[ntp:questions] Local (own site) NTP servers.

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Thu Jul 23 20:03:24 UTC 2009

G8KBV wrote:
> Wonder if this will get posed, or returned to me..
> Hi...
> Been lurking for a while.
> Also, been messing about trying to get a local (to me) GPS
> Disciplined NTP server working, based on David Taylor's work
> with FreeBSD, I think I have one of those configured OK, but
> I've got other issues with FreeBSD on that machine that sort
> of prevent me using it for unattended "appliance" use.  It
> keeps generating system emails for the Root user, and I can't
> find out why!  Other than its something about recovered editor
> files?

A "Free BSD" group might be a better place to ask.  When you ask, you 
should probably include the text of one of these e-mails.

> So...  I'm about to try a couple of Windows "solutions"
> (opportunities)  One the "Tardis" program, that would appear
> to be able to take PPS based GPS signals, and act as a server.
> Have to say, if it works, that would be a good solution for
> some other interested parties (near zero config!)   The author
> of that app seems to think it should work (they would I
> guess?)   Plus, I know my way around most of Windoze, unlike
> my knowledge of Linuz/BSD or whatever, that just slows me down
> to the point of frustration.  No one in the (local to me) LUG
> is interested in any of this sort of thing sadly.
> (& just why is it that about all 'nix documentation and help
> files, are written almost exclusively to obfuscate the needed
> information?)
> Also the Meinberg NTP software (not looked at in detail yet)
> Both of them (independently while I play with them) will each
> live on a dedicated PC for now, but ultimately one or the
> other would need to co-exist on the same PC with the
> monitoring program (Faros) that needs the time stamps.
> Pointing it's NTP client routines at LocalHost?  Low single
> figure mS jitter is OK, sub uS accuracy is just not needed.

The "Meinberg NTP software" is standard NTPD with a "Windows installer"!
If you are really good with Windows you might be able to install an X86 
version of NTPD on a Windows system without Meinberg.  Most people take 
the easy way out: Meinberg!

> However, while involved in something else, this came to my
> attention....
> http://bifferos.bizhat.com/
> Now, I realise the clock speed is not that quick by modern
> standards, but could that have enough "grunt" to work as a
> GPSDNTP server for a small low traffic LAN?..
> OK, I've managed (I think, as earlier) to get an older version
> of FreeBSD to run for this sort of thing (on a 500MHz P3
> machine)  But, just how cut down can it go, with just enough
> left to boot and do the NTP task, or is the Kernel BifferOS
> uses capable of half decent NPT serving tasks as it is?  It
> appears to use a version of the same code others are using in
> the WRTG routers for other purposes.
> Or, has anyone done similar with "re-purposed" Router hardware
> for example (Linksys, Sweex, etc)   I am aware of someone
> selling (too rich for me!) a GPSDNTP server based on a "Slug"
> (eBay 180384450442) using a USB connected GPS.
> My ultimate goal?
> To get Faros (HF Beacon monitoring program, runs on Windows,
> only.)  A GPSDNTP source, HF Receiver control app (my own
> code) and the resulting web based status page (or website
> updater) all living on the same PC.  I may have a 1GHz P3
> available, if I can get replacement RAM for it.  With Win2k
> already resident.  And a couple of Garmin GPS16LVS devices,
> verified working with 1PPS output.
> Now, if Alex would integrate GPS timekeeping within Faros, all
> this would not be needed, but he has his own reasons it seems
> for not doing so.  As a result, it needs a 24/7 'net
> connection, or access to some other NTP time source.   My
> ISP's servers are somewhat less than reliable at times,
> likewise access to others due to unpredictable and huge WAN
> network latencies from time to time.
> I also can't help wondering if any of the modern single chip
> microcontrollers, some of which have available IP stacks,
> could do the GPSDNTP thing in raw machine (or compiled) code.
> But try as I might, I can find no reference to anyone trying
> such a thing.
> I am of course trying to keep the electric bill down, running
> 3 PC's and a radio or two 24/7 is somewhat noticeable to the
> wallet these days, and it is not getting any easier!...
> Then there is the chore of just finding the time to research
> and mess with all this stuff...
> Enough waffle from me...
> Regards to All..
> Dave Baxter.
> G0WBX.

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