. But we can ignore it for the purposes of telling time.

                                            The PC clock is ticking all the time, Windows XP uses it to schedule software tasks to accomplish lots of things - its own operation, user programs - but it does not have to be related to the real/actual time of day - and we don't have to use it for our purposes. The "tick" in the PC clock is not good enough.

                                            Say you are standing in an open paddock - wearing a wrist watch. I say to you: "Dave, It's exactly 9am, keep time by counting your heart beat silently to yourself - no looking at your wrist watch". Your wrist watch may or may not be keeping wonderful time, and you are keeping great time, you can detect every beat in your pulse. After an hour I come back and say "Dave, what is the time from your memory - in 'heart beats'?" You will tell me and I will calculate the "wall clock time" by some maths involving your resting heart rate of say 70 beats per minute. I will then ask "What is the time on your wrist watch?" I am sure you will agree the times will be different - but both perfectly reasonable measures of time - just more or less accurate. Note that they are both in the one "system", you, standing in an open field, but the two measures of time are unrelated to each other. I wonder which I would believe was the BEST indicator of the actual time.

                                            One can only implement algorithms in software that limit or minimize the effects of a slow/bad/fast PC clock. So careful programming is what it is about - the program is scheduled by the PC clock, but its not relevant to our purpose of keeping time with a "synthetic clock" - one implemented in software rather than electronic chips or brass cogs.

                                            So just like you, with one hand on your other wrist feeling your pulse, in the open paddock, we very carefully write some code that detects the pulse on the carrier detect pin of the serial port and "counts the beats". But now, rather than rely on your variable heart rate, we rely on a very precise pulse from a GPS chip. We have a precise "tick", once per second, for our "synthetic" clock, and once told what the actual time is, we can continue to keep time for ever.

                                            If we compare our "synthetic time" to the hardwar clock on the PC, who knows what the difference will be.

                                            So the industrial GPS is just the "tick" in the "synthetic" clock. We need the NTP software to determine the time, probably from the Internet, but once we know it, we can keep perfect time, almost for ever.

                                            Now that's the limit of my knowledge for the minute. I need to find out how we get perfect time in the first place, so that, with our perfect "tick" from the GPS, we will know perfect time for ever.

                                            Peter VK4IU

                                            --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Hi Peter- Are you saying that an external PPS source should be sufficient
                                            > if it could be isolated from the PC clock? Or, conversely, one Faros machine
                                            > and one Timing source PC?
                                            >
                                            > Yes, I found a list of suitable time servers and they seem to be okay. I
                                            > sent a bunch images but moderator properly drops them so as to maintain
                                            > control. In any event, the list seems to be okay.
                                            >
                                            > I think we need to work on a solution to this timing issue; maybe the
                                            > solution is an external GPS-driven PIC-based board that sync's Faros (and
                                            > maybe other software too).
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Dave
                                            > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                                            > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                            > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                                            > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 17:17
                                            > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                                            >
                                            > Hi Dave,
                                            >
                                            > Accurate time is a difficult thing. As the other messages explain - a
                                            > serial port/USB based "consumer" GPS just does not deliver time accurately
                                            > enough for use by Faros, even if the routines were included inside Faros -
                                            > they were never designed to do so.
                                            >
                                            > You may be confused by the use of the serial port to interface the PPS -
                                            > pulse per second - industrial GPSs to a PC - the ones G0WBX and I intend
                                            > using.
                                            >
                                            > The technique makes use of the CHIP that implements the serial port - it
                                            > does NOT use data sent serially from the GPS. The GPS has a wire that
                                            > connects directly to the CD - carrier detect - bit of the CHIP that
                                            > implements the serial port on the PC. Special, real time, high performance,
                                            > sometimes kernel mode, "driver software", is needed in the NTP software on
                                            > the PC to respond to the "pulse" every second on the carrier detect line and
                                            > from that, keep accurate time. The pulse is generated by the GPS chip from
                                            > signals received from the GPS satellites. Fundamentally, the GPS system
                                            > uses time to calculate position, and knows time accurate to microseconds.
                                            >
                                            > In a serious implementation they even worry about the temperature of the CPU
                                            > chip in the PC causing instability of the "PC clock" that starts and stops -
                                            > schedules - the "driver software" that responds to the "pulse" on the
                                            > carrier detect - causing errors in time in the NTP software. They try to
                                            > ensure that the intensity of activity on the PC is smooth and regular to
                                            > maintain an even temperature.
                                            >
                                            > Given the intense, real time nature of the Faros activity with the sound
                                            > card and the "DSP style" analysis of the signal, the two requirements -
                                            > signal analysis, and PPS time calculations - could very well interfere with
                                            > each other if implemented on the ONE PC. Only real practical experiments
                                            > will determine that. Clearly the raw speed of the PC CPU would be a factor.
                                            > Alex's use of a Kalman filter, with very low CPU load, in Faros, against ntp
                                            > based internet time, ensures there is plenty of CPU power for the intense
                                            > analysis of the beacon signal even on the low power PCs common in amateur
                                            > radio.
                                            >
                                            > Have you found a suitable list of time servers for your system?
                                            >
                                            > Peter VK4IU
                                            >
                                            > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@> wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > Hi Dave Baxter- That's the issue and that's the solution. The closer
                                            > > we get to a true timing signal the better the app will work. Has Alex
                                            > > responded? I haven't any idea how difficult adding a timing routine to
                                            > > extract time from a GPS would be, but the true value in the app has to
                                            > > be rooted in timing. I prefer the GPS serial-port/USB solution as
                                            > > opposed to a receiver into a sound card channel if I had a voice. Some
                                            > > GPS receivers boards are fairly inexpensive, but, if one has a GPS
                                            > > already, why not use that device and not buy more *stuff*?
                                            > >
                                            > > 2c worth,
                                            > >
                                            > > Dave
                                            > > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > -----Original Message-----
                                            > > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                            > > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                            > > On Behalf Of Dave Baxter
                                            > > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:19
                                            > > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                            > > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                                            > >
                                            > > Hi Peter (David)
                                            > >
                                            > > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                            > > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine
                                            > > suposedly configured to work as needed, from the same distro and
                                            > > version as he used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and
                                            > > work with a Garmin GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it
                                            > > to RS232 levels.) The problem I have with all that, is I know next to
                                            > > nothing about that level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix,
                                            > > that and the 'nix community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks
                                            > > questions that they do not see as relavant to their latest and
                                            > > greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                            > > understand.)
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                            > > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                            > > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                                            > > need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                                            > > good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                            > >
                                            > > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well
                                            > > with mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but
                                            > > again, the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none
                                            > > of the PC software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF,
                                            > > DCF, WWV etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP,
                                            > > that's about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it
                                            > > seems.)
                                            > >
                                            > > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day,
                                            > > there seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                            > > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad
                                            > > enough, it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to
                                            > > 100's of mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it
                                            > > seems.) Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly
                                            > 25mS.
                                            > > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                            > > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                            > > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                                            > > plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                            > > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                            > > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                            > > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing
                                            > > with lots of other systems it seems too.
                                            > >
                                            > > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                            > > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                            > > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                            > > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at
                                            > > it, and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as
                                            > > that is much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current
                                            > > desktop I have sort of working.
                                            > >
                                            > > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                                            > > outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                                            > > people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also
                                            > > uninterested in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other
                                            > > forums, and I don't know enough to do it myself.
                                            > >
                                            > > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                            > >
                                            > > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                            > > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                            > > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                            > > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                            > > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                            > > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                            > > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                            > >
                                            > > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                            > > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                            > > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                            > > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                            > > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                            > > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                            > >
                                            > > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on
                                            > > Alex's part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons,
                                            > and
                                            > > one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                                            > > two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                                            > > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                            > ignored.
                                            > >
                                            > > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature
                                            > > VLF clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use
                                            > > that to set Faros's time.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                            > > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                            > > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                            > > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                            > > for originality on that subject.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Cheers All.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Dave Baxter
                                            > > G0WBX.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > --- Original Message ---
                                            > >
                                            > > My current plan.
                                            > >
                                            > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                            > > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                            > >
                                            > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                                            > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                                            > > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                                            > > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                                            > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time
                                            > > signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for
                                            > > propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                                            > >
                                            > > Peter VK4IU
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > ------------------------------------
                                            > >
                                            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > ----------
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                            > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                            > > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.72/2511 - Release Date:
                                            > > 11/18/09 07:50:00
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            > >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > ------------------------------------
                                            >
                                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > ----------
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                            > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                            > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.72/2511 - Release Date: 11/18/09 07:50:00
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            >
                                          • vk4iu
                                            Sorry Dave, We were both typing at the same time Dave. Our messages have crossed. This solution is overly complex. Everything you describe has already been
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Sorry Dave, We were both typing at the same time Dave. Our messages have crossed.

                                              This solution is overly complex. Everything you describe has already been done.

                                              The GPS IS the precise timing tick!
                                              We don't need the PIC - in fact it will create problems not solve them.
                                              The interface IS the Carrier Detect pin on the serial port.
                                              The software IS the NTP software providing Faros with the time - as it is doing now.

                                              We have all the parts already, we just need to connect them together.

