[time-nuts] Of rubidium life and piggy-bank anemia....

Jeff Mock jeff at mock.com
Thu Nov 29 18:40:00 EST 2007

John Ackermann N8UR wrote:
> But on the other hand, having a free-running Rb that you calibrate
> against the Tbolt (or some other reference) every so often isn't a bad
> idea; it gives you a source that's independent of external factors.
> John

This was the road to hell for me :)  I bought a Z3801A (moral equivalent 
to the Trimble Thunderbolt) back in 2000.  I've happily used it as my 
house reference for both PPS and 10MHz for many years confident that I 
have a solid timebase.

For the last several years I've been designing spectrometers for radio 
telescopes and it's been convenient and sometimes essential to have a 
timebase that's not too much worse than a modern radio telescope.  I see 
the lock light, I make a few plots, and I get a warm feeling that I know 
what time it is.

I recently bought an Rb source for fun.  Nominally I use it as the 
timebase for my frequency counter and run everything else off of the 
z3801a.  Now I live in constant state of flux not really knowing what 
10MHz is anymore.  I need more clocks, my Rb source is amplifying my 
personality quirks.


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