Leap Second caution

Jim S (jsebolt@genie.idt.net)
Sat, 2 Jan 1999 18:39:13 -0500 (EST)

A word of caution from personal experience for those of you using the new 
"atomic" clocks to obtain accurate time for your satellite listening 
and/or viewing pleasure.

These clocks receive radio transmissions from WWVB to initially set and 
periodically update themselves, applying an error correction to adjust or 
fine-tune the internal time-base.

The addition of a "leap-second" on January first confuses the clock into 
adjusting for the apparent one-second error by making an unwanted 
adjustment of the time-base rate.  If left alone, this should 
automatically re-adjust itself back to a correct value over an extended 
period of time.  In the interim, clock accuracy suffers.  If in doubt, 
the clock should have a "reset" button hidden away somewhere which will 
force the processor to return to default and start over.

I was impatient and forced a reset so I cannot guess as to how long an 
automatic resync would take.  I can say that the effects of the 
leap-second adjustment were quickly apparent when compared to another 
clock with only manual adjustment.

Happy New Year!     ;)