Most Compatible Time Sync Software for WSJT-X

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  • Updated 12 months ago
What is everybody using for time sync that is best compatible with the Flex 6700 and SmartSDR?
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Greg - KØGDI

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Posted 1 year ago

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Rick

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Meinberg....better than Dimensions4
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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There was one case where Meinberg simply refused to start and run (it was a friend's old XP system) and I just installed D4 instead. So D4 works, it's a good fallback but my preference is the NTP distribution from Meinberg.
Ria
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K3DCW

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Well, the Windows time sync should be good enough for most people. But, if you're interested in more precise (and more often) sync'ing of the system clock for stuff like the JT/FT-modes, then take a look at Meinberg.  You install it as a service on your system, let it disable the built-in time sync and it just works.

https://www.meinbergglobal.com/english/sw/ntp.htm#ntp_stable


Dimension4 is another popular program that I used back in the early 00's, but I haven't used anything other than Meinberg for the last 6 years or more. It just works.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Any of the current ones work, as the time on the computer is key, not the radio. :).

I use Nettime. http://www.timesynctool.com/

Mike
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Roy - W5TKZ

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Greg, I use and recommend BktTimeSync.

It can be found at  http://www.maniaradio.it/en/bkttimesync.html

Give it a try.

Roy - W5TKZ
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Andrew Russell

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Works well with GPS too.
Andrew de VK5CV
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Eric Gruff

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SPTimeSync works great. I liked Dimension for its automatic syncing, but it caused my 6700 to lock up frequently. Not sure why, but definitely related to using it.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I use the official NTP client which is compiled and distributed by Meinberg. 
Dimension 4 also works but I prefer Meinberg's distribution of NTP.

The difference basically is between continuously steering the clock to accuracy versus slapping it upside the head at pre-set intervals.  (Basically NTP vs SNTP).  However there is no difference for most end users. Use whatever works. 

Ria
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Greg - KØGDI

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Seems like a number of you all use that Meinberg software.  Let you all know how it goes.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Been using it since 2008 or so. I started using it because I wanted to be able to log contest QSOs right down to the last second, and I figured that my defense against allegations of "rubber clocking" would be that my computer is sync'ed with NTP. I do not rubber clock (it's cheating) but I do try to maximize the time I have for the contest. :)
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Meinberg NTP
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Steve W6SDM

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I've been using Dimension 4 without any problems, but then I am not a digital power user.  I got Dimension 4 based upon recommendations when I experimented with JT65.  Now that I see that Meinberg is the preferred program, I will give that a try.
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WA2SQQ

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I don't find the need to use any software I just edited the registry to have Windows update my time every 60 minutes
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Greg - KØGDI

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Do you have the info on how to do that?
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Greg - KØGDI

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Thank you so much!
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Duane N9DG

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I've used this method for years to keep Windows machines sync'd to NTP. Works very well for the time accuracy needed for things like WSJT modes. No need to install anything new on the machine.
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NX6D Dave

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Rather than edit the registry, you can simply create a new periodic task that runs the time updater once an hour or so.  This has worked well for me, but see my comment on down the page.
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wb7ond

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I like to use NMEATime because I can easily switch it between NTP (network) or my Holux bluetooth GPS receiver when I am in the park.  
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I ise PresenTense. It is not free but I had a few licenses extra from a project and it works fine. We use it on out VoIP 9-1-1 systems at work where timestamping in the logs is very critical.

Runs as a service on the workstation PC.

Dave wo2x
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Phil m0vse

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I use Meinberg NTP as well. Being a full implementation of ntpd it allows me to sync to both the NMEA/PPS output of my BG7TPL GPSDO and external hosts.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I've always wondered, is it possible to get NTP data or other time sync data from a GPSDO enabled Flex signature series radio? That would be reallycool and useful for dxpeditions to remote places with no internet. 
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Phil m0vse

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Hi Ria, I seem to remember this being asked before and the answer being no. It would be useful and in theory should be possible.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Yeah I kinda figured. Would be nice though. This is one reason to consider an external GPSDO
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philip.theis, Elmer

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I believe it's on the list
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I remember Steve mentioning it in a past post somewhere... I would buy a GPSDO just for that. :)

Ria
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joe camilli

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Other than Meinberg NTP are there any other programs that can use the one pulse per second from a GPS for time correction?
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KE0U

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I concur Meinberg NTP works well. 

