Galleon Technical Support
Server Atomic Radio Clock (ARC) with Remote Antenna Hardware Manual

Home | Overview | Time servers | Computer Time | CCTV | MSF Receivers | Digital Wall Clocks | FAQ | Atomic Clocks | MSF | WWVB | DCF | GPS | NTP | UTC | Technical Support | Site Map
Server Atomic Radio Clock (ARC) with Remote Antenna


The Server ARC (Atomic Radio-controlled computer Clock) is an externally mounted radio controlled clock which is able to receive the precise time transmitted by the National Physics Laboratory accurate to 1 second in a 1,000,000 years and corrected automatically for summer/winter time. The time signal is transmitted via the MSF Radio Station located at Rugby. The signal can be received in the British Isles, Ireland and parts of Central Europe. The Server ARC is equipped with a serial interface and can adjust the time and date of a computer�s internal time using appropriate software drivers. The Server ARC allows the computer to obtain the exact time and date information immediately after booting, or at any required time.

1. �Key Elements of Server ARC

Atomic Radio Clock

The Atomic Radio Clock processes the time telegram that is received by the Server ARC and decodes it to enable it to display the correct time and date on its display and also output the correct time and date to a computer via a RS232 serial interface.

The ARC also shows an indication of the signal strength being received during initialisation.

Server ARC�����������������������������������������������������������������������������

This is a weatherproof box (providing it is fitted correctly). The power and signaling are supplied by the cable from the interface box.

An LED is fitted on the circuit board inside the unit, this will flash at 1 second intervals when the receiver is picking up the Rugby MSF signal.

If the LED is on constantly, or totally off then the receiver is not getting a good signal.

If possible, site the receiver in a sheltered position, away from any metal objects and items that may cause radio interference as both of these will naturally affect the receivers performance.

Although the units are insulated by their plastic casings, if you have mounted the receiver outside, it is recommended that the system is disconnected from your computer, and from the mains in the event of a thunderstorm.

Power Supply

The unit is� non regulated. If you ever change the power supply, ensure that positive is on the center pin, and the plug has 2.5mm fitting.

2.� Installation

2.1 Unpacking and Initialisation

The system comprises of 5 elements : -

Atomic Radio Clock (ARC) receiver, Remote antenna, Junction box, Power supply and Software.

Procedure for installation

1. Take out the Remote antenna and junction box which are connected by a short length of cable (to allow initial setup and testing). This test cable can be replaced by up to 150m of cable to position the remote antenna where a good signal from the Rugby transmitter can be received.

2. The Junction box has a second cable coming from it, plug the jack plug at the end of this second cable into the Atomic Radio Clock.

3. Position the remote antenna as shown below with the cable coming from the bottom of the IP65 box and with the antenna orientation at right angles to the radio signal transmitted from Rugby

1. Connect the power supply to the ARC and then plug in the power supply.

2. As soon as the ARC is powered all segments of the display are activated for one second.�� Then the alarm signal beeps once and the seconds-display starts running from O.�� This indicates the start of the radio signal reception.�� The quality of the reception is shown in the display by one to four bars, from the top of the radio tower symbol:�� 1 bar means weak or no reception, 4 bars means excellent reception.�� When the signal from the radio station has been picked up, the radio tower symbol, in the display starts blinking. After on average 3�� minutes the actual time appears in the display.� The radio tower symbol stops blinking when the time telegram has been decoded and confirmed, you now know that the unit is working. If you have any problems obtaining the time then refer to sections; 3. Positioning of the Server ARC and 4. Trouble shooting.

3. Select a position for the remote antenna where you can obtain a good signal, i.e. 4 bars on the ARC display if possible. This should be within 150m of the computer you want to synchronise

4. Once a good position for the remote antenna is selected mount the antenna securely, to a wall, using the four mounting holes accessible once the lid is removed.

5. If required replace the short test cable between the Remote antenna and the junction box with up to 150m of cable. The cable used is 4 core alarm cable, available from Farnell (rolls) Part No 145-219. Or Maplin, measured meter lengths available Part No XR89W or Rolls Part No PA77J. Inside your unit there are cable ties which have been left so you can secure your own cable.

