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    GPS as a time authority
    From: J Parsons
    Date: 2009 Sep 14, 09:05 -0700

    I think this has been dicussed before, but I'd like to be refreshed on the list's opinion:
    While assisting the Race Committee at a regatta this weekend, I heard the 
    timekeepers say that they were using "GPS time."  I noted that my $79 
    wristwatch, which I check monthly against the US Bureau of Standards atomic 
    clock (ph: 303-499-7111) and which doesn't lose a second per month, was 8 
    seconds ahead of the Committee's time.
    I later checked the time shown on my hand-held Gartmin GPS receiver, and it 
    agreed with my watch.  The watch was also still in sync with the Bureau's 
    atomic clock.
    Question:  Is the time displayed by GPS receivers considered a reliable and 
    spot-on source, up to the requirements of accurate celnav?  I would think 
    that it would be, since the GPS network depends on accurate tracking of the 
    satellites' position at a given time, yet there was that 8-second 
    discrepancy.  Perhaps the Race Committee were simply careless about setting 
    theior clockby GPS.
    Any thoughts, List Members?
    -John Parsons
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