Having unit be an NTP time server would be helpful

Hello,

Please allow me to resurrect this thread.

In the business of TV broadcasters and media companies, a NTP server can be of great importance. Here is the feedback request from one of our customers:

Our audio mixer tries to reach an NTP server when it starts. We also have a physical clock inside the TV car that has be perfectly synchronised as it serves for coordination with the news. As these devices start much faster than the time needed for the process “powerup of HD4 cellular modules, get sync, get PepVPN up and then company NTP is available”, then it gets a wrong time and stays like this. Then we have to reboot certain devices after vpn is up to recover the correct time and only then can the local team work. It is not convenient and risky

It is a matter centralisation of all networking functionality and its concentration into the main router HD4 in their truck. If it could be used as a reference, all devices in the truck would then be asap available and they wouldn’t need to wait 15 min before they can act. These 15 min can be quite important in this market segment.

Hope this helps,

2 Likes

Howdy. Time servers have significantly decreased in price. See, for example, https://www.css-timemachines.com/ . Wondering if you have tried something like this? $300 seems rather reasonable for a GPS (only)-based server and $500 for one which does PTP and NTP.

Such an acquisition and implementation may be faster and better than getting the Peplink folks to redesign (and increase the cost of) their product. Just a thought. :grinning:

I might also note that such devices as I have cited as an example use “Stratum 1.” Think about it… after all, how do the cel/PCS carriers get their time? GPS! NNTP is essentially a second order standard. Implement a non-network based server and your network will always know what time it is – irrespective of its connectivity to the “outside.”

Rick

1 Like

This is true but available space in such tv car is limited. Time has passed. It might be much easier to do it now, especially from gps equipped hd4…

1 Like

OK. Just so there is no misunderstanding: (1) such a device is small enough to hold in one’s hand, (2) is more accurate than NTP and (3) does not rely on the “internet” to set times.

Certainly everyone’s needs are different. Just thought I’d nominate an alternative solution (in which I have no personal interest), that is available off-the-shelf and w-o-r-k-s. :wink:

Your point is well-taken, however, when you note that for a router which already has GPS capability, the enhancement should not be so much of a burden.

R

1 Like

If you have a NAS on the network, you might look into whether it supports acting as a local NTP server. I run a couple of QNAP NAS’s (on different networks) that I have also act as LAN NTP servers. As far as I know, all QNAP NAS’s can act as NTP servers, while getting their own time from an Internet NTP server. Where this comes in handy in my case, is to provide time synchronization to a bunch of IP cameras on the network that are blocked (by the router’s firewall rules) from being allowed to access anything not on the internal LAN. (i.e. Out of paranoia, we don’t want the cameras to be able to access the Internet even if they were to become compromised, so the router blocks all traffic between the cameras & the WANs.) Yet we can keep all of the cameras time synchronized well enough for our purposes.

Hello @Tim_S,
We have had a request for help with a project from a organisation and part of the requirements is there MUST be an NTP server within the cellular/router, this is how we need it to run,

Time preference to run in this order:

  1. GPS Receiver
  2. Cellular Tower reference (without SIM card)
  3. Cellular Tower reference (with SIM card)
  4. Internal Clock
  5. external NTP Server 1
  6. external NTP Server 2
  7. external NTP Server 3
  8. external NTP Server 4
  9. external NTP Server 5

Currently the organisation is looking at another Australian brand of router that is Linux based (we have the full SDK authority for this brand though not the resources to develop the solution currently), the other issue for the current brand they are looking at is it does not support LTEA with there modems unless the organisation agrees to by ten thousand units upfront (we and them both said we’ll look elsewhere).

Just wanted to add out weight to have an NTP server added in, especially with the MAX range as they can reference with the inbuilt GPS unit (which is especially useful in remote areas when travailing without cellular coverage).
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

@Tim_S,

Now that this thread has been resurrected yet again with even more use cases, is it perhaps time (no pun intended) for the feature request I made back in 2012 to be put into the product? The Peplink gateway device is already getting the time from the Internet (or from any built-in GPS unit?) so clients in the LAN should be able to query it for LAN-wide time syncing purposes. I’m certain that if they looked for it, the developers could find a small footprint NTP server package that has a satisfactory license for inclusion in your firmware releases.

