Daytime Timeservers

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Using ClockWatch with Daytime Timeservers
ClockWatch can be used to get the time from timeservers that communicate via the Daytime time protocol (RFC-867.  The Daytime protocol communicates via TCP on port 13 and typically uses the local server time instead of UTC.

ClockWatch first requests the time string from the timeserver. Upon receiving the string back, ClockWatch translates this Daytime string to standard (UTC) time. It then checks it against the local computer system time, making corrections if necessary. The original Daytime string and the setting results are displayed in the time server window in the main ClockWatch screen.

Configure ClockWatch to work with a 'Daytime' timeserver:

To set ClockWatch to work with the Daytime time format:

  1. Open the Timeserver tab under the Options menu of ClockWatch.
  2. Set the Protocol selection  to "Daytime."
  3. Fill in the address of the Daytime server (i.e.,
  4. Set the number of hours difference between the timeserver and your computer. 

ClockWatch can then be used to synchronize with any Daytime timeserver that follows the standard Daytime conventions.

Daytime Protocol Time Setting Format

The Daytime protocol follows Internet time standard RFC-867. It is contacted via TCP on port 13. The time code is sent as ASCII characters.

Unlike the NIST timeservers, times transmitted from Daytime timeservers are typically sent in the local time where the server is located. The time string is made up by a series of English language time and date fields; fields are separated with a single space between them.

Typical Message Format received from a Daytime Protocol server, with a sample string below it:

Thu Aug 27 12:34:28      1998

DoW:  Day of the week as a three letter abbreviation for the English day of the week (i.e., Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat).

Mth:  Month as three letter abbreviation of the English month of the year (i.e., Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec).

DD:  Day of month as a two-digit day of the month.

HH:MM:SS:  The next eight values give the local time hour, minute and second separated with a colon (:).

TZ:  Optional three or four letter abbreviation for the local time zone. (i.e., CDST, CEST). ClockWatch does not use this field. Use the difference in hours field on the server option form to correct for a time server in a different time zone.

YYYY:   The current four-digit year.

The standard Windows Telnet utility can be used to check the format of a timeserver. See the page on how to use Telnet to test a connection with a timeserver.

ClockWatch version can also handle non-standard time strings.  Contact Beagle Software for information.

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Last reviewed March 19, 2008