Wednesday, 5 February 2020

don’t crash the pips

On the day in 1924 and broadcast on a daily basis since, the BBC first introduced the Greenwich Time Signal (previously) to play in and precisely mark the top of the hour.
First generated by breaking an electric circuit with the swinging pendulum of mechanical clock tolling the official time at the Royal Observatory before graduating to an electronic clock and eventually atomic calibration and production in house since 1990. The signal accounts for leap seconds by including a seventh tone, usually inserted just before the stroke of midnight. Due to inherent time lag in digital broadcasting (buffering), the signal is slipping in terms of accuracy when it comes to synchronization.