UTC Clock 1.2 for Windows     |     Home

What is it?

Sometimes it's handy to have a clock display that shows the time in UTC and LMST. There are other apps which do a great job of this. Unfortunately, some of their displays are a little small on modern large computer monitors. This is not very good when you want to see the UTC time from across the room.

As an excuse to learn Visual Basic 2010, I wrote a clock application that includes an option for a larger display. It should work on pretty much any Windows computer running Windows XP or above.

To install, simply download the zip file, extract, and run the setup program.

Using the app is equally straightforward: click & drag the display to move it around, right-click to bring up the options.

Note: this app pulls the UTC time from your system clock, so the time zone in Windows must be set properly. For radio astronomy, my computers have a time zone of "(GMT) Cooridinated Universal Time" or "(GMT) Monrovia, Reykjavik", neither of which change with daylight saving time.

Installer Download

UTC Clock 1.2 Setup.zip

Keeping Your System Clock Accurate

A nice clock display is of little use if the computer's system clock in inaccurate. One solution is to synchronize the system clock with time servers traceable back to NIST. One such ustility is NTP for Windows. Meinberg Radio Clocks GmbH has released this as an open-source freeware utility that runs in the background as a service, not as an application. David Taylor maintains a very nice set of instructions (link below) for this utility. It works flawlessly on my XP box. The PC clock stays dead on with what I hear from WWV. "Dead on" means that when I listen to WWV on an Icom R75 and watch the UTC Clock display, there is no perceptible offset, so the system clock stays accurate to better than perhaps a few tens of milliseconds.

NTP for Windows Setup

If you live in an area with poor internet connectivity, NTP for Windows has the ability to synchronize the system clock to a local GPSDO having a 1 PPS output. You will need the appropriate GPS hardware for this. There are many available. My observatory has been running the one shown at the link below for a few years and it works flawlessly.

GpsNtp-Pi Network Time Server

Other Clock Displays

Here are some other clock displays for the Windows desktop.

Sidereal Clock from Radio Sky Publishing; a great clock that includes a gazillion features

Alpha Clock from Irnis, a rather nice little app

Dave Typinski, 2016