locked "Dimension 4"


Tom V. Segalstad
 

 

On May 22 this year I contributed this to the Group about the PC clock setting program «Dimension 4»:

 

In Dimension 4 you MUST open (run) the program, choose «Settings», and answer «yes», to let the program make time changes in your PC.

 

If not, Dimension 4 will not adjust your PC time clock. This procedure has to be done every time the PC is started or restarted – else it may not adjust your PC clock.

 

Then check if the time is within +/- 1 second of correct time by RELOADING for instance www.time.is

 

If the PC time is not good enough, right click the Dimension 4 icon on the PC’s lower right command line, and select «Syncronize now». After some seconds (at least some 10 seconds on my PC), RELOAD www.time.is again, and check if the PC’s clock has changed to an acceptable time. If still not good, repeat this procedure, until the PC clock’s time is acceptable.

 

I have used Dimension 4 this way for many years, without problems.

 

73 from Tom (LA4LN)

 

 

Fra: Gary - AG0N
Sendt: søndag 25. oktober 2020 kl. 18.18
Til: main@WSJTX.groups.io
Emne: Re: [WSJTX] RX Window blank, Waterfall full and radio shows large activity

 



> On Oct 25, 2020, at 06:29, KI5EGH via groups.io <KI5EGH@...> wrote:
>
> Thank you all.  Have checked the items you recommended ( I use dimension 4 for clock sync) and am still having the issue.

I haven’t used it in years, but have been told that D4 does NOT sync your clock.  It merely tells you how far off it is.  Meinberg or BkTimeSync are good.  Not saying this has a thing to do with the reported problem, but since you brought up the clock ……….

73, Gary - AG0N


 


--
Tom (LA4LN)


Gilbert Baron
 

IF THIS IS TRUE (I DOUBT IT) THEN IT IS CRAZY THAT THE PROGRAM DOES NOT HAVE A SETTING METHOD THAT HOLDS ACROSS REBOOTS. No problem with Nettime like that.

 

Outlook Laptop Gil W0MN

Hierro candente, batir de repente

44.08226N 92.51265W EN34rb

 

From: main@WSJTX.groups.io <main@WSJTX.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom V. Segalstad
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2020 06:18
To: main@WSJTX.groups.io
Subject: [WSJTX] "Dimension 4"

 

 

On May 22 this year I contributed this to the Group about the PC clock setting program «Dimension 4»:

 

In Dimension 4 you MUST open (run) the program, choose «Settings», and answer «yes», to let the program make time changes in your PC.

 

If not, Dimension 4 will not adjust your PC time clock. This procedure has to be done every time the PC is started or restarted – else it may not adjust your PC clock.

 

Then check if the time is within +/- 1 second of correct time by RELOADING for instance www.time.is

 

If the PC time is not good enough, right click the Dimension 4 icon on the PC’s lower right command line, and select «Syncronize now». After some seconds (at least some 10 seconds on my PC), RELOAD www.time.is again, and check if the PC’s clock has changed to an acceptable time. If still not good, repeat this procedure, until the PC clock’s time is acceptable.

 

I have used Dimension 4 this way for many years, without problems.

 

73 from Tom (LA4LN)

 

 

Fra: Gary - AG0N
Sendt: søndag 25. oktober 2020 kl. 18.18
Til: main@WSJTX.groups.io
Emne: Re: [WSJTX] RX Window blank, Waterfall full and radio shows large activity

 



> On Oct 25, 2020, at 06:29, KI5EGH via groups.io <KI5EGH@...> wrote:
>
> Thank you all.  Have checked the items you recommended ( I use dimension 4 for clock sync) and am still having the issue.

I haven’t used it in years, but have been told that D4 does NOT sync your clock.  It merely tells you how far off it is.  Meinberg or BkTimeSync are good.  Not saying this has a thing to do with the reported problem, but since you brought up the clock ……….

73, Gary - AG0N

 

 


--
Tom (LA4LN)


--

W0MN EN34rb 44.08226 N 92.51265 W

Hierro candente, batir de repente

HP Laptop


Ron W3RJW
 

FYI

The latest version of D4 (5.31) will run on Win 8.1 and earlier. Doesn't claim to run on Win 10?? It's fully automatic, updating the system clock at your specified interval with user specified time server data.  Seems to work as well as any other time sync  program I've tried.

http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/default.htm


--
73
Ron  W3RJW


Bill Somerville
 

On 26/10/2020 12:17, Ron W3RJW via groups.io wrote:
FYI

The latest version of D4 (5.31) will run on Win 8.1 and earlier. Doesn't claim to run on Win 10?? It's fully automatic, updating the system clock at your specified interval with user specified time server data.  Seems to work as well as any other time sync program I've tried.
Ron,

while your information about the automatic operation of the Dimension 4 time synchronization utility is correct it is only a basic solution to this problem. You comment illustrates that as it is an SNTP time service client and as such only adjusts the PC time by periodically brute-force stepping of the clock. For many applications that is OK and if your PC keeps reasonably good time without any synchronization you may never see any issue. This is not the case for all users. There are full NTP implementations that will adjust the rate of the PC clock by characterizing it compared to a reference time servers known to be accurate. As such it is possible for an NTP implementation to guarantee that, after any start up adjustments, the clock is monotonic, which means there are no backward or forwards steps over clock ticks and every tick happens in their implicit order. A monotonic clock is important for real-time audio applications like WSJT-X since discontinuities introduced into sample streams, ultimately caused by clock adjustments, are likely to disrupt decoding of signals.

