Rugby Atomic Clock Module

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Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Docara » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:59 pm

Hello All,

Has anyone used one of the various atomic clock modules and used them with FC, if yes how did you get on?

I'm looking into ways to automatically get the time or periodically set a RTC IC. Im guessing the only other way is to use the time function of a GSM module

Also, is there a proper tutorial on how to make components which include timings, data formats etc?

Your thought most welcome.Thanks

Matt
Last edited by Docara on Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Benj » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:51 pm

Hi Matt,

I came across this old thread which may be applicable.
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=7745

When making components it's largely up to you how you want to do things. Any macro you make can be wrapped up into a component.

I know this is not overly helpful and so if you have specific questions then let me know and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Steve001 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:54 am

Hi Matt

ooo i remember having a play with that years ago at collage.

the rugby msf has a info page that has technical information of the signal, timings etc - remember the antenna has to point in the direction of rugby for best response.
It might be also a good idea to fit some sort of signal strength indicator.

http://www.npl.co.uk/science-technology/time-frequency/products-and-services/time/msf-radio-time-signal

common clock problems page

http://www.npl.co.uk/science-technology/time-frequency/products-and-services/time/common-clock-problems

i have some information in an old book that details how to make a 60Khz antenna let me know i will dig it out for you if you fancy having a go the old fashioned way :D

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby JohnCrow » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:34 am

Hi Matt

The transmitter for the MSF signal was relocated from Rugby to Cumbria several years ago.

http://www.npl.co.uk/science-technology/time-frequency/products-and-services/time/msf-radio-time-signal

The alternative is the German DCF transmitter, it needs a different receiver hardware, but they both work fine around my location in the East Midlands of the UK.

There is on old post on the forums about this too.
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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Docara » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:03 am

Thanks for the replies chaps,

Steve, as you've had hands on with these modules did you find the direction of the antenna critical,

I'm considering these in a mobile application.

Thanks

Matt

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Steve001 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:20 pm

Hi Matt

The further you get away from the transmitter the weaker the signal gets and yes you do have to align the antenna to get optimal performance.
I haven't used a purpose built module we made one from scratch and decoded the signals with a computer - the humble BBC micro. :mrgreen:

I do remember that we had a compass on the desk and fiddling with the direction of the coils, also interference from the Fluorescent lighting was an issue and we where constantly having to adjust for optimal performance hence why i suggested fitting a signal strength meter.

bit of googling this afternoon found this (attached) this also describes the antenna that is in a book i have and then goes onto some modifications for increased performance.

and this

http://www.galsys.co.uk/modules/how-to-build-an-msf-radio-time-receiver.html

they state on the web site

Requiring no testing, aligning or specific electronic experience it is easy to construct an MSF receiver using modules from Galleon Systems. All of our modules include the necessary support documentation and are tested before shipping.

The antenna is best laid horizontally as it is to be aligned with the direction of the MSF signal (when siting the device it is recommended to use a compass and map to locate the direction of the transmitter in Cumbria - latitude 54° 55' N, and longitude 3° 15' W ).


may be worth a look

hope this helps

Steve
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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Docara » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:04 pm

Hi Steve,

YEAH BABY !!! 30 years on l still YEARN to use a BBC B keyboard.


Anyway, I was looking at the galsys site earlier, reading through their gumph I noticed they were saying (paraphrasing) the decoupling capacitors values were trial and error length of antenna wires and interconnection wire length is critical blah blah. Considering I was intending to put this in a narrow boat (all steel) I think I am on to a hiding to nothing going down the (I think AM) MSF route.

I reckon a cheap GSM module with an integral antenna is going to be the way forward, which would also give me additional (SMS) functionality for nothing.

Thanks for the input - much appreciated

Have a good weekend bud

Matt

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Benj » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:10 am

Hi Matt,

What about a GPS module? This should provide a fairly accurate UTC time as well as the usual positional information and speed in knots which may be handy on the boat. It should also save you the network charges for communicating using the GSM.

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Docara » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:27 pm

Hi Ben,

Yes I had considered GPS, actually I think here's a combined GPS/GSM modual with an antenna built in available somewhere. My concern was with GPS is whether or not there is a signal inside a fully enclosed metal hull - what I do know is we can receive a mobile signal hence if I was going to do this it would be using GSM as a primary.

Besides if I was going to do this project it might be nice to be able to communicated with the boat via SMS.

Perhaps you can clarifsomething - am I right in thinking you can pull in network time with AT commands without incurring a charge?

Thanks

Matt

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Benj » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:02 pm

Hi Matt,

am I right in thinking you can pull in network time with AT commands without incurring a charge?


I'm not sure about this, as far as I know any GSM comms requires you to pay but I could be wrong as there is a lot of different things you can do with a GSM module.

GPS and GSM modules generally have optional external antenna connections so you could run the antenna outisde of the metal hull.

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby petesmart » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:46 pm

Sparkfun has combined GSM/gps modules. You can also obtain external antennas. Be careful when choosing an antenna as some of them are active units and require power to operate....I had to build a power insertion adaptor! A passive unit is what your after....

As for the GSM module... Once you have an active SIM card the GSM module will lock to the network time....some modules have a parameter that you can set via AT command, others are automatic lock.... So once the GSM module is locked you can read the time from the module via an AT command ...it does not create a network transaction.

Hope this assists

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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Docara » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:55 am

petesmart wrote:As for the GSM module... Once you have an active SIM card the GSM module will lock to the network time....some modules have a parameter that you can set via AT command, others are automatic lock.... So once the GSM module is locked you can read the time from the module via an AT command ...it does not create a network transaction.


Hi Pete,
Thanks for the confirmation - I had a niggling thought somewhere in the back of my mind this was the case.

With reference the antenna, getting outside the hull AND making sure its water tight AND making sure its not a trip hazard when walking on the roof is always an issue.

Matt
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Re: Rugby Atomic Clock Module

Postby Steve001 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:04 pm

Hi Matt

[/quote]With reference the antenna, getting outside the hull AND making sure its water tight AND making sure its not a trip hazard when walking on the roof is always an issue.[/quote]

Connex Technologies Ltd make window mounted antenna's (and lots of other types) so you could mount in on the inside in a discrete location

http://www.connextech.co.uk/707139---miniwing-gsm3g-window-mount-antenna-sma-972-p.asp

Steve
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