A time beacon is a special type of beacon that transmits time data on a continuous basis. Time data is derived from atomic clocks - clocks that maintain an accuracy to within one billionth of a second per day. A number of time scales are generated, including UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) often of most use to radio amateurs.
Use for Amateurs
- Calibrating local VFO frequencies for receivers and transmitters (WWV is an exact, precise 10MHz reference frequency)
- Aligning SSTV software to computer clock speed so as to reduce/eliminate slant on received pictures.
Time beacon facilities
- CHU in Canada (3.330MHz, 7.85MHz, 14.670 MHz)
- DCF77 in Germany (77.5kHz)
- JJY in Japan (Frequency 40kHz and 60kHz)
- MSF in the United Kingdom (60kHz)
- NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technlogy); WWV in Fort Collins, Colorado and WWVH in Hawaii USA. (2.5 MHz, 5MHz, 10MHz, 15MHz, 20MHz)
- NIST also operates WWVB (60kHz) from the Colorado location only