Prediction: You can kiss WWV/WWVH operations goodbye.

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7GIF, Apr 5, 2019.

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  1. W7GIF

    W7GIF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reference the April 4, 2019 ARRL newsletter wrt "Department of Defense to Transmit Interoperability Exercise Info via WWV/WWVH"

    The survey embedded in the "Department of Defense Interoperability Exercise Info via WWV/WWVH" is a thinly veiled mechanism to support de-funding of, and shutting down WWV/WWVH operations. Lack of sufficiently massive numbers of respondents to the (web) survey that claim 24/7/365 use of the WWV/WWVH services, will surely be used by Walter G. Copan (NIST Director) to support his proposal to terminate all WWV/WWVH operations.
    I predict that we can kiss WWV/WWVH goodbye.

    How many users of WWV/WWVH services are unaware of the "Department of Defense to Transmit Interoperability Exercise Info via WWV/WWVH" non-ham seafarers (especially those in lesser-developed countries) , non-ARRL members, etc?

    This DOD Interoperability Exercise establishes a new "LOW" in the ethics (and a new "HIGH" in the deviousness) of our gov't figures of authority. Read the DOD program "release".
    The intent of the program is summarized in the last sentence attributed to WD8DBY. "situational awareness"? What?

    de W7GIF
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2019
  2. AE8W

    AE8W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was going to comment about the bazillions of "atomic" clocks that get their sync from WWV ... but realized that they are tuned to WWVB
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  3. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hate to see this go away. I often tune to WWV (B) to determine if a band is "running" to my area.
    K0GOV, K9ASE, W4LJ and 1 other person like this.
  4. W7GIF

    W7GIF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, the WWVB 60kHz transmission from Fort Collins used to update/synchronize all the so-called atomic clocks will cease to exist with the shutdown of Fort Collins WWV. NIST Director Walter Copan has stated in his fy2020 budget proposal that the WWVB clock synchronizing transmissions are not needed.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    But the money to operate the stations has just been reauthorized, so they are good for now. Ground truth? I believe this was a move by NIST or their parent to leverage more dollars from Congress and nothing more. ;)
    WD4IGX, KX4O, NY7Q and 2 others like this.
  6. K4PIH

    K4PIH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oooh I smell conspiracy! DoD will be sending exercise information that includes subliminal messaging telling certain individuals to wake up the aliens so they can dominate the world. Everyone will go crazy like in Kingsman. It's real I tell you, ruuun ....!
    AE8W and WR2E like this.
  7. W7GIF

    W7GIF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The current authorization is a result of my AZ congresswoman (who sits on the congressional science and technology subcommittee) intervening, and challenging NIST's fy2020 budget proposal last September which would have shut down WWV operations.
    This (recently announced) DOD Interoperability exercise requires that users of the WWV operations report (feedback) their usage of, and dependence on the WWV operations and services that would support the need for continued operations and services.

    Absent user feedback sufficient to warrant continued services and operation (whatever that threshold or metric may be as set by NIST), may (will) be used by NIST's management to once again propose cessation of all WWV operations and services.

    NIST management was not happy that their proposed shutdown of WWV operations was successfully challenged. And, this DOD exercise requiring users to provide service-demand data in support of continued WWV operations and services will not satisfy whatever that service-demand threshold is that has been established by NIST's management. NIST's top management is looking for funding for new "pet" projects. And, in a belt-tightening budget environment, that funding for new projects must come from re-allocation of funds from terminated programs and operations that they consider to be unnecessary...programs and operations like WWV/WWVB/WWVH. With absolutely NO appreciation or regard for the needs of the telecommunications world, the current top management of NIST is focused on supporting and promoting the technologies for which he does have an appreciation...and, those do not include telecommunications.

    NIST's arguments and claims supporting their fy2020 proposal to terminate all WWV/WWVB/WWVH operations was fraudulent. Fortunately, the congressional science and technology subcommittee was made aware of NIST's fraudulent supporting information, and WWV operations were spared from the axe. Make no mistake...this "DOD Interoperability exercise" is Walter Copan's second swing of the axe on WWV operations.