The net effect of the above is that we no longer recommend SNTP time synchronization tools. No doubt many users of Dimension 4 and other SNTP tools will say that they have no issues and will continue to use them, perhaps not knowing or caring that occasional failures to decode a receive period may have been due to a time step.

On Windows we have verified that the free Meinberg NTP Client, and, a low cost sync tool that can easily use a GPS time source NmeaTime2, are able to characterize an discipline a Windows PC clock without steps (with some caveats). On other platforms a suitable NTP implementation is usually installed and enabled by default if Internet time synchronization is enabled. Note that the Windows Internet Time sync tool w32tm is a full NTP implementation but by default is configured to only check time at large intervals which causes it to make steps. Configured with default settings w32tm is effectively a low accuracy SNTP tool.

73
Bill
G4WJS.


VE3KTN
 

Bill, your observations about w32tm are interesting (and I just learned something new).  Your statement about running w32tm with default settings, presumably those set as part of the Windows installation, making it a low accuracy SNTP tool implies that parameters can be changed to make it better.  Is that so?  Can you describe what parameters can be changed to improve w32tm operation?  While my laptop is running wsjtx without trouble, its clock tends to glitch every 70 seconds; by that I mean that the time displayed during the glitch will apparently skip a second but it's more a case of the integer seconds "binning" to the nearest value.

Apologies for veering off the original topic of using D4, but it seemed appropriate to comment with my situation.

(BTW, I'm using Meinberg to steer my very drifty laptop's clock and it works quite well but doesn't help with the seconds display binning issue.)

Thanks,

Hugo, ve3ktn.


Bill Somerville
 

On 26/10/2020 13:18, VE3KTN wrote:
Bill, your observations about w32tm are interesting (and I just learned something new).  Your statement about running w32tm with default settings, presumably those set as part of the Windows installation, making it a low accuracy SNTP tool implies that parameters can be changed to make it better.  Is that so?  Can you describe what parameters can be changed to improve w32tm operation?  While my laptop is running wsjtx without trouble, its clock tends to glitch every 70 seconds; by that I mean that the time displayed during the glitch will apparently skip a second but it's more a case of the integer seconds "binning" to the nearest value.

Apologies for veering off the original topic of using D4, but it seemed appropriate to comment with my situation.

(BTW, I'm using Meinberg to steer my very drifty laptop's clock and it works quite well but doesn't help with the seconds display binning issue.)

Thanks,

Hugo, ve3ktn.
Hi Hugo,

I suspect that MS have no interest in building an NTP time server network large and robust enough to support their millions of Desktop users. Although MS do publish how to configure win32tm for high accuracy I think that they intend that only for use by network administrators within corporate networks where they have local servers providing NTP services along with AD, Exchange, file servers etc.. The configuration requires manual adjustment of a few registry values and should only be undertaken if you are comfortable doing them. You are much better off using Meinberg NTP Client which will give extremely accurate results from a basic default installation, and it allows selection of pool.ntp.org NTP server pools for reference very easily. Note that pool.ntp.org servers are mostly provided by the community, members are monitored for availability and accuracy, and they are provided for resaonable use without restrictions.

Your displayed time anomalies sound like there may be something loading your system excessively on regular basis that is causing screen updates to be stalled. That is something you should investigate further, it may well also be disrupting decoding of signals.

73
Bill
G4WJS.


Dave H
 

[quote]Windows Internet Time sync tool w32tm is a full NTP implementation but by default is configured to only check time at large intervals which causes it to make steps.[/quote]

Changing The Internet Time Update Synchronisation (Default 1 week)

To change the interval that Windows updates the time using the internet time servers via regedit, navigate to:
1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services \W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpClient
2. Select "SpecialPollInterval"
3. Change decimal value from 604800 to a different value in seconds. i.e.: 86400 (1 Day), 14400 (4 hours) and so on.

Instead of ControlSet001, you can go to CurrentControlSet. Either will give you access to the Services list.


Then,,
In the Windows Internet Time Server Drop Down List add a "Geographically Local" ntp sever from the ntp pool..

On the right hand side, Click on your Geography
https://www.ntppool.org/en/

This worked for me...

 


Alan G4ZFQ
 

Changing The Internet Time Update Synchronisation (Default 1 week)
Dave,

I found my Windows 10 Pro on a new computer was set at 4 hours.
But reading Bill's message it seems that to use all features of WSJTX without losing decodes he recommends setting it for higher accuracy, no big jumps. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/networking/windows-time-service/configuring-systems-for-high-accuracy
It certainly looks easier to use Meinberg!

