[time-nuts] 60 Hz measurement party

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Mon Jun 27 03:02:09 UTC 2011

> As for monitoring 60 Hz, I was doing some on line research, and found some interesting power line frequency meters at:
> http://www.laurels.com/frequency.htm
> Surprisingly affordable (less than $300).
> Tom Frank

For this experiment you want an [accumulated] phase error meter,
not a line frequency meter. Remember, NERC is not dramatically
changing the 60 Hz frequency; the proposal is simply to eliminate
the steering that used to keep the cycles roughly aligned with UTC.

So a 3 or 4 or 5 digit sampling frequency counter will not reveal
the change. But over hours or days a mains connected kitchen
clock compared with your cell phone, will. In general, to see the
effect, you want something that faithfully tracks the phase and
compares it to a reference that's at least 1 ppm accurate.

Another approach, the one I use, is to continuously compare
60 Hz phase against UTC using a TIC, handling rollovers, etc.


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