[time-nuts] Advice on NTP server needed

Robert Darlington rdarlington at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 21:12:19 UTC 2011

I've done this recently and have bought several Symmetricom GPS time servers
(S200, S350, etc).   I've also built the net4501 up as a time server and do
not recommend it.  Mine was extremely flaky and I couldn't trust it to stay
up unless it was on very clean power (big UPS) and even then it seemed to
lock up randomly.    Sometimes it would be up for an hour, other times up
for a couple weeks.   I don't think I ever hit a month of uptime.

What are your precision requirements?  Are you attached to the Internet or
do you have to rely 100% on a non-networked authoritative time source?  In
my case I will have networked time servers but will use GPS for when the
network flakes out.  Network is for if and when GPS is jammed.   I didn't
bother with high end oscillators since they don't buy me much of anything in
the operating environment where my gear will be.  I wouldn't say they're
equally bad as much as I'd say they're all good enough.

What's your budget like?

You're welcome to contact me off list for additional info or just to chat
about what might work in your case.

-Bob, N3XKB

On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 2:37 PM, Per Molund <pmolund at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I have an upcoming need for a GPS disciplined NTP server in a low cost
> project. Checking price
> on commercial units shows that these are out of reach so I have been
> looking
> into the possibility
> of building an NTP server. I understand that the Soekris net4501 single
> board computer is still
> available and affordable timing GPS units shows up on Ebay regularly so I
> assume these compnents
> could be used. I have found a couple of reference to ntpns software on
> internet, however I have
> not been able to figure out the exact hardware configuration required for
> this implementation.
> Does anyone on the list have any experience putting together an NTP server
> based on the net4501
> running ntpns?
> Any alternative ideas for inexpensive SBC based NTP server?
> regards,
> Per
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