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USA: NIST WWV/WWVH/WWVB? shutdown due to budget cuts
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BonezTheGoon
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I predict there will be unforeseen consequences if they shut down the WWVB. Who knows what all is using it in infrastructure? It has been around long enough that the people who originally designed things will have retired and the current maintainer/operator likely has no idea of the dependency for accuracy.

I'd wager this is a bigger deal than the Y2K bug if they turn it off without more widely disclosing that critical systems need to be converted to another mechanism for time synchronization.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
Except that it would be illegal to broadcast on vacated WWV channels, they will likely keep them reserved for future use.
Probably, but it doesn't have to be. They can easily allow a conversion period as was done with whatever the new broadcast television system is. I'm good with a hard cutoff as previously outlined.

eccerr0r wrote:
I would imagine that building a clock that has very low drift would actually be cost prohibitive for mass production.
Akkara seemed to think it wasn't that difficult...

I'm not opposed to the service continuing to exist, I'd just like to see it funded differently. With as much as it "costs" to get a degree these days, universities could cover it without breaking a sweat.
Akkara wrote:
Ntp was a stopgap from back in the days when computer manufacturers couldn't be bothered to spend the extra 5 cents to put in a clock that can match the accuracy of the $5 watch from the local convenience store.
I'm not opposed to the service continuing to exist, I'd just like to see it funded differently. With as much as it "costs" to get a degree these days, universities could cover it without breaking a sweat.
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wswartzendruber
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why doesn't GPS broadcast the current time?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not a couple cents, if the idea is to not require setting the clock one in a while. As said, to get something even close to an atomic clock, a TCXO is needed along with a manually tuned/selected crystal which will add significantly to cost.

And as stated above, GPS is a solution if cost is not a problem - both electronics cost and power cost. Having to replace the fairly large installed base is an issue. I do have a Garmin that runs off of three AA but that's not on my wall or lasts months without a battery swap.

I would also rather have it run by NIST because time should be standardized, after all.
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Last edited by eccerr0r on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
Having an always accurate wall clock that's powered by batteries that lasts for months without replacement is being a dinosaur.

Having your own NIST-traceable accurate time source is being a dinosaur.

Hmm.

Yes, it is, when you can have a clock powered by batteries that will still be working when you're dead of old age, and you can get a much liwer-latency time signal as a simple side benefit of something else you are getting anyway, such as GPS, internet, cable, XM radio, etc., etc.

People like you used to poo poo electricity and automobiles for being redundant and more complicated than what they already had which meet their needs perfectly (oil lamps and horses). You want to live off the grid? That's where your logic leads.
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desultory
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yamakuzure wrote:
Oh, wow, wow, wow! Hang on! Microwave? Seriously?
So, how hard has it been, adapting to having light curve so sharply in close proximity to your head?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, until the cost of such and the cost of powering such is lower, there's no comparison at least yet. You don't need to configure your wall clock with an IP address that faithfully shows your time correctly during and after a power outage.

And yes, it's great for people who live off grid and don't want to replace items that work just fine. Until the day a cheap GPS clock can be readily had...

... and still does not provide people with an easy way to get a frequency calibration source.
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BonezTheGoon
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
Why doesn't GPS broadcast the current time?


It does, just in a much more expensive way to observe/catch.

The WWVB version of my watch was $199 back in 2011 when I bought it. The GPS version today is $2,000.
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Akkara
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
Why doesn't GPS broadcast the current time?

It does, as has already been mentioned, but it is harder and more costly (both energy and $$) to receive compared to the WWVB signals.

Additionally, GPS is impossible to receive indoors. The signal is extremely weak (below the noise floor). And it relies on time-of-flight calculations from the known positions of the satellites. Walls and reflections change the apparent time-of-flight, which throws off the calculations. It isn't a simple offset that gets added. The satellites are in orbit. The effect of reflections and delays on the trigonometric solution continually varies as the angles change, giving the temporal version of driving down a very bumpy road.
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