FYI my GPS based setup.

http://morsetutor.com/2014/10/jt65jt9-workstation-gps-time-sync/
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Duane N9DG

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This works very well for machines that are isolated from the Internet. I am currently using this exact configuration myself.
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David Warnberg

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WH6HI - Pat

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TimeTools gets my vote. I tri ed all the previously suggested clients. Some were overly complex and aimed at more scientific time keeping, others were not reliable on my computer. But time tools is basic works nicely with my GPS time server, and gives me enough information on the performance of my clomputers clock.
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NX6D Dave

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After fiddling around with FT8 for a few hours, I'm coming to the conclusion that it is more sensitive to small delta-ts than JT65 or JT9.  I've run JT65 and JT9 for years with reported delta-ts in the zero to 1.5 second range with no problem, but at 1.5 seconds (1/10 of the 15 second interval), I'm having quite a bit of trouble decoding signals. Still a lot more experimentation to do, and it is a beta implementation, but I think it's going to be important to keep a tighter time sync in this mode.
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Ernest - W4EG

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Food for though,
I recently started using FT8 mode (very similar to JT9/65.)
The accuracy of the time seems to be more critical than previous mode.
The FT8  program requires nearly perfect synchronization; since the decode time for
conversation are coming at a rate of every 15 seconds interval. 
I looked at various computer clocks synchronizing programs and I decided to go with the one that K3DCW suggested: https://www.meinbergglobal.com/english/sw/ntp.htm#ntp_stable
I've used Dimension, the computer synchronizing clock (which needed to be manually trigger to keep it up to date) plus various other ones, and this new installed clock has not missed a beep in several days. 
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Jim KJ7S

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FWIW, I decided to give theFT8 mode a shot and, as with the other modes (jt9/65) I usually get good copy and once you learn a few of the little quirks with the operation of those modes, it's a lot of fun if you have the time to just exchange basic signal reports. I rather enjoyed the basic automatic nature of the program on the whole but it was fun to watch FT8 do it's work with nothing more than a double click on the call you want an exchange with. The usual default in n out DAX lines worked fine and I don't use any other than the default computer Time Sync.Kind of unusual from central Utah I was able to hit a German station right of the bat with nothing more than the Flex 6300 rig power and a rotatable dipole at 30'
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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There are IMHO, significant differences between NTP and SNTP, the latter being a brute force method for clock correction.  I prefer NTP which utilizes a drift file to reduce the time it takes to achieve a stable and accurate time.  Also, NTP does incremental clock corrections so that the timescale is effectively continuous and without discontinuities. Once set, the PC clock usually never deviates by more than 128ms. 

SNTP, on the other hand, does brute force corrections, that can result in abrupt time steps that lead to discontinuous time. By disregarding drift values and using simplified ways of system clock adjustment methods (often simple time stepping), SNTP achieves only a low-quality time synchronization when compared with a full NTP implementation.

Meinberg is based on the well-vetted NTP daemon and is updated regularly.  If you have a choice, NTP is the preferred one.  Use a time sync program that uses NTP rather than SNTP.
(Edited)
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Phil - WG5D

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Just a quick comment regarding NTP. I recently built a stratum 1 NTP server using a Raspberry Pi (3) and a $32 GPS module with PPS capability. It is pretty easy to build and nice to have a solid local time source for less than $100 :) I will be glad to share the image with anyone that is interested.

Phil -  WG5D
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delorean2447

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Hi Phil,
I'd be interested.  Today, I just got a RasPi2 going with WSJT-x.  Would I be able to integrate the GPS solution into what I have, or should I consider upgrading to the RasPi3?  Thanks!

Wayne / AG1A
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NX6D Dave

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How long does it take for the system to sync up and for the NTS daemon to accept the GPS input and start outputting time sync data to its clients?  I'm asking this because I took a look at the daemon wondering about using WWV and found that it might take hours before it was satisfied it had a good lock.

I'm also assuming that the Pi doesn't have a real time clock board, so it has no idea what time it is when it cold starts.
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Phil - WG5D

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I have not tried it on a Pi 2, but it would probably work fine. Regarding the sync question, I leave mine on all the time, so it always has the correct time. The GPS unit does have a RTC with battery backup - but it does not come with a battery. On a reboot, it syncs up in a matter of seconds. I even have mine running in the ntp.org pool :)