[ntp:questions] Re: [time] Query: Interest in clock synthesizer module -- useful for stabilizing PC timekeeping (among other things)

John Ackermann N8UR jra at febo.com
Thu Aug 17 18:10:22 UTC 2006

Steve Herber said the following on 08/17/2006 01:16 PM:
> Thank you for your efforts.  The device looks good and simple. KISS.
> Can you explain to me, and maybe the list, how a person with a linux ntp
> server would use this device, and any other equipment, to build a more
> stable clock system?  What equipment, what changes to the equipment,
> what skills would be needed, and what the result should be.
> For example, I am interested in using the Garmin pps out GPS system but
> don't have the time or ready skills to attach one to my PC.  Would I
> have the same problem with your device?

The Clock-Block is going to require some willingness to do-it-yourself
(or find someone to do it for you!) with a soldering iron.
Unfortunately, if you're not ready to interface a GPS to the PC, you're
probably not going to be comfortable installing this board.

The idea is to replace the $0.29 cent crystal that controls your PC's
clock with something more stable.  The Clock-Block basically serves as a
translator between the frequency of that more stable clock (for example,
10MHz) and the frequency your PC expects (which might be anything from 5
to 50MHz).  The better the quality the external reference, the better
the timekeeping -- you can use anything from a cheap crystal, to a
Cesium atomic beam frequency standard, with corresponding results.

So, in order to use the Clock-Block, you need an external frequency
reference and the willingness/ability to remove the crystal or
oscillator on your PC motherboard and solder a piece of coax from the
Clock-Block to replace it.

The end result will be an NTP server that shows a drift of approximately
zero (how approximately will of course depend on the quality of the
external reference signal).


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