Setting computer clock that doesn't want to cooperate (for some digi modes)

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by AA5ET, Jan 2, 2022.

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  1. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    On the Windows 7 machine sometimes my computer clock doesn't want to bother setting itself to the correct time if it's only a few seconds off, which can mean the difference between success and failure when trying to use modes like FT8. This happens even when manually going into clock settings to update the "internet time" via the (or similar time standards). You can see when the clock is off by looking at the waterfall display - if transmitted signals are delayed a second or so there will be a gap between the horizontal green line indicating the start of another 15-second interval and the start of transmitted signals. Of course sometimes people will click to transmit late causing a gap, but if every signal has a gap then you know your clock is off. If you're not receiving text from the signals seen on the waterfall that could also mean the clock is off. Or worse, someone comes onto your frequency with a message saying "ck computer clock." Now that can be embarassing, and it's happened to me despite manually updating my "internet time."

    So here's the fix that I found:
    I've found that if my computer refuses to cooperate, all I have to do is go in and manually reset the clock to the wrong time - several seconds off, then I go in again and set it via "internet time" ( and it stops being lazy and really sets the time!
  2. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have windows 10 (I think) and my computer clock gets set by the internet conection, thru the cable modem from our cable company. I am hard wired with a cat-5 cable to the computer. I have never seen it more than a few seconds off WWV or CHU. I never have to do anything to get the time corrected.
  3. KE5MC

    KE5MC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I recall the win7 time check should be disabled if using 3rd party checking. I believe how to is part of Meinburg notes. I’m not sure of the spelling, but it’s close.
    P.S. I see a moderated note on my post. Not sure why.
  4. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you're running a mode like FT8 it might not work if your computer is a couple seconds off.
  5. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why not just install and run Dimension 4? Time sync problem solved.
    KN6FWT, AB2YC, K2WH and 2 others like this.
  6. KN4LGM

    KN4LGM Ham Member QRZ Page

    K8VSY and N5AF like this.
  7. AA5ET

    AA5ET Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've tried some of the 3rd party time software, but for some reason couldn't get it to work. The built-in software is accurate enough, but gets lazy when it's only a few seconds off.
  8. N5AF

    N5AF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll second the recommendation for Timesynctool. Works well, stays out of the way.
    AA5ET and KN4LGM like this.
  9. WW5F

    WW5F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back when I was using windows, I remember always having problems *accurately* synchronizing time with an external source. It's not that critical with Microsoft since all Active Directory computers only needs to be within 5 minutes of each other.

    In Linux, chronyd (default in many Linux distros today) or ntpd (old way, but still very popular today) is the daemon that handles time in your computer. It seems (to me) to be more reliable when it comes to synchronizing with an external time source over the internet.

    On the computer currently controlling my radio, I have chronyd pointed towards a GPSDO through /dev/ttyS0 with PPS enabled (preferred) and a super majority of the decodes on FT8 show a DT of 0.2.

    So when my internet goes down, I'm still on FT8 with accurate time no problem.
    AA5ET likes this.
  10. K8VSY

    K8VSY QRZ Lifetime Member #496 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I've used this on Windows and it seems to work great. It's free/libre and open source, which is definitely a plus.

    I'm mostly on Linux these days and the built in NTP packages do a pretty good job at keeping my clocked synced correctly.
    AA5ET likes this.
  11. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The time on my computer is one second behind WWV. Just checked it.
  12. AA4PB

    AA4PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you use one of the add-on time sync tools (like Meinberg NTP) then you MUST disable the Windows automatic updates or you'll have the two systems fighting each other.
    KE5MC and AA5ET like this.
  13. AB2YC

    AB2YC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's what I have along with a local time clock on my network.

    And a nice way to see the time
    K8VSY likes this.
  14. K8VSY

    K8VSY QRZ Lifetime Member #496 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    The neat thing about is you can type a time zone after the URL and it'll present you with the current time there. Often, for sanity checks, I'll visit to make sure I have the offset correct, locally.

    It is a very useful website!

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