VelaSync™ High Speed Time Server

Spectracom VealSync High Speed Time ServerHigh Performance NTP Server, PTP Grandmaster and Network Sync Monitor

VelaSync™ high speed time server with TimeKeeper™ inside is a network appliance designed for high frequency trading and other low-latency network applications. The combination of FSMLab’s TimeKeeper’s highly optimized timing protocols and management functions, Spectracom’s precision GPS timing technology, and the flexibility of commodity hardware offers exceptional performance and keeps pace with the needs of evolving network infrastructure. The server offers multiple 1GbE (RJ-45) and 10 GbE (SFP+) network ports for set-up, management, and simultaneous NTP and PTP server/grandmaster capability.

Flexible Configuration Provides Reliable, Secure Time

TimeKeeper’s web-based user interface simplifies configuration of multiple time sources for resiliency against GPS attacks, spoofing or jamming, and equipment failures. For example, the server can be easily setup to use a PTP source as a backup to the on-board GPS and use an NTP source as a cross check. The servers can be setup to back up each other so that if one fails, the time service continues. It includes redundant hot-swap power supplies.

Network Sync Monitoring in a Single At-a-glance Instance

A unique aspect of TimeKeeper is the ability to auto-discover and monitor your network’s synchronization topology. From a single-pane-of-glass, see where the server time is going, monitor downstream clients, and discover other available time sources. The benefit is to verify redundancies and failover options, and identify single points of failure and “choke points”. See everything related to time sync across the enterprise.

Spectracom Velasync Deployment

Thanks to Spectracom for the article.


Spectracom Skylight Indoor GPS Timing System for SecureSync

Spectracom SecureSync Skylight Indoor GPS NTP AntennaOpen a New Window to Accurate Time for Your Network

Even though synchronizing network master clocks and time servers to GPS is well-known as the standard for the most time-sensitive applications, some data centers and critical server locations are not conducive to traditional roof-top GPS antenna installation. Skylight™ provides a solution. Consisting of an indoor GPS antenna panel, a configuration of Spectracom’s SecureSync® modular GPS time server, and an interconnect cable, Skylight opens new possibilities for accurate GPS time.

GPS signals are weak and often impractical in urban environments due to limited visibility of the sky, and constraints of roof-top access and long GPS antenna cable runs. Skylight is a result of Spectracom’s expertise in GPS reception and applications for precision timing. Proprietary alogorithms use a combination of high sensitivity receivers, accurate internal oscillators and other techniques to extract the GPS on-time point to sub-microsecond accuracy even in areas with somewhat limited GPS reception.

Skylight does not work everywhere. A GPS signal above about 30 dBc/N0 at the antenna panel is required. Subterranean and other radio-isolated locations will still need to be synchronized using other techniques (such as over a network via a PTP master-slave combination) versus by GPS directly. However, exterior walls or walls across from a window in above ground floors of a building are likely candidates for Skylight. Even urban canyon situations can be considered as neighboring buildings can often redirect signals to the antenna panel that contain useful timing information for the Skylight system. And the signal does not have to be available 24/7. By using a precise stable oscillator and our proprietary disciplining algorithms, Skylight needs the GPS signal for only a few hours a day. Often the RF noise is reduced at night which can allow Skylight to maintain legally traceable time even if signal acquisition is subpar during the day.

Simple Set-up

The indoor antenna panel can be mounted facing towards or away from the wall it is mounted on, or the decorative cover can be removed and it can be placed on top of a server rack, or even above ceiling tiles. It then gets connected via a RG-58 coaxial cable to a Spectracom SecureSync® modular time and frequency reference system up to 200 feet (60 meters) away. The cable length can be extending using an in-line amplifier to 600 feet (185 meters). The SecureSync is a 1RU NTP time server, PTP grandmaster, and provider of virtually any other network or physical synchronization signal. You can configure the SecureSync at time of order to suit your application for precision timing including the quality of internal oscillator and the ability to sync to GLONASS satellites in addition to, or in lieu of GPS.

