[time-nuts] Thunderbolts, time references, NTP etc.

Steve Rooke sar10538 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 02:07:32 EDT 2009


If you can find one, a Truetime NTS-90/-100/-150/-200 server makes a
good ready to go NTP server in a rack mount format. I have a NTS-90
which works a treat and is managed via a console link, telnet, or a
web page (my one only seems to like IE with the Microsoft version of
Java to control it, grrrrr!). The higher spec models also have front
panel controls.

73,
Steve

2009/6/16 Dave Baxter <dave at uk-ar.co.uk>:
> Is this good value, and a trusted seller?
>
> I went looking for "Fluke1" as listed earlier on here for these devices
> (Thunderbolt GPS disciplined referenced sources) but though I
> (eventually) found the user, no activity was shown for some time.  So, I
> went looking for the product instead, and found (among other things)
> this item 170344432395 (you know where to look.)
>
> My intended main application, is to drive a local NTP server (Network
> Time Protocol) as I'm getting more and more P'd off with my ISP's
> ineptitude in maintaining a network where NTP (or anything else not
> related to web crawling or email) works with any reliability.  (Huge and
> variable latency, ping to ping, at different times of day, confirmed by
> other users of the same ISP.)
>
> I run (just because I can!) a HF beacon monitor station, running the
> Faros software from Alex VE3NEA.  That uses NTP and only NTP to
> synchronise it's software clock.  (http://www.dxatlas.com/Faros/)  The
> results of that can be seen at http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/  The white
> delay spots illustrate where the NTP source is messed up.
>
> The 10MHz output would perhaps be useful, once I have modified a radio
> or two to use that as a reference for their synthesizers, but that is
> not necessary as yet.   I had a GPS with a 1pps output, but due to a PSU
> malfunction, it doesnt work any more sadly.  :-(
>
> Mind you, I'm, still having difficulty configuring a FreeBSD box for NTP
> server use.   The instructions to do so I have are good it seems
> (http://www.satsignal.eu/ntp/FreeBSD-GPS-PPS.htm) just that the system
> does not seem to co-operate, and I'm not that familiar with
> Linux/FreeBSD etc at the basic user level, let alone re-compiling the
> kernel.  As evidenced by a non booting system, the two times I
> eventually got it to compile (that takes hours to complete) and that was
> not even with modified sources, just what came on the CD unmolested.  As
> each reload takes an age, I sort of lost the plot with that method!
>
> The local Linux User Group is not that much help either, no one has any
> experience with this sort of "engineering" thing.
>
> Ultimately, I'd like to run something like this on a non-PC hardware
> platform.
>
>
> Does anyone on this list know of a ready to run appliance, or
> preconfigured boot CD of this sort?   Providing a LAN NTP source from
> GPS, for not much more than the cost of one of the Thunderbolts or
> similar?   There are lots of commercial offerings, but way outside my
> price budget, this is for a hobby after all.
>
> Changing ISP would be a hassle, and there is no garantee that any other
> ISP wouldnt do the same silly thing, seemingly throttling private users
> WAN traffic during the day, though they say they don't.  The ISP support
> people didnt even know what NTP was when I contacted them, then said
> that so long as there were no lost packets, ping delays of up to 250ms
> were acceptable!!
>
> Half the trouble seems to be, as a result of them appearing to now be
> running their NTP servers on the same machines as their border gateway
> systems, based on IP addresses and service names.
>
> Ideas anyone?
>
> Regards.
>
> Dave B.
> G0WBX.
>
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-- 
Steve Rooke - ZL3TUV & G8KVD & JAKDTTNW
A man with one clock knows what time it is;
A man with two clocks is never quite sure.




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