Accurate Clock Adjustment

Discussion in 'Mac Ham Radio on macOS & iOS' started by WL7CG, Jul 28, 2020.

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  1. WL7CG

    WL7CG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    I tried using my Macbook Pro remotely over the weekend at a park. It held time well the first day, but drifted off the next. I tried using the preference panel to adjust it, but that's not good. Is there a program out there that will let you bump the clock? There is one for the PC called TmeFudge that works great.

    The other way to fix this is an external time reference. There are GPS dongles available, but I haven't found any software that will sync the system clock. Apples also removed NTP from the operating system that doesn't help.


    73 Alan WL7CG
  2. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    macOS's own built-in time tool keeps the time on my Mac extremely accurately. I'm not sure what's going on with your MBP. You did configure it to automatically update the time in the Date & Time systems preferences, right?
  3. WL7CG

    WL7CG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    True. I'm talking about operating remotely were there is no internet/cell service. I can adjust my PC clock with TimeFudge, but need a solution for the Mac.
  4. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    How far did it drift in 24 hours?
  5. WL7CG

    WL7CG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hard to tell. Far enough to stop FT8 decodes.
  6. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is less convenient than timefudge, but here is a way:
    1. Open a Terminal window. Terminal is normally located in the Utilities folder underneath the Applications folder.
    2. Get superuser access. Depending on how you've set up security, this may be done by the command "sudo -s". You'll know when you did it right because the last character of the command prompt will be "#".
    3. Use the date command to set the time. For example, if it's currently 2:37 pm, type "date 1438", wait for the top of the minute, and hit the enter key at precisely 2:38 pm.
    The accuracy depends on your ability to hit the enter key at exactly the right time, so results may vary depending on the accuracy of your time signal, as well as your own reflexes. But I've been able to do it well enough for FT8 by using a GPS app on my phone to get the time.
    K3DCW likes this.
  7. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not familiar with Macs and Apple products, but ...

    When I was still doing my semi-SOTA/semi-BOTA outings (not official, just operating from a beach or mountain top), I was using a Windows 10 laptop. It was Wi-Fi compatible. I was always in places where I had cell service. I could set up my Android phone as a wi-fi hotspot to have internet access on the laptop. I could then set the computer system clock using the standard Windows time synchronizing app. It would only take a couple of minutes of wireless Internet time to do so. It didn't use a whole lot of data through my cell service.
    KP4SX likes this.
  9. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    For a total of about 4-5 weeks a year I am camping where there is no internet or phone service. In order to run digital modes that require accurate timing, I have a plugin USB GPS. I've tried different software over the past several years and the latest can be found here.

    There are others but this has been operating flawlessly. Some others have given me problems with things like date formatting where the time program has one format and the computer a different format and trying to rectify what might seem like a minor problem has proven to be frustrating.
    KG5THG likes this.
  10. WL7CG

    WL7CG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    FYI - Michael Black W9MDB helped me set up TimeFudge on my Mac using Terminal. Works well.

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