Sonifex AVN-GMCS (IEEE-1588 PTP Grandmaster Clock with GPS Receiver)


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IEEE 1588 PTP Grandmaster Clock
with GPS Receiver

  •  PTP time synchronised clock for use with AoIP audio networks
  •  AES67/RAVENNA/AES-R16 compatible.
  •  GPS satellites received indicator.
  •  Master and slave sync modes.
  •  8ns PTPv2 time stamping resolution.
  •  Holdover drift <1ppm, with an option for <0.1ppm.
  •  AES-3id, wordclock & variable PPS outputs.
  •  Analogue master input.
  •  Dual power supply inputs.
  •  Front panel display.
  •  GPS sync and power supply present LED indicators.
  •  Real time clock for accurate date/time.
  •  Responsive design Ethernet webserver and front panel control & configuration.


Sonifex AVN-GMCS

IEEE1588 PTP Grandmaster Clock with GPS Receiver

The AVN-GMCS is a PTPv2 grandmaster clock for use with AoIP applications. IEEE1588-2008 PTPv2 (precision time protocol) is used to synchronise all the nodes within a network. To achieve this one of the nodes must become the master clock and distribute time packets to the others. The AVN-GMCS is designed to perform this role simply and accurately, enabling sub micro second synchronisation between all nodes.

RAVENNA (of which AES67 is a subset) allows for the distribution of audio across a network. For this to be possible, each of the nodes needs to be time synchronised with one another. RAVENNA uses PTP time stamping to achieve this, which distributes the network time but also works out the latency involved in the delivery and adjusts the time at each node accordingly.

Unit configuration is achieved easily either with the front panel controls or the webserver, including the setup of the PTP profiles.

Sonifex AVN-GMCS PTP Grandmaster Clock front panel

Click image to enlarge

The AVN-GMCS supports the Default (RAVENNA), Media (AES67) and AES-R16-2016 (SMPTE-ST 2059-2 & AES67 compatible) profiles and has a ‘Custom’ profile page for you to define your own.

In normal operation, the unit has PTPv2 time stamping resolution to 8nsec. It uses a combination of a GPS receiver, a PLL (phase lock loop) and a specialist on-board clock device to create the precise, low jitter clock signals required to drive the physical transceiver’s time stamping circuitry, also providing holdover if the GPS signal is lost. 

The AVN-GMCS – TCXO Temperature Compensated Oscillator is accurate to 1 part per million (worst case 1 sec gain/loss every 11.5 days).

GPS Sync

GPS presence and the number of satellites received is shown on the front panel, together with status information on output sample rates, sync type and profile type. The unit also has a screen-saver option which shows the current time.

Although designed as a grandmaster clock, a separate clock input can act as an alternative reference source to GPS which the unit can ‘slave’ to. Clock outputs, driven from the physical transceiver, can be used to provide media clocks for external equipment local to the AVN-GMC when it is in both ‘master’ and ‘slave’ states.

The clock outputs are available as a single AES-3id output and two outputs which can be selected as either word clock or variable PPS. The wordclock can operate at 32, 44.1, 48, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz. When set as a variable PPS output, the unit can act as a clock master to distribute a reference frequency to test and measurement equipment. 

Sonifex AVN-GMCS PTP Grandmaster Clock rear panel

Click image to enlarge

The unit shows UTC as standard, but can be set to show ‘local time’ on the front panel, by adding a time offset. Daylight saving time changes can be accommodated by entering Spring Forward and Fall Back dates. It has a real time clock so that accurate date and time is available even after the unit is repowered without GPS access.

Front Panel and Web Server Control

The built-in webserver, or front panel OLED display, can be used to configure the unit. The webserver is a responsive design meaning that it can be used with small screens on smartphones and tablets.

Front panel LEDs show the synchronisation status, GPS lock and the status of the AC and DC power supply inputs.

The brightness of the OLED display and LED indicators can be adjusted for low or high lighting conditions
4 general purpose outputs indicate critical states for the unit using a 9 way D-type connector mounted on the rear panel. Pull down when active pins are supplied for GPS lock status, external sync present, AC power present and DC power present.


Webserver Software

The AVN-GMC has a built-in webserver for setup and configuration. The webserver is responsive, and resizes depending on the size of your screen, meaning that it can be used on large monitors or small handheld devices such as smart-phones.

Help information is shown on the right hand side of the screen so it’s a good place to go to find out how the unit operates.

Redundant Power

The unit has a front panel power button and dual power connectors - an IEC mains input and a 12V DC input, which allows the AVN-GMCS to be used for both studio and mobile installations. Moreover this allows for a secondary power source to reduce the effect of power down events. In any case, the unit monitors the status of both power sources and displays this on the front panel. 

The unit can be put into a low-power sleep mode when not in use, with an instant start when power is re-applied. In power off situations, a super capacitor is used to keep the GPS receiver powered in a low power mode for more than 20 hours, enabling the receiver to regain lock immediately rather than having to ‘cold’ start.

Typical Applications:

Typical applications for the Sonifex AVN-GMCS include:

  • Synchronising a PTP AoIP network
  • Providing a GPS referenced signal via AES-3id
  • Providing a master wordclock studio output
  • Distributing a PPS reference frequency to T&M equipment.


Technical Specification For Sonifex AVN-GMC

Timing Specification

Profile Support: Default (RAVENNA), Media (AES67), AES-R16-2016 (SMPTE-ST 2059-2 & AES67 compatible), Custom profile
Timing Protocol: PTPv2, IEEE1588-2008
Timing Accuracy: PTP time stamping resolution 8ns
Holdover Drift:


These figures are over 24 hours at constant temperature
GPS Performance:
GPS Frequency:
50 channel GPS receiver
1575.42MHz, L1 band

Clock Specification

Input Impedance: 75Ω
Output Impedance: <75Ω
Antenna Impedance: 50Ω


Clocking Input: BNC female
Clocking Outputs: 3 x BNC female Wordclock, AES-3id @ 32, 44.1, 48, 96, 176.4 & 192kHz Variable PPS (1, 10, 100, 1000) TTL
GPS Input: SMA socket
D-Type female 9 way
Ethernet Port: RJ45 socket, 100 BASE-T
Mains AC Input: Universal filtered IEC socket, continuously rated 85-264 VAC @47-63Hz, max 10W
DC Input:
Maximum Operating Range (DC):
1 x 12V, KPJX-45 socket, positive pins 1 and 3
10.3V to 13.2V DC


Equipment Type

AVN-GMCS: Grandmaster clock for PTP systems, GPS, IP, TCXO, 1ppm, rackmount
AVN-GMCOS: Grandmaster clock for PTP systems, GPS, IP, OCXO, 0.1ppm, rackmount

Physical Specification

4.4cm (H) x 48.3cm (W) x 17.8cm (D(1U)
1.8” (H) x 19” (W) x 7” (D) (1U)
Dimensions (Boxed):

6.8cm (H) x 58.8cm (W) x 27cm (D)
2.7” (H) x 23” (W) x 10.6” (D)
Weight: Nett: 1.5kg   Gross: 2.2kg
Nett: 3.2lbs  Gross: 4.8lbs


AVN-DC-060: 60W DC power supply for AVN range with KPJX-4S plug
AVN-GPS5: GPS Receiver Antenna & Lead

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