[time-nuts] Anyone have an Endrun Praecis (or similar) time server?

Jason Rabel jason at extremeoverclocking.com
Sat May 25 15:37:30 EDT 2013

I have an older Endrun Technologies Praecis Gntp (GPS) time server. Basically it's a small SBC coupled together with a special board
made by Endrun (I think really it's just their Praecis Ce Time & Frequency Engine) and a Trimble GPS module.

It ran fine for years, then one day it stopped responding. After fiddling with it thinking possibly it was a bad power supply or
something I've ruled out most issues.

The one thing I've noticed is the CPU runs HOT. My guess is it's overheating and locking up. When I SSH in, the CPU load is always 1
or higher. I tried killing off all the processes but the CPU load still is pegged, typically sits around 1.30. Unfortunately there
isn't the full set of usual linux programs and only a minimal amount of info from /proc. For now I have the case off and a little
fan on the CPU to keep it from locking up, but obviously that isn't a long-term solution. I don't think the MB is bad, there is
nothing obviously damaged on the PCB and the voltages are okay. I thought maybe a bad memory chip, but why would that cause a high
CPU load?

I've tried booting from the stock image, but it still loads whatever custom files have been created. I haven't found a way to reset
it completely back to stock.

I talked to the endrun tech support and unfortunately this system is so old it's not even supported anymore. I even tried asking for
the NTP driver source code so I could roll my own OS with NTP, but that was a no go. I think I'm going to pull the DOM chip and hook
up a notebook HD since it has a header for one and see how the board runs with a more modern Linux. Last resort I think it's
possible to switch the Endrun timing module into a pseudo-trimble mode, which NTP has built-in support for and use it that way.

Does anyone else have one of these, and if so can you see what your CPU load is? Considering what little this does I would think it
would sit around 0.01 or so... 

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