Installation Tips

Whether a particular location is suitable for indoor GPS via Skylight depends on several factors. The antenna should be located as close to an exterior wall as possible. It is not necessary for the antenna to be located at a window because in many cases walls attenuate the signal less than the coatings found on modern high efficiency windows. The presence of structures surrounding a building can also affect the availability of signals in a positive or negative way. In general, the higher in the building the antenna is located, the better. Placement near a window can be advantageous if the window is free of coatings and other window coverings or blinds that will block the signal.

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Thanks to Spectracom for the article.

Spectracom’s Master Clock

2 problems need to be solved in any time-related application:

(1) Which clock is used as the reference for all other clocks
(2) How to transfer the time from the reference clock to all other clocks

The solution to time as a reference is a master clock. The method by which the accuracy of the master clock is transferred to another, slave, or secondary clock, is known as synchronization. Spectracom offers a variety of master clocks, synchronization clocks, and master clock systems to meet the requirements for your application of accurate time. Typically, GPS satellite signals are utilized for synchronization to ensure accurate time, but other references may be used such as case of local atomic clocks or other time standards.

What is a master clock?

Master Clocks normally take one or more precise timing reference signals as inputs, then convert and distribute those timing references to other devices so their clocks are almost as accurate as the master clock.

Master clock systems are used in a wide variety of applications and industries including aerospace and defense, broadcast, radio, and telecom, network systems, financial services, emergency operations and call centers, and healthcare — essentially anywhere reliability of data and signals are paramount.

Network master clocks distribute their timing references over local or wide area networks. Master clocks with wireless transmitters enable synchronization of devices (like display clocks) without having to run wires between them for the synchronization signal. There are also highly accurate master clock solutions that utilize copper or fiber connections for signal distribution of precise analog and digital signals such as IRIG timecode, and HaveQuick and STANAG timecodes.

Master clocks can also differ in the source of their timing reference. It is a rare case for a master clock to be free-running and not synchronized, or at least compared with, an external reference continuously or regularly. So a core feature of all master clock systems is that they are accept precise timing references signals as inputs. Spectracom’s SecureSync modular time and frequency synchronization system can accept over 14 different signal types to discipline its local clock that can generate a similar number of signal types to synchronize other devices. In case of loss of the external reference (or more than one for redundancy), the local clock maintains timing accuracy until the reference(s) can be restored. Several different local clock oscillators are offered depending on the accuracy required during the “hold over” period.

spectracom-securesync Synchronize to a variety of time and frequency signals, maintain and process that time very accurately, and generate a wide range of time and frequency signals and protocols including IRIG, STANAG/HaveQuick, NTP, PTP and many other precise analog and digital signals for virtually any device that requires a high degree of synchronization.Learn more about flexible SecureSync Master Clocks

Other Rackmount Instruments, Display Clocks, Plug-in Cards, OEM Boards & Modules.

In addition to the SecureSync synchronization system, Spectracom offers synchronized time display clocks and systems, GPS NTP network time servers, and application specific rack mountable instruments. It also offers PC cards, OEM boards and modules that can be used as master clocks in other devices.

spectracom-WiSync-wireless-clocks Use a master clock source from GPS, a network master clock, or other time source to ensure display clocks throughout a facility are synchronized.Learn more about Synchronized Clocks and Time Displays

Common Uses of Master Clocks

Spectracom master clocks offer Legally Traceable Time to all time-keeping functions in any enterprise network. Over 4,000 NetClock master clocks are in use to record 9-1-1 events to improve response times and to settle legal disputes. Commercial enterprises can benefit from the same synchronized network operations for records accuracy, troubleshooting, security, and to enable time-sensitive applications to the extremely high levels of accuracy.

spectracom-netclock9489 Synchronize enterprise networks and critical operations such as 9-1-1 call centers by distributing legally traceable time from a built-in GPS receiver and other sources via IP networks through protocols such as NTP or PTP. Slave clocks in computers and other hardware may be running client synchronization software that is more reliable than built-in time clients.Learn More about Network Time Servers