[time-nuts] Nutty time-nuttery with WWVB

Charles Steinmetz csteinmetz at yandex.com
Thu Nov 10 11:03:31 EST 2016

Peter wrote:

> Could I implement my own personal WWVB transmitter that would
> be powerful enough to be picked up by the clocks in my house?
>      *   *   *
> Has anyone tried this?

Some on the list have, and I'm sure they will provide the details.

Others have mentioned the potential problems with interference to other 
WWVB users.  For starters, make sure you study and understand Part 15 of 
the FCC rules before you put it on the air, or you could face a nasty 
enforcement action.  (Even if you are Part 15-compliant, you may still 
screw up other users' reception and get a visit from the FCC when they 
complain.  I operate several very sensitive 60kHz receivers -- if you 
live in my neighborhood, I'm almost certain to be unhappy about anything 
you deploy.)

Note that the problem with most "atomic" clocks that I've seen is 
actually not insufficient signal (in the wee hours of the morning, when 
they try to synch).  It is either excessive QRM, or orienting the clock 
so its antenna has a null toward Fort Collins.  Make sure the antenna 
has a major lobe toward Fort Collins (this may require relocating the 
entire clock or bringing the antenna out so you can orient it 
independently), and that it is well clear of the AC mains distribution 
wiring in your house and any other sources of QRM (wall warts, CFL 
lamps, LED lamps, etc. (this may also require relocating the clock).

The typical clock using a loopstick antenna has lobes to the front and 
rear, and nulls to the sides.  Thus, mounting the clock on the western 
exterior wall (for users on the east coast) is usually best.  Putting it 
directly in front of a west-facing window may help.

Best regards,


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