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Re: Timing Question

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  • 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 1 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 2 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.
        >




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

        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 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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
                                    >




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

                                    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
                                    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 17 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 18 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 19 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
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > ----------
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 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
                                          Well, I guess I was on the wrong road. Dave DM78qg // KA0SWT /++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++/ ... From: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com
                                          Message 20 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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                                            >
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                                          • 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 21 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 22 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 23 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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                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • 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 24 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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