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How to set up SCADAPack E Series to use NTP ?

The purpose of this article is to clarify the NTP setup process in E-Series controllers as the reference manual can be confusing

First thing is to understand what is required

There is no setup in the configuration software for NTP so what is required is an ntp.conf file. 

  • The file is a plain text file, you can simply create a new txt file on your computer and rename it to ntp.conf
  • The contents of the file, explained below, are nothing more then a listing of a couple configuration parameters. It tells the RTU what servers to connect to for time, where to store clock drift information and what file to use as a log file
  • The file resides on the root of the RTU file system, so if you log in from a terminal it should be on c:\
  • The file needs to be manually uploaded to the RTU
  • The file is only loaded at startup of the RTU, so if changes are made or on the first upload, RTU needs to be restarted
Next the contents of the file need to be entered
  • There are typically three unique entries in the ntp.conf file
    • server x.x.x.x
      • There can be multiple of these
      • These setting point the RTU to actual NTP servers
      • Must be an IP address not DNS name
      • One of the entries may be followed by a word "prefer" which tells the RTU to try to always use this server
    • driftfile xxxxx
      • This is a file name which the RTU will store CPU drift information in
      • You do not need to create this file or do anything with it
      • It is used to speed up the clock sync if the RTU is reset
    • logfile xxxxx
      • File name which the RTU will create and store log info in
Below is a sample file:

server prefer
driftfile ntp.drift
logfile ntplog.txt

Lastly is the configuration in the configurator

The NTP Network Time service must be enabled

NOTE: NTP relies on TCP/IP to work so the appropriate network access and settings must be set to allow the RTU to communicate with whatever NTP server that is specified

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