[ntp:questions] Inexpensive home reference clock - WWVB/CDMA?

Pete Stephenson pete+usenet at heypete.com
Sun Jul 1 20:49:52 UTC 2007

As a time geek, I've been looking at getting either a WWVB or CDMA 
reference source to provide timing to my network here at home, and to 
the NTP pool.

Due to my location (apartment complex, first floor) I have no roof 
access and poor GPS signal through the window, so GPS timing is out.

I've considered making a WWVB receiver, but I'm a time geek, not an 
electronics geek, and would spend more on necessary things (soldering 
iron, for example) than it'd cost for me to buy a commercial product.

There are two possible commercial products I'm looking at: Beagle 
Software's ClockWatch Radio Sync (WWVB receiver, $199.95) and Cell Sync 
(CDMA, $649.95). Alas, neither of them are available on eBay for cheap.

Does anyone have any experience with either? I presume that when 
connected to an RS-232 serial port that NTPv4 should have no trouble 
getting time from either.

I'm looking at the Radio Sync clock, simply because I'm a Cheap 
Bastard(tm) and don't have much money to spend. This would be more than 
adequate for my purposes, and I believe it would be adequate for 
providing time to the NTP pool. Is there any reason why I should not 
deploy a WWVB clock to the NTP pool or advertise it as a stratum 1 
server for public use? While it might not provide as precise a time 
signal as CDMA or GPS references, it should be well within the margin of 
error for internet based timekeeping, right?

That said, does anyone happen to have any surplus WWVB or CDMA clocks 
lying around that they'd consider selling to a fellow time geek?


Pete Stephenson

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