[time-nuts] Yukon Energy causes time sync problems

Thomas A. Frank ka2cdk at cox.net
Sat Apr 10 00:51:51 EDT 2010

> In this case, the reference clock appears to refer to GPS satellite  
> time,
> but
> uses a standard wall clock to display it. It is the reference clock  
> that
> slowed down when it should have failed to work at all. Perhaps the  
> wall
> clock
> (maybe it was really a HP 113) needed oil. There's the real  
> question for
> time
> nuts: How did the reference clock slow down?

I just went and re-read the article.  It reads to me that the  
synchronous clock, not the GPS reference clock, was what suffered the  
The control centre’s wall clock was running faster than the satellite  
clock over the last few days, so staff simply turned down generation  
as they normally do, without knowing there was an internal problem  
with their electric clock, he explained.
Morgan said when the generation was turned down, electric clocks that  
were plugged into the wall – alarm clocks, stove clocks, microwave  
clocks – all slowed down. The change was quite slow and unnoticeable  
until several minutes had been lost over a few days, he said.


Or do y'all think I am misinterpreting the story?  Easier to believe  
that the synchronous clock went bad than the GPS clock.

On a related note, I visited a remote navy base once and went to talk  
to the folks running the station power plant, which was comprised of  
24 very large diesel generators.  They had a $2 synchronous clock  
sitting next to a $2 battery operated quartz wall clock, and were  
manually controlling the frequency.  I suggested that they at least  
get a high quality quartz clock, if not a GPS based clock for the  
reference...but that costs money, so they weren't planning to change.

Also related, I have an Electro Industries frequency meter that I use  
to monitor the power line here in Rhode Island.  I have never seen it  
vary more than .05 Hz from nominal (59.95 to 60.05).  On the other  
hand, during a trip to Scotland, the power frequency went fully 0.5  
Hz out, from 49.50 - 50.50, Hz while I was there.

In both cases, the average is right on over the course of several days.

Tom Frank, KA2CDK

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