Drawing of cable connection from Remote antenna to� Junction box

1. With the remote antenna mounted on a wall and cabled to the junction box, reconnect the junction box to the ARC and plug the power supply into the ARC next to the computer or server to be synchronised. The ARC can be wall mounted if required. When the ARC is powered it will repeat the signal lock on procedure as described in 6, ensure that the display shows at least 3 bars when locking on to the signal. Once the ARC has the correct time and date plug the 9 way D-Type into the computers serial port. Serial ports COM1 to COM4 can be used.

1. Now that the ARC is powered up, has the correct time and is connected to a serial port of your computer you are ready to install the software drivers. The following software drivers are available for use with Atomic Radio Controlled Clocks, NOVELL , UNIX , DEC VMS, DOS , Windows 3.11, Windows 95/98 and Window NT.:- Refer to separate instructions for software installation�

3. Positioning of the Server ARC

Before setting up the atomic radio clock you should ensure a good signal is available. The clock must be capable of receiving the Rugby transmitted time and you will often need to find a suitable position for good reception.

Possible Causes of Interference to the Time Signal

Domestic appliance without radio interference suppressers

Computer monitors closer than 2 meters away

TV Receivers closer than 2 metros away

Machinery with high H.F. leakage

Poor atmospheric conditions (i.e. stormy weather)

As with your Television or Radio, you may have difficulties in receiving a strong signal because of position or atmospheric conditions. Electrical appliances, motors, televisions or computers may interfere with the reception. You may experience poor reception in low lying areas and in metal buildings.

Important Notes

The performance of the clock is subject to its ability to receive the radio signal that is transmitted from Rugby. Difficulty in reception will be experienced in metal clad� buildings. Signal strength improves at night, it is recommended to leave the clock overnight, ideally near a window if you are having difficulty setting it.

This clock will function outside the UK, up to a range of 1,500Km from Rugby but will always display local British time.

Please note that the Rugby transmitter is shutdown for� maintenance the first Tuesday of every month during normal working hours. Also the transmitter can be interrupted for up to two weeks for maintenance during the summer again during normal working hours.


Atomic Radio Clock does not automatically show correct time within 10 minutes after the mains power is switched on.


Re-position the antenna, e.g. turn through 45-90 degrees, or� put it near a window then start several� tests by switching off for 1 minute then switch on at the mains. Check to see if any H.F. interference source such as TV or computer screen is close by.

Location of the Server ARC is very important. The following must be considered:-

The maximum length of the cable from the remote antenna to the junction box is 150m (500 ft) depending on local conditions, therefore locating the best possible signal within that range is very important..

Use the signal strength indicator on the ARC display to select a good location for the Remote antenna to receive the MSF time signal. . It takes a few seconds for the ARC to lock onto the signal. Start the initialization by resetting the Server ARC. To reset the Server ARC simply switch the power off/on at the mains. It will take on average 3�� minutes to establish a validated time/date information.

4. Troubleshooting

Q. �� Time is not showing on the ARC, just the seconds counting

A. You do not have a� good signal. Place the ARC somewhere sensible, not underground, nor near a monitor or electrical equipment. Electrically noisy environments or valleys can adversely affect the signal strength, see Section 3 on setting up the ARC. If you continue to have problems and are using the Remote unit, unscrewing the four screws on the remote antenna box will reveal a red LED which should flash steadily every second if a good signal strength has been achieved. Try rotating the unit through 45-90 degrees and then try obtaining the signal again and be aware that it can take up to four minutes to get the signal.

Click here to go to the Galleon official UK website Galsys

Click here to go to the Galleon official US website NTP Time Server


Time Server - Rackmount time server products

NTP Server - Stand alone NTP Time Servers

Time Servers - Information Page

NTP Time Server - All NTP Server Products

Atomic clock - All Atomic clock Products

  • NTP server products
  • Windows NTP Time Server Products
  • Time server Solutions
  • Galleon Time Synchronisation Solutions


  • Atomic clock Galleon
  • Galleon's Time Synchronisation
  • Galleon Contact information


  • NTP Time Servers
  • Galleon's NTP Time Servers
  • Dedicated rackmount NTP time servers
  • AboutNTP
  • About NTP for Windows NT/2000/XP
  • NTP for Windows 2000/NT/XP

Telephone Galleon: 0121 608 7230 | International:+44 870 608 3615

Home | Correct time for computers | CCTV | OEM Modules | Product Finder | FAQ's | Contact |
© Galleon 2003