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Essentiality of Master Clocks – All You Need To Know About The Device

Essentiality of Master Clocks – All You Need To Know About The Device


Traditionally, the definition of time and frequency distribution is the process of amplification and distribution of a signal into more than one device in an electronic setup. Synchronization is the overall coordination that helps all the devices to work in a unison. The need for synchronized time and frequency is essential for servers, telecommunication mediums and many more. From military test range to satellite communication, time plays a crucial role in bringing uniformity to operations. 


Different from a regular clock


How is a master clock different from your regular clock? Anyone not having knowledge of time and frequency distribution and server synchronization can confuse the terms. A master clock is not a regular clock that you have at the stores or at your house. It is an electronic device through which you can synchronize the pulse. The master clock is the controller that supervises the time on the other slave clocks in a synchronized setup. In networking, the use of master clocks is crucial as it helps to ensure the optimal functional capacity of the server setup. 


Electrically upgraded clock


A master clock system is highly accurate in time and frequency distribution. It is present on the main site of the network setup. From broadcasting medium to telecommunication, a delay can hamper the processing and put the system at a halt. The precision of frequency and on-time alignment needs a reliable protocol to ensure no gaps in the synchronization. The updated and ever-improving time protocols have largely solved the problems of the master clock synchronization issues in the recent past. But not all master clock devices bring you optimal accuracy because of the equipment infrastructure. With different time and frequency synchronizing devices, you can now achieve different levels of accuracy to meet the needs of the networking system. 


A reference for setting the time


From where does a master clock receive the correct time reference? It is a common question that many get confused with. A master clock also has a source or a hardware clock to determine the accuracy. It can be GPS, GLONASS, GNSS, etc. Multiple time references can also get connected to a master clock. It depends on the architecture of the time and frequency device you have chosen. Multi-functioning master clocks are currently the most useful ones in the industrial space. The ability of a multi-functional master clock to act as an NTP server or time code generator makes it apt for versatile network setups. 


About the protocol – The need to have an overall idea


It is impossible to neglect the protocols while discussing master clocks. Among the many time and frequency protocols, NTP is a common term. What is NTP? Network Time Protocol or NTP is a standardized and globally recognized protocol for time synchronization. The timekeeping NTP server maintains coordination in universal time. A master clock with additional support can function as an NTP server. In fact, with a suitable clock architecture, a master clock alone can act as an independent NTP server in critical communication channels. 


Primary feature – Accuracy of the clock


The accuracy of the master clock depends on the reliability of the construction of the clock. If there is a flaw in the making, the protocol for network time and frequency cannot work optimally. The circuit design and clock synchronization steps need to be accurate for ensuring the precision of time. A multipurpose master clock working as an NTP server or PTP grandmaster has the best accuracy. It helps in ensuring the security of the network communication setup. Additionally, one can add the master clock with a GPS or GNSS receiver and gain an accuracy of ±15 ns. 


You can find different master clock models in the GMR series that are universally recognized. The GMR1000 and GMR5000 are examples of highly accurate and versatile-functioning master clocks. These devices have a robust design and are convenient to use for distinct purposes. It can synchronize to different references like – GPS, GNSS, PTP, etc. 


Reliability of the device


From military applications to other communication networks, the significance and essentiality of the master clock of the GMR series are noticeable. But how do you rely on the authenticity of the device distributed by the supplier? A well-reputed distributing source can help you with your needs. They provide you with the essential certification that validates the features and accuracy of time, ensuring optimal synchronization. 


A note before you order the electronic device


Whether you order a base model for a master clock or a multi-functional device for using it as a time code generator or frequency reference medium, you have to be careful with the selection. Gain in-depth knowledge about the clock accuracy and review the compatibility with IPv4 or IPv6 networks. Take time to connect to a reliable distributor to get a master clock that can function optimally with several time reference inputs.