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Code PE085 from SNTP sensor on TimeNet Pro GPS clock

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I have looked through several other posts on this topic, but all were at least a year old, if not much older, and none had replies with effective suggestions.

In the instant case, I have a Veracity TimeNet Pro GPS Clock server being used to serve NTP time to IoT devices.

The PING sensor for the device works without issue, and it is up and accurately serving time to both IoT devices as well as Windows servers.

However, I continually get an error on the SNTP sensor that reads "The server did not return a valid time (code: PE085)".

When I look at the management page for the device, there are no current leap second warnings, so I'm unsure what could be throwing PRTG off. Unfortunately, installation and use of WireShark here is prohibited for a number of reasons, including security requirements at the customer site we've configured this for, as well as some issues we've seen in the past when installing WireShark on a probe device (which is the only route of remote access we have to this facility, which, I should also note, is a nearly 3 hour drive from my office), not to mention the fact that the NTP server itself is a hardened, access limited, purpose-built device, and not something running Windows or Linux that I could run Wireshark on/from directly.

I'm hoping maybe there's some more institutional knowledge available gained in the last few years since the previous posts I've read, and that someone may be able to offer some other advice other than "Wireshark", which is impractical here.

error prtg sntp

Created on Jun 15, 2018 8:14:07 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1



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Are these errors intermittently? What interval are you using for the sensor?


Kind regards,
Stephan Linke, Tech Support Team

Created on Jun 18, 2018 6:44:20 PM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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Hello Stephan,

Error is continuous, and never resolves - 100% downtime.

Current interval is the system default, 5 minutes, with a 60-second timeout on the channel config.

Tschus,

C.J.

Created on Jun 18, 2018 8:07:58 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1



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Then WireShark would be the only option to see if the NTP packets are conform. Maybe the vendor can provide the information, so that we don't need a wireshark trace?


Kind regards,
Stephan Linke, Tech Support Team

Created on Jun 19, 2018 1:00:08 PM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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As an update, and for what it's worth, PRTG is currently displaying no error message for the SNTP sensor at all, just reporting "Down". The device is definitely up, however, and responding to PING as expected.

I am looking to either see if I can acquire another device to test locally with Wireshark, or, failing that, will open an inquiry with Veracity, the makers of the device, to see if they can provide any insight.

Still, however, given that the device is properly serving up time to IP Cameras, which are not known for being the "smartest" devices in the world, nor for their tolerance of anything not conforming to expected standards, I have a hard time believing the data from the GPS clock is anything other than as specified in RFC5905. The device is a purpose-built GPS-based NTP server, not some random, kludged together application running on a linux or Windows box.

Created on Jun 19, 2018 7:21:52 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1



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I'm totally with you here. It might also be possible that additional fields are causing PRTG to trip. Could you provide me with the output of the following PowerShell command (in an elevated shell):

[pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $timesync | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync

We could use this as a starting point for a custom query for the appliance :)


Kind regards,
Stephan Linke, Tech Support Team

Created on Jun 20, 2018 7:16:46 AM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]

Last change on Jun 25, 2018 7:02:09 AM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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Stephan,

Thanks for your help, however I think I must be doing something wrong?

Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'Name' because it is an empty string.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:147
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name <<<<  ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorEmptyStringNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'InputObject' because it is null.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:116
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member <<<<  -MemberType NoteProperty -Name ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 
Add-Member : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'Name' because it is an empty string.
At C:\Users\TechOp\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1:1 char:147
+ [pscustomobject]$timesync = New-Object -TypeName PSObject; (w32tm /query /status /verbose) | % { $test | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name <<<<  ($_ -split ": ")[0] -Value (($_ -split ": ")[1] -replace "[^0-9$.,]");  }; $timesync
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Add-Member], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorEmptyStringNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.AddMemberCommand
 

For reference, I originally ran just the command and got this same output. In order to be able to copy the entire error output, I saved it as a .ps1 and ran it as

.\PRTG_SNTP_test.ps1 2>&1 | tee -filePath C:\users\TechOp\ps_errors.txt

This is a stripped-down and hardened Win7 install on this dedicated probe, and I ran standard PowerShell (not x86 or ISE) as an Administrator. Please let me know if I'm missing something, in the meantime I am awaiting a response from Veracity on my inquiry to them.

Thank you!

C.J.

Created on Jun 20, 2018 1:47:41 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1



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Hi there,

Unfortunately, Stephan is currently not available (till Monday). I will re-assign the case to him and he will pick it up on Monday.

best regards.

Created on Jun 21, 2018 9:10:06 AM by  Dariusz Gorka [Paessler Support]



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Thank you Dariusz.

As an update, one of Veracity's engineers stood up a PRTG instance in-house and tested their device with it and reported that they had no issues. I now have to suspect my network configuration, I suppose, and its starting to look like I might not have much choice but to find a way to Wireshark it, unfortunately. I'll examine my options and update again ASAP. In the meantime, any further suggestions or advice Stephan might have is still appreciated.

Cheers,

C.J.

Created on Jun 21, 2018 2:13:49 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1



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Hi CJ,

Thanks for the revert. Nice to hear that the vendor walked the extra mile here.

There were indeed two typos within my code. Please check the post again, I've updated it. Could you provide me with the output? Is there anything between the Timenet appliance and PRTG that does deep packet inspection or anything the like?


Kind regards,
Stephan Linke, Tech Support Team

Created on Jun 25, 2018 7:05:30 AM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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Thanks for the help Stephan!

Afraid I got two more errors this time, but I did get some data back:

Leap Indicator                 : 361
Stratum                        : 0
Precision                      : 615.625
Root Delay                     : 0.0000000
Root Dispersion                : 0.0000000
ReferenceId                    : 000000000
Last Successful Sync Time      : 
Source                         : 
Poll Interval                  : 101024
Phase Offset                   : 0.0000000
ClockRate                      : 0.0156001
State Machine                  : 0
Time Source Flags              : 0
Server Role                    : 0
Last Sync Error                : 1.
Time since Last Good Sync Time : 35450.2968112

Hope this helps! If you'd rather move this to a regular support ticket, do let me know, along with anything else I can do to assist.

Thank you very kindly,

C.J.

Created on Jun 25, 2018 2:53:50 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1

Last change on Jun 25, 2018 6:05:43 PM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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FWIW, I opened the Veracity TimeNet Service tool on the local machine and ran its internal diagnostics, and this is what it returns (just in case its of any help):

     remote           refid      st t when poll reach   delay   offset  jitter
==============================================================================
*10.1.1.238      .PPS.            1 u  616 1024   37    0.741   -9.418   1.983
 
associd=0 status=0618 leap_none, sync_ntp, 1 event, no_sys_peer,
version="ntpd [email protected] Sep 14 16:31:24.94 (UTC+01:00) 2016  (8)",
processor="x86-SSE2", system="Windows", leap=00, stratum=2,
precision=-21, rootdelay=0.741, rootdisp=1182.560, refid=10.1.1.238,
reftime=dedb8f04.54b71400  Mon, Jun 25 2018 11:55:48.330,
clock=dedb95a6.ca78ec15  Mon, Jun 25 2018 12:24:06.790, peer=2776, tc=10,
mintc=3, offset=-9.417846, frequency=-3.735, sys_jitter=0.000000,
clk_jitter=2.447, clk_wander=0.023, ctr_frequency=-101.88

Created on Jun 25, 2018 4:25:40 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1



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Ticket would be great. Would it be possible for you to place another remote probe more "close" to the NTP server, i.e. attach it to the same switch to make sure it's not a network issue?


Kind regards,
Stephan Linke, Tech Support Team

Created on Jun 25, 2018 8:07:46 PM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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Stephan,

Sorry, I just now saw this reply... not sure how I missed the email notice. I'll look at opening a ticket when I've had a chance to talk with the people who did the network configuration. Problem is, as previously mentioned, this is a site I don't have a lot of ready access to, and the system is in 24-hour use with a >99.999% uptime requirement, so it's not something I can poke around in or risk causing an outage to readily.

Otherwise, as far as I know it, the NTP server is indeed directly connected to the same switch as the probe, given that I believe they are both located in the same rack.

Thank you once again very sincerely for your time and assistance, but until I can completely rule out a network configuration issue, I don't want to waste your time, so I think we can consider this issue closed for the time being. I'll update you directly - either by creating a new ticket, or by email, once I get it nailed down one way or the other.

Yours very truly,

C.J.

Created on Jul 2, 2018 2:59:06 PM by  CJL-GCE (0) 1



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Hi C.J.,

You're very welcome, just let me know when you want to pursue this further :)


Kind regards,
Stephan Linke, Tech Support Team

Created on Jul 2, 2018 6:02:52 PM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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