>>> What do you mean by "jitter" and what do you really want to do?
>> I mean jitter as NTP defines jitter.  Whatever that is.
> I think you need to figure out what you want to do so you don't fool yourself.
> ntpd is a PLL.  There is a low pass filter in the control loop.  It will 
> track the low frequency wander of the source.

Gary, Hal, Leo,

My mental model of a black box computer running NTP is that I should be able to 
give it a pulse (e.g., via parallel, serial, GPIO) and it tells me what time it 
was. Use a GPSDO / Rb / picDIV to generate precise pulses. Compare the known 
time of the pulse with the time the box says it was. Repeat many times, collect 
data, look at the statistics; just as we would for any clock.

Similarly, the box should be able to give me a pulse at a known time. In this 
case it records the time it thinks the pulse went out, and your GPSDO / Rb / 
TIC makes the actual measurement. Again, collect data and look at the 
statistics; just as we would for any clock.

Imagine the black box has two BNC connectors; one accepts an input pulse to be 
timed; one outputs a pulse at certain times. This allows a complete analysis of 
NTP operation. Should be true for both client or server. If you get down to 
nanosecond levels make sure to use equal length cables.

To me this better than relying on NTP to tell you how NTP is doing, which as 
far as I can tell from live plots on the web, is all that most people do. 
Instead use real, external, physical measurement. The internal NTP stats are 
fine for tracking the performance of the PLL, but don't confuse that with 
actual timing.

So this is why I'm excited to hear Gary wants a Rb timebase and a sub-ns 
counter. Someone will finally measure NTP for real, not rely on the internal 
numbers of NTP measuring itself. Or at least I hope that's what Gary is up to.


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