Atomic time for the Raspberry Pi

Jun 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: Farm use of drones to take off as feds loosen restrictions

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

Related Stories

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 ...

Foundation readies $25 computer to seed tech talents

Dec 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, will pla ...

Distributors reel from Mad Wednesday rush for $35 Pi

Mar 01, 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 ...

The $25 educational PC

May 05, 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 ...

Math wars: Debate sparks anti-pi day

Jun 29, 2011

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

Recommended for you

Europe's deepest glider to be developed

18 hours ago

19 partners from across Europe have come together to develop Europe's first ultra-deep-sea robot glider. This glider will be capable of sampling the ocean autonomously at depths of 5000m, and maybe more in ...

Researchers help reconstructing the Michelangelo bronzes

18 hours ago

Engineers and imagers from the University of Warwick's Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and anatomists from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick are helping Art historians from the University ...

User comments : 0

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.