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

Todd Glassey tglassey at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 23 15:06:38 UTC 2009

tglassey wrote:
> 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, 
> Yes this is a good place to start.
>> 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?
> There is a process called virecover which starts from boot - you can 
> disable it. Look in /etc/rc.d/virecover. In fact /etc/rc.d is the 
> directory with many of the start/stop rc (*scripts) files. But you 
> could have found this by simply typing a google search for "stopping 
> virecover" for what its worth.
>> 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.
> Its not NTP - but rather SNTP as I recall. What are you trying to 
> accomplish? using a non-evidentiary grade of time services or putting 
> together provable time services for your system?
>> Have to say, if it works, that would be a good solution for
>> some other interested parties (near zero config!)   
> Except the reason for setting the time data on the system is so that 
> the log files can be properly compared to the real world and that the 
> time-sensitve crypto features of Kerberos and other tools work
>> 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.
>> 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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