[time-nuts] Nutty time-nuttery with WWVB

Artek Manuals Manuals at ArtekManuals.com
Thu Nov 10 17:10:34 EST 2016

On 11/10/2016 4:52 PM, Ruslan Nabioullin wrote:
> On 11/10/2016 07:18 AM, Peter Reilley wrote:
>> I have a few of those "atomic" clocks that receive WWVB to set the time.
>> However since I live on the east coast they may only pick up the signal
>> once or twice per year.
>> Could I implement my own personal WWVB transmitter that would
>> be powerful enough to be picked up by the clocks in my house?
>> The signal at 60 KHz might be able to be produced directly by some
>> sound cards.   With that and a ferrite rod antenna I might get
>> reliable time elsewhere in my house outside of my lab.
>> Has anyone tried this?
>> Pete.
> To be honest, this is very impractical and backward-thinking.  I would
> suggest instead upgrading to the Internet-of-things paradigm, replacing
> these time-of-day displays with full computers running NTP and connected
> to your LAN (Android smartwatches; repurposed old smartphones, tablets,
> laptops, etc.; and smartclocks [I'm certain that some Silicon Valley
> ``genius'' has already come out with such an ``invention'' and the
> Chinese are churning out cheap knockoffs]), which will query your home
> metrology lab's NTP server(s), and instead using WWVB as an additional
> timing signal for diversifying your timing source portfolio (with a good
> antenna, of course), if you haven't done so already (though such
> products appear to be extremely sparse nowadays, for civilian-minded
> users have superficially reasoned that GPS is all that is necessary).
> -Ruslan
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I think you have missed the point this is not so much about keeping time 
down to the nano-second

The WWVB clocks being discussed here come in a plethora of decorator 
styles and display varieties ( though most are old analog dials) some up 
to 3' in diameter.. They are battery powered so one does not have to 
connect them to external power source.  They serve a dual purpose .... 
for the lady friends who keep us fat and happy they are pleasing to the 
their sense of form and feng shui (If momma aint happy ..aint nobody 
happy) .  For the engineer in us we know that the time is accurate to 
the second and we don't have get out the step ladder to crawl up there 
and reset the clock twice a year when daylight savings changes over. 
When I was a road warrior I had a wrist watch that kept WWVB time and I 
always knew down to the second how much time I had before I missed the 
next flight or train out of Dodge. ( I haven't worn a watch by the way 
since I retired in 2008 !)

Nowadays I suppose you could build/buy one that talks to your WLAN but I 
suspect the battery life is not quite as good as the current WWVB 
version which can run off a watch battery for 5 years. On the other hand 
I know I can sleep better at night knowing my WWVB clock has not joined 
the dark side and is mindlessly helping the terrorists bring down the 
power grid 8^(


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