February 1, 1998

NIST ups range of time signal

BOULDER — For everyone committed to being on time in 1998, there is good news from the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder.

WWVB, the low-frequency standard time and frequency radio station, operated by NIST’s Time and Frequency Division, doubled its broadcasting power to 23 kilowatts, increasing the range of the extremely accurate time signal that can be used to automatically set the correct time in clocks, watches, VCRs, cars and electronic gear.

Controlled by the NIST atomic clock in Boulder, WWVB previously operated at 10 kwh for more than three decades. WWVB transmits its time signal on a frequency of 60 kilohertz from a site near Fort Collins. It is not audible and requires special receivers to decode.

Among the signal’s users are a wide variety of electronics manufacturers, telecommunications systems, power generating and transmitting companies and private citizens.

The power upgrade improves WWVB’s signal strength over the entire continental United States, which permits the use of less expensive receivers and antennas. The U.S. Navy provided spare radio transmitters and other components for the upgrade.

Over the next year, a second high-powered transmitter and antenna will be brought online to bring WWVB’s total power up to between 40 and 50 kwh.

BOULDER — For everyone committed to being on time in 1998, there is good news from the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder.

WWVB, the low-frequency standard time and frequency radio station, operated by NIST’s Time and Frequency Division, doubled its broadcasting power to 23 kilowatts, increasing the range of the extremely accurate time signal that can be used to automatically set the correct time in clocks, watches, VCRs, cars and electronic gear.

Controlled by the NIST atomic clock in Boulder, WWVB previously operated at 10 kwh for…

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