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RE: [dxatlas] Re: Timing Question

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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




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                    • vk4iu
                      Dave, Send your images to my email address AT dot org - if you wish. I see that I cannot even put a real email address in here.
                      Message 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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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                              >
                              >
                              > 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
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                              >




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

                              Yahoo! Groups Links




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                              Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Peter
                              G Day all, It seems I am a bit wrong on the info on radio time signals below. There are six standard drivers in the NTP software to take a time feed via radio
                              Message 14 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 15 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 16 of 29 , Nov 19, 2009
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Okay, Peter, great start, let's focus on GPS with PPS signals.

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

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


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

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

                                    And

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

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


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





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

                                    G'Day all,

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

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

                                    Peter VK4IU

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


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                                  • Peter
                                    Hi Philip, Great to hear from you. I much appreciate the views of someone with your experience. You are correct, I think the interesting characteristics of
                                    Message 17 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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