Author Topic: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December  (Read 5379 times)
sox35
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MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « on: November 28, 2019, 12:51:10 PM » Author: sox35
For anyone in the UK who uses radio-controlled clocks that get their signal from the MSF transmitter at Anthorn in Cumbria, the transmitter will be off air from 1000 to 1400 UTC on Thursday 12th December for routine maintenance to the antenna system.

More information here.
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Binarix128
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 08:11:28 AM » Author: Binarix128
I didn't know that there are clocks controlled by radio and not by an internal quartz oscillator. Is that signal just for time adjust or it's the oscillator of the clock?
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sox35
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 10th December « Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 08:23:41 AM » Author: sox35
It's just a periodic tranmission to synchronise the clocks. When the transmitter is off, the clock will keep going on its normal quartz system.

I really should delete this topic though as it refers to last year..! Although the next outage will be 10th December from 1000 - 1400 UTC so I'll delete it after that.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 02:04:02 PM by sox35 » Logged
Andy
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 01:34:53 PM » Author: Andy
Doesn't seem all that long ago that the signal came from Rugby, it was extremely strong then.

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sox35
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 10th December « Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 01:36:12 PM » Author: sox35
Well it would have been where you are  :lol:

It's not as strong as it should be here though, considering where it is. Must be all the houses in between  :mrg:
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 02:03:30 PM by sox35 » Logged
Binarix128
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 02:38:30 PM » Author: Binarix128
How are those clocks that sync with the transmission? Do you have pictures of them?
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Mandolin Girl
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 02:43:17 PM » Author: Mandolin Girl
There's nothing special to look at about them, they just look like ordinary clocks, either analogue or digital. They just don't need setting..!
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Mandolin Girl
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 02:44:07 PM » Author: Mandolin Girl
How are those clocks that sync with the transmission? Do you have pictures of them?
This website has a range of the clocks.  :)
The clocks themselves have a little receiver that picks up the signals and calibrates the clock to them.
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Binarix128
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #8 on: November 24, 2020, 02:49:14 PM » Author: Binarix128
Yeah, I've got those in my way when looking for the term atomic clock. I've seen those normal cheap digital clocks listed as atomic clocks, I thought that it was BS but now it makes sense to me, those are periodically synchronized with the atomic clock of a satellite or the broadcast station. I wonder if those clocks can sync up in this part of the world by a satellite, I don't know any broadcast station here that do that.  :wndr:
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sox35
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #9 on: November 24, 2020, 02:51:10 PM » Author: sox35
An actual atomic clock would cost mega bucks, and wouldn't fit on your windowsill.  :lol:
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sox35
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #10 on: November 24, 2020, 02:59:10 PM » Author: sox35
Nothing to do with satellites, unless you're talking about GPS receivers. The time signal for the clocks here is generated by atomic clocks at the National Physical Laboratory. I assume the American one operates on a similar system.
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #11 on: November 24, 2020, 03:38:27 PM » Author: joseph_125
Yeah I remember seeing those "atomic" clocks in store flyers here too. I guess at the time they made sense but now you can get a reasonably accurate clock with any quartz that you manually sync to your phone or computer time.

Over here we still have Daylight Savings so we have to do that twice a year anyway.
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Medved
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #12 on: November 24, 2020, 04:28:31 PM » Author: Medved
Yeah I remember seeing those "atomic" clocks in store flyers here too. I guess at the time they made sense but now you can get a reasonably accurate clock with any quartz that you manually sync to your phone or computer time.

Over here we still have Daylight Savings so we have to do that twice a year anyway.

You can not without the syncing.
The point is for the syncing (to the standard time) to be fully autonomous.
Dunno how with the MSF, but here we are receiving the DCF77 and that contains a bit telling if the DST is in effect or not, so you don't have to adjust anything.

There are multiple methods usable to distribute the official standard time:
These transmitters (generally LW) have the advantage of the receivers being of very low current consumption: Typical clock receiver consumes around 100uA @ 1.5V supply (for a DCF77) when active, not much more than the average consumption of a wall clock (the stepper consumes about 5mA for ~20ms pulse, each second; the rest becomes few uA); but it could be active just for ~5 minutes each day, so in average way below 1uA (so insignificant even for small LCD digital clock normally consuming about 10uA).

