Front perspective of the FL TIMESERVER industrial time server

Time server for Ethernet networks Determine time and geolocation via Ethernet

The FL TIMESERVER NTP industrial time server makes time information available in the Ethernet network via NTP protocol. The time is received via GPS, Galileo, or GLONASS signals independently of other NTP services and also without an Internet connection. The IP68 housing with integrated antenna is suitable for outdoor installation. This eliminates the need to purchase and mount an external GNSS antenna.

Your advantages

  • Time synchronization of Ethernet devices in a network via NTP protocol
  • Precise location information via NMEA, SNMP, or web-based management
  • Date, time, and position data without internet access for more security
  • Outdoor housing with integrated antenna for direct mounting outdoors
  • Data transmission and device supply via a single Ethernet cable (Power-over-Ethernet)
NTP time server with GNSS receiver
Precise time synchronization for remote control applications YouTube

Time servers for industrial applications Always the right time in your network

The robust time server is used in networks without Internet access or as a fallback time server in the event that the Internet connection is lost. The device has a waterproof outdoor housing with integrated antenna.

The time server receives the GPS, Galileo, or GLONASS signals and provides the time in the network via NTP and, if necessary, also the geolocation data via NMEA to each network device. Power is supplied conveniently via Power over Ethernet or 24 V DC.

The time server is configured via a web-based management system. As soon as valid GNSS signals are received and a Satfix exists, this is indicated via the LOCK LED on the device as well as in the web-based management system. The connection status and device information are retrieved via SNMP.

Schematic drawing of the time server functionality

Industrial time server fields of application

Time synchronization

The FL TIMESERVER NTP from Phoenix Contact is an alternative to Internet-based time services and public NTP servers. In Ethernet networks, it is becoming ever more important that all devices have an accurate, synchronized system time. With this, the times of all decentral activities within the network are documented with a high degree of accuracy. A sequence of events can only be analyzed if all of the devices display exactly the same time.

Examples include log files in network devices, camera images with image or time mapping, and remote control protocols in accordance with IEC 60870-5-104 or DNP3 that use time stamps.

The FL TIMESERVER NTP provides precise time synchronization for Ethernet devices in a network via the NTP protocol. This function does not require Internet access, which increases security in the network.

Road in the city

Geolocation via NTP protocol in the transport sector


The FL TIMESERVER NTP provides accurate geolocation information (GPS coordinates). This information can be used for determining the exact location,
for example for containers, mobile machinery, construction machinery, vehicles, and mobile buildings. Precise position determination via web-based management, SNMP, NMEA, or JSON streaming.

Time hierarchy levels in the network (stratum)

Time hierarchy levels in the network (stratum)

Accuracy of time distribution via NTP

The time distribution via NTP is hierarchically structured into what are referred to as strata. Stratum 0 represents the highest level of the hierarchy, acting as a time source. These can be, for example, stationary atomic clocks from which the DCF-77 wireless signal also receives the time, or atomic clocks in the GNSS satellites.

The FL TIMESERVER NTP is positioned in stratum 1 due to its GNSS receiver. Stratum 1 includes the devices connected directly to a time source which have the most accurate time in the network and which pass it on as NTP time servers to other devices. All subsequent strata have no direct connection to a time source and use the time information from stratum 1.

FAQ: The correct time – time scales and their determination

Which time is actually the correct one? And what does it depend on: the speed at which the Earth rotates or the constant rate at which the atoms change their energy states? The truth – at least the man-made truth – lies in the middle. The three key time scales are international atomic time (TAI), universal time (UT), and coordinated universal time (UTC). While the TAI is the mean value of the time of several hundred atomic clocks, the UT is the result of astronomical observations and measurements.

The latter are taken at the prime meridian passing through Greenwich – not to be confused with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Due to fluctuations, UT and TAI are drifting further and further apart. In addition, the Earth is not just slowing down steadily on average, but it also “wobbles” and rotates at different speeds. Therefore, the rotational speed is checked continuously, and if the difference is more than 0.9 s, a leap second is added. This results in the coordinated universal time UTC, which has functioned as the internationally valid time since 1972 and is practically the basis for our modern society.

FL TIMESERVER at a glance

NTP time server with GNSS receiver
NTP time server with GNSS receiver

Temperature range -40°C … +70°C
Housing IP68 with integrated antenna
Supply 10 V DC ... 30 V DC or Power over Ethernet
Supported navigation satellite systems GPS, Galileo, GLONASS (automatic switching)
Ethernet 1 x RJ45 (10/100/1,000 Mbps)
Item number 1107132
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