WWVB receiver

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Hey guys, I've been playing with a WWVB clock receiver and so far have not been able to correctly receive the time code.

I'm ~500mi as the crow flies from Ft Collins so I would think I should be able to receive day or night, although night should be better.

 

I have two of the receivers, one with the long stick loop, and one with the short stick loop antenna, both have fairly short leads to the receiver board.

Has anyone here tried one of these with success?

If so which sketch did you use?   I've tried 3 or 4 I've found on github, but so far no dice.

 

Jim

edit: https://www.amazon.com/CANADUINO...

this is the short stick receiver I have, the long stick is similar and I think is made by the same company.

This topic has a solution.

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

Last Edited: Thu. Oct 29, 2020 - 12:57 AM
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"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Tue. Oct 27, 2020 - 08:22 PM
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Yea I have two of the Universal-Solder receivers.

edit: but they are not the everset rcvr's!   Thanks for the heads up.

 

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

Last Edited: Tue. Oct 27, 2020 - 08:45 PM
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I guess you know those antennas are directional and have to be oriented correctly, broadside facing Fort Collins, approximately.  RF noise might prevent it from getting a signal.  

 

I have a LaCross "atomic" clock.  It gets the signal most nights.  It starts looking at midnight, assuming it knows the time of day.  I'm in New York state. 

 

Mine is sitting on a shelf just above my monitors.  I don't know it it can get the signal if my monitors and computer are on, but midnight is usually past my bedtime.

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did you have to actually solder the 32KHz xtal? and how did you bend the legs? I know that these crystals are a very fragile thing and thus accidentally you could have damaged them.

If you have a scope you can try to see if they are running. If they are and are about 32KHz ( your scope will give them an offset due to the changing of the load capacitance ) if they are not running that could be the problem.

 

I would have expected them to mount the crystal and fix it to the board with a kit glue.

 

Also from what I see on the description is that the antenna seems to be very directional and you need to keep it at right angle from the clock source.

This reply has been marked as the solution. 
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steve17 wrote:
I don't know it it can get the signal if my monitors and computer are on, ...
Have became aware that video monitor horizontal frequency has increased.

steve17 wrote:
... but midnight is usually past my bedtime.
smiley

 


Help with WWVB Radio Controlled Clocks | NIST

[2/3 page]

What to Do When They Don't Work

...

My clock doesn't synchronize at all

...

  • Locate the clock at least 1 or 2 meters away from any computer monitors, which can cause interference (some monitors have a scan frequency at or near the WWVB carrier frequency of 60 kHz).

...

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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meslomp wrote:
did you have to actually solder the 32KHz xtal?

Actually its a 60kHz xtal, the receiver can be used for other similar services that operate on other frequencies(different xtal is supplied) in other parts of the world, there is a cut out in the pcb so the leads do not need to be bent, but just tack soldered to the board.   The receiver seems to work, and I can see the data with a scope, but it is just noisy enough to not sync.  

I have had the antenna taped to a NW facing window, but at my location it should be oriented more westerly.

I'll try extending the antenna leads and tape it to a west facing wall and see if that helps.  BTW I have a radio clock on the South facing wall in the same room that syncs just fine. 

I was curious if anyone else had tried a similar project and what program or sketch they used.    Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll keep at it until it works.

 

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

Last Edited: Wed. Oct 28, 2020 - 12:51 PM
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Try dialing 1-303-499-7111 (yes, no fake)...I used to call WWV all the time & listen to it.

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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What "tunes" the receive frequency on those boards in the first message?

 

Never mind. Reading more reveals crystal. That board is really strange. I don't even see any smt pads! Must be the back side with the source logo.

 

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

Last Edited: Wed. Oct 28, 2020 - 08:14 PM
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avrcandies wrote:
I used to call WWV all the time & listen to it.

 

Hello

Is John Wall there?

Are any Walls there?

Hmm... What is holding up the roof?

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ka7ehk wrote:

What "tunes" the receive frequency on those boards in the first message?

 

Never mind. Reading more reveals crystal. That board is really strange. I don't even see any smt pads! Must be the back side with the source logo.

 

Jim

Yea, you order the board with what freq. you want and they supply the xtal for that freq.  I think there is only two or three to choose from.

Here is the back side of the board with all the goodies:

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

Last Edited: Wed. Oct 28, 2020 - 08:33 PM
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I want to hear how you make out with those things. I have an upcoming precision clock calibration requirement.