Then there is the NTP via the internet. Consumes significantly more than the LW receivers, need configuration, but don't need the bulky LW ferrite antenna.

And then is the GPS, the most accurate, but works only outdoors (or with an outdoor antenna), even higher consumption than the NTP via WiFi or Ethernet.

So if you are talking about a battery powered clock, there is not much else usable than the LW transmission, in order to maintain the battery life reasonable.

For a frequency standard, years ago the analog TV was a good distribution (at least here - the public service TV stations used the national atomic clock standard as a time piece to generate all the sync signals the PAL system needed), so hook on any of those signals into any small cheap TV receiver and you had and atomic clock grade accuracy at your workbench. Great mainly for instrument calibration, where the phase noise could be averaged out. Or you need some quartz-VCO based PLL to "clean it up" for other uses.
Today you have to buy a dedicated GPS module for that and use an outdoor antenna. But on the other hand you get pretty clean signal (usually the 10MHz instrument standard).
You may still use these time keeping transmitters, but during convenient "work hours" the signal quality uses to be pretty bad (lot of "industrial" and even atmospheric noise for the LW, bad propagation for the SW). Plus there is a lot of noise, so need heavy PLL filtering.
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sox35
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #13 on: November 24, 2020, 05:14:25 PM » Author: sox35
MSF and DCF are basically the same sort of thing, MSF is 60kHz I assume DCF is 77kHz from the name..?

NTP over internet basically uses the same type of atomic clock, certainly NPL, who generate the signal for MSF, have two clocks on line.
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joseph_125
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Re: MSF Radio Station Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown 12th December « Reply #14 on: November 24, 2020, 06:11:06 PM » Author: joseph_125
You can not without the syncing.
The point is for the syncing (to the standard time) to be fully autonomous.
Dunno how with the MSF, but here we are receiving the DCF77 and that contains a bit telling if the DST is in effect or not, so you don't have to adjust anything.

There are multiple methods usable to distribute the official standard time:
These transmitters (generally LW) have the advantage of the receivers being of very low current consumption: Typical clock receiver consumes around 100uA @ 1.5V supply (for a DCF77) when active, not much more than the average consumption of a wall clock (the stepper consumes about 5mA for ~20ms pulse, each second; the rest becomes few uA); but it could be active just for ~5 minutes each day, so in average way below 1uA (so insignificant even for small LCD digital clock normally consuming about 10uA).

Then there is the NTP via the internet. Consumes significantly more than the LW receivers, need configuration, but don't need the bulky LW ferrite antenna.

And then is the GPS, the most accurate, but works only outdoors (or with an outdoor antenna), even higher consumption than the NTP via WiFi or Ethernet.

So if you are talking about a battery powered clock, there is not much else usable than the LW transmission, in order to maintain the battery life reasonable.

For a frequency standard, years ago the analog TV was a good distribution (at least here - the public service TV stations used the national atomic clock standard as a time piece to generate all the sync signals the PAL system needed), so hook on any of those signals into any small cheap TV receiver and you had and atomic clock grade accuracy at your workbench. Great mainly for instrument calibration, where the phase noise could be averaged out. Or you need some quartz-VCO based PLL to "clean it up" for other uses.
Today you have to buy a dedicated GPS module for that and use an outdoor antenna. But on the other hand you get pretty clean signal (usually the 10MHz instrument standard).
You may still use these time keeping transmitters, but during convenient "work hours" the signal quality uses to be pretty bad (lot of "industrial" and even atmospheric noise for the LW, bad propagation for the SW). Plus there is a lot of noise, so need heavy PLL filtering.

Well for most people using a regular clock and then manually syncing it to a source that is already synced to a NTP time server is good enough. The syncing isn't extra work if you live in a place where the clocks need to be adjusted every March/November anyway. I'm just saying that unless your pedantic about keeping the proper time on all your clocks, a regular clock is good enough as you have to adjust it twice per year anyway.
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