National Research Council Time Signal

From Academic Kids

The National Research Council Time Signal is Canada's longest running but shortest radio programme. Heard every day since November 5, 1939 (three years and three days after the CBC's establishment), at 1:00 PM ET across the CBC Radio One network and at 12:00 PM ET across the SRC Première Chaîne radio network, it lasts as little as fifteen seconds.

The signal consists of a series of 300-ms "pips" of an 800 Hz sine wave tone between twenty and ten seconds before the hour inclusive, followed by silence, and then a one second-long 800 Hz tone to mark the top of the hour. The CBC time signal is typically delayed by about 300 ms with respect to the CHU time signal, because each CBC radio station receives the actual time signal from Ottawa by satellite.

The spoken header (the voice varies from station to station) typically reads, "Now, from Ottawa, the National Research Council time signal. The beginning of the long dash following ten seconds of silence, indicates exactly [insert local time here]."

At the top of many other hours, and at the discretion of each station, a one-second tone is carried, and the hour is not announced.

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