The Best Time Synchronization for Windows

The best way to synchronize the time of your Windows based PC is not a third party add-on. It is to use the capabilities built into Windows 10.

I have read numerous threads in amateur radio forums about time synchronization for digital modes such as FT8 and FT4. These usually turn into long threads recommending this or that third party solution. None of them are needed.

Here is the solution that I use. It requires only Windows 10.

Open a Windows 10 command prompt as administrator and run the following commands. These stop time synchronization and resets the service to some defaults settings.

net stop w32time
w32tm /unregister
w32tm /register

Next, run regedit. Carefully make the following changes.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\Config\MinPollInterval
     Set to 10 decimal

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\Config\MaxPollInterval
     Set to 15 decimal

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\Parameters\NtpServer
     Set to time.windows.com,0x9
     If you have a different server you want to use feel free to do so

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\TimeProviders\NtpClient\SpecialPollInterval
     Set to 1800 decimal
     This will update the time every 30 minutes
     You may have to create this key

If your computer is not attached to a domain (normally the case for non-workplace computers), make sure that time synchronization is automatically triggered when your computer is on the network.

sc triggerinfo w32time start/networkon stop/networkoff

Finally, restart time synchronization.

net start w32time

This restarts the time synchronization process. Your time will be synchronized to the ntp server that you specify every 30 minutes.

You can check your work with the following command:

w32tm /query /peers

The output will show that you are synchronized and to what server. I run a local GPS time source. This is what my output looks like:

Peer: ntp.private,0x9
State: Active
Time Remaining: 0.0000000s
Mode: 3 (Client)
Stratum: 0 (unspecified)
PeerPoll Interval: 0 (unspecified)
HostPoll Interval: 10 (1024s)

Peer: ntp.private,0x9
State: Active
Time Remaining: 1784.6442139s
Mode: 3 (Client)
Stratum: 1 (primary reference - syncd by radio clock)
PeerPoll Interval: 17 (out of valid range)
HostPoll Interval: 10 (1024s)

73 de K2IE

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