                                              Peter VK4IU

                                              --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Hi Peter and Dave Baxter-
                                              >
                                              > The comments are wonderfully clear and pertinent. I think we have
                                              > circumscribed the issue while a single solution doesn't present itself
                                              > clearly.
                                              >
                                              > I would like to suggest a solution and see if it can be a starting point for
                                              > discussion:
                                              >
                                              > 1. A GPS unit
                                              > 2. A PIC-based timing module with intelligence to establish predictable
                                              > time pulses (we don't need minutes or seconds, just a pulse, from a single
                                              > reference time point).
                                              > 3. An interface
                                              > 4. Software to provide Faros a pulse train.
                                              >
                                              > That is, once a timing mark, composed of a minute and second sourced from
                                              > the GPS, is established for Faros, then thereafter all that's needed is a
                                              > pulse. The PC timing pulse wouldn't matter. A really inexpensive PIC timer
                                              > isn't expensive, is it?
                                              >
                                              > Is this an additional burden on Alex? I don't know. But if the hook where
                                              > timing is identified and that point is opened, this solution would work. We
                                              > wouldn't have to worry about PC time at all.
                                              >
                                              > What say ye all?
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Dave
                                              > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                                              > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > -----Original Message-----
                                              > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                              > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                                              > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 16:48
                                              > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                              > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                                              >
                                              > Morning Dave,
                                              >
                                              > ... it is 5am here. I'm enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of storms and
                                              > hot weather.
                                              >
                                              > It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very similar feel to them.
                                              > But, I am a bit puzzled. While our Internet connections have similar figures
                                              > for "latency", you are not getting a good result, whereas, here, I have got
                                              > Faros giving acceptable results.
                                              >
                                              > All this discussion that Alex should put more "stuff" into Faros to solve
                                              > our problems, is missing the point about getting accurate time. The task of
                                              > Faros is to listen to the sound stream, analyse it, and make a report. Alex
                                              > has implemented a good solution for time, we just have to deliver to his
                                              > algorithm time data that is good enough, and his Kalman filter will sort out
                                              > the variations.
                                              >
                                              > Time on the Internet has always been a difficult thing - witness the size of
                                              > the information on ntp at the SatSignal site. Variability is the order of
                                              > the day, and the ntpd implementation does a fantastic job of delivery of
                                              > time under difficult circumstances. The "radio based time services" only
                                              > exist in the USA and Europe. There are none here - only GPS, which is
                                              > universal. The world wide radio based time services are just not suitable
                                              > for what we want to do. The Internet, or GPS, are the only real
                                              > alternatives for amateur radio. There will never be an RF feed of any sort
                                              > into an NTP server - its fundamentally not a useful technique - they used an
                                              > atomic clock to time the broadcast - at the other end it has to be too
                                              > grossly degraded for use by ntpd - and, with the Internet so wide spread few
                                              > will be bothered to attempt it.
                                              >
                                              > Ones own "time reference" is clearly the solution - if the Internet fails to
                                              > deliver with sufficient accuracy. The most appropriate is GPS. For around
                                              > $600 US http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm will provide a complete
                                              > solution - just as Dave has attempted, and I want to implement, right out of
                                              > the box. Its down side, apart from the price, is the use of a Windows PC.
                                              > But, I would not be surprised to find one could get a good enough result
                                              > with it and Faros on the ONE PC.
                                              >
                                              > I find the $600 US too expensive, when I can buy the same GPS 18x LVS for
                                              > about $90 US, and implement my own system using ntpd. I am lucky that I
                                              > have 30 years experience in IT Technical Support from old mainframes to
                                              > multiple PC servers and large PC networks. But, Dave's experience with the
                                              > Garmin 16 LVS has given me plenty of reason to tread carefully. My first
                                              > look at the sites referenced in my previous messages got me very excited.
                                              > The devil may be in the serial port of the PC.
                                              >
                                              > Dave is correct, in that most of us simply want to know that we can hear the
                                              > beacons. I want to do a lot more than that. Let me state the problem we
                                              > are trying to solve as I see it.
                                              >
                                              > We want Faros to record observations of beacons, with sufficient accuracy
                                              > that we: 1) don't miss any observations, and 2) can easily tell short path
                                              > from long path. Faros time needs continuous time data randomly distributed
                                              > within about 60ms of the correct time.
                                              >
                                              > Using the data we can then: Analyse band openings over time to improve our
                                              > DX - find/create matching holes in our busy schedules to work DX; Use
                                              > different antennas and work out the actual radiation patterns - help us tune
                                              > the antenna; Compare antennas; Study RF propagation; Plan contest operation
                                              > to maximise our score; Listen in real time during a contest for band
                                              > openings; Compare QTHs; and lots more I have not thought of yet.
                                              >
                                              > Note that I said "we" can tell short path from long path. Let me describe
                                              > what I do with Faros to help sort out signals, and compensate for minor time
                                              > variation.
                                              >
                                              > I have an ICOM IC-706IIG, and a muli-band vertical antenna, disconnect the
                                              > antenna when storms are about, but otherwise the system runs continuously.
                                              > Faros creates a GIF image to a schedule. I personally make little use of
                                              > them. The Details Panel, and the History panel, are created from, and can
                                              > be re-created from the beacon logs. So I simply let Faros do its thing day
                                              > after day. I use a "scheduled task" at 00:01 UTC in Windows, and a free
                                              > Windows SDK tool, called ROBOCOPY to copy the logs from the Faros directory
                                              > to a "holding directory" which is "shared" to my network - I carefully avoid
                                              > the "current" beacon log created at 00:00. When time permits, on anther PC,
                                              > I start TWO copies of Faros, click on pause, arrange the windows side by
                                              > side, and on each Details panel, load a beacon log from the month/day I want
                                              > to analyse/compare from the "holding directory". The "delay correction" on
                                              > the second PC could be anything - I adjust it to put the signals where I
                                              > want them - the SP line probably, then make the analysis. If I need to, I
                                              > save a GIF image of the period for reference in my notes - mainly I use
                                              > GreenShot or Snagit or MS OneNote to take snapshots of the screen.
                                              >
                                              > Clearly if time is all over the place, this technique becomes less useful.
                                              > But, even with a high, and variable, latency Internet connection I have
                                              > found acceptable results - that is signals that follow the SP line 90% of
                                              > the time intra-day, with only small variation over days, small enough that I
                                              > can compensate with the technique described. The results are good enough
                                              > one can see the Ionosphere's "path time" changing for some beacons. I would
                                              > provide images, but the "black hats" on the Internet have caused that to be
                                              > off limits.
                                              >
                                              > As you seem to have discovered with the Garmin 16lvs, the devil is in the
                                              > detail, in getting any system of anything to work correctly. I am headed in
                                              > the same direction, I am sure I will need a lot of luck.
                                              >
                                              > How can I help you find a "configuration of time servers" that will give you
                                              > better results. Over time I may be able to help with the Garmin 16 LVS and
                                              > the Linux software. My Garmin 18x LVS is on back order - I expect delivery
                                              > in a few weeks, and will implement it over the coming months. These days, I
                                              > am a "house husband" and I have a new found appreciation for the effort of
                                              > house wives and mothers and carers. Time to make the troops breakfast!
                                              >
                                              > Peter VK4IU
                                              >
                                              > Dave Baxter wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Hi Peter (David)
                                              > >
                                              > > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                              > >
                                              > > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                              > > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine
                                              > > suposedly configured to work as needed, from the same distro and
                                              > > version as he used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and
                                              > > work with a Garmin GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it
                                              > > to RS232 levels.) The problem I have with all that, is I know next to
                                              > > nothing about that level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix,
                                              > > that and the 'nix community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks
                                              > > questions that they do not see as relavant to their latest and
                                              > > greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                              > > understand.)
                                              > >
                                              > > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                              > > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                              > > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level
                                              > > we need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise
                                              > > a good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                              > >
                                              > > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well
                                              > > with mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                              > >
                                              > > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but
                                              > > again, the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none
                                              > > of the PC software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF,
                                              > > DCF, WWV etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP,
                                              > > that's about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it
                                              > > seems.)
                                              > >
                                              > > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                              > > seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                              > > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough,
                                              > > it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of
                                              > > mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.)
                                              > > Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                              > > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                              > > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                              > > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy plot
                                              > > in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                              > > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                              > > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                              > > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing
                                              > > with lots of other systems it seems too.
                                              > >
                                              > > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                              > > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                              > > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                              > > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at
                                              > > it, and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as
                                              > > that is much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current
                                              > > desktop I have sort of working.
                                              > >
                                              > > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are
                                              > > way outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too.
                                              > > The people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also
                                              > > uninterested in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other
                                              > > forums, and I don't know enough to do it myself.
                                              > >
                                              > > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                              > >
                                              > > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                              > > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                              > > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                              > > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                              > > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                              > >
                                              > > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                              > > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                              > > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                              > >
                                              > > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                              > > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                              > >
                                              > > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                              > > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                              > > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                              > > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                              > > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                              > >
                                              > > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on
                                              > > Alex's part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the
                                              > > beacons, and one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS
                                              > > needed, just two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like
                                              > thing.
                                              > > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                              > > ignored.
                                              > >
                                              > > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature
                                              > > VLF clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use
                                              > > that to set Faros's time.
                                              > >
                                              > > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                              > > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                              > > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                              > > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                              > > for originality on that subject.
                                              > >
                                              > > Cheers All.
                                              > >
                                              > > Dave Baxter
                                              > > G0WBX.
                                              > >
                                              > > --- Original Message ---
                                              > >
                                              > > My current plan.
                                              > >
                                              > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                              > > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                              > >
                                              > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                                              > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                                              > > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                                              > > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                                              > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time
                                              > > signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for
                                              > > propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                                              > >
                                              > > Peter VK4IU
                                              > >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ------------------------------------
                                              >
                                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ----------
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                              > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                              > Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.72/2511 - Release Date: 11/18/09 07:50:00
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              >
                                            • vk4iu
                                              ... one other thing. Dave, I think you have your time scales for things at the wrong order of magnitude. We need time to millisecond accuracy. Keep in mind
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                ... one other thing.

                                                Dave, I think you have your time scales for things at the wrong order of magnitude. We need time to millisecond accuracy.

