View Full Version : The BBC has lost its pips

01-06-2011, 11:48 AM
The pips that give an accurate time signal have died!


The box that generates the pips is faulty and the backup replacement did not work; but at least Big Ben's microphone is OK.

See historical note here



02-06-2011, 02:41 PM
It'll be interesting to know how most of the readers would calibrate their clocks. I use to use the pips a long time ago when BBC World Service would broadcast all the way out into the pacific on SW, but now rely on either digital tv transmissions or a handheld gps.

02-06-2011, 03:01 PM
The silly thing is you cannot rely on the pips for an accurate time signal on digital radio: L A T E N C Y

Same with Big Ben!

Bring back time balls!!!


02-06-2011, 07:43 PM
It'll be interesting to know how most of the readers would calibrate their clocks....

Windows Internet Time Server (mshelp://)

Unlike PIPS you can manually activate a synchronization any time you want to, click on your time display on the right of your task bar.

You can synchronize your computer clock with an Internet time server. This means that the clock on your computer is updated to match the clock on the time server, which can help ensure that the clock on your computer is accurate. Your clock is typically updated once a week and needs to be connected to the Internet for the synchronization to occur.
Click the Internet Time tab, and then click Change settings. http://content.windows.microsoft.com/BetterWhenConnectedHelpWS/GetContent.aspx?assetID=18abb370-ac1e-4b6b-b663-e028a75bf05b&documentSet=en-US&Prod=WIN700&Market=US If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Select the check box next to Synchronize with an Internet time server, select a time server, and then click OK.

02-06-2011, 09:33 PM
If I want an accurate time check, that's how I do it these days.

Or, if in England rather than Cyprus, I listen to the pips on the kitchen FM radio.

03-06-2011, 09:46 AM
[B]You can synchronize your computer clock with an Internet time server.

My PC fails to do this - it invariably 'fails to synchronise' every time. 'Net connection's good. If you have any tips, I'd be grateful!

I use digital TV for my clocks twice a year at hour change.

I do think it's funny that in the whole of Broadcasting House there are only two machines that can pip!

03-06-2011, 11:29 AM
Go to your Date and Time control panel > Internet Time > Change settings > [Configure Internet time settings] Place a check mark in the 'Synchronize with an Internet time server' check box. While there you will see a: 'Server' field box.
Active the drop down menu to the right of the field box then select or manually enter one of the following internet time servers:


Click Update Now and OK.

Note: Your particular problem may more likely be due to your having chosen an inappropriate internet time server. I have provided you with four different United States time servers; for additional United States time servers go to http://tf.nist.gov/tf-cgi/servers.cgi

The USA servers may or may not work for you, if such is the case you may be better served by Googling for "UK Internet Time Servers".

EDIT: Here are two UK servers verified as working.

Use prudence if you manually update, some time servers will ban you if you update too frequently
such as less than every four hours.