[time-nuts] Loss of NIST transmitters at Colorado and Hawaii

Nick Sayer nsayer at kfu.com
Fri Sep 7 19:58:55 EDT 2018


I don’t know if it’s on-topic or not, but my talking clock now has a WWV #define for the firmware. Mind you, all that really does is change it to 59 ticks and one beep and a single time announcement in the last 10 seconds of the minute.

https://hackaday.io/project/28949-gps-talking-clock

> On Sep 7, 2018, at 2:49 PM, paul swed <paulswedb at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Nick
> Been watching the thread and building a replacement for wwvb. Cause darn it
> I like my spot specific always accurate clocks. However that said the next
> generations of time users for general life only have one clock and its next
> to their keister. They are mobile and heavens actually getting to a meeting
> on time is not as important as finishing that text. I believe our
> perspective is seriously skewed by time. The fact that the mobile clock is
> a bit one way or another just isn't much of a factor. Mobile phone time is
> good enough.
> There are lots of changes going on such as watching video whenever and
> however at anytime.
> So after I figure how to get a bit of 60 KHz energy going around the house,
> it will be off to making a local wwv replacement.
> The old radios just don't have a ethernet port on them. Ticks are easy the
> voice really tough.
> Regards
> Paul
> WB8TSL
> 
> On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 4:24 PM, Nick Sayer via time-nuts <
> time-nuts at lists.febo.com> wrote:
> 
>> My own perspective is that embedded devices with WiFi present a monstrous
>> user interface barrier. You have to somehow communicate the WiFi SSID and
>> WPA credentials to the device. Some embedded things have displays and input
>> methods and can at least use the “ouija board” method (which is still a
>> pain in the keister), but truly embedded things like wall clocks? There
>> you’re going to have to rely on ugly hacks like “set up networks” with web
>> servers running on them and so on. It’s a mess at best.
>> 
>> Where the embedded device provides value sufficient to overcome the
>> barriers, then it makes sense. I have a whole bunch of IoT devices in our
>> house and the added convenience they give made it absolutely worth the
>> configuration steps asked. But a wall clock? I can imagine the negative
>> Amazon reviews already.
>> 
>> Others have argued for GPS clocks. GPS is certainly an alternative to
>> WWVB, but it has a different set of challenges and benefits. It’s far, far
>> more accurate, but it’s also more expensive, requires better antenna
>> placement and requires enough power that a battery operated clock isn’t
>> terribly practical, certainly compared to WWVB.
>> 
>> I can *kinda* see the impetus behind shuttering WWVH and perhaps WWV. But
>> WWVB is currently used by hundreds of thousands if not millions of devices.
>> I think it’s kind of a rotten deal to just pull the plug on them without at
>> least a number of years of warning.
>> 
>>> On Aug 13, 2018, at 5:07 AM, Tim Shoppa <tshoppa at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> While consumer WWVB clocks are widespread today, almost all (or all)
>> professional clock displays have shifted to NTP over copper or over
>> sometimes WIFI in the past decade.
>>> 
>>> WWVB or WWV, without an external antenna, was never a good choice for a
>> clock in a steel building to begin with. 30 years ago you would put an HF
>> or GOES antenna on the roof. As the paperwork for putting up an antenna has
>> multiplied exponentially and Ethernet has become completely and totally
>> ubiquitous in commercial buildings, it becomes a no brainer to choose a POE
>> NTP clock display.
>>> 
>>> While NTP works super well for locations with 120VAC or POE power, it is
>> not so obvious for a wallclock that is traditionally powered by a battery
>> that only has to be changed every few years. For battery powered wallclocks
>> in wood buiildings WWVB is still a great solution maybe even the only
>> solution. But I could imagine a consumer product that just turned on its
>> WIFI for a minute each day to resync and was battery powered.
>>> 
>>> Tim N3QE
>>> 
>>>> On Aug 13, 2018, at 12:28 AM, Richard (Rick) Karlquist <
>> richard at karlquist.com> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>> On 8/12/2018 6:55 PM, John C. Westmoreland, P.E. wrote:
>>>>> I hope this does not happen.  I get questions from new Hams that ask,
>> 'How
>>>>> can I check my antenna easily?' - the quick reply is to check for WWV
>> on
>>>>> 2.5, 5,0, 10.0, 15.0 and 20.0 MHz.
>>>> 
>>>> W1AW is far more useful to check ham antennas, since it broadcasts
>>>> on ham bands, so that isn't a useful argument.
>>>> 
>>>> OTOH, the argument that it is OK to obsolete millions of "atomic"
>>>> clocks because of NTP is also weak.  The present WWVB solution
>>>> is "just right" for the problem; the vast majority of users
>>>> don't need more accuracy.
>>>> 
>>>> Rick N6RK
>>>> 
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