                                                Keep in mind that we have already noted that a "consumer" GPS - which in reality is what you are asking for - a timing module with a PIC microprocessor - cannot do the job using a serial interface.

                                                A little PIC timer we built from parts would never be able to keep time to anything like the accuracy we need. Let alone the problem of interfacing it back into the PC to "control things" as the performance levels we need to achieve millisecond accuracy.

                                                What you have described is fundamentally what we need to do, but the accuracy we need cannot be achieved with your suggestion.

                                                Peter VK4IU


                                                --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Hi Peter and Dave Baxter-
                                                >
                                                > The comments are wonderfully clear and pertinent. I think we have
                                                > circumscribed the issue while a single solution doesn't present itself
                                                > clearly.
                                                >
                                                > I would like to suggest a solution and see if it can be a starting point for
                                                > discussion:
                                                >
                                                > 1. A GPS unit
                                                > 2. A PIC-based timing module with intelligence to establish predictable
                                                > time pulses (we don't need minutes or seconds, just a pulse, from a single
                                                > reference time point).
                                                > 3. An interface
                                                > 4. Software to provide Faros a pulse train.
                                                >
                                                > That is, once a timing mark, composed of a minute and second sourced from
                                                > the GPS, is established for Faros, then thereafter all that's needed is a
                                                > pulse. The PC timing pulse wouldn't matter. A really inexpensive PIC timer
                                                > isn't expensive, is it?
                                                >
                                                > Is this an additional burden on Alex? I don't know. But if the hook where
                                                > timing is identified and that point is opened, this solution would work. We
                                                > wouldn't have to worry about PC time at all.
                                                >
                                                > What say ye all?
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Dave
                                                > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                                                > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > -----Original Message-----
                                                > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                                > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                                                > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 16:48
                                                > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                                                >
                                                > Morning Dave,
                                                >
                                                > ... it is 5am here. I'm enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of storms and
                                                > hot weather.
                                                >
                                                > It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very similar feel to them.
                                                > But, I am a bit puzzled. While our Internet connections have similar figures
                                                > for "latency", you are not getting a good result, whereas, here, I have got
                                                > Faros giving acceptable results.
                                                >
                                                > All this discussion that Alex should put more "stuff" into Faros to solve
                                                > our problems, is missing the point about getting accurate time. The task of
                                                > Faros is to listen to the sound stream, analyse it, and make a report. Alex
                                                > has implemented a good solution for time, we just have to deliver to his
                                                > algorithm time data that is good enough, and his Kalman filter will sort out
                                                > the variations.
                                                >
                                                > Time on the Internet has always been a difficult thing - witness the size of
                                                > the information on ntp at the SatSignal site. Variability is the order of
                                                > the day, and the ntpd implementation does a fantastic job of delivery of
                                                > time under difficult circumstances. The "radio based time services" only
                                                > exist in the USA and Europe. There are none here - only GPS, which is
                                                > universal. The world wide radio based time services are just not suitable
                                                > for what we want to do. The Internet, or GPS, are the only real
                                                > alternatives for amateur radio. There will never be an RF feed of any sort
                                                > into an NTP server - its fundamentally not a useful technique - they used an
                                                > atomic clock to time the broadcast - at the other end it has to be too
                                                > grossly degraded for use by ntpd - and, with the Internet so wide spread few
                                                > will be bothered to attempt it.
                                                >
                                                > Ones own "time reference" is clearly the solution - if the Internet fails to
                                                > deliver with sufficient accuracy. The most appropriate is GPS. For around
                                                > $600 US http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm will provide a complete
                                                > solution - just as Dave has attempted, and I want to implement, right out of
                                                > the box. Its down side, apart from the price, is the use of a Windows PC.
                                                > But, I would not be surprised to find one could get a good enough result
                                                > with it and Faros on the ONE PC.
                                                >
                                                > I find the $600 US too expensive, when I can buy the same GPS 18x LVS for
                                                > about $90 US, and implement my own system using ntpd. I am lucky that I
                                                > have 30 years experience in IT Technical Support from old mainframes to
                                                > multiple PC servers and large PC networks. But, Dave's experience with the
                                                > Garmin 16 LVS has given me plenty of reason to tread carefully. My first
                                                > look at the sites referenced in my previous messages got me very excited.
                                                > The devil may be in the serial port of the PC.
                                                >
                                                > Dave is correct, in that most of us simply want to know that we can hear the
                                                > beacons. I want to do a lot more than that. Let me state the problem we
                                                > are trying to solve as I see it.
                                                >
                                                > We want Faros to record observations of beacons, with sufficient accuracy
                                                > that we: 1) don't miss any observations, and 2) can easily tell short path
                                                > from long path. Faros time needs continuous time data randomly distributed
                                                > within about 60ms of the correct time.
                                                >
                                                > Using the data we can then: Analyse band openings over time to improve our
                                                > DX - find/create matching holes in our busy schedules to work DX; Use
                                                > different antennas and work out the actual radiation patterns - help us tune
                                                > the antenna; Compare antennas; Study RF propagation; Plan contest operation
                                                > to maximise our score; Listen in real time during a contest for band
                                                > openings; Compare QTHs; and lots more I have not thought of yet.
                                                >
                                                > Note that I said "we" can tell short path from long path. Let me describe
                                                > what I do with Faros to help sort out signals, and compensate for minor time
                                                > variation.
                                                >
                                                > I have an ICOM IC-706IIG, and a muli-band vertical antenna, disconnect the
                                                > antenna when storms are about, but otherwise the system runs continuously.
                                                > Faros creates a GIF image to a schedule. I personally make little use of
                                                > them. The Details Panel, and the History panel, are created from, and can
                                                > be re-created from the beacon logs. So I simply let Faros do its thing day
                                                > after day. I use a "scheduled task" at 00:01 UTC in Windows, and a free
                                                > Windows SDK tool, called ROBOCOPY to copy the logs from the Faros directory
                                                > to a "holding directory" which is "shared" to my network - I carefully avoid
                                                > the "current" beacon log created at 00:00. When time permits, on anther PC,
                                                > I start TWO copies of Faros, click on pause, arrange the windows side by
                                                > side, and on each Details panel, load a beacon log from the month/day I want
                                                > to analyse/compare from the "holding directory". The "delay correction" on
                                                > the second PC could be anything - I adjust it to put the signals where I
                                                > want them - the SP line probably, then make the analysis. If I need to, I
                                                > save a GIF image of the period for reference in my notes - mainly I use
                                                > GreenShot or Snagit or MS OneNote to take snapshots of the screen.
                                                >
                                                > Clearly if time is all over the place, this technique becomes less useful.
                                                > But, even with a high, and variable, latency Internet connection I have
                                                > found acceptable results - that is signals that follow the SP line 90% of
                                                > the time intra-day, with only small variation over days, small enough that I
                                                > can compensate with the technique described. The results are good enough
                                                > one can see the Ionosphere's "path time" changing for some beacons. I would
                                                > provide images, but the "black hats" on the Internet have caused that to be
                                                > off limits.
                                                >
                                                > As you seem to have discovered with the Garmin 16lvs, the devil is in the
                                                > detail, in getting any system of anything to work correctly. I am headed in
                                                > the same direction, I am sure I will need a lot of luck.
                                                >
                                                > How can I help you find a "configuration of time servers" that will give you
                                                > better results. Over time I may be able to help with the Garmin 16 LVS and
                                                > the Linux software. My Garmin 18x LVS is on back order - I expect delivery
                                                > in a few weeks, and will implement it over the coming months. These days, I
                                                > am a "house husband" and I have a new found appreciation for the effort of
                                                > house wives and mothers and carers. Time to make the troops breakfast!
                                                >
                                                > Peter VK4IU
                                                >
                                                > Dave Baxter wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > Hi Peter (David)
                                                > >
                                                > > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                                > >
                                                > > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                                > > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine
                                                > > suposedly configured to work as needed, from the same distro and
                                                > > version as he used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and
                                                > > work with a Garmin GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it
                                                > > to RS232 levels.) The problem I have with all that, is I know next to
                                                > > nothing about that level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix,
                                                > > that and the 'nix community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks
                                                > > questions that they do not see as relavant to their latest and
                                                > > greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                                > > understand.)
                                                > >
                                                > > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                                > > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                                > > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level
                                                > > we need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise
                                                > > a good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                                > >
                                                > > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well
                                                > > with mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                                > >
                                                > > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but
                                                > > again, the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none
                                                > > of the PC software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF,
                                                > > DCF, WWV etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP,
                                                > > that's about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it
                                                > > seems.)
                                                > >
                                                > > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                                > > seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                                > > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough,
                                                > > it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of
                                                > > mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.)
                                                > > Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                                > > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                                > > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                                > > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy plot
                                                > > in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                                > > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                                > > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                                > > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing
                                                > > with lots of other systems it seems too.
                                                > >
                                                > > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                                > > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                                > > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                                > > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at
                                                > > it, and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as
                                                > > that is much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current
                                                > > desktop I have sort of working.
                                                > >
                                                > > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are
                                                > > way outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too.
                                                > > The people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also
                                                > > uninterested in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other
                                                > > forums, and I don't know enough to do it myself.
                                                > >
                                                > > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                                > >
                                                > > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                                > > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                                > > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                                > > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                                > > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                                > >
                                                > > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                                > > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                                > > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                                > >
                                                > > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                                > > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                                > >
                                                > > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                                > > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                                > > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                                > > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                                > > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                                > >
                                                > > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on
                                                > > Alex's part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the
                                                > > beacons, and one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS
                                                > > needed, just two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like
                                                > thing.
                                                > > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                                > > ignored.
                                                > >
                                                > > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature
                                                > > VLF clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use
                                                > > that to set Faros's time.
                                                > >
                                                > > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                                > > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                                > > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/ is
                                                > > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                                > > for originality on that subject.
                                                > >
                                                > > Cheers All.
                                                > >
                                                > > Dave Baxter
                                                > > G0WBX.
                                                > >
                                                > > --- Original Message ---
                                                > >
                                                > > My current plan.
                                                > >
                                                > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                                > > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                                > >
                                                > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                                                > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                                                > > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                                                > > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                                                > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good time
                                                > > signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for
                                                > > propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                                                > >
                                                > > Peter VK4IU
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > ------------------------------------
                                                >
                                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > ----------
                                                >
                                                >
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                                                > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                                                >
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                                                >
                                              • Dave
                                                Well, I guess I was on the wrong road. Dave DM78qg // KA0SWT /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/ ... From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Nov 18, 2009
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Well, I guess I was on the wrong road.