Who knows… maybe the existing NTP client package you are using already has a server component that just needs to be configured to serve the LAN ports?

/Marty

1 Like

Hi friends, your persistence is amazing and this topic is getting very interesting. I checked NTP vs PTP. It seems that NTP is more than enough for our routers. Do you agree? Thanks.

1 Like

For me, my LAN network needs nothing more than NTP.

Edit: Perhaps the GUI can include info similar to what an ntp -c peer command would show. That way we can have a way to find out that the configured NTP server (or embedded GPS unit) isn’t responding, etc.

/Marty

2 Likes

I’d like to add a further reason for NTP server to the discussion.

I’m looking at using a PepWave Max HD2 as a router on remote vehicles. One of the devices on the vehicle LAN is a single-board computer that has no real-time clock i.e. it always boots with the wrong time and requires an update, NTP is the obvious method. Upon system start up the Internet will not be available (e.g. waiting to acquire satellite connection) but the PepWave router has a real-time clock that is, presumably, kept up to date by GPS. That is my preference for acquiring time for the SBC i.e. Internet is not available and all the required hardware is on the PepWave… in fact I’m amazed that there isn’t an NTP server function on the PepWave… surely I’ve missed something?

Andy

1 Like

Keith, to answer your question: Yes, NTP should be quite sufficient. For one of your devices that already includes GPS it would actually become a Stratum 1 server! - Rick

2 Likes

Hi Guys,

have you found the solution already for the HD to act as NTP server? I am lookinng for this feature.

MAX HD4 as GPS time server. So LAN devices uses clocking source as HD4.

Max HD4 acts as time server using internal GPS clock source. – HD2/HD4 has already GPS receiver. If we connect an external antenna, then it receives all the necessary clock information. Can it be possible to use this reference clock as time server to some of the equipment on board?. Basically then the device needs to support as time server through LAN ports.

This feature is obvious when it comes to Marine applications. so we need this as soon as possible.

thanks to consider

2 Likes

Yes, it makes a lot of sense when it comes to reducing any redundant traffic over expensive satellite links in maritime. Thanks for the insight. We will make sure the feedback reach engineering and provide a response soon.

1 Like

I’d like to add my voice to those requesting a Stratum 1 NTP server in Pepwave products. I have two Max BR1 Mini units that I’m using for Internet at remote field research locations, and I need high precision/accuracy time for time stamping sensor info. While it is theoretically possible to add GPS time sync to my data acquisition PC, it would be super helpful to have local NTP (which works even if mobile Internet goes down) especially since the BR1 mini already has GPS hardware.

Thanks!
-Randy

1 Like

Thanks for everyone’s feedback. We have committed to bring this feature available in our routers. It’s been put on our roadmap. ETA is to be determined soon, we hope to bring it out within this year.

1 Like

Greetings,
Sorry to ask, but the ETA was going to be delivered soon 8 months ago ;), will this be in 7.1?

Thanks
Dana

1 Like

I would definitely like to see my Pepwave Surf SOHO MK3 be able to function as a NTP server.

Right now, for my LAN I have my NAS running as the NTP server for a lot of stuff that isn’t allowed Internet access. I’d really like to block (at the router) all Internet access for the NAS as well. But because of the need to run the NTP service on the NAS, I can’t do that. But once the router can act as the LAN(s) NTP server, the NAS can be cut off from the Internet too.

1 Like

NTP service to the LAN/WiFi side only, of course.

Many latest features in 7.1 have jumped the line and push back some features including this one. But this feature is still on the plan. It should be sometime later this year but I’m not going to give a date until it’s close :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Any status in this request? Also if it was added to the features would you pull time sync over the GPS link?