Time-Nuts -- Precise Time and Frequency for Amateurs
Time-Nuts™ is a mailing list for amateurs who are interested in
precise Time & Frequency. Topics include stability of quartz oscillators,
measurements of rubidium and cesium atomic clocks, using WWVB, Loran-C, and GPS
for long-term comparisons.
Most of the members are hams or electronics hobbyists. Topics also include
acquisition, repair, and operation of surplus electronic instruments related to precise time;
nanoseconds; picoseconds; results of homebrew hardware and software T&F
Please join if you have questions or expertise to add to the group.
Getting Started with Amateur Time & Frequency
If you have an interest in precise time & frequency or are
getting the "time bug" here are
- Join the time-nuts mailing list.
- Ask questions; do experiments; share your results.
- Get a feel for the instruments and test equipment used in this field. Search eBay for
words like: cesium, rubidium, quartz oscillator, frequency counter,
frequency standard, phase comparator, 1pps, etc.
- Look for surplus electronics by companies like: Austron, Bliley, BNC (Berkeley Nucleonics
Corp), Datum, Efratom,
FEI (Frequency Electronics Inc), FTS (Frequency & Time Systems), GenRad
(General Radio), HP (Hewlett-Packard)/Agilent, Kinemetrics, Odetics,
Oscillatek, Oscilloquartz, Ovenaire, Quartzlock, Spectracom, SRS (Stanford
Research Systems), Sulzer, Symmetricom, Temex, Tracor, Trak, Truetime,
Vectron, Wenzel, Zyfer
- Visit amateur Time & Frequency web sites:
- LeapSecond.com (Tom Van Baak)
- www.niceties.com/time.html (Doug Hogarth)
- prc68.com/I/timefreq.shtml (Brooke Clarke)
- www.febo.com/time-freq (John Ackermann)
- www.rt66.com/~shera (Brooks Shera)
- www.qsl.net/zl1bpu/PRECISION (Murry Greenman)
- www.thegleam.com/ke5fx (John Miles)
- www.ko4bb.com/Timing (Didier Juges)
- phk.freebsd.dk/hacks (Poul-Henning Kamp)
- www.efos3.com (Ole Petter Ronningen) "Time-nuttery 101"
- Find op/svc manuals: KO4BB's Manuals Repository
- See Didier's wiki: KO4BB Wiki Home Page
- Study John Vig's Introduction to Quartz Frequency Standards
- alternate location to John Vig Tutorial if ieee.org is broken:
- Read some T&F books: www.LeapSecond.com/pages/books
- Have a quick look at the
NIST Time and Frequency from A to Z - Glossary
- Read anything Bill Riley has written Hamilton Technical Services
- Read papers, presentations, books by Enrico Rubiola Enrico Rubiola Publications
- Browse NIST Time and Frequency Publication
- See the WIRED magazine article on
- Enjoy historical information at Frequency
- Find app notes at commercial T&F sites:
- See government laboratory sites:
NIST USNO NPL
IERS EFTF PTTI FCS
Searching the archives
The Time-Nuts mailing list archive is located at:
Most users simply use google to search the archives; do this by adding site:febo.com to your search word(s).
History of Time-Nuts
In the pre-web 1990s Tom Clark set up a gps-timing mailing list at NASA for those
interested in his pioneering work with the Motorola Oncore-series GPS
receiver. That list was an inspirational example of one man freely sharing a
wealth of experience and information with a group of interested GPS timing
newbies. The list was specific to his home-brew TAC hardware (now TAC-2)
and SHOWTIME software (now TAC32).
The list moved to TACGPS
and is still around but quiet (now hosted by TAPR).
However, there were other precise time & frequency topics not covered by tacgps.
Over the years several of us —
tvb, DougH, StanP, CorbyD, JohnA, BrookeC —
were exchanging private emails that I thought deserved wider audience, participation, and archiving.
So in 2001 time-nuts began.
It was once
cesium-nuts at Yahoo, then
time-nuts here at LeapSecond.com, then
John Ackermann graciously offered to administer and host it on his site so that's where it is today.
Return to LeapSecond.com home page,
or Museum of Time & Frequency,
or Museum of HP Clocks.
Comments/questions to tvb.