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Engineering parameters Time-Signal- Generator - ZZG6

The Time Signal Generator ZZG6 is HKW’s first signal generator with an USB-interface. Of course the ZZG6 offers the well known features and setting-opportunities like its little brother “ZZG5”. It simulates different time code transmitters and includes a noise generator. The generated time signal can be broadcasted via a connected antenna or it can be connected directly to the “unit under test”. But, based on the USB-interface the ZZG6 now allows additional, totally new and very useful features like:

The ZZG6 can be connected to any computer with USB-interface.
Installing the supplied user software, called “TX-Monitor” and attached to the ZZG6-unit, the signal generator can be totally remote controlled by the connected PC. Via its special operation window onto the PC-monitor the user-software allows to make all settings for the ZZG6 operation mode as well as for all characteristic parameters of the generated time code. Set values of ZZG6-parameters and the generated time-signal (output-signal) can be visualized on the PC-monitor.
It represents a very useful tool for each software-engineer working on RC time pieces and it is very easy to operate.
Updates of the ZZG6-firmware can be easily made by use of the USB-interface without additional Flash-Programming Tools.
In a future step the combination of PC and ZZG6 will allow the preparation of fully automated test-procedures during the development or production of radio controlled watches and/or clocks.



Generation of time code protocols DCF77, HBG, MSF, WWVB and JJY (40kHz and 60kHz)
Possibility to connect different types of transmitting antennas in order to broadcast the simulated time signal with a defined field strength.
Possibility to feed the simulated time signal directly into the D.U.T. (device under test)Creation of exact defined time signals for measuring purposes and quality inspection Support of software development for RC- watches, -clocks and any other time piece application
Creation of highly exact frequencies
Execution of PC-controlled test-routines


Mains operated equipment with 50 Ohm output for time signal
Back-up function with continuous clock in switched OFF condition, settings remain unchanged
USB-interface for PC-connection
Functional operation and parameter setting can be controlled by PC
Very easy firmware-update by software-download via USB-interface
Operation / Display
a) by use of 5 buttons and a two-lined, illuminated display (24 characters each) on the ZZG6-unit itself, or
b) by PC with installed user-software “TX-Monitor”
Simple adjustment / setting of time, date, simulated transmitting station,output voltage, time code parameters
Once the value of an antenna factor is set, the adjustment/indication of output signal level can be done as output-voltage (V; dBV or dBV) or as field strength (V/m; dBV/m or dBV/m)
Fine tuning of time in 100ms, 10ms and 1ms steps
Automatic calculation of the “day-of-the-week”
Automatic switch to DST (and back) for DCF, HBG, MSF and WWVB in ZZG6-switched ON condition
Separate menu for each time signal for the adjustment / input of special protocol bits
All bits (including 2nd bit level for MSF, marker bits for WWVB and JJY) are changeable
Possibility of flexible change of carrier frequency, modulation and pulse length
Noise generator included; Creation of narrow-band-noise.
Possibility to switch OFF the modulation and/or the carrier frequency, independent to each other
Fine tuning of time pulse and frequency between –99.9ppm and +99.9ppm
Additional output for modulation signal (second pulse)
Possibility to connect a GPS receiver for time- and/or seconds synchronisation Automatic adjustment is executed when a GPS receiver is connected
User software “TX-Monitor” attached to the unit for Windows based operation systems: Win98 SE and newer
Library of practical approved parameter settings for ZZG6, reflecting typical field-test conditions for time-piece applications, will be prepared in a future step by HKW. They can be downloaded from the HKW-web-site and used for ZZG6-settings.

 3. Technical data :
(values refered to ambient temperature: 23C




Operating temperature





not condensing

Output voltage

1.00V - 9.99V eff.

at an output impedance = 50 Ohm;

adjustable in 7 decades, 3 digits resolution each

Deviation of output voltage incomparison with the displayed value

2.5 %

5 %

for ranges 10V - 9.99 V

for ranges1V - 9.99V

Adjustment (level reduction) of output voltage via time signal

0% - 99%of carrier amplitude

adjustable in 1% steps

Adjustment of narrow band noise

(band width = 25Hz)

0% - 99%of carrier amplitude

adjustable in 1% steps


10 kHz - 99.99999 kHz

adjustable in steps of 0.01Hz,with guaranteed accuracy of output voltage


0 Hz-999.99999 kHz

adjustable in steps of 0.01Hz,

without guaranteed accuracy of output voltage, frequency limits (-3dB) at 10Hz and 900kHz

Time pulse and frequency deviations

0.5 ppmequals

43 ms/day


Time pulse and frequency deviations

short term operation: 0.1ppm

over 1 day and > 1day:0 ppm

with connected and receiving GPS receiver; measured after a GPS operation of at least 30 minutes

