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Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Time Sync   
ClockWatch Cell Sync time synchronization works by using a CDMA receiver that is connected to your computer.  The Cell Sync software takes the precision time from receiver to maintain the computer (and network) at the correct time.
 

Here are some frequently asked questions about Cellular time synchronization.  Feel free to contact us with other questions you have.

 


How does it work?
Do I need a cell phone account?
How does Cell Sync get the time from the NIST ?
How does the NIST broadcast the signal?
How accurate is Cell time synchronization?

Can I receive the signal where I am?
What type of hardware do I need?
Do I need an Internet connection to use the broadcast?
I already have a CDMA cell phone; will Cell Sync work with it?
Why would I want to use Cell time syncing?

Will my clock or receiver work outside of the United States?
Can other computers and devices get their time from Cell Sync?


Do I need a cell phone account?
CDMA time synchronization does not broadcast or transmit any information so no account is necessary. 


How does Cell Sync get the time from the NIST?

The CDMA transmitter outputs date and time of day in the transmitted data. More on CDMA broadcast

Cell Sync contains a specialized receiver and decoder to convert the cellular signals. A highly accurate one-pulse-per second output is provided to Cell Sync from the CDMA receiver.  This rising edge of the signal is synchronized to the the start of each CDMA second.
 


How accurate is Cell time synchronization?
CDMA time synchronization is highly accurate, but your results will vary depending on your receiver and computer.  The Garmin CDMA35 receiver is accurate to within a millisecond of UTC; however, the time that is ultimately synchronized to your computer will not be as accurate.  Why?  Because computer systems are not fast enough nor consistent enough for better accuracy.  Our tests show an accuracy of +/- 0.1 second using the Multitech CDMA. 


What type of hardware do I need?
You need a CDMA receiver, antenna, data cable and serial port connector.  These come standard with the Cell Sync.  

The only other requirement is a functioning Windows PC with an available serial (COM) port. 


Do I need an Internet connection to use CDMA?
No.  Cell Sync does not require an Internet connection.


I already have a CDMA phone; will Cell Sync work with it?
No. Cell Sync has been qualified to work only with the Cell Sync receiver.


Why would I want to use CDMA for time synchronization?
Time syncing using CDMA is a good alternative for remote or highly secured computers.  ClockWatch Cell Sync does not require an Internet or modem connection.

CDMA time synchronization may potentially be more accurate than syncing over the Internet or by modem.  The true accuracy depends on the receiver as well as the computer.  Beagle Software's experience is that the Cell Sync when used with the supplied CDMA receiver is consistently accurate within 0.1 second.


Can I receive the signal where I am?

CDMA receivers should be able to work in most population centers in the US. These very reliable signals are easily received inside buildings.  Chances are good that you live and work in an area with CDMA cellular/PCS coverage. If your CDMA phone works where you plan to install Cell Sync, then Cell Sync should have no problem in receiving time signals.


Can other computers and devices get their time from Cell Sync?

Yes, computers, routers, printers, PBXs and other devices on your LAN can use Cell Sync as a central timeserver. All they need to do run an NTP or SNTP client and point to the computer running Cell Sync. Many computers (including Windows) and networked devices have this capability built in.


Will my clock or receiver work outside of the United States?

CDMA is used extensively in Australia, China, Korea, Japan and elsewhere. CDMA is currently not widely used in Europe

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Cell Sync Product Information:
  Advanced Features
  Frequently Asked Questions about Cell broadcast time syncing
  How does it work?
  Cell Sync CDMA Receiver
     Installation Information, User's Guide
     Troubleshooting
    
   Cell Sync Site Index
   Cell Sync Main Page

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Copyright 2007 Beagle Software. All rights reserved
Last reviewed March 19, 2008