                                                  Dave
                                                  DM78qg // KA0SWT
                                                  /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                                  On Behalf Of vk4iu
                                                  Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 19:08
                                                  To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                                                  ... one other thing.

                                                  Dave, I think you have your time scales for things at the wrong order of
                                                  magnitude. We need time to millisecond accuracy.

                                                  Keep in mind that we have already noted that a "consumer" GPS - which in
                                                  reality is what you are asking for - a timing module with a PIC
                                                  microprocessor - cannot do the job using a serial interface.

                                                  A little PIC timer we built from parts would never be able to keep time to
                                                  anything like the accuracy we need. Let alone the problem of interfacing it
                                                  back into the PC to "control things" as the performance levels we need to
                                                  achieve millisecond accuracy.

                                                  What you have described is fundamentally what we need to do, but the
                                                  accuracy we need cannot be achieved with your suggestion.

                                                  Peter VK4IU


                                                  --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dave@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi Peter and Dave Baxter-
                                                  >
                                                  > The comments are wonderfully clear and pertinent. I think we have
                                                  > circumscribed the issue while a single solution doesn't present itself
                                                  > clearly.
                                                  >
                                                  > I would like to suggest a solution and see if it can be a starting
                                                  > point for
                                                  > discussion:
                                                  >
                                                  > 1. A GPS unit
                                                  > 2. A PIC-based timing module with intelligence to establish
                                                  > predictable time pulses (we don't need minutes or seconds, just a
                                                  > pulse, from a single reference time point).
                                                  > 3. An interface
                                                  > 4. Software to provide Faros a pulse train.
                                                  >
                                                  > That is, once a timing mark, composed of a minute and second sourced
                                                  > from the GPS, is established for Faros, then thereafter all that's
                                                  > needed is a pulse. The PC timing pulse wouldn't matter. A really
                                                  > inexpensive PIC timer isn't expensive, is it?
                                                  >
                                                  > Is this an additional burden on Alex? I don't know. But if the hook
                                                  > where timing is identified and that point is opened, this solution
                                                  > would work. We wouldn't have to worry about PC time at all.
                                                  >
                                                  > What say ye all?
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Dave
                                                  > DM78qg // KA0SWT
                                                  > /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                                  > From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                                  > On Behalf Of vk4iu
                                                  > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 16:48
                                                  > To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > Subject: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question
                                                  >
                                                  > Morning Dave,
                                                  >
                                                  > ... it is 5am here. I'm enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of
                                                  > storms and hot weather.
                                                  >
                                                  > It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very similar feel to them.
                                                  > But, I am a bit puzzled. While our Internet connections have similar
                                                  > figures for "latency", you are not getting a good result, whereas,
                                                  > here, I have got Faros giving acceptable results.
                                                  >
                                                  > All this discussion that Alex should put more "stuff" into Faros to
                                                  > solve our problems, is missing the point about getting accurate time.
                                                  > The task of Faros is to listen to the sound stream, analyse it, and
                                                  > make a report. Alex has implemented a good solution for time, we just
                                                  > have to deliver to his algorithm time data that is good enough, and
                                                  > his Kalman filter will sort out the variations.
                                                  >
                                                  > Time on the Internet has always been a difficult thing - witness the
                                                  > size of the information on ntp at the SatSignal site. Variability is
                                                  > the order of the day, and the ntpd implementation does a fantastic job
                                                  > of delivery of time under difficult circumstances. The "radio based
                                                  > time services" only exist in the USA and Europe. There are none here
                                                  > - only GPS, which is universal. The world wide radio based time
                                                  > services are just not suitable for what we want to do. The Internet, or
                                                  GPS, are the only real
                                                  > alternatives for amateur radio. There will never be an RF feed of any
                                                  sort
                                                  > into an NTP server - its fundamentally not a useful technique - they
                                                  > used an atomic clock to time the broadcast - at the other end it has
                                                  > to be too grossly degraded for use by ntpd - and, with the Internet so
                                                  > wide spread few will be bothered to attempt it.
                                                  >
                                                  > Ones own "time reference" is clearly the solution - if the Internet
                                                  > fails to deliver with sufficient accuracy. The most appropriate is
                                                  > GPS. For around $600 US http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm will
                                                  > provide a complete solution - just as Dave has attempted, and I want
                                                  > to implement, right out of the box. Its down side, apart from the price,
                                                  is the use of a Windows PC.
                                                  > But, I would not be surprised to find one could get a good enough
                                                  > result with it and Faros on the ONE PC.
                                                  >
                                                  > I find the $600 US too expensive, when I can buy the same GPS 18x LVS
                                                  > for about $90 US, and implement my own system using ntpd. I am lucky
                                                  > that I have 30 years experience in IT Technical Support from old
                                                  > mainframes to multiple PC servers and large PC networks. But, Dave's
                                                  > experience with the Garmin 16 LVS has given me plenty of reason to
                                                  > tread carefully. My first look at the sites referenced in my previous
                                                  messages got me very excited.
                                                  > The devil may be in the serial port of the PC.
                                                  >
                                                  > Dave is correct, in that most of us simply want to know that we can
                                                  > hear the beacons. I want to do a lot more than that. Let me state
                                                  > the problem we are trying to solve as I see it.
                                                  >
                                                  > We want Faros to record observations of beacons, with sufficient
                                                  > accuracy that we: 1) don't miss any observations, and 2) can easily
                                                  > tell short path from long path. Faros time needs continuous time data
                                                  > randomly distributed within about 60ms of the correct time.
                                                  >
                                                  > Using the data we can then: Analyse band openings over time to
                                                  > improve our DX - find/create matching holes in our busy schedules to
                                                  > work DX; Use different antennas and work out the actual radiation
                                                  > patterns - help us tune the antenna; Compare antennas; Study RF
                                                  > propagation; Plan contest operation to maximise our score; Listen in
                                                  > real time during a contest for band openings; Compare QTHs; and lots more
                                                  I have not thought of yet.
                                                  >
                                                  > Note that I said "we" can tell short path from long path. Let me
                                                  > describe what I do with Faros to help sort out signals, and compensate
                                                  > for minor time variation.
                                                  >
                                                  > I have an ICOM IC-706IIG, and a muli-band vertical antenna, disconnect
                                                  > the antenna when storms are about, but otherwise the system runs
                                                  continuously.
                                                  > Faros creates a GIF image to a schedule. I personally make little use
                                                  > of them. The Details Panel, and the History panel, are created from,
                                                  > and can be re-created from the beacon logs. So I simply let Faros do
                                                  > its thing day after day. I use a "scheduled task" at 00:01 UTC in
                                                  > Windows, and a free Windows SDK tool, called ROBOCOPY to copy the logs
                                                  > from the Faros directory to a "holding directory" which is "shared" to
                                                  > my network - I carefully avoid the "current" beacon log created at
                                                  > 00:00. When time permits, on anther PC, I start TWO copies of Faros,
                                                  > click on pause, arrange the windows side by side, and on each Details
                                                  panel, load a beacon log from the month/day I want
                                                  > to analyse/compare from the "holding directory". The "delay correction"
                                                  on
                                                  > the second PC could be anything - I adjust it to put the signals where
                                                  > I want them - the SP line probably, then make the analysis. If I need
                                                  > to, I save a GIF image of the period for reference in my notes -
                                                  > mainly I use GreenShot or Snagit or MS OneNote to take snapshots of the
                                                  screen.
                                                  >
                                                  > Clearly if time is all over the place, this technique becomes less useful.
                                                  > But, even with a high, and variable, latency Internet connection I
                                                  > have found acceptable results - that is signals that follow the SP
                                                  > line 90% of the time intra-day, with only small variation over days,
                                                  > small enough that I can compensate with the technique described. The
                                                  > results are good enough one can see the Ionosphere's "path time"
                                                  > changing for some beacons. I would provide images, but the "black
                                                  > hats" on the Internet have caused that to be off limits.
                                                  >
                                                  > As you seem to have discovered with the Garmin 16lvs, the devil is in
                                                  > the detail, in getting any system of anything to work correctly. I am
                                                  > headed in the same direction, I am sure I will need a lot of luck.
                                                  >
                                                  > How can I help you find a "configuration of time servers" that will
                                                  > give you better results. Over time I may be able to help with the
                                                  > Garmin 16 LVS and the Linux software. My Garmin 18x LVS is on back
                                                  > order - I expect delivery in a few weeks, and will implement it over
                                                  > the coming months. These days, I am a "house husband" and I have a
                                                  > new found appreciation for the effort of house wives and mothers and
                                                  carers. Time to make the troops breakfast!
                                                  >
                                                  > Peter VK4IU
                                                  >
                                                  > Dave Baxter wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Hi Peter (David)
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with
                                                  > > the David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine
                                                  > > suposedly configured to work as needed, from the same distro and
                                                  > > version as he used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and
                                                  > > work with a Garmin GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered
                                                  > > it to RS232 levels.) The problem I have with all that, is I know
                                                  > > next to nothing about that level of tweakage at the kernel level of
                                                  > > any 'nix, that and the 'nix community seems intent on flaming anyone
                                                  > > who asks questions that they do not see as relavant to their latest
                                                  > > and greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                                  > > understand.)
                                                  > >
                                                  > > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                                  > > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                                  > > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the
                                                  > > level we need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is
                                                  > > otherwise a good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well
                                                  > > with mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but
                                                  > > again, the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and
                                                  > > none of the PC software I've found so far that can decode signals
                                                  > > like MSF, DCF, WWV etc, provide a true full NTP server function.
                                                  > > (Some do SNTP, that's about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do
                                                  > > SNTP, only NTP it
                                                  > > seems.)
                                                  > >
                                                  > > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day,
                                                  > > there seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting
                                                  > > to anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad
                                                  > > enough, it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's
                                                  > > to 100's of mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it
                                                  > > seems.) Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to
                                                  typicaly 25mS.
                                                  > > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely
                                                  > > stretches out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day,
                                                  > > day of week etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time
                                                  > > accuracy plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what
                                                  > > looks like the effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did
                                                  > > some checks, and it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are
                                                  > > experiencing similar effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It
                                                  > > is however messing with lots of other systems it seems too.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                                  > > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                                  > > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                                  > > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at
                                                  > > it, and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as
                                                  > > that is much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current
                                                  > > desktop I have sort of working.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are
                                                  > > way outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too.
                                                  > > The people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also
                                                  > > uninterested in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other
                                                  > > forums, and I don't know enough to do it myself.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/ But...
                                                  > >
                                                  > > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                                  > > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all
                                                  > > silent (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we
                                                  > > need. Maybe someone else could persuade him to if not release the
                                                  > > BINARY, then perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for
                                                  such use?
                                                  > >
                                                  > > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                                  > > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                                  > > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                                  > >
                                                  > > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                                  > > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                                  > > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                                  > > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                                  > > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But
                                                  > > of course, only Alex can implement that.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on
                                                  > > Alex's part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the
                                                  > > beacons, and one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No
                                                  > > GPS needed, just two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple
                                                  > > SDR like
                                                  > thing.
                                                  > > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                                  > > ignored.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature
                                                  > > VLF clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use
                                                  > > that to set Faros's time.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript
                                                  > > I use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if
                                                  > > you look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/
                                                  > > is where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no
                                                  > > claims for originality on that subject.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Cheers All.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Dave Baxter
                                                  > > G0WBX.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > --- Original Message ---
                                                  > >
                                                  > > My current plan.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server -
                                                  > > the Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site http://time.qnan.org
                                                  > > I have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will
                                                  > > proceed to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is
                                                  > > a reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html which is a
                                                  > > fantastic source of information relevant to getting Faros a good
                                                  > > time signal. I have high hopes of having a fantastic Faros
                                                  > > installation for propagation study, site and antenna comparisons.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Peter VK4IU
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > ------------------------------------
                                                  >
                                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
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                                                  > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • Peter
                                                  G Day all, It seems I am a bit wrong on the info on radio time signals below. There are six standard drivers in the NTP software to take a time feed via radio
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Nov 19, 2009
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    G'Day all,

