How to Build and Configure Your Own Radio Referenced NTP Time Server

December 17, 2017 by  Filed under: Computer 

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Many people are probably familiar with the InternetTime tab when setting their clock in Windows. This is a basic form of NTP(Network Time Protocol) called SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol) that polls aNTP server every so often to synchronize time to. However, full NTP does a lotmore, such as polling several servers to determine what is the best and moststable times source.

Creating your own NTP time server is relativelystraightforward and if you are a resident of the US then the simplest way is touse a relatively cheap receiver module, set to receive the WWVB timing signal whichis broadcast by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Time) at a frequencyof 60 kHz.

To create your own product using the WWVB timesignal, WWVB receiver modules, are readily available at low cost. When lookingfor a receiver module there are several points to consider:

There should bea simple interface to allow easy integration of accurate timekeeping intoelectronic equipment etc. The receiver should use dedicated chips designedspecifically to receive the WWVB (USA) time signal. The advantage of these overother solutions is that the modules include the necessary support electronics,tuned crystals, etc and are preassembled, tested and are usually in miniatureform.

When combined with a suitable Antenna the receivermodule acts as a complete time code receiver, providing a serial digital dataoutput stream for external decoding.

Once assembled and tested so the module is receivinga signal it can then be connected to your computer or server.

Once connected the time server should be configuredusing the registry editor. Simply follow these steps:

Locate the following subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesW32TimeParametersType

In the right pane, right-click Type then clickModify, in edit Value type NTP in the Value data box then click OK.

Locate the following subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesW32TimeConfigAnnounceFlags.

In the right pane, right-click AnnounceFlags andclick Modify. The ‘AnnounceFlags’ registry entry indicates whether the serveris a trusted time reference, 5 indicates a trusted source so in the Edit DWORDValue box, under Value Data, type 5, then click OK.

To enable the Network Time Protocol; NTPserver,locate and click: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesW32TimeTimeProvidersNtpServer

In the right pane, right-click Enabled, then clickModify. In the Edit DWord Value box, type 1 under Value data, then click OK.

Now go back and click on: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesW32TimeParametersNtpServer

In the right pane, right-click NtpServer, thenModify, in the Edit DWORD Value under Value Data type In the right pane,right-click NtpServer, then Modify, in the Edit DWORD Value under Value Datatype the Domain Name System (DNS), each DNS must be unique and you must append0x1 to the end of each DNS name otherwise changes will not take effect.

Now click Ok then locate and click the following: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesW32TimeTimeProvidersNtpClientSpecialPollInterval

In the right pane, right-click SpecialPollInterval,then click Modify. In the Edit DWORD Value box, under Value Data, type thenumber of seconds you want for each poll, ie 900 will poll every 15 minutes,then click OK.

To configure the time correction settings, locate: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesW32Timeconfig

In the right pane, right-clickMaxPosPhaseCorrection, then Modify, in the Edit DWORD Value box, under Base,click Decimal, under Value Data, type a time in seconds such as 3600 (an hour)then click OK.

Now go back and click: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesW32TimeconfigIn the right pane, right-click MaxNegPhaseCorrection, then Modify.

In the Edit DWORD box under base, click Decimal,under value data type the time in seconds you want to poll such as 3600 (pollsin one hour)Exit Registry Editor

Now, to restart windows time service, click Start,Run (or alternatively use the command prompt facility) and type:

net stop w32time && net start w32time. Andthat’s it your time server should be now up and running.









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