 

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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Wooho! It works!

i found a usb extension cable so I could place the receiver about half way across the room on top my book shelf and it started working. So the key was getting it off the work bench away from the monitor and computer stuff with the antenna rod pointed N/S so it is broadside to Ft Collins now.

 

thanks everyone for your help.

 

jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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How far do you have to separate it? Is a reference signal derived from the received decoding (such as 1PPS) available?

 

Thanks

West Coast Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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What software do you use? In my experience you will never get perfect reception of every data packet.
I suggest that you free run a regular quartz timer. When you receive a packet, check integrity thoroughly before using it to synchronise your quartz.
.
I am pretty sure that kitchen clocks work this way. It is too expensive to run the radio 24 hours. Sleep long and wake up periodically to check for a good signal.
.
David.

Last Edited: Thu. Oct 29, 2020 - 11:02 AM
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I've used one of those modules (Universal Solder Canaduino) with the UK's MSF time signal. They're ok for setting the time, but there's a lot of jitter (10s of mS) on the output compared to a receiver I liberated years ago from an old alarm clock.

 

Steve

Maverick Embedded Technologies Ltd. Home of Maven and wAVR.

Maven: WiFi ARM Cortex-M Debugger/Programmer

wAVR: WiFi AVR ISP/PDI/uPDI Programmer

https://www.maverick-embedded.co...

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EverSet PCBA are being restocked.

EverSet ES100-MOD WWVB BPSK Phase Modulation Receiver Module

...

NOTE: Single orders of this product can ship immediately. Orders of multiple items can have shipping delays of some days due to the ongoing test of 3000+ receiver modules.

...

edit 7-Nov'20 :

Orders including these modules can be delayed by 1-3 days due to the complex test procedure. 

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Sat. Nov 7, 2020 - 06:04 PM
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david.prentice wrote:
What software do you use? In my experience you will never get perfect reception of every data packet.

No I have been a ham long enough to know RF is not reliable, and did not expect to find perfect reception, the current sketch I'm running now runs a software clock timed off the 16MHz resonator on the UNO, and updates it when ever a good radio packet is received.   Last night when it all started working the data was near perfect, I checked it again this morning, and it was hit or miss on the data.  I'll do some more research this weekend when I can watch it during the day. 

I have another sketch that uses a RT clock module from sparkfun and it updates it when ever a good packet is received, if needed.  I'll switch to it later this weekend as it also has an LED display support in it.

Thanks guys, it has been fun.

 

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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scdoubleu wrote:
... but there's a lot of jitter (10s of mS) on the output compared to a receiver I liberated years ago from an old alarm clock.
A few orders of magnitude better synchronization by a dsPIC :

(PDF) Inexpensive SDR-based longwave radio controlled clock for time dissemination in industrial wireless sensor networks

...

In particular, the DCF77 transmitter is located close to Frankfurt/Main and it is managed by the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). Its transmission range is on the order of 2000 km, thus the LF signal covers most of central Europe. Interesting to notice, it uses both amplitude and phase modulation for maximizing time accuracy. For all these reasons, it has been considered as the reference time standard in this work.

...

 

CONCLUSIONS

[next to last sentence]

Experimental tests, carried out using a synthetic time reference signal, highlights that the use of phase modulation allows for an overall synchronization error on the order of tens of microseconds, despite the reduced available bandwidth.

...

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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ka7ehk wrote:
Is a reference signal derived from the received decoding (such as 1PPS) available?

The WWVB signal codes the date/time info into BCD digits that take one minute to send, each digit is one second long PWM, so you may be able to derive a pulse output on the rising edge of each bit, not sure how well that would work for you.  The simple receiver used here works from the AM modulation (PWM), but the station also send phase modulation as well, and may provide better recovery under margin conditions over AM mode.

Attached is the NIST doc about the coding, I'll let you decide if it will work for you.

A GPS module may be a better solution and most have PPS output.

 

Attachment(s): 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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Will have to think about how to use something like that in my application. I need to time fairly long intervals (on the order of 24 hours). Phase jitter of 10s of milliseconds is not a big deal. Its the delta time over that long interval that is important (I think). Had a clock that used WWVB here (about 1200 mi from Ft. Collins) and it worked fine at night, most of the time. 

 

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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ka7ehk wrote:
Its the delta time over that long interval that is important

Then that may work for you, as the main clock of an uno is not that accurate, but by sync'ing with the radio, seems to hold time well, comparing with the voice announcements from WWV.

