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 Cronobino - Binoculars with NTP synchronised clock

If you have an android smartphone with its headset, you can easily transform your binoculars into a powerful instrument for timing satellites directly during your visual observations. You just need the right application running with Internet connection and a couple of rubber bands, as shown in the following photograph:

Required devices
Fig. 1 - Photographs showing all the required elements.

To arrange your syncronized binoculars, first of all, fix the remote button of the headset to a suitable position so that you can easily press the button while observing through the binoculars. Depending on your preferences, you might find comfortable to block the button near the internal side of the primary lens as shown in the following photograph:

Fig. 2 - Photographs showing the arrangement of the remote button near the primary lens by means of two rubber bands.

When the remote button is correctly blocked in a good position, connect the headset to your smartphone keeping the second earphone accessible as shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 3 - Photographs showing the headset installed on the binoculars. The free earphone can be used to listen to the acoustic signals.

Eventually, install on your smartphone our application "Time the sat". The App is freely available on Google Play Store through your smartphone at this online web page.

You can also download the app Here

Time The Sat is sort of stop-watch that is able to synchronize the clock of your smartphone with accuracies usually better than 50 ms using NTP servers. When the user presses a key, including the one of the headset, a list reporting time and pressed key is populated as shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 4 - Screenshot of the Time-The-Sat App.

The last version of the App, available on the Google Play, provides the following features:
  • 9 preset NTP servers, located in different countries 
  • 1 custom NTP server
  • time readable by a synthesised voice
  • key release recorded for long pressures ( > 0.5 s )
  • acoustic signal (beep) generated on time save (both on key press and long key release)
  • observer coordinates automatically detected from either the phone network or GPS
  • soft keys automatically disabled when the phone is upside-down (pocket position)
  • time synchronization stored on user request
  • list of time is saved on user request (the file is saved in  /mnt/sdcard/timethesat )
  • list of time can be shared using available applications
  • list of time can be uploaded to and used within the online tracker

Photo credit: Oleg Artemyev


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