[time-nuts] 60 Hz measurement party

Will Matney xformer at citynet.net
Mon Jun 27 04:13:47 UTC 2011

Here's another thought on all of this. How will this effect the newer
electronic watthour meters at peoples homes? I remember looking at the
schematics on one of these, and I don't remember seeing an internal time
base, crystal, or resonator in the circuit, so I suppose they might get
their timing from the 60 Hz line. Lets say that the frequency is slowed a
small amount, and over the year, they lose a little, which amounts to
pocket change per customer they lost, but multiply that by all the people
using it, well that's a lot of saw bucks. Also, if it was the reverse, and
the frequency was sped up by a small amount, that might translate into
paying out more, as I'm not sure exactly how those new meters work. The
only way I could see this happening, would be that the meters were not
using an internal timebase of some sort, thus depending on the line
frequency for timing, and raising and lowering with the line frequency over
a time period. Any thoughts on this?



*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 6/26/2011 at 8:02 PM Tom Van Baak wrote:

>> 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.
>time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
>To unsubscribe, go to
>and follow the instructions there.
>__________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus
signature database 5851 (20110206) __________
>The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list