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How to Set Up Dimension 4 NTP

What is Dimension 4 NTP and why do I need it?

 

For many Digital mode applications such as WSJT-X, the receive and transmit segments are in time-slots. For instance, FT8 uses 15 second long listen and transmit blocks. It is important that your PCs clock is aligned precisely so that stations are transmitting and receiving at the correct time. You will not decode complete messages if your PCs clock is out by more than a second or so and you start to listen mid-message.

NTP (Network Time Protocol) software makes regular requests to public NTP servers to discipline your PCs clock continually generally to within a few 10ms of milliseconds.

There are many NTP client applications available but Dimension 4 is probably the simplest to set up and use and is a free (and safe) download. Once set, it automatically loads in the background when your PC boots up and keeps your clock in check.
 

It can be downloaded from here: Dimension 4 Download

 

When downloaded, run the installation executable and accept the usual destination folders, licence conditions etc and allow the software to install. You may get a Windows User Account permission window pop up and so click allow to continue the installation.

When you run Dimension 4 from
"Windows Start" it will likely ask you to "Start the Dimension 4 service". Dimension 4 runs a continual service in the background continually adjusting your PC Time to align with NTP. Click on "Allow" for the service to run and any other pop-up permissions.

Finally, the Dimension 4 window will pop up showing the default NTP servers it will access and various settings on how often it will poll etc. You can leave these as defaults. NTP Servers work in a pool and so Dimension 4 looks at the many servers in the list and using the NTP Service works out which servers are giving "bad" time responses and will not use them until they agree with the rest of the pool. 

 

As "Load Dimension 4 at startup" is checked as a defaulted option, from now on, it will run every time you power up your PC and periodically corrects the PCs clock as a background task.

You will see that Dimension 4 is working OK (seen below) as you will see regular updates in the
"Synchronized" box as to how far out the clock is and when the update occurred. If you see this, you are done. Dimension 4 is correctly installed and keeping your PCs clock in check.
 

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