                                                    It seems I am a bit wrong on the info on radio time signals below.
                                                    There are six standard drivers in the NTP software to take a time feed
                                                    via radio transmissions - mostly various implementations of WWV and
                                                    different radios. You can read what you need to do to use them here
                                                    <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list>. They
                                                    would not be much use to me here in the Southern Hemisphere, because the
                                                    signal is subject to fade and too much propagation delay. But, if you
                                                    are relatively close to a transmitter, they could be worth a go.

                                                    Most likely, a GPS with PPS output would be much cheaper to implement,
                                                    and more reliable, than the appropriate radios and antennas in addition
                                                    to those for Faros.

                                                    Peter VK4IU

                                                    vk4iu wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Morning Dave,
                                                    >
                                                    > ... it is 5am here. I'm enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of storms
                                                    > and hot weather.
                                                    >
                                                    > It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very similar feel to
                                                    > them. But, I am a bit puzzled. While our Internet connections have
                                                    > similar figures for "latency", you are not getting a good result,
                                                    > whereas, here, I have got Faros giving acceptable results.
                                                    >
                                                    > All this discussion that Alex should put more "stuff" into Faros to
                                                    > solve our problems, is missing the point about getting accurate time.
                                                    > The task of Faros is to listen to the sound stream, analyse it, and
                                                    > make a report. Alex has implemented a good solution for time, we just
                                                    > have to deliver to his algorithm time data that is good enough, and
                                                    > his Kalman filter will sort out the variations.
                                                    >
                                                    > Time on the Internet has always been a difficult thing - witness the
                                                    > size of the information on ntp at the SatSignal site. Variability is
                                                    > the order of the day, and the ntpd implementation does a fantastic job
                                                    > of delivery of time under difficult circumstances. The "radio based
                                                    > time services" only exist in the USA and Europe. There are none here -
                                                    > only GPS, which is universal. The world wide radio based time services
                                                    > are just not suitable for what we want to do. The Internet, or GPS,
                                                    > are the only real alternatives for amateur radio. There will never be
                                                    > an RF feed of any sort into an NTP server - its fundamentally not a
                                                    > useful technique - they used an atomic clock to time the broadcast -
                                                    > at the other end it has to be too grossly degraded for use by ntpd -
                                                    > and, with the Internet so wide spread few will be bothered to attempt it.
                                                    >
                                                    > Ones own "time reference" is clearly the solution - if the Internet
                                                    > fails to deliver with sufficient accuracy. The most appropriate is
                                                    > GPS. For around $600 US http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm
                                                    > <http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm> will provide a complete
                                                    > solution - just as Dave has attempted, and I want to implement, right
                                                    > out of the box. Its down side, apart from the price, is the use of a
                                                    > Windows PC. But, I would not be surprised to find one could get a good
                                                    > enough result with it and Faros on the ONE PC.
                                                    >
                                                    > I find the $600 US too expensive, when I can buy the same GPS 18x LVS
                                                    > for about $90 US, and implement my own system using ntpd. I am lucky
                                                    > that I have 30 years experience in IT Technical Support from old
                                                    > mainframes to multiple PC servers and large PC networks. But, Dave's
                                                    > experience with the Garmin 16 LVS has given me plenty of reason to
                                                    > tread carefully. My first look at the sites referenced in my previous
                                                    > messages got me very excited. The devil may be in the serial port of
                                                    > the PC.
                                                    >
                                                    > Dave is correct, in that most of us simply want to know that we can
                                                    > hear the beacons. I want to do a lot more than that. Let me state the
                                                    > problem we are trying to solve as I see it.
                                                    >
                                                    > We want Faros to record observations of beacons, with sufficient
                                                    > accuracy that we: 1) don't miss any observations, and 2) can easily
                                                    > tell short path from long path. Faros time needs continuous time data
                                                    > randomly distributed within about 60ms of the correct time.
                                                    >
                                                    > Using the data we can then: Analyse band openings over time to improve
                                                    > our DX - find/create matching holes in our busy schedules to work DX;
                                                    > Use different antennas and work out the actual radiation patterns -
                                                    > help us tune the antenna; Compare antennas; Study RF propagation; Plan
                                                    > contest operation to maximise our score; Listen in real time during a
                                                    > contest for band openings; Compare QTHs; and lots more I have not
                                                    > thought of yet.
                                                    >
                                                    > Note that I said "we" can tell short path from long path. Let me
                                                    > describe what I do with Faros to help sort out signals, and compensate
                                                    > for minor time variation.
                                                    >
                                                    > I have an ICOM IC-706IIG, and a muli-band vertical antenna, disconnect
                                                    > the antenna when storms are about, but otherwise the system runs
                                                    > continuously. Faros creates a GIF image to a schedule. I personally
                                                    > make little use of them. The Details Panel, and the History panel, are
                                                    > created from, and can be re-created from the beacon logs. So I simply
                                                    > let Faros do its thing day after day. I use a "scheduled task" at
                                                    > 00:01 UTC in Windows, and a free Windows SDK tool, called ROBOCOPY to
                                                    > copy the logs from the Faros directory to a "holding directory" which
                                                    > is "shared" to my network - I carefully avoid the "current" beacon log
                                                    > created at 00:00. When time permits, on anther PC, I start TWO copies
                                                    > of Faros, click on pause, arrange the windows side by side, and on
                                                    > each Details panel, load a beacon log from the month/day I want to
                                                    > analyse/compare from the "holding directory". The "delay correction"
                                                    > on the second PC could be anything - I adjust it to put the signals
                                                    > where I want them - the SP line probably, then make the analysis. If I
                                                    > need to, I save a GIF image of the period for reference in my notes -
                                                    > mainly I use GreenShot or Snagit or MS OneNote to take snapshots of
                                                    > the screen.
                                                    >
                                                    > Clearly if time is all over the place, this technique becomes less
                                                    > useful. But, even with a high, and variable, latency Internet
                                                    > connection I have found acceptable results - that is signals that
                                                    > follow the SP line 90% of the time intra-day, with only small
                                                    > variation over days, small enough that I can compensate with the
                                                    > technique described. The results are good enough one can see the
                                                    > Ionosphere's "path time" changing for some beacons. I would provide
                                                    > images, but the "black hats" on the Internet have caused that to be
                                                    > off limits.
                                                    >
                                                    > As you seem to have discovered with the Garmin 16lvs, the devil is in
                                                    > the detail, in getting any system of anything to work correctly. I am
                                                    > headed in the same direction, I am sure I will need a lot of luck.
                                                    >
                                                    > How can I help you find a "configuration of time servers" that will
                                                    > give you better results. Over time I may be able to help with the
                                                    > Garmin 16 LVS and the Linux software. My Garmin 18x LVS is on back
                                                    > order - I expect delivery in a few weeks, and will implement it over
                                                    > the coming months. These days, I am a "house husband" and I have a new
                                                    > found appreciation for the effort of house wives and mothers and
                                                    > carers. Time to make the troops breakfast!
                                                    >
                                                    > Peter VK4IU
                                                    >
                                                    > Dave Baxter wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Hi Peter (David)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with the
                                                    > > David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine suposedly
                                                    > > configured to work as needed, from the same distro and version as he
                                                    > > used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and work with a Garmin
                                                    > > GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered it to RS232 levels.)
                                                    > > The problem I have with all that, is I know next to nothing about that
                                                    > > level of tweakage at the kernel level of any 'nix, that and the 'nix
                                                    > > community seems intent on flaming anyone who asks questions that they do
                                                    > > not see as relavant to their latest and greatest distro. (or more
                                                    > > relevantly, they do not themselves understand.)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                                    > > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                                    > > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the level we
                                                    > > need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is otherwise a
                                                    > > good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well with
                                                    > > mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but again,
                                                    > > the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and none of the PC
                                                    > > software I've found so far that can decode signals like MSF, DCF, WWV
                                                    > > etc, provide a true full NTP server function. (Some do SNTP, that's
                                                    > > about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do SNTP, only NTP it seems.)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day, there
                                                    > > seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting to
                                                    > > anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad enough,
                                                    > > it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's to 100's of
                                                    > > mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it seems.)
                                                    > > Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to typicaly 25mS.
                                                    > > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely stretches
                                                    > > out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day, day of week
                                                    > > etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time accuracy
                                                    > > plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what looks like the
                                                    > > effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did some checks, and
                                                    > > it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are experiencing similar
                                                    > > effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It is however messing with
                                                    > > lots of other systems it seems too.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                                    > > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                                    > > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                                    > > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at it,
                                                    > > and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as that is
                                                    > > much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current desktop I
                                                    > > have sort of working.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are way
                                                    > > outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too. The
                                                    > > people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also uninterested
                                                    > > in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other forums, and I don't
                                                    > > know enough to do it myself.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/
                                                    > <http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/> But...
                                                    > >
                                                    > > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                                    > > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all silent
                                                    > > (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we need. Maybe
                                                    > > someone else could persuade him to if not release the BINARY, then
                                                    > > perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for such use?
                                                    > >
                                                    > > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                                    > > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                                    > > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                                    > <http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/>
                                                    > >
                                                    > > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                                    > > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                                    > > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                                    > > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                                    > > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But of
                                                    > > course, only Alex can implement that.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on Alex's
                                                    > > part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the beacons, and
                                                    > > one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No GPS needed, just
                                                    > > two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR like thing.
                                                    > > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                                    > > ignored.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature VLF
                                                    > > clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use that to
                                                    > > set Faros's time.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript I
                                                    > > use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if you
                                                    > > look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/
                                                    > <http://faros.ve3sun.com/> is
                                                    > > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no claims
                                                    > > for originality on that subject.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Cheers All.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Dave Baxter
                                                    > > G0WBX.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > --- Original Message ---
                                                    > >
                                                    > > My current plan.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server - the
                                                    > > Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site
                                                    > http://time.qnan.org <http://time.qnan.org> I
                                                    > > have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed to
                                                    > > integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a reference to
                                                    > > http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html
                                                    > <http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html> which is a fantastic source of
                                                    > > information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have high
                                                    > > hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation study,
                                                    > > site and antenna comparisons.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Peter VK4IU
                                                    > >
                                                    >
                                                    >


