National Physical Laboratory

MSF Outages

MSF Scheduled Maintenance Periods

The MSF 60 kHz standard-frequency and time signal, broadcast by Babcock on behalf of NPL, is occasionally taken off-air to allow maintenance work on the masts and antennas at Anthorn Radio Station to be carried out in safety. This means that your radio-controlled clock will not be picking up the MSF signal, so may not be working correctly.

The dates and times of the forthcoming scheduled maintenance periods are as follows:

Annual maintenance work - signal off-air

The annual maintenance period for the Anthorn site will be from Monday 14 April to Thursday 1 May 2014 (inclusive). The MSF service will be off daily between 08:00 BST and 18:00 BST to allow maintenance to be carried out on the masts.

If there is the opportunity to be able to switch the service back on earlier than 18:00 BST, we will endeavour to do so and minimise the outage times. Similarly, if the weather is poor and no work can be carried out, the service will be restored as soon as possible.

  • 12 June 2014 from 10:00 BST to 14:00 BST
  • 11 September 2014 from 10:00 BST to 14:00 BST
  • 11 December 2014 from 10:00 UTC to 14:00 UTC
  • 12 March 2015 from 10:00 UTC to 14:00 UTC
  • 11 June 2015 from 10:00 BST to 14:00 BST
  • 10 September 2015 from 10:00 BST to 14:00 BST
  • 10 December 2015 from 10:00 UTC to 14:00 UTC

The duration of each outage period will be kept to a minimum, and the signal may be back on-air prior to the times given above.

In addition to these dates, the signal is likely to be taken off-air for a two-day period during July or August each year, remaining off-air overnight. The dates of this longer outage will be announced on this page and by e-mailed notices to registered users as soon as they are known.

If you wish to be kept informed about planned outages, please complete and submit the E-mailed Notifications of Scheduled Maintenance Periods form.

Unscheduled Breaks in the Service

Short unscheduled breaks in transmission occur occasionally in addition to the scheduled breaks for maintenance. NPL provides a recorded message service (Tel +44 20 8943 6493), which announces planned maintenance periods and, during working hours, prolonged unscheduled outages.

Find out more about the MSF Radio Time Signal

Some common problems with radio-controlled clocks


Last Updated: 10 Apr 2014
Created: 28 Jul 2010