Timing & Reference

The ViaLite Timing and Reference fiber optic link has been designed to transmit accurate timing and frequency reference signals over single-mode optical fiber.  Transmission types that can be transported over the links include:

  • Radio timing signals:
    • DCF, MSF signals
  • IRIG-B
  • Loran-C & eLoran
  • 10 kHz – 50 MHz signals
  • 1 PPS (via serial digital link)
  • GPS (via GPS link)
  • MiFID II standard
  • 5-year warranty as standard

Please click here if you require Satcom timing and reference.


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Timing & Reference

Radio timing signals are produced by individual nations from an atomic clock and distributed via radio frequency.  When these timing signals are needed inside a secure building or underground, RF over fiber is used to bring the signals from a radio antenna into the equipment or equipment room.  It is now often used as a back-up for GPS.

Loran signals are typically used for cellular base station timing or older maritime timing applications, and RF over fiber is used where the signal is not available over the air.

IRIG is used for timing in test environments as a back-up timing signal for GPS.

All time servers need timing – whilst again the main input is GPS – backup is quite often a RF reference signal <50 MHz.

ViaLite is able to transport the majority of current and more traditional timing signals using its Timing and Reference signal, ViaLite GPS links or, in the case of 1 PPS, via serial digital links.


MiFID II standard

The MiFID is the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2004/39/EC).  MiFID has been in force since November 2007 and MiFID II is set to take effect from 3rd January 2018.  The directive governs the provision of investment services in financial instruments by banks and investment firms and the operation of traditional stock exchanges and alternative trading venues.  The ViaLite GPS link allows financial institutions etc. to comply with this standard.

Read about MiFID and GPS time distribution in data centers.

The Timing and Reference RF over fiber link is available in several formats:

– Single rack chassis card / Dual rack chassis card (Rx/Rx, Tx/Tx or Tx/Rx)

A fully populated 19” 3U ViaLiteHD rack chassis supports up to 26 links and accepts 13 RF cards, plus a Monitoring & Control Module and dual power supply modules.  A 1U chassis accepts three RF cards or two RF cards with a Monitoring & Control Module.

– Blue OEM Link

The ViaLite standalone Blue OEM Link offers a compact, single link solution.

– Blue2 Link

The Blue2 Link is a dual-solution OEM which can be setup as 2x transmitters, 2x receivers or a transceiver, as required.

– Yellow OEM Link

The Yellow OEM Link has been designed for system integrators and equipment manufacturers to build the link into their own designs.

– Black OEM Module

The Black OEM module covers a wide frequency range from 10 MHz to 6 GHz, has been designed with harsh environmental conditions in mind and is IP55 rated for outdoor use.

A range of support modules and accessories is also available, including indoor rack chassis units and weatherproof outdoor enclosures.

See our hardware formats guide for more information.

Specification for 0 dB gain link, Tx: -25 dB gain, Rx: +25 dB gain.

RF Performance Characteristics

 Low frequency timing reference link
Frequency range10kHz - 50MHz
Impedance, RF connector50Ω SMA
VSWR1:1.5 (typ)
Transmitter (Tx) gain, default-25 +/- 0.5 dB (typ) a
Receiver (Rx) gain, default+25 +/- 0.5 dB (typ) a
Link gain (Tx & Rx), default+0 +/- 1.5 dB (typ) a
Tx gain adjustment range15.5 dB (typ)
Tx gain adjustment from default gain+2/-3 dB (min) d
Rx gain adjustment range15.5 dB (typ)
Rx gain adjustment from default gain+/- 3 dB (min) d
Flatness, full band±0.2dB (typ) a h
Gain stability0.25 @ 24hrs dB (typ)
P1dB input10dBm (typ) a k
IP3 input 22dBm (typ) a k h
Noise figure 32dB (typ) a k h
SFDR109dB/Hz⅔ (typ) a
Maximum input power20dBm (min)

a nominal input power @ 0dB optical loss
d guaranteed minimum adjustment from default gain
h default gain setting
k Measured @ 10MHz


Optical Performance Characteristics

 Low frequency timing reference link
Laser typeDistributed feedback (DFB) laser
Optical wavelength1310nm ± 20nm (1550nm/CWDM options)
Optical power output4.5dBm (nominal)


Temperature Characteristics

 Low frequency timing reference link
Operating temperature range-20 °C to +60 °C e
Storage temperature-40 °C to +70 °C

e Datasheet parameters based on temperature range -10 °C to +50 °C, refer to user manual for performance parameters at -20 °C to +60 °C.


Transmitter, Low Frequency Timing 10 kHz-50 MHz, 50 Ohm SMA, Singlemode SC/APC, Rack plug-in module, Wavelength 1310 nm

Receiver, Low Frequency Timing 10 kHz-50 MHz, 50 Ohm SMA, Singlemode SC/APC, Rack plug-in module

ViaLite Timing and Reference Link Datasheet  (version HRx-Tx-DS-3)
Blue2 Link 9-Way Datasheet  (version HRx-xx-xQZ-2)
Blue2 Link 15-Way Datasheet  (version HRx-xx-xP-W-3)
Blue OEM Datasheet  (version HRx-xx-xM-DS-4)
Yellow OEM Datasheet  (version HRx-xx-xN-DS-2)
ViaLiteHD RF Link Handbook  (version HRx-HB-9)

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