[ntp:questions] Re: ntp accuracy with radio clocks

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Fri May 5 18:38:34 UTC 2006

Mauro Fiacco wrote:
> Hello to All,
> I was wondering what accuracy can be achieved with radio clocks (I live
> in UK, so I would use the Rugby MSF transmission at 60KHz)
> I understand that issues like calibration for radio propagation may be
> required, but I was wondering about your experience with radio clocks.
> I am also interested about stability of the offset (for my application
> is more important than absolute accuracy)
> Thank you.
> Regards,
> Mauro

I'd say that performance depends almost entirely on how good your 
reception is.  If you get a good, solid, signal 24 hours a day, your 
accuracy should be within a few milliseconds.  If you can live with +/- 
five or ten milliseconds, go with MSF.

My own preference would be for GPS.  I get better than 5 microseconds 
and a server that is so stable that I can maintain synchronization 
within a millisecond or so on my LAN.

You probably will want to check out Jonathan Buzzard's "Radio Clock". 
He has a design for a timing receiver consisting of a integrated circuit 
receiver chip, an antenna, two transistors and a power supply.  There 
may be a couple of resistors in there too.  It looks incredibly simple 
to put together.  I think the budget for parts is something like $60-$70 US.

More information about the questions mailing list