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NIST Direct Dial
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Direct Modem Connection

ClockWatch can call the NIST directly over the phone lines using an external or internal modem.  Instead of connecting to a timeserver over the Internet, the NIST is dialed directly with your computer's modem, the time signal is synchronized, and the time setting is made.

Use the direct modem connection option when Internet service is unavailable or otherwise undesirable. Direct modem connection is an option with ClockWatch Pro and ClockWatch Server, but is not available in ClockWatch Client or ClockWatch Basic.

Steps to use the direct modem connection

  1. Have a modem (internal or external) connected to a serial port.  The modem must first be installed under Windows.
  2. Select the communications port used for the modem on the direct modem connection form.
  3. Check the "direct modem connection" server type.
  4. Modify the phone number or dialing prefix if you can’t dial long distance numbers directly (or you happen to be in the same area code as the NIST).
  5. Test the connection by pressing the "Set Time" button on the main form.
  6. If the modem has a speaker, listen for the modem to go off hook, get a dial tone, and dial the number. Then listen for the NIST modem to answer the call and establish a connection between the two modems.

Configuration Options

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Direct Modem Connection Configuration Options


Serial Port Settings

Modem Port
Select the COM port of the modem you are dialing out with. This is the number of the serial port where the internal or external modem is attached.

Baud Rate
Enter the baud rate as a number. The modems at the NIST handle normal modem speeds from 300 to 9600 baud.


Modem Command Strings

Attention String
Enter the modem command string for initializing the modem. This string is used to prepare the modem to call out and precedes the dialing of the phone number. The direct connection procedure in ClockWatch expects that the modem respond with OK after each modem command is issued.

Dial String
Enter the modem command string to dial out.

Hang-up String
Enter the modem command string to hang-up the modem after communication is finished.

Hint: You can use a terminal program such as HyperTerminal (a standard Windows accessory) to verify the modem is installed properly and the commands sent to the modem are correct. Configure HyperTerminal to open the same com port the modem is using (but not the modem itself) and type in the same command strings that are used to see if the modem responds.

NIST Telephone Number

Dial Prefix
Enter the dialing prefix (if any) required to dial out. This digit is dialed before the NIST phone number. If you include commas ","  in the string, then the dialing will pause a period of time (about one second) for each comma in the string.

NIST Phone Number
Enter the phone number of the NIST ACTS modem. The default value calls the NIST in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Copyright 2007 Beagle Software. All rights reserved
Last reviewed March 19, 2008