Windows Time Server


Quick Guide - Now To
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This is the quick guide on how to configure PresenTense Time Server in some of the common situations. It's a How To for those that need a Now To, meaning it can be a bit brief. Much more detail is contained in other topics so browse around if you need more information.

Basic test - No GPS clock and not connected to the internet

1.   Go to the Settings tab and choose GPS Clock.
2.   Choose Undisciplined Local Clock as the driver, ignore other settings.
3.   Click Apply and let the service restart.
4.   Click on the Log tab to see success or failure messages.

Notes: The above configuration loads the NTP module which provides NTP Time Server facilities on your network. This will serve time to Cisco routers, Windows workstations, Windows servers, Unix servers etc. Any device expecting an NTP response will be serviced by this configuration. The time served is that of the machine where PresenTense Time Server is installed. It is not necessarily the correct time.

GPS time source, NTP Time Server required

1.   Go to the Settings tab and choose GPS / Radio Clock.
2.   Click on the GPS Clock tab.
3.   If your GPS device appears in the list, choose it, otherwise choose Generic NMEA GPS receiver.
4.   Set serial port and speed to the same as your GPS clock is configured.
5.   Ensure your GPS clock is configured to emit at least NMEA substrings GPGGA or GPRMC.
6.   Click Apply and let the service restart.
7.   Click on the Log tab to see success or failure messages.

Notes: The above configuration loads the NTP module which obtains the correct time from the GPS clock and provides NTP Time Server facilities on your network. This will serve time to Cisco routers, Windows workstations, Windows servers, Unix servers etc. Any device expecting an NTP response will be serviced by this configuration. With some GPS devices, it can take up to half an hour before any time correction is made. Click on the Log tab to view progress.

Internet NTP Time Server as time source - NTP Time Server required

1.   Go to the Settings tab and choose NTP Time Source.
2.   Click on the NTP Time Source tab.
3.   Fill in the name or IP address of the primary and secondary NTP servers you will use.
4.   Click Apply and let the service restart.
5.   Click on the Log tab to see success or failure messages.

Important: Ensure your firewall allows access from the outside to port 123 on the computer where PresenTense Time Server is installed. If you are getting the error Primary Server Timeout then consult your system administrator and ask them to configure port forwarding from your chosen Primary Server to the computer running PresenTense Time Server. Outgoing query is port 123, return is usually a randomly chosen high port.

Notes: The above configuration loads the NTP module which obtains the correct time from the internet based NTP time servers and provides NTP Time Server facilities on your network. This will serve time to Cisco routers, Windows workstations, Windows servers, Unix servers etc. Any device expecting an NTP response will be serviced by this configuration. It can take up to half an hour before any time correction is made. Click on the Log tab to view progress.

SNTP Time Server serving Local Time

This behavior is non-standard but may be useful for devices which do not calculate their own offsets from UTC/GMT or do not automatically adjust for the new DST times introduced in 2007.

1.   Go to the Settings tab and click the button Advanced Settings.
2.   Check the box Serve Local Time (SNTP only).
3.   Read the warnings in the dialog box that pops up. Click OK if you agree.
4.   Click Apply and let the service restart.
5.   Click on the Log tab and check for a warning message regarding serving local time.

Discussion: When Windows updates it's local time for Daylight Savings Time, PresenTense Time Server will start serving that time. If your time clients attempt to statistically skew the time change, you may get some strange results. If however the client merely does a correction based on the time stamp received, your devices will adjust to the new times immediately. The computer on which PresenTense Time Server is running must have the correct DST changeover dates for your region. In particular, North America and Western Australia changed their DST policies in 2007 and 2006 respectively so users in these locations must obtain updates from Microsoft.


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