Re: [amsat-bb] Leap Second caution

Joe Fitzgerald (
Thu, 07 Jan 1999 00:47:51 -0500

OK, so I am beating a dead horse.  I have insomnia ... please be gentle
on me!

The following is from

                  WASHINGTON, D.C.  20392-5420
                                             July 23, 1998
                                             No. 64

                          UTC TIME STEP

1.  The International Earth Rotation Service (IERS) has announced the 
introduction of a time step to occur at the end of December, 1998.

2.  Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) will be retarded by 1.0s so that 
the sequence of dates of the UTC markers will be:

               1998 December 31   23h   59m   59s
               1998 December 31   23h   59m   60s
               1999 January  01    0h    0m    0s

3.  The difference between UTC and International Atomic Time (TAI) is:

from 1997   01 Jul, UTC to 1999 01 January, UTC:       TAI-UTC= +31s
from 1999   01 Jan, UTC until further notice:          TAI-UTC= +32s

4.  The insertion of one leap second will be evident by the change of 
sign of the DUT1 correction which will become positive.  Extrapolated 
values of DUT1 are distributed weekly in the IERS Bulletin A.

5.  All coordinated time scales will be affected by this adjustment.  
However, Loran-C and GPS will not be adjusted physically.  Times of 
Coincidence for LORAN-C are available on the Time Service Web Page 
(  For GPS, the leap second 
correction contained within the UTC data of subframe 4, page 18 of 
the navigation message transmitted by satellites will change.

     Before the leap second
     GPS-UTC = +12 (i.e., GPS is ahead of UTC by twelve seconds)

     After the leap second
     GPS-UTC = +13s (i.e., GPS will be ahead by thirteen seconds)

                              DENNIS D. McCARTHY
                              Directorate of Time

Bill Jones wrote:
> > Did you notice most of the television shows counting down to the new year
> > did not have the correct time due to the leap second?  They were all a
> > second too fast! Also, I know many "accurate time" TV and radio stations
> > are usually off a few seconds.  I've seen the weather channel be off by as
> > much as 15 seconds.  That time may be generated locally, with the local
> > forecast clock?
> I have a digital satellite dish, and was watching a raw PBS feed yesterday,
> where they have a test pattern with a clock zipping by on the bottom. My
> receiver has a clock that is automatically updated from the satellite service,
> and I had them on the screen at the same time, and they differed by 15
> seconds!  This is time coming from the same downlink, one from the clock at
> the uplink site, one from the network. I bet this had some of the local
> stations confused. I forgot to watch my GPS and Oregon Sci  WWV clock.
> My WWV clock seems to have the proper time. I know my OLD GPS, a
> Garmin GPS 50 did not pick up leap seconds, and over the years got more
> and more off time, but I think my newer one has better software.  Interesting.
> +----------------------------------+
> | Bill Jones, N3JLQ,Sweden, Maine  |
> |             |
> | |
> +----------------------------------+
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