                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • Philip Gladstone
                                                    This conversation is a bit puzzling to me. I m not a Faros user, but I am a timing person from way back (I did the original version of the Linux timing code to
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Nov 19, 2009
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      This conversation is a bit puzzling to me. I'm not a Faros user, but I
                                                      am a timing person from way back (I did the original version of the
                                                      Linux timing code to support NTP).

                                                      In order for Faros to work, it seems that the time on the PC should be
                                                      correct to within a few hundred milliseconds. The normal errors in NTP
                                                      are over the order of a few milliseconds PLUS any latency differences
                                                      between upstream and downstream on the access link. 3G networks do have
                                                      "interesting" latency characteristics -- though I don't know whether the
                                                      upstream latency is significantly different to downstream latency. This
                                                      seems like an interesting experiment to try.

                                                      It would be interesting to see the ntpq output for systems where you
                                                      don't think that the timing accuracy is good enough. In the interests of
                                                      full disclosure, here is mine:

                                                      *tock.usno.navy. .USNO. 1 u 1005 1024 377 30.675 1.084
                                                      0.882
                                                      +cs.columbia.edu clepsydra.dec.c 2 u 4 1024 377 14.186 1.416
                                                      0.705
                                                      CDMA-2.MIT.EDU 0.0.0.0 16 u - 1024 0 0.000 0.000
                                                      4000.00
                                                      +broadbandjam.co ntp.pbx.org 3 u 85 1024 377 104.393 2.772
                                                      1.097
                                                      -14.1e.5546.stat ntp.tmc.edu 3 u 17 1024 377 71.560 -5.013
                                                      2.797
                                                      -198.186.191.229 nist1-la.witime 2 u 524 1024 377 98.060 -4.563
                                                      0.602

                                                      It seems likely that my clock is right to within a few milliseconds.
                                                      Because I am a timing geek, I'm intending to add some local clock
                                                      sources (including GPS PPS).

                                                      Getting time right to less than a millisecond is pretty difficult......

                                                      Philip

                                                      Peter wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > G'Day all,
                                                      >
                                                      > It seems I am a bit wrong on the info on radio time signals below.
                                                      > There are six standard drivers in the NTP software to take a time feed
                                                      > via radio transmissions - mostly various implementations of WWV and
                                                      > different radios. You can read what you need to do to use them here
                                                      > <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list
                                                      > <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list>>. They
                                                      > would not be much use to me here in the Southern Hemisphere, because the
                                                      > signal is subject to fade and too much propagation delay. But, if you
                                                      > are relatively close to a transmitter, they could be worth a go.
                                                      >
                                                      > Most likely, a GPS with PPS output would be much cheaper to implement,
                                                      > and more reliable, than the appropriate radios and antennas in addition
                                                      > to those for Faros.
                                                      >
                                                      > Peter VK4IU
                                                      >
                                                    • Dave
                                                      Okay, Peter, great start, let s focus on GPS with PPS signals. What do we need to do to make that work? Will my Earthmate USB do the trick? Earthmate GPS
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Nov 19, 2009
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Okay, Peter, great start, let's focus on GPS with PPS signals.

                                                        What do we need to do to make that work? Will my Earthmate USB do the
                                                        trick?

                                                        Earthmate GPS LT-40 Specs:
                                                        » NMEA-compliant 16-channel receiver
                                                        » WAAS-enabled
                                                        » STMicroelectronics new high-sensitivity Teseo chipset featuring DeLorme
                                                        ConstantLocktm technologies for outstanding time-to-first-fix and signal
                                                        retention
                                                        » Cold start: < 39 seconds
                                                        » Warm start: < 34 seconds
                                                        » Hot start: < 3 seconds
                                                        » Supply requirements: 90mA (through USB connector)
                                                        » Maximum Velocity: 1000 knots
                                                        » Advanced high-sensitivity algorithms for superior tracking in urban
                                                        environments
                                                        » Initial acquisition sensitivity down to -149dBm
                                                        » Weak signal tracking down to -159dBm
                                                        » Proprietary Kalman filter for enhanced position accuracy
                                                        » Superior noise rejection for high EMI environments
                                                        » Environmental Characterisitics:
                                                        › Operating temperature range -40 ºC to +85 ºC
                                                        › Storage temperature range -55 ºC to +100 ºC


                                                        I see nothing here for timing pulse outputs except the NMEA-compliant
                                                        reference.

                                                        I also found this:
                                                        http://wildcard.pctel.com/images_product_overview/pdf_docs/5012D_CE.pdf

                                                        And

                                                        http://wildcard.pctel.com/images_announcements/files/PCTEL_Pricelist_100509.
                                                        xls

                                                        I'm sure there's plenty of others, so what direction do we now go?


                                                        Dave
                                                        /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/





                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com]
                                                        On Behalf Of Peter
                                                        Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 05:09
                                                        To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Subject: Re: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

                                                        G'Day all,

                                                        It seems I am a bit wrong on the info on radio time signals below.
                                                        There are six standard drivers in the NTP software to take a time feed via
                                                        radio transmissions - mostly various implementations of WWV and different
                                                        radios. You can read what you need to do to use them here
                                                        <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list>. They
                                                        would not be much use to me here in the Southern Hemisphere, because the
                                                        signal is subject to fade and too much propagation delay. But, if you are
                                                        relatively close to a transmitter, they could be worth a go.

                                                        Most likely, a GPS with PPS output would be much cheaper to implement, and
                                                        more reliable, than the appropriate radios and antennas in addition to those
                                                        for Faros.

