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5132Re: [wsjtgroup] Clock sync

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  • Bill W5WVO
    Sep 2, 2008
      Here's something I just ran across on SmartComputing.com, which I subscribe to:
      "WinXP automatically sets your clock on a weekly basis. Please note, however, that some computers with unusual hardware configurations lose time if you enable automatic synchronization. If your PC loses more than five minutes a day, Microsoft recommends disabling this feature."
      If you are running WinXP (or Vista, presumably, though I don't know), you might want to check and see if you have automatic time synchronization enabled, and if so, turn it off.
      Bill W5WVO
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 5:19 PM
      Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Clock sync

      The hardware real-time clock (RTC) on your motherboard is basically the equivalent of a cheap battery-operated wristwatch, nowadays all self-contained in a small module, or even embedded in the motherboard chipset. Your computer reads the time from the hardware RTC when it is booted up, and based on this reading, it starts a software RTC service that runs as long as the computer OS is running. The hardware RTC is normally not consulted again until reboot.
      This software RTC that displays time on your desktop is actually a Windows OS service that depends upon the regularity of a BIOS interrupt. As you might imagine, the "regularity" of an interrupt occuring (and being promptly handled) could certainly be affected by any number of factors in the computer's run-time environment.
      If your clock is losing a lot of time WHILE THE COMPUTER IS RUNNING, then there are probably some processes you have invoked that are slowing down the clock.
      It could be that your CPU is loaded up to the gills much of the time by all the stuff you are running simultaneously. If that's the problem, you need to unburden it by closing any unnecessary apps/processes/ services. Or maybe it's just time to upgrade your computer to something a lot faster and more capable, something that can keep up with all the stuff you're wanting it to do at the same time. :-)
      There is actually a fair amount of stuff available online about this. Google "RTC losing time" or similar, and do some research.
      Bill W5VWO
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 4:04 PM
      Subject: [wsjtgroup] Clock sync

      My computer's clock loses about .175 seconds per minute. Is this
      more than normal for a PC?

      I have Dimension 4 correcting the time every 2 minutes but this
      seems like an unnecessary load on the time server. Is there a
      way to reduce the clock error? Is there a program that can
      apply a correction factor locally and reduce the need check the
      time server?

      Mike kc9doa

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