Accuracy of the length of modulation pulses

75 s


Accuracy of the leading edge of SECOND-pulses

75 s

GPS operation; refered to the leading edge of seconds of UTC-time

Time pulse and frequency change


adjustable in 0.1ppm steps

Data memory time of backup battery

5 years

OFF time durations >2days

considered only

Field strength

lower limit:

1V/m(or another field strength, created at an output voltage of 1V, if the resulting value is higher)

upper limit:

9.99V/m(or another field strength, created at an output voltage of 9.99V, if the resulting value is lower)

from 1 abbreviating antenna factor

4TX-Monitor – the ZZG6 user software


The ZZG6 is offered with a user software “TX-Monitor” running on Windows-related operation systems Win98 SE or newer. Once the software is installed and started on the corresponding host-computer the operation of the connected signal generator can be completely remote-controlled, using the USB-interface of ZZG6. This possibility simplifies the use and operation of this powerful tool.

The main control window of user-software “TX-Monitor” is shown in figure 1.

It allows:

Remote control of the functional operation and parameter setting of ZZG6 via PC.

Target values can be set and confirmed in the operation menu and immediately the modifications can be followed up in the ZZG6-display.

Visualization of currently set operation parameters of the ZZG6 and of the generated time signal.

4.1Main control buttons

DCF77:Selection of time signal to be generated.
The name of selected time signal becomes displayed in this button. All other parameters shown in the operation window refer to the selected time signal and to corresponding ZZG6-parameters. Figure 1 shows settings for selected time signal “DCF77”.

Defaults:Returns the ZZG6 settings to standard values of the selected time signal.
Once standard values of the time signal parameters (like pulse length, content of special bits, etc.) were temporary changed, then the existence of such modifications are indicated by symbol “!” in the ZZG6-display. Using button “Defaults” is the easiest way to reset all parameters to their default values.

XCH:Activates and opens the XCH-mask window for the selected time code signal
The XCH-mask allows access to each bit in all available bit-levels of the selected time code. Every protocol bit can be set to a pre-defined logical value. The actual transmitted bit-information can be followed up second by second. The transmitted information, as result of the bit-settings, is displayed accordingly.
This feature is very useful to test the accuracy and capability of a developed time signal decoding software. Figure 2 shows the XCH - Mask for DCF77.
Tools:Activates and opens the “Special Tools” window (figure 3)
By this way it becomes possible to update the ZZG6-firmware or to reset the ZZG6 to its default values.
Close:Closes the “TX-Monitor” window.

4.2 Output signal monitoring

A simplified, rectangle wave-form allows to follow up the generated time signal. Continuosely are shown the generated pulse-lengths second by second, synchronized to the flashing, green LED-marker in the upper right corner.


4.3Time/Date - settings

Setting of time and/or date information.
Date information can be manually edited or selected out of a calendar.
The starting edge of each second can be moved with +/- tolerances around its original correct starting point.

4.4RF Level - settings

Setting of level-value and value-unit for the generated output-signal.
Setting of the antenna-factor (if available).
Setting of modulation depth (level drop) and of noise-level (parameter of integrated noise-generator).

4.5Special bits and time zone - settings

Setting of DST-specification and of special protocoll bits for all different time signals.


4.6 GPS – settings and status monitoring

Once a GPS-receiver is connected to the ZZG6 for time- and/or seconds synchronisation, the status of ZZG6-synchronisation is visualized.
The accuracy level for synchronisation can be set.

4.7 Frequency and Main Clock Adjustment

The default carrier frequency of selected time code signal can be modified within +/- tolerances.
User can set a time-drift of ZZG6-internal reference clock (Main Clock Adjustment) in order to allow the verification of software-routines for automatical accuracy control implemented in RC-time piece applications.Once a GPS-receiver is connected and “Sync msec”is activated, then the accuracy of ZZG6-clock is automatically kept on a max. allowed tolerance of about 0.1ppm.

4.8 Output Pulse - settings

The default values of pulse lengths defined for the selelcted time code signal can be modified within +/- tolerances.

Figure 1:
Main Control Window of TX-Monitor software

Figure 2:XCH - Mask for DCF77 Time Data

Figure 3:
Special Tools” window


5 Dimensions, weight and other characteristics
Dimensions:B = 305mm; H = 95.5mm; T = 160mm (ZZG6 - main unit , w/o accessories)
Weight: 2.5kg  (including AC/DC adapter and USB-interface connector; w/o packaging)
Colour:silver / grey

Equipment:ZZG6 - main unit using a metal case with adequate HF-shielding properties;
AC/DC adapter with an EURO-plug (detachable); other plugs attached for: UK, USA, WE;
USB-interface cable(grey, 2m long)
User manual
USB-interface:placed on the rear side of ZZG6