                                                        Peter VK4IU

                                                        vk4iu wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Morning Dave,
                                                        >
                                                        > ... it is 5am here. I'm enjoying the sun rise after 48 hours of storms
                                                        > and hot weather.
                                                        >
                                                        > It looks like our journeys with Faros have a very similar feel to
                                                        > them. But, I am a bit puzzled. While our Internet connections have
                                                        > similar figures for "latency", you are not getting a good result,
                                                        > whereas, here, I have got Faros giving acceptable results.
                                                        >
                                                        > All this discussion that Alex should put more "stuff" into Faros to
                                                        > solve our problems, is missing the point about getting accurate time.
                                                        > The task of Faros is to listen to the sound stream, analyse it, and
                                                        > make a report. Alex has implemented a good solution for time, we just
                                                        > have to deliver to his algorithm time data that is good enough, and
                                                        > his Kalman filter will sort out the variations.
                                                        >
                                                        > Time on the Internet has always been a difficult thing - witness the
                                                        > size of the information on ntp at the SatSignal site. Variability is
                                                        > the order of the day, and the ntpd implementation does a fantastic job
                                                        > of delivery of time under difficult circumstances. The "radio based
                                                        > time services" only exist in the USA and Europe. There are none here -
                                                        > only GPS, which is universal. The world wide radio based time services
                                                        > are just not suitable for what we want to do. The Internet, or GPS,
                                                        > are the only real alternatives for amateur radio. There will never be
                                                        > an RF feed of any sort into an NTP server - its fundamentally not a
                                                        > useful technique - they used an atomic clock to time the broadcast -
                                                        > at the other end it has to be too grossly degraded for use by ntpd -
                                                        > and, with the Internet so wide spread few will be bothered to attempt it.
                                                        >
                                                        > Ones own "time reference" is clearly the solution - if the Internet
                                                        > fails to deliver with sufficient accuracy. The most appropriate is
                                                        > GPS. For around $600 US http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm
                                                        > <http://www.beaglesoft.com/stsyhome.htm> will provide a complete
                                                        > solution - just as Dave has attempted, and I want to implement, right
                                                        > out of the box. Its down side, apart from the price, is the use of a
                                                        > Windows PC. But, I would not be surprised to find one could get a good
                                                        > enough result with it and Faros on the ONE PC.
                                                        >
                                                        > I find the $600 US too expensive, when I can buy the same GPS 18x LVS
                                                        > for about $90 US, and implement my own system using ntpd. I am lucky
                                                        > that I have 30 years experience in IT Technical Support from old
                                                        > mainframes to multiple PC servers and large PC networks. But, Dave's
                                                        > experience with the Garmin 16 LVS has given me plenty of reason to
                                                        > tread carefully. My first look at the sites referenced in my previous
                                                        > messages got me very excited. The devil may be in the serial port of
                                                        > the PC.
                                                        >
                                                        > Dave is correct, in that most of us simply want to know that we can
                                                        > hear the beacons. I want to do a lot more than that. Let me state the
                                                        > problem we are trying to solve as I see it.
                                                        >
                                                        > We want Faros to record observations of beacons, with sufficient
                                                        > accuracy that we: 1) don't miss any observations, and 2) can easily
                                                        > tell short path from long path. Faros time needs continuous time data
                                                        > randomly distributed within about 60ms of the correct time.
                                                        >
                                                        > Using the data we can then: Analyse band openings over time to improve
                                                        > our DX - find/create matching holes in our busy schedules to work DX;
                                                        > Use different antennas and work out the actual radiation patterns -
                                                        > help us tune the antenna; Compare antennas; Study RF propagation; Plan
                                                        > contest operation to maximise our score; Listen in real time during a
                                                        > contest for band openings; Compare QTHs; and lots more I have not
                                                        > thought of yet.
                                                        >
                                                        > Note that I said "we" can tell short path from long path. Let me
                                                        > describe what I do with Faros to help sort out signals, and compensate
                                                        > for minor time variation.
                                                        >
                                                        > I have an ICOM IC-706IIG, and a muli-band vertical antenna, disconnect
                                                        > the antenna when storms are about, but otherwise the system runs
                                                        > continuously. Faros creates a GIF image to a schedule. I personally
                                                        > make little use of them. The Details Panel, and the History panel, are
                                                        > created from, and can be re-created from the beacon logs. So I simply
                                                        > let Faros do its thing day after day. I use a "scheduled task" at
                                                        > 00:01 UTC in Windows, and a free Windows SDK tool, called ROBOCOPY to
                                                        > copy the logs from the Faros directory to a "holding directory" which
                                                        > is "shared" to my network - I carefully avoid the "current" beacon log
                                                        > created at 00:00. When time permits, on anther PC, I start TWO copies
                                                        > of Faros, click on pause, arrange the windows side by side, and on
                                                        > each Details panel, load a beacon log from the month/day I want to
                                                        > analyse/compare from the "holding directory". The "delay correction"
                                                        > on the second PC could be anything - I adjust it to put the signals
                                                        > where I want them - the SP line probably, then make the analysis. If I
                                                        > need to, I save a GIF image of the period for reference in my notes -
                                                        > mainly I use GreenShot or Snagit or MS OneNote to take snapshots of
                                                        > the screen.
                                                        >
                                                        > Clearly if time is all over the place, this technique becomes less
                                                        > useful. But, even with a high, and variable, latency Internet
                                                        > connection I have found acceptable results - that is signals that
                                                        > follow the SP line 90% of the time intra-day, with only small
                                                        > variation over days, small enough that I can compensate with the
                                                        > technique described. The results are good enough one can see the
                                                        > Ionosphere's "path time" changing for some beacons. I would provide
                                                        > images, but the "black hats" on the Internet have caused that to be
                                                        > off limits.
                                                        >
                                                        > As you seem to have discovered with the Garmin 16lvs, the devil is in
                                                        > the detail, in getting any system of anything to work correctly. I am
                                                        > headed in the same direction, I am sure I will need a lot of luck.
                                                        >
                                                        > How can I help you find a "configuration of time servers" that will
                                                        > give you better results. Over time I may be able to help with the
                                                        > Garmin 16 LVS and the Linux software. My Garmin 18x LVS is on back
                                                        > order - I expect delivery in a few weeks, and will implement it over
                                                        > the coming months. These days, I am a "house husband" and I have a new
                                                        > found appreciation for the effort of house wives and mothers and
                                                        > carers. Time to make the troops breakfast!
                                                        >
                                                        > Peter VK4IU
                                                        >
                                                        > Dave Baxter wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Hi Peter (David)
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Just got back from a frustrating on site service visit.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Yes, I know the Satsignal site, and have had a good exchange with
                                                        > > the David Taylor there and have successfully got a FreeBSD machine
                                                        > > suposedly configured to work as needed, from the same distro and
                                                        > > version as he used, but I've yet to get it to successfully see and
                                                        > > work with a Garmin GPS16LVC, that has a PPS output (yes, I buffered
                                                        > > it to RS232 levels.) The problem I have with all that, is I know
                                                        > > next to nothing about that level of tweakage at the kernel level of
                                                        > > any 'nix, that and the 'nix community seems intent on flaming anyone
                                                        > > who asks questions that they do not see as relavant to their latest
                                                        > > and greatest distro. (or more relevantly, they do not themselves
                                                        > > understand.)
                                                        > >
                                                        > > You also it seems found out the hard way what I was told, that the
                                                        > > timing accuracy of the NMEA sentence delivery from any GPS receiver
                                                        > > currently available, is not good enough for time keeping to the
                                                        > > level we need. The eTrex (I have one of the "Yellow" ones too) is
                                                        > > otherwise a good bit of kit, but useless for any accurate timekeeping.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Also, like you, I've found that protocols like NTP don't play well
                                                        > > with mobile internet services. 3G or otherwise.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > VLF Radio time keeping broadcasts could be another way to go, but
                                                        > > again, the hardware to do the job is prohibitivey expensive, and
                                                        > > none of the PC software I've found so far that can decode signals
                                                        > > like MSF, DCF, WWV etc, provide a true full NTP server function.
                                                        > > (Some do SNTP, that's about the best it gets, and Faros doesnt do
                                                        > > SNTP, only NTP it seems.)
                                                        > >
                                                        > > My ISP issues. Well, (long story short) during the business day,
                                                        > > there seems to be a drastic increase in the network latency getting
                                                        > > to anything, evne in their own domain/network! If that is not bad
                                                        > > enough, it's variable one ping to the next, by a wide margin (10's
                                                        > > to 100's of mS variation, but no packet loss, that is their goal it
                                                        > > seems.) Evenings, early mornings and weekends, Latency is down to
                                                        typicaly 25mS.
                                                        > > During the day, it can go to as much as 500mS, but routinely
                                                        > > stretches out to 150 to 300mS, depending on the exact time of day,
                                                        > > day of week etc. Some days are better, some worse. Watching the time
                                                        > > accuracy plot in Faros, at certain times of day, you can see what
                                                        > > looks like the effect of someone throwing a switch somewhere. I did
                                                        > > some checks, and it's not just me, other users of the same ISP are
                                                        > > experiencing similar effects, though they don't use NTP as we do. It
                                                        > > is however messing with lots of other systems it seems too.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > As a result, it totaly screws up NTP for any sort of accurate time
                                                        > > synching, like Faros needs. Hence why I was messing with FreeBSD
                                                        > > trying to setup a local Stratum 1 server etc. It's getting to the
                                                        > > state at home now, where I am going to take another serious stab at
                                                        > > it, and see if I can get it going on an old early pentium laptop, as
                                                        > > that is much smaller, quieter, and uses less power, than the current
                                                        > > desktop I have sort of working.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I'd idealy like to have a "Time Appliance", but commercial units are
                                                        > > way outside my pocket money range, and like hen's teeth to find too.
                                                        > > The people who port 'nix etc onto old router hardware are also
                                                        > > uninterested in helping, from the few exchanges I've had on other
                                                        > > forums, and I don't know enough to do it myself.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I did find this... http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/
                                                        > <http://scss.com.au/family/andrew/gps/ntp/> But...
                                                        > >
                                                        > > When I asked if he would release a copy of the BINARY (not the
                                                        > > propriatry TCP stack 'C' code from the compiler) he's gone all
                                                        > > silent (like no reply, ever!) Pity, as that seems to be what we
                                                        > > need. Maybe someone else could persuade him to if not release the
                                                        > > BINARY, then perhaps sell pre-programed (and copy protected) PIC's for
                                                        such use?
                                                        > >
                                                        > > For now, Faros bumbles along otherwise OK, but when you look at the
                                                        > > plots, the path charts in the UK afternoon, are often showing a snow
                                                        > > storm of white "unknown" spots. http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/
                                                        > <http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/>
                                                        > >
                                                        > > As a reception report, most people are interested in the fact that a
                                                        > > beacon has been realiably heard, not what path it was heard by, I think.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > What I'd like to see long term, is GPS PPS support built into Faros
                                                        > > itself, that's where it's needed, NTP could still be used if GPS
                                                        > > reception is not posible, or as a fall back. That alone would make
                                                        > > Faros most valuable when out portable, or for DXpeditions etc. But
                                                        > > of course, only Alex can implement that.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Another option, but would also no doubt be a major undertaking on
                                                        > > Alex's part, would be to use one channel of the soundcard for the
                                                        > > beacons, and one channel for a radio code input (WWV, MSF etc) No
                                                        > > GPS needed, just two RX's, and one of them could be a realy simple SDR
                                                        like thing.
                                                        > > (Keeping the audio tones very different, so any crosstalk would be
                                                        > > ignored.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Or, take a pulse train from any of the commonly available miniature
                                                        > > VLF clock receiver modules, into a com port line somewhere, and use
                                                        > > that to set Faros's time.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > That's enough from me I suspect. Oh, one more thing. The Javascript
                                                        > > I use, is more or less that, that is cited as an example to use, if
                                                        > > you look on the main NCDXF IBP site links. http://faros.ve3sun.com/
                                                        > <http://faros.ve3sun.com/> is
                                                        > > where you need to go to start that learning exersize! I make no
                                                        > > claims for originality on that subject.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Cheers All.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Dave Baxter
                                                        > > G0WBX.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > --- Original Message ---
                                                        > >
                                                        > > My current plan.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I initially dismissed creating a stratum 0 reference time server -
                                                        > > the Meinberg PCI card is priced at $3500 in Australia. But ...
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Alex VE3NEA alerted me to the following web site
                                                        > http://time.qnan.org <http://time.qnan.org> I
                                                        > > have ordered a Garmin 18x LVS, $100 n Australia, and I will proceed
                                                        > > to integrate it into my Linux server. On that site there is a
                                                        > > reference to http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html
                                                        > <http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/index.html> which is a fantastic source
                                                        > of
                                                        > > information relevant to getting Faros a good time signal. I have
                                                        > > high hopes of having a fantastic Faros installation for propagation
                                                        > > study, site and antenna comparisons.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Peter VK4IU
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        >


