[time-nuts] 60 Hz measurement party

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Sat Jun 25 19:34:41 UTC 2011

We are more a group of experimenters than lamenters, so
here's an open invitation to all of you in the US to join me
on a 60 Hz measurement party, starting as soon as you
can and lasting as many weeks or months that it takes to
get interesting plots.

There's no agenda; we measure because we can. Anything
about precise time is fun. There hasn't been a leap second
to watch for a while so this is the next best thing.

The last time I carefully measured 60 Hz was in 2004. See:

To overcome some questions about that data set, last year I
collected 60 Hz data using a GPSDO PIC that time-stamped
each zero crossing (yes, it's excessive but since when has
that stopped me). I'll restart that now and let it run all summer.

Anyway, you're welcome to use any 60 Hz monitoring method
that you can think of, whether seriously technical or just plain
humorous; clever or Rube Goldberg. Actually, the greater the
variety of methods used the more fun the group project will be.

It could be as simple as noting AC wall clock time once a day
and making a summer plot on the back of an envelope.
Or as weird as integrating the hum of a sound card on a PC
running NTP making MRTG plots. Let your imagination flow.

Please consider contributing to the effort. It seems the last
time anything interesting happened with mains frequency was
when Los Angeles changed from 50 Hz to 60 Hz in 1936.


More information about the time-nuts mailing list