Network Controlled Clock Advice

We have a client who requires a physical clock that is network controlled for accuracy.

I have not come across these before, wasn't aware of them and have no experience of them.

Any advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

IP4IT StaffAsked:
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Daniel HelgenbergerCommented:

please elaborate further if this needs to be a wall clock or desk clock or an NTP time server? Witch 'network' does it need to be? GPS? IP? 3g?

I assume the latter and IP for NTP.
One of my clients has one of those, though older.
It works as expected. The time comes from the GPS signal, therefore needs an outside antenna.

If this is not possible or money is really no issue,  you can even go for a atomic clock, they build commercial and even miniature one's (the only vendor I know of).

If however money concerns your client and wants an embedded solution no matter what, then build a box from an ALIX board with TinyCore Linux and NTPd installed. Even with little knowledge this is a task of about 2-3h.

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Steven HarrisPresidentCommented:
Have installed a few of these before in K-12 Schools:  Inova OnTime Clocks

If you need to setup multiple clocks at one location, look for a 'Wireless NetCLock' on Google, there are a few available.

As for experience, you don't really need any.  Most are PoE IP Clocks and only require a standard Ethernet Cable and a device capable of sending PoE.  Wireless Models will need a power source of some kind.
IP4IT StaffAuthor Commented:
I obvious need to ask the client a list of questi9ons, but I was trying to establish what I need to ask first.

My assumptions where that he would need a clock that can be connected to a TCP/IP{ network via an Ethernet cable ( or wirelessly)
Daniel HelgenbergerCommented:
If you happen to live in Europe, this might be a solution:
Get any radio controlled clock which uses Long wave from DTF77, the Federal German Institute for Physical Applications (PTB) in Braunschweig.
Then use their NTP servers,

Open in new window

The signal broadcasted via long wave is exactly in sync with their time servers which originates from their reference atomic clock.

I use this as a cheap solution at my desk. Never let me down ;)
Just a clarification: With a DCF77 controlled clock you won't need any network connection nor any NTP servers. It just gets its time sync by receiving the 77 kHz radio signal (hence the name) which is usually receivable within at least 1000 km distance of the sender in Mainflingen, a small town almost in the center of the former western Germany.

The named NTP servers are another way of distributing the time of the PTB atomic clocks - over the internet.

Just a suggestion for the question: Use a big tablet PC with Wifi, plug it to an AC power supply, let it sync via NTP to some servers, probably some from the NTP pool (, autostart a fancy full screen clock on it and fix it to the wall.

Regarding NTP you might possibly refer to my article on NTP.
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