Atomic time for the Raspberry Pi

June 26, 2012
Connecting the Raspberry Pi to the MSF receiver module. Credit: Andrew Back

A blog post on DesignSpark - an online community for electronic engineers - has described how the Raspberry Pi mini computer can be synchronised with NPL's atomic time scale via the MSF Radio Time Signal.

The Raspberry Pi was released in early 2012 by a charitable foundation to encourage people, and especially children, to learn computer programing skills. To keep the costs as low as possible (retail price: $25) the system does not contain a real-time clock chip, which is found in most computers to keep the time.

Andrew Back, the author of the blog post on DesignSpark, found that by linking the Raspberry Pi to a receiver module, which can pick up the MSF Radio Time Signal, the computer can be synchronised to the atomic time scale maintained at NPL. This setup, as well as providing a time source for the , could also potentially function as a radio-controlled Network Time Protocol (NTP) server, used to synchronise the clocks on a number of different devices connected to a network.

This is a good example of the type of projects being carried out using the Raspberry Pi, with programmers using their skills to test the limits of the computer's design and achieve solutions to real world problems. A quick look on the official forum gives some idea of the envisaged applications, ranging from robotics and home security to managing weather balloon data and GPS devices.

Explore further: Supercomputers crack sixty-trillionth binary digit of Pi-squared

More information: www.designspark.com/content/atomic-time-raspberry-pi

Related Stories

The $25 educational PC

May 5, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Have you ever played Elite? What about games in the Rollercoaster Tycoon series, Thrillville, Lost Winds, or Kinectimals? If so, then you have enjoyed the work of David Braben. Mr. Braben is a fairly well ...

Math wars: Debate sparks anti-pi day

June 29, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A controversial debate in the math world has led to celebrations today by opponents of the mathematical constant pi.

Foundation readies $25 computer to seed tech talents

December 24, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A $25 computer targeted to help young people learn about computers beyond uploading pics and downloading documents is about to start volume-production in January. The Raspberry Pi project, a UK-based foundation, ...

Distributors reel from Mad Wednesday rush for $35 Pi

March 1, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- No long lines winding down Madison Avenue; no marching bands in Barcelona; no glossy ads in mainstream magazines. Just news of a product available for pre-order is all it took to trigger a crush of responders ...

Raspberry Pi to add camera later this year

May 22, 2012

(Phys.org) -- The Raspberry Pi, a uniquely priced, no casing computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard., will be given a camera accessory later this year. That may be “oh-so-what” news if this were a mainstream ...

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.