How radio time code synchronisation works
The MSF and DCF carriers are interrupted every second to encode time and date information with a full time, date and status message being transmitted every minute. The length of the individual carrier breaks determine the value of the coded information and the time of transmission within each minute determines the identity of each bit.
In addition to basic time and date information a 'second level' data set is transmitted during the last few seconds of each minute to provide warning of impending seasonal time changes, summer/winter time status together with parity bits which are used as part of the validation process for each message. At the start of each minute a unique bit pattern is transmitted called the 'minute identifier'.
Due to the possibility of transient interference or reception conditions causing corruption of the transmitted code signal or a total signal loss, the clock or master clocks use the MSF or DCF transmission a