GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations? - NTP

This is a discussion on GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations? - NTP ; I could really use some advise. I need to deploy several stratum-1 servers across our national backbone network to support one-way latency measurements. We can get an L1 GPS antenna feed from the telco provider - but have very limited ...

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Thread: GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations?

  1. GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations?

    I could really use some advise.

    I need to deploy several stratum-1 servers across our national backbone network
    to support one-way latency measurements. We can get an L1 GPS antenna feed from
    the telco provider - but have very limited access to other timing methods. (CDMA
    signals are too weak and unreliable.)

    Due to telco-pop issues (limited space/power/hands on), we think it would work
    best if we can get PCI-X or PCI-Express solution. (I'm open to an external GPS
    connected via serial/PPS - but a PCI card would be more convenient given the PC
    hardware configuration.)

    I would like to use FreeBSD as well.

    The bc637PCI-U looks interesting - but the refclock driver patch has not been
    integrated into even the last development version of ntp. (And with this many
    systems - we really want to minimize locally applied patches to any of the
    software.)

    The Meinberg GPS169PCI also looked interesting, but I have not yet been able to
    determine if it would be supported on FreeBSD.

    Thanks,
    jeff

  2. Re: GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations?

    > We can get an L1 GPS antenna feed from the telco provider -
    > but have very limited access to other timing methods. (CDMA
    > signals are too weak and unreliable.)


    That's an interesting idea I hadn't thought about. How common
    is it?

    Maybe you could ask the telco what other customers are using?
    If this is a common problem, we should probably add a note
    the the wiki.

    --
    The suespammers.org mail server is located in California. So are all my
    other mailboxes. Please do not send unsolicited bulk e-mail or unsolicited
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  3. Re: GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations?

    >>> In article <12es59r9efr665@corp.supernews.com>, "Jeff W. Boote" writes:

    Jeff> The bc637PCI-U looks interesting - but the refclock driver patch has
    Jeff> not been integrated into even the last development version of
    Jeff> ntp. (And with this many systems - we really want to minimize locally
    Jeff> applied patches to any of the software.)

    Oh, I see it now, http://ntp.isc.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=421 .

    I'll check with Rob and see if it's ready to go.

    Jeff> The Meinberg GPS169PCI also looked interesting, but I have not yet
    Jeff> been able to determine if it would be supported on FreeBSD.

    If Meinberg is not in a position to test this themselves and we can get a
    card, I have FreeBSD machine where a developer can test it.

    H

  4. Re: GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations?

    Harlan Stenn wrote:

    >>>> In article <12es59r9efr665@corp.supernews.com>, "Jeff W. Boote"
    >>>> writes:

    >
    > Jeff> The bc637PCI-U looks interesting - but the refclock driver patch has
    > Jeff> not been integrated into even the last development version of
    > Jeff> ntp. (And with this many systems - we really want to minimize
    > locally Jeff> applied patches to any of the software.)
    >
    > Oh, I see it now, http://ntp.isc.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=421 .
    >
    > I'll check with Rob and see if it's ready to go.
    >
    > Jeff> The Meinberg GPS169PCI also looked interesting, but I have not yet
    > Jeff> been able to determine if it would be supported on FreeBSD.
    >
    > If Meinberg is not in a position to test this themselves and we can get a
    > card, I have FreeBSD machine where a developer can test it.


    Unfortunately we have not yet a driver for FreeBSD. However, the driver
    source code is separated into a library which supports a bunch of operating
    systems, and an OS-dependent part which contains a driver skeleton as
    required by the OS and then makes calls to the library functions.

    This is how it works for Linux, and the Linux driver is available as source
    code on our download page:
    http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/index.htm#linux

    I'm the maintainer of that driver and library, but I don't have any
    experience with FreeBSD drivers, yet. What would be required is just a
    skeleton for a FreeBSD kernel driver which scans the PCI bus (if FreeBSD is
    non-PNP) or implements a PCI card initialization function (if FreeBSD is
    plug-n-play; our driver library supports both methods). The driver must
    also implement an interrupt service function, and a couple of IOCTL
    handlers.

    If anyone is interested to provide such a driver skeleton I'd be happy to
    merge it with the library code to get a full-featured driver.

    BTW, the current model of our GPS PCI card is GPS170PCI:
    http://www.meinberg.de/english/products/gps170pci.htm

    The GPS170PCI implements the same features as the older cards, but has a
    newer microcontroller on board and provides programmable pulse outputs.

    Martin
    --
    Martin Burnicki

    Meinberg Funkuhren
    Bad Pyrmont
    Germany

  5. Re: GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations?

    Hal Murray wrote:
    >>We can get an L1 GPS antenna feed from the telco provider -
    >>but have very limited access to other timing methods. (CDMA
    >>signals are too weak and unreliable.)

    >
    >
    > That's an interesting idea I hadn't thought about. How common
    > is it?
    >
    > Maybe you could ask the telco what other customers are using?
    > If this is a common problem, we should probably add a note
    > the the wiki.


    Well - it is not common enough for them to have a standard response to the
    request. I would be willing to contribute something there once I find
    something that works.

    I appreciate very much that it looks like the two potential solutions I saw
    might be available soon.

    I'm also curious if anyone out there is currently using a PCI GPS solution on
    FreeBSD? What are the currently working solutions?

    Thanks,
    jeff

  6. Re: GPS PCI-Express for FreeBSD recommendations?

    It looks like if we can find somebody who is familiar with FreeBSD PCI
    drivers that we could quickly get something going with the Meinberg PCI card
    as well.

    If somebody can volunteer to take this on, please get in touch with me
    and/or Martin and let's get this done!

    H

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