[time-nuts] Time stamping

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Mon Mar 2 17:55:12 UTC 2009

> I'm currently writing a little utility to measure frequency and store it 
> to a file, simple stuff and its only for me so my question has little 
> importance in the great scheme of things... but..
> If I measure a frequency with my counter using a ten second gate time. 
> Is it convention to time stamp the beginning, middle or end of this period?
> Regards Paul

If you had a choice time stamp the instantaneous *phase* and skip
*frequency* altogether. This solves all your problems. Not only do
you get an unambiguous time stamp but you can also accurately
compute frequency for averaging times that are 10 or a multiple
of 10 seconds, now or anytime later from the log.

Second choice, if you have to log frequency only, include the
averaging time from which the frequency was calculated.

Third choice, use the end of the averaging period and let the
user infer the averaging time based on the previous entry in
the log file.


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