I'll update with what I find this weekend, that will give a few days to drift and sync a few times.

 

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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Genuine Unos are crap.   They use a ceramic resonator.

Most clone Unos use a proper HF XTAL.

 

If you are only interested in a 24 hour delta the HF XTAL will give you 50ppm accuracy.

For long term accuracy i.e. over weeks, months and years you need something better e.g. sync with WWV, MSF, DCF77 or just the internet.

 

David.

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"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

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"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I have listened to WWV many, many times but not on 60khz, only on the 2.5Mhz, 5Mhz, 10Mhz and 15Mhz transmissions. Being in South Africa the 20mhz area has always been too noisy and propagation is not as good up at those frequencies.

 

I can't find any but I was wondering if anyone ever produced a clock receiver for these frequencies instead of 60khz which I have never heard, even with my largest antennas I have had over my many years as an SWLer. Might be an interesting project.

Wayne

East London
South Africa

 

  • No, I am not an Electronics Engineer, just a 54 year old hobbyist/enthusiast
  • Yes, I am using Proteus to learn more about circuit design and electronics
  • No, I do not own a licensed copy of Proteus, I am evaluating it legitimately
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Call 1-303-499-7111 & you can still hear the broadcast.   Long, long ago we didn't know about calling long distance & accidentally ran my friend's parents phone bill sky high (since we called it many times a day for a few weeks).

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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WayneZA wrote:
I have never heard, even with my largest antennas I have

Hey Wayne, the long wave signals at 60kHz will not propagate to south africa, your best time reference would be from a GPS module, and is very easy to do as well.

Even if you could receive it, there is nothing to hear as it is sent using the carrier only, a bfo or ssb receiver could hear it, but it is just long and short (< 1 sec) carrier pulses.

happy dx'ing!

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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gchapman wrote:

https://www.universal-solder.ca/?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=Valentines_Day_2021&utm_medium=email

...  shipping is free* for orders over 200 CAD ...

You'd need to buy an awful lot of clock modules to make that CAD 200  !
 

surprise

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WayneZA wrote:
... but I was wondering if anyone ever produced a clock receiver for these frequencies instead of 60khz ...
Yes though Ralph does mention the phase noise.

a 10.00000000 Mhz timebase locked to NBS station WWV

by ralph klimek VK3ZZC

March 24 2016

[middle of first paragraph]

...

On the other side of the planet  here on the bottom end of Oz,  the signal is good, mostly good in fact but hardly enough strength to be considered usable as a timebase. 

...

found by

"wwv" phase modulation

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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gchapman wrote:

 

Yes though Ralph does mention the phase noise.

 

found by "wwv" phase modulation

 

Thanks for the link gchapman, an interesting read which I may delve into a bit deeper some time.

 

ki0bk wrote:

sent using the carrier only, a bfo or ssb receiver could hear it, but it is just long and short (< 1 sec) carrier pulses.

happy dx'ing!

Jim

 

Thanks Jim, building an SSB receiver may be a bit challenging as I have never worked with RF circuits apart from tuning my radios periodically. I also wouldn't want to dedicate my AOR 3030 or 7030 to this purpose as it seems a bit wasteful. laugh

 

ki0bk wrote:

Hey Wayne, the long wave signals at 60kHz will not propagate to south africa

 

Unfortunately you are right, I have hunted and listened to many of the South African airport NDB (non-directional beacon) transmissions too, which are between 112khz and 518khz and they are tough to hear from a distance.

 

I remember though the cold war stories about the US Navy ELF and Russian ZEVS systems running on 76hz and 82hz respectively. They were the systems those countries would use to advise their strategic submarines to launch nuclear weapons in the event of nuclear war, and could be heard at any point on the planet and down to several hundred meters depth. As the stories go, the scarily funny part about those systems was that the US system would transmit an encrypted signal to advise their submarines to launch, and the Russian system was if they stopped hearing the signals, launch. surprise Kind of brings to mind "hey comrade, that fuse has blown again ... oh ... wait ... don't worry, its too late". Scary stuff!!!

 

PS: No disrespect whatsoever intended towards the old Soviet Block or its citizens, just the manner in which they are reported to have used their system.

Wayne

East London
South Africa

 

  • No, I am not an Electronics Engineer, just a 54 year old hobbyist/enthusiast
  • Yes, I am using Proteus to learn more about circuit design and electronics
  • No, I do not own a licensed copy of Proteus, I am evaluating it legitimately
  • No, I do not believe in software or intellectual property piracy or theft