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                                                      • Peter
                                                        Hi Philip, Great to hear from you. I much appreciate the views of someone with your experience. You are correct, I think the interesting characteristics of
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Nov 19, 2009
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Hi Philip,

                                                          Great to hear from you. I much appreciate the views of someone with your
                                                          experience.

                                                          You are correct, I think the "interesting characteristics" of my
                                                          wireless broadband link is fundamentally where the problem lies. There
                                                          are significant differences in the two directions in terms of delay,
                                                          particularly as my link goes through a repeater before hitting the phone
                                                          cell and onto the wired network. Also, my link is used by others on this
                                                          local area network - I have at least 6 PCs using the link creating
                                                          congestion. All but two are mine - so I have some control over the
                                                          congestion.

                                                          A college has a wired ADLS2+ Internet connection and has very good time
                                                          for Faros - no problems at all. Interestingly, his "delay correction" in
                                                          Faros is 10ms, mine is 60ms.

                                                          No use is made of the time on the local PC by the Faros software. The
                                                          beacons we are listening to, use a PPS, GPS based time reference. We
                                                          need to be close to the beacon time, so we can know from which direction
                                                          the signal came - the short way around the earth, or the long way around
                                                          - and not too far off, or we miss the beacon completely. Exactly how
                                                          accurate we need to be is difficult to work out as its a factor of many
                                                          things including delays in the PC, the radio, the RF propagation, the
                                                          beacons themselves. Faros has a "delay correction" to compensate for the
                                                          actual delay we experience in the PC and other components. Most
                                                          importantly we need stable time, and then use the "delay correction" in
                                                          Faros to compensate for any offset. That way all the differences in the
                                                          observation of the signal are due to the RF paths, and we can do RF
                                                          propagation studies with the data.

                                                          I'm not sure what "command" you used. Here is my output for one my NTP
                                                          servers - on the same PC as Faros - for the command "peers", a few
                                                          minutes ago.

                                                          remote refid st t when poll reach delay offset jitter
                                                          ==============================================================================
                                                          -mirror.dedicate 128.250.36.2 2 u 79 256 377 58.258 -10.218 4.514
                                                          duffman.springf 210.23.158.201 3 u 98 256 377 98.802 -9.846 33.042
                                                          *cachens1.onqnet 128.250.36.3 2 u 116 256 377 59.203 -12.518 3.518
                                                          +ntp.bigcheese.o 128.250.36.2 2 u 127 256 377 109.652 -22.972 26.313
                                                          hit-nxdomain.op .STEP. 16 u - 1024 0 0.000 0.000 0.000
                                                          +toc.ntp.telstra 203.35.83.242 2 u 238 256 377 72.537 -21.892 6.308

                                                          The above is the result of several weeks of experimentation with several
                                                          lists of servers. I no longer use this local server, or several others,
                                                          with Faros. Faros goes to the server list directly - I get a much better
                                                          result from Faros going directly to the Internet servers rather than
                                                          having the local servers included.

                                                          When I included the local servers in the list of servers for Faros, I
                                                          finished up with Faros giving too high a preference to the local servers
                                                          - small symmetric delay and low dispersion - and "faros time" became a
                                                          straight line following the offset of the local server(s) - a straight
                                                          line with accumulative error as high as 50ms every 15 minutes, which
                                                          then "corrected", sending Faros off in another direction. This sent the
                                                          beacon observations on a roller coaster ride up and down for which the
                                                          "delay correction" in "Faros" was unable to compensate.

                                                          My conclusion was that I needed more "randomness" in the time
                                                          observations made by Faros - to avoid skew in the input to its Kalman
                                                          filter - that is more randomness in the "delay", and offset, so Faros
                                                          would not weight one server over another, allow the Faros Kalman filter
                                                          to do its job, better.

                                                          This has proved correct, as I now have stable time and acceptable
                                                          observations from Faros. Given I seem to be able to implement a GPS
                                                          based solution, the same as the beacons, for around $100 US, and given
                                                          this is my hobby, I choose to attempt the best result I can get - a PPS
                                                          GPS time reference.

                                                          But, fundamentally, I am happy with the NTP time service from the
                                                          Internet - so far, touch wood!

                                                          Peter VK4IU

                                                          Philip Gladstone wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > This conversation is a bit puzzling to me. I'm not a Faros user, but I
                                                          > am a timing person from way back (I did the original version of the
                                                          > Linux timing code to support NTP).
                                                          >
                                                          > In order for Faros to work, it seems that the time on the PC should be
                                                          > correct to within a few hundred milliseconds. The normal errors in NTP
                                                          > are over the order of a few milliseconds PLUS any latency differences
                                                          > between upstream and downstream on the access link. 3G networks do have
                                                          > "interesting" latency characteristics -- though I don't know whether the
                                                          > upstream latency is significantly different to downstream latency. This
                                                          > seems like an interesting experiment to try.
                                                          >
                                                          > It would be interesting to see the ntpq output for systems where you
                                                          > don't think that the timing accuracy is good enough. In the interests of
                                                          > full disclosure, here is mine:
                                                          >
                                                          > *tock.usno.navy. .USNO. 1 u 1005 1024 377 30.675 1.084
                                                          > 0.882
                                                          > +cs.columbia.edu clepsydra.dec.c 2 u 4 1024 377 14.186 1.416
                                                          > 0.705
                                                          > CDMA-2.MIT.EDU 0.0.0.0 16 u - 1024 0 0.000 0.000
                                                          > 4000.00
                                                          > +broadbandjam.co ntp.pbx.org 3 u 85 1024 377 104.393 2.772
                                                          > 1.097
                                                          > -14.1e.5546.stat ntp.tmc.edu 3 u 17 1024 377 71.560 -5.013
                                                          > 2.797
                                                          > -198.186.191.229 nist1-la.witime 2 u 524 1024 377 98.060 -4.563
                                                          > 0.602
                                                          >
                                                          > It seems likely that my clock is right to within a few milliseconds.
                                                          > Because I am a timing geek, I'm intending to add some local clock
                                                          > sources (including GPS PPS).
                                                          >
                                                          > Getting time right to less than a millisecond is pretty difficult......
                                                          >
                                                          > Philip
                                                          >
                                                          > Peter wrote:
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > > G'Day all,
                                                          > >
                                                          > > It seems I am a bit wrong on the info on radio time signals below.
                                                          > > There are six standard drivers in the NTP software to take a time feed
                                                          > > via radio transmissions - mostly various implementations of WWV and
                                                          > > different radios. You can read what you need to do to use them here
                                                          > > <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list
                                                          > <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list>
                                                          > > <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list
                                                          > <http://www.eecis.udel.edu/%7Emills/ntp/html/refclock.html#list>>>. They
                                                          > > would not be much use to me here in the Southern Hemisphere, because the
                                                          > > signal is subject to fade and too much propagation delay. But, if you
                                                          > > are relatively close to a transmitter, they could be worth a go.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Most likely, a GPS with PPS output would be much cheaper to implement,
                                                          > > and more reliable, than the appropriate radios and antennas in addition
                                                          > > to those for Faros.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Peter VK4IU
                                                          > >
                                                          >
                                                          >
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