I guess it really depends on the modes you use, one decode session possibly lost every 4 hours does not seem too bad for quicker modes but becomes more significant on FST4W-1800.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


VE3KTN
 

Thanks Bill.  Well, I don't think the laptop has any trouble decoding; it lists many decodes and they're consistent with how many sigs I see on the waterfall (or don't see where the snr is very low ;-)  ).  The laptop works well with wsjtx and other software that's very computationally demanding, the only exception is with an SDR software which has one particular feature that's dependent on accurate time taggging of data.  Every once in a while it will skip a time tag because of what I suspect is a MS fractional seconds binning quirk, but that's a different subject for a different group.

I'm satisfied with Meinberg as it keeps my ham radio laptop's clock accurate enough for wsjtx even without an internet connection after several days.  Without Meinberg, the clock would drift by about 2 seconds per day.

Hugo, ve3ktn.


Roger (K7GXB)
 

Thanks Bill & Dave,
FYI: NMEATime2 have added a tech note confirming monotonicity (after rapid one-time start-up correction) to their website:
https://visualgps.net/NMEATime2/MoreInfo.html#NMEATIME2_MONOTONIC
73,
Roger (K7GXB)

-----Original Message-----
From: main@WSJTX.groups.io [mailto:main@WSJTX.groups.io] On Behalf Of Alan G4ZFQ
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2020 23:57
To: main@WSJTX.groups.io
Subject: Re: [WSJTX] "Dimension 4"

Changing The Internet Time Update Synchronisation (Default 1 week)
Dave,

I found my Windows 10 Pro on a new computer was set at 4 hours.
But reading Bill's message it seems that to use all features of WSJTX without losing decodes he recommends setting it for higher accuracy, no big jumps.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/networking/windows-time-service/configuring-systems-for-high-accuracy
It certainly looks easier to use Meinberg!

I guess it really depends on the modes you use, one decode session possibly lost every 4 hours does not seem too bad for quicker modes but becomes more significant on FST4W-1800.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Cliff Fox (KU4GW)
 

I've been using Dimension 4 v.5.31 with Windows 10 for several years now and have no issues at whatsoever. It comes up as soon as the SSD on my Dell Inspiron N7010 17R laptop boots up and syncs as soon as the internet connects and then it resyncs every 30 minutes, (you can set how often it resyncs with the time server of your choosing in the program's settings). I have mine set to sync with time-b.nist.gov which is US MD: NIST Central Computer in Gaithersburg, MD. I chose it due to it's proximity to my location in NC and it works great! 

Very 73!
Cliff, KU4GW


Roger
 

This thread seems to be going around in circles as is the norm when we discuss time servers.

I will close it sometime after 1200 hours GMT on Wednesday 28th October 2020.

In the meantime please restrict comments to something reasonably technical which adds to the discussion. This thread is moderated and I will reject anything else.

Bill gave an excellent summary of the situation and this will be posted as a pinned posting shortly.

Roger
GW4HZA
moderator


teka920
 

Hi

I found this tutorial for changing from windows internet time to Meinberg



Thought it might help

73 de Ted G7OBF


Larry N8QNM
 

OK I'm switching from Dimension4 to Meinberg. Does one just uninstall Dimension4 like any other program? Or do you have to reenable Windows time server before installing Meinberg?

Larry N8QNM 


Bill Somerville
 

On 28/10/2020 13:43, Larry N8QNM wrote:
OK I'm switching from Dimension4 to Meinberg. Does one just uninstall Dimension4 like any other program? Or do you have to reenable Windows time server before installing Meinberg?

Larry N8QNM
Hi Larry,

the only requirement is that only on time synchronization tool be active. The Meinberg installer will disable the MS Windows Internet Time sync tool if it is enabled. There's no need to reinstate the MS Windows Internet Time sync tool if you are going to install another tool like Meinberg NTP Client.

A default installation of Meinberg NTP Client is fine, just make sure you select a relevant pool.ntp.org time server pool from the list at the appropriate step in the installation dialog.

73
Bill
G4WJS.


Alan B
 

A few years ago I did spend some time with windows time configurations. Eventually I moved on to other software because the windows settings kept changing between updates and between versions of windows. So I'm going to select a good 3rd party app rather than trying anymore to fix windows settings, it's just not a stable solution or a good investment of time.

In terms of third party software I've tried quite a few and found Meinberg to be excellent. However many have trouble with it, perhaps because of the config file or the flexibility and number of options. Generally following a recipe works first try, but some are not careful and quick to give up on it.

Other programs may appear to work, but most are a level below in internal sophistication. NTP has been developed for a very long time and uses techniques that are not simple. Anything that says it is simple is probably not really taking advantage of what has been learned about managing time over the network.

73, Alan, w6akb


On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 6:54 AM Larry N8QNM <lsackn8qnm@...> wrote:
OK I'm switching from Dimension4 to Meinberg. Does one just uninstall Dimension4 like any other program? Or do you have to reenable Windows time server before installing Meinberg?

Larry N8QNM