[time-nuts] Thunderbolt, Rb, Scopes at SF Bay Maker Faire this weekend
rbenward at verizon.net
Tue May 25 00:00:49 UTC 2010
This outreach to the public stuff can be quite gratifying. My astronomy
club used to do it all the time, as the ham operators. ARRL field day is
coming up in June.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Leigh L. Klotz, Jr. WA5ZNU" <Leigh at WA5ZNU.org>
To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement"
<time-nuts at febo.com>
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 7:10 PM
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Thunderbolt, Rb, Scopes at SF Bay Maker Faire this
>I received some messages asking how the demo went, so I'll summarize here.
> If you weren't originally interested in this demo or its results, you
> probably won't be interested in this.
> On Friday, we showed the following demos to 3rd to 9th graders:
> - paper-based oscilloscope
> - disk-drive voice coil/laser/mirror scope
> - signal generator and regular CRT scope
> - Rb and Thunderbolt in two-channel and XY display
> - Speed-of-sound measurement using two microphones and a digital Tek scope
> - WiFi signals on a Tek spectrum analyzer
> On Saturday and Sunday, we showed these same demos to a general audience,
> and also added an old-style "Octopus" signal tracer made showing a 1N4001
> diode curve.
> There was a generally positive response to the graduated levels of
> abstraction in the demos, and quite a few people said they'd finally
> understood what an oscilloscope did, including some current scope owners.
> Just about everybody who got the advanced demo liked seeing the