At the tone the time will be………


4 thoughts on “At the tone the time will be………

  1. Telephone Network Time is….beeeeeep. Time good enough to set your wristwatch or catch the city bus.

    WWV is broadcast time. Correction and propagation sheets available by mail or military courier (now e-mail) so you can correct your local oscillator.

    I maintained several time consoles in standards labs during the 1990’s. H-P 5061 and 5070’s in the console. Awesome frequency stability that was short-term better than 4×10^-11, and long-term better than 2×10^-12 (for years, unbroken operation and records). Add clocks for even-more-better, until environment or power becomes limiting factor. I was sitting in the height-adjustable 5-leg wheelie chair of Air Force legend. PMEL! Hu-ra!

    Most radio people don’t need atomic oscillators in their portable rigs, but good quality quartz in a heated chamber makes a low-phase-noise stable internal frequency standard for a base station. You will find a good 10MHz out from better frequency counters, which will be useful (better than 2×10^-6, 2ppm? Check spec sheet.) after being plugged in to good power for some hours. Don’t discount the internal oscillator of an old counter because it’s ancient with Nixie tubes: those things cost more than a middle-class-house-with-a-view when new and were built with tip-top quality by vintage smart-guys (and ladies with good eyes and steady hands).

    Since the 1990’s, GPS has made pretty-darn-good time cheap. You have a rubiduim clock network orbiting, regularly corrected from ground stations, updating your 8 ounce handheld display if it can see the sky. This has made time-based encrypted messaging much more practical. Don’t call me late for dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. there was a time, long ago, when i strained to hear those words from ft collins and thought i was doing something big time with that handful of transistors and resistors and caps and coils that i sloppily soldered together and ran off a 9 volt battery.


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