    Services provided by WWV operations:
    Time/date updates and synchronization for industry and consumers.
    Frequency standards for telecommunication industry and community.
    Hazardous storm warnings for radio-equipped seafarers.

    If you don't consider the many WWV services necessary or essential, then no worries.
    If you do see the many WWV services as necessary or essential, then perhaps you should educate your congressman/congresswoman regarding the many services provided by WWV operations.
    W5PFG, WE4B and W4KYR like this.
  8. KJ6ZOL

    KJ6ZOL Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems to me that the main reason that WWV/H/B existed, ie to provide accurate time for industrial users, is now moot given the widespread use of the GPS system. Simply google "GPS clock" and take a look at the very expensive industrial timepieces that get time via GPS that are sold to industrial users who need extremely accurate time.

    As for WWVB, the "atomic clock" fad of the first decade of the 21st century has run its course, and cheap radio set clocks routinely pop up in thrift stores now, many of which have battery rot in their battery compartments because they have spent years in garages and sheds, unwanted. Also, who really listens to SW anymore, besides hams? The ONLY reason I can think of for WWVH to exist is to give time and oceanic conditions to mariners on the busy Asia-to-USA shipping routes, and that need could probably be filled in a more modern way.

    Sorry to rain on the parade, but the costs of maintaining the 1960s-era transmitters in Colorado and Hawaii, which likely have a steadily increasing number of unobtainium parts, simply can't be justified. Trump is serious about cutting little-used federal niche programs, and every time he announces a target a very small number of people squeal. The desires of the few have to give way to the fact that every million dollars counts, even in Washington DC.

    For example, something like this is what industrial users use for precision time now:

    Note on the sidebar that strictly GPS clocks have been discontinued in favor of "GNSS" clocks that synchronize signals from multiple sources. 40 nanoseconds vs the 1 second accuracy from WWV, and throw in the vagaries of shortwave, etc. Technology moves on.
    KA0HCP, W4IOA, AE8W and 1 other person like this.
  9. W7GIF

    W7GIF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hear you. And there are alternatives available for some of the services currently provided by WWV operations. First, the three references to the fy2020 budget I made in two former messages in this thread should have read "fy2019".

    I included the following in my former message:
    "If you don't consider the many WWV services necessary or essential, then no worries.
    If you do see the many WWV services as necessary or essential, then perhaps you should educate your congressman/congresswoman regarding the many services provided by WWV operations."

    There are those who (like you) see the discontinuation of WWV services as inconsequential, since alternatives are available. So, they need not worry or take any action. Applies to hams, ordinary consumers, and mariners (as well as seafarers).

    And, there are those who see the discontinuation of WWV services as consequential, since alternatives for their purposes may not be justifiable or affordable. Therefore, they may feel the need to take action to try to preserve WWV operations. Applies to hams, ordinary consumers, and mariners (seafarers).

    The savings to the fy2019 federal budget provided by shutting down all WWV operations would have been $6.3M (0.00014% of the final fy2019 budget). The government spills more than that on the floor every it spends nearly 2,000 times that every day.

    The intent of my original message in this thread stands, and was to advise the following:
    The recently announced DOD Interoperability exercise is a tool designed by NIST (and, to be used by NIST) to justify shutting down all WWV operations. Hopefully, awareness of the DOD exercise and it's purpose will result in hams responding to, and completing the website survey questionnaire...and the resultant data supporting continuation of WWV operations and services.

    After NIST having been caught concealing the truth in their fy2019 budget cutting impact statement, this year they've contrived a tool that can be used to argue that user-demands don't support the continuation of WWV operations. It will be interesting to see the exercise's website survey questions designed to quantify and characterize user-demands of WWV operations and services.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  10. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    How do I get in line for the inevitable fire sale of the station hardware?
    AG5CK likes this.

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