Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

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Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2VEL » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:24 am

Hi all,
I changed my shack PC from an old XP box to Win7 Ultimate and my network time sync with Meinberg NTP hasn't been the same since. It simply will not sync the PC's time at all sometimes. At other times, it will keep sync for a bit then drift off. I can't figure out what is going on and I am pretty sure that it has been set up properly. I have it working on a Vista and Win7 Home laptops OK, but not this desktop. I've tried Dimension 4 and it doesn't seem to do much of anything either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
73 DE ED
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK4LHD » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:14 am

I had the same problem earlier in the year. It was an easy fix. Go into your computers clock settings and check if the synchronize with internet time server is ticked. If it is take the tick out of the box and that should solve the problem. You will find the windows time sync will interfere with Net Time sync and cause it to play up. Hope that solves your problem.

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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK5PJ » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:41 am

Hello Ed and Robert,

I think Robert has pretty well nailed it on the head, if "Windows Time" is still a running service on your PC it needs to be set to manual or disabled to stop it conflicting with another NTP package as you will see a race condition occur. at the Start button / RUN / type: services.msc the locate Windows Time and select STOP then, on the options select Disabled or if you like Manual.

In your NTP config file, please ensure you are using NTP servers in the Australian region to get the best results. Your ISP may also have a NTP server in their line up so that's worth a look too but failing that here is a list of the POOL servers in Australia

0.au.pool.ntp.org
1.au.pool.ntp.org
2.au.pool.ntp.org
3.au.pool.ntp.org

Had been a long time user of meinberg and often recommended it to others but of late have started to use a different package, its called BktTimeSync and can be found here: http://www.maniaradio.it it has some extra bits that can read a GPS from a serial port and seems to run in harmony with my Windows 7 PC in the shack.

Regards,
Peter, vk5pj

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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2VEL » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:26 pm

Thanks Robert and Peter. Yes, the Windows Time was definitely disabled and NTPd.exe and ntpq.exe have been allowed through the firewall also. That's why it's frustrating, because I seem to have ticked all the boxes. I didn't have the AU servers, but I haven't on the lapotops that that work either, and they were using the default oceania servers.. I have edited the config file so I'll see what happens and report back. Thanks for this.
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK5IR » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:51 pm

FWIW, I use Dimension 4 to sync my PC's clock. JT65 has never skipped a beat since. - http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/

If you want to see how accurate your PC's clock is use http://www.time.is
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2VEL » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:37 pm

OK, so I updated the servers to the Au servers. It will keep sync for 8 minutes or so before it loses sync. I restart the NTp service and it will go for around the same duration before it loses sync. After a few cycles of this, even restarting NTP service will not resync and it will get progressively worse.

I really don't understand it. It's as if the system itself is incapable of keeping sync, once it has been synchronized. If that's the case, then I guess that not even different software will make a difference.
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK4TI » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:47 pm

descrbe the system please , main board , ram and version of o/s

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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK3DXE » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:55 pm

This topic has been covered several times before.

The NTP servers Peter listed are best in Aus. Myself and others run BktTimeSync by IZ2BKT. Never misses a beat here and I set it to update every minute.
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2JDH » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:31 am

VK3DXE wrote:This topic has been covered several times before.

The NTP servers Peter listed are best in Aus. Myself and others run BktTimeSync by IZ2BKT. Never misses a beat here and I set it to update every minute.
If that is the case are you sure you are not using SNTP? As NTP updates are controlled by a backoff algorithm that ,as the clock is disciplined the update rate is backed off. You should not need to update every minute unless your PC clock is way off.

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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK3DXE » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:52 pm

I just do it because I have the bandwidth and couple of my older machines' clocks wander about like a lost dog.
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK3AP » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:21 am

Update every minute and you can never get a full 60 second sync. You should update every 30 minutes at most. That's of course if you're using that particular pc for radio, digi modes etc
If you're using it for data management, that's a totally different matter, 1 minute updates are fine.


