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7139Re: [wsjtgroup] Re:Keeping PC clock on time

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  • Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
    Apr 6, 2010
      The BIOS (hardware) clock exists only to provide a last-ditch approximation of the correct time when the software RTC has been initialized due to rebooting. That's the only time the hardware clock is read. It can be set manually through the BIOS user interface at boot time, but such setting is only an approximation, good to within a second or two at best. And there is no way to "keep it accurate" while the PC is running; it is not consulted during PC run-time in any case, so there is no need to.
      The software clock -- the clock displayed on your PC screen -- is potentially very accurate, and of course can be updated regularly with NTP and SNTP clients like D4 and others, as well as manually through the GUI. However, it is subject to the vagaries of CPU loading. If the computer is being asked to do way more simultaneously than it can do without losing RTC cycles, then it will lose RTC cycles. My experience with modern, fast machines using Intel multi-core processors loaded moderately with OS and user software suggests that the software RTC usually requires correction only at wide intervals -- days or even weeks. And then it's only a matter of a few hundred milliseconds at most. Load it up to the gills with simultaneously-running huge bloated applications and services, however, and that can change.
      If the software RTC is losing seconds a day, it's usually an indication that the CPU is (or was, for some period of time) way overloaded. Overloading produces its own problems, of course, but if you're willing to live on the edge, you can keep the RTC accurate with a utility such as D4 that resets the RTC every few minutes.
      Bill W5WVO

      Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:10 AM
      Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] Re:Keeping PC clock on time


      If your BIOS is losing time you might try replacing the CMOS battery

      73 Matt

      -----Original Message-----
      From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com] On Behalf
      Of Bato, Andras
      Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:54 AM
      To: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com
      Subject: [wsjtgroup] Re:Keeping PC clock on time


      I have a problem.

      There's no software which would keep BIOS clock exact!

      Not long ago I took part in a contest with a DOS version of K1EA's CT
      logger but I had forgotten to
      check what the exact time was when the contest began..

      Severeal Qs of mine was cancelled, because of time differences!

      Does anyone have idea how to keep BIOS clock exact?

      gl de ha6nn

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