Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Communications

WWV time signal stations on the chopping block

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Alan Georges:
You can read full details here:
https://swling.com/blog/2018/08/information-from-the-nist-regarding-possible-closure-wwv-radio-stations/
TLDR version: Next year's budget for the NIST has their time signal broadcast funds zeroed out.  This includes the WWV & WWVH shortwave stations, and the longwave WWVB automatic clock synchronization broadcasts as well.  Total per-year cost of these broadcasts is $6m.

These stations provide not only a time signal, but an equipment calibration standard and set of shortwave propagation beacons too.  Some are calling this a "nostalgia and legacy system," but as a ground-based backup for GPS time signals, $6m is a drop in the bucket.  Furthermore, we're not sure how many embedded systems rely on these signals for synchronization, so in the event of a shut-down we may (stress may) be facing a sort of mini-Y2K situation.  At very least, that clock way up high on Grandma's wall will start drifting, and she'll be bugging you once a month to come over with a ladder and set the darned thing.

It is $6m dollars, and I'm all for cutting the Federal budget to the bone.  OTOH, this is into the bone right here, and it divides out to a big $0.02 per person.  And, unlike so much Fed spending, this one is (sort of) authorized in the Constitution:
--- Quote ---To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
--- End quote ---
  Works for my libertarian soul.  If you are inclined at all to write your congresscritter, now's a pretty good time.

iam4liberty:
This is a bummer as It is my favorite time sync as my little handheld yaesu can tune multiple of the signals.  But i do understand it.  It isnt just redundant with GPS, it is redundant with over ethernet synchronization too.  And that can comes directly from the NIST.  Syncing can come through app, browser, or through OS via time server.

And we are in a time reference rennaisance.  For a few hundred dollars an individual or institution can buy an oven controlled crystal oscillator based clock calibrated at factory to an atomic clock which is accurate to seconds within a couple decades.  Or you can buy an atomic clock itself (not signal synched, an actual atomic clock).  My christmas wish list has a brg precision double oven multi-zone (local, utc, sidereal) on it.  But I dont think I have been that good.  ;) 

http://www.brgprecision.com/products/accuracy.php
http://www.brgprecision.com/products/time_zone_displays/TZfixed.php

Heck, for about a hundred dollars one can buy a high accurate quartz wristwatch with accuracy to under 20 seconds a year.  Heck, a saw a bulova uhf (ultra high frequency) at walmart for $120. 

FreeLancer:
Manually syncing all my clocks and watches is going to f-ing suck.

iam4liberty:

--- Quote from: FreeLancer on September 24, 2018, 10:20:42 PM ---Manually syncing all my clocks and watches is going to f-ing suck.

--- End quote ---

I am sure some crafty individuals will make low power transmiter hooked to raspberry pi with ethernet sync to send super low power signal themselves.   :-X

FreeLancer:
I'd do it.

As long as it doesn't take a 5000m dipole.

What kind of antenna would it take to mimic WWVB's 60khz low power signal at home? 

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