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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2VEL » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:39 am

VK4TI wrote:descrbe the system please , main board , ram and version of o/s
OK, it is an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz processor, with 4GB RAM. 64b Win 7 Ultimate SP1. It's a HP dc7800 business desktop, though I can't seem to find any info about the mainboard in terms of model no. So it's not that old and certainly works better than the PC it replaced apart from this timing problem. Any thoughts about it?
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK5EI » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:16 pm

Hi Ed,
I had a time sync problem which started occurring on one of my shack pc’ That particular pc was using gps software to sync the time. Worked perfect for a long time then started problem started.
I tried all of the other sync programs (as mentioned above) but no go. What I did discover, which was strange, it only happens when I use wspr monitoring and internet browsing as the same time ??
I watched the task manager and for some reason the CPU performance was indicating 100% when browsing the web and shortly after I would lose time sync.. I ended up using that pc for internet stuff only as that I could not figure what was going on.
Try using your pc for wspr (or jt65) mode only and don’t start another programs, I wonder if you have the same problem??
Good Luck - Joe

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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK5PJ » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:26 am

Hi Ed,
just had a crazy thought, could you try the sync test again but with your Antivirus software off ? I have recently seen some odd behaviours on PC's doing real time tasks when an antivirus was active, the CPU usage sits at 100% for long periods and all other processes other than the malware engine go to sleep.

Some of these packages are really quite intrusive and can stop what seems like quite basic operations happening.

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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2VEL » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:40 pm

Thanks for the thoughts Peter and Joe. I just started everything up, with web browsing at the same time etc and the CPU usage never got above about 60% and only then when it was starting HRD and JT65-HF at the same time. As I am typing this,the rig is in tx and the CPU usage is about 20% and about 50% of RAM used. I've waited a bit and sure enough it has lost sync after about 12 mins. If I resync manually, that duration will get shorter each time until it won't sync at all, assuming that it actually re-syncs that is.

I'll try BktTimeSync next. The PC is much more capable than the old one it replaced, and also it is essentially running the same programmes, ie anti-virus, firewall, JT65-HF and HRD. Even the Vista laptop that is used only for portable rig control because the OS is such a pig does a better job at keeping sync. Go figure.
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK4TI » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:52 am

Almost sounds like you might have a memory leak , it wont release and eventually fails , probably anther program not releasing ?

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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2VEL » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:04 pm

VK4TI wrote: Almost sounds like you might have a memory leak , it wont release and eventually fails , probably anther program not releasing ?
Hmm. After I sent that last post last night, it held sync for 50 mins, a real record. Most of the time it was just rx and decode, but I tx a few times as well. I was pushing the system hard actually, actively using MS Word and Chrome, with Firefox sitting in the background, and it was chugging along OK until a sudden loss of sync. I guess I can try a process of elimination of programs, but it could be anything - network printer, dropbox etc.
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK2VEL » Wed May 06, 2015 6:59 pm

It's taken me a while to deal with this and a while to get back with a report.

I installed BktTimeSync by IZ2BKT and it works very well in keeping sync, particularly in terms of forcing a short sync time, unlike the other commonly used software which really didn't help my problem. I've set it for 6 mins, roughly two full sequence JT65 exchanges.

However I think that I have narrowed down the cause, and that seems to be using Firefox. Firefox will send the system clock right out, up to 30 seconds out, just in the regular web browsing process. No idea why this is the case and why it only happens with this PC running Win7 and not my old shack PC with WinXP or even my portable laptop running Vista, which is an absolute dud in all other respects. Chrome is very stable and I have been using it as my web browser when I am using the PC as a part of the shack.

this link reports the same symptoms, only with Chrome, though I don't know if it is the same cause.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ianmorris/2 ... p-battery/

If anyone can offer further insights, I'd be interested in hearing them.
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Re: Network Time Windows 7 problems for JT65

Post by VK3DXE » Wed May 06, 2015 8:53 pm

Firefox has become a fat old dog. It still works nicely on my shack computer, but is causing all sorts of grief on various configurations at work. Ditch it for something else.
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