[time-nuts] Question concerning failure and value of HP 5371A

Arnold Tibus Arnold.Tibus at gmx.de
Sat Oct 15 20:04:01 EDT 2005

Hi Magnus,

On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 21:33:18 +0200 (CEST), Magnus Danielson wrote:

>From: "Arnold Tibus" <Arnold.Tibus at gmx.de>
>Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Question concerning failure and value of HP 5371A
>Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 19:46:41 +0200
>Message-ID: <E1EQq8V-0003QR-6Y at febo.com>

>Hi Arnold,

>> Hi Magnus and the others in the group,
>> thank you very much for your comments and the help!
>> I had a look to the counter at the seller, propably really ok, but its at ebay 
>> already above 1000 $, and he believes to get much more. 
>> (We will see soon where it ends).

>That is not all that supprising.

I was not the lucky to get the new equipment, and I will never know, how much higher I should 
have bid to surpass the amount of my counterpart, but my limit was at around 1040 USD. 

There will come another day...

>Right. A failed battery is expected and really part of standard maintenance
>IMHO. It does not take much effort to change either, just some basic care as to
>not heat up the battery too much in the soldering process.

>When I got my HP5372A (w option 30 and 40 if you care to know) I had to replace
>the battery. After the setup-process it has been flawless. I think my 1500 USD
>was a good price considering the options and state.

Having all the necessary parts and proper tools I have no problems at all 
to perform such works as well. I hope I will not so quick loose my experiences, 
the past 20 years I developed, integrated and tested hirel instruments and 
testequipment for the earth exploration satellites ERS1, ERS2 and ENVISAT, 
but I did much more practical things in electronics as well a lot of years before 
in other areas (eg. sea-exploration and aircrafts). So I hope I will keep my hands 
jitterfree as I wish to see the oscillators. But there are still a lot of white fields 
eg. with timing measurement instruments and high-speed digital electronics, 
and with the repair of instruments not knowing the design nor having the
circuit diagrams and hints on the design tricks. 
But it gives a lot fun to listen then to experts and learn from them.
(I think I have to ask for at least 100 years more ;-) ).

>> The point is, I do not find gates capable to work well beyond 30, 40 MHz.
>> I there somebody having a helpful idea how this could be solved?

>Look at one of those spiffy Xilinx Spartan III FPGAs. It is prooved in battle
>for commercial lowcost counters.

I will have a closer look to Xilinx devices, thanks.

>> PS: I had a look to the internal h/w of the hp 5371A, the ocxo is a
>> normal hp 10811-60111 in, I thought to find a higher qualified type in 
>> such devices. 

>You are thinking backwards. ...

>You are arguing from a "spoiled" level. The 10811-60111 is a very
>good oscillator compared to alot of the things we see normally in counters from
>that time. ...
>You can *always* do better, but will the customers usually gain from
>it as much as it costs? 

You are right, so do not understand me wrong, I know that this is a very good 
oscillator - indeed -  but as well from the past discussions in this group about the 
differences in hp-oscillator types I learned a lot and that the spec. data are a bit 
relaxed compared with eg. the hp 10811A etc. 
and that hp had (has?) as well double oven stabilized oscillators and special drift- 
and noise selected types. 
Perhaps I am wrong, but I thought an device to measure the quality of 
oscillators does need as reference a better oscillator of such a 'spoiled level'... 

Btw. Rick Karlquist's excelent explanations and articles on ocxo and oven problems 
I have to study again and in detail, because my memory is limited and acting like 
a D-RAM, needing often refresh cycles.

>> No, I am not watching all that illnesses about jamming gps etc., 
>> because I think that this is good calming down people, but this would 
>> not stop informed guys at all navigating to the target...there are other 
>> ways. So what.

>Well, if you can fly through a superpowers defenseline with a small airplane
>and land on the square in the middle of the capital, next to the center of
>political powers, then you can ram your airplane into a nuclear power plans
>without functional GPS. So, the effect is highly debateable, while the hurt is
>certainly not good, definite and documented.

I think we should not stress this theme too much, I believe it is not worth the 
time which we can spend for other interesting things. It is sad enough to 
see which moral is real in the world. 
All our nuc plants are protected against crashes with private airplane types 
and normal fighters. For severe damages you need bigger 'tankers'. 
But for a punctual crash you really do not need GPS!

I serviced at the beginning of my career in Frankfurt airport the inertial platforms 
in the B747 of the Lufthansa fleet, 3 in each plane, very precise these things, 
and there are autopilots, gyros, computers, ADF, VOR, RADAR-altimeters etc. 
on board for the navigation task. And I learned for the airplane navigation 
examination and for the practical work there about 'dead reckoning', so I believe 
that noise you refer on is just to let sleep the folks well, for landing on another 
'port' you do not need the help of GPS nor further equipment, specially when 
you don't care about a crash landing....supposing you are a pilot!

Jamming locally GPS will just upset the local services - and propably computers 
and devices in the plants and in the industry around - the electronics inside the 
planes are quite resistant, even to direct lightning strikes, melting holes into 
the aluminum structure... would you else fly with such a line? 
Tales I believe, opium for the people!
So we don't have to worry for the timing industry, 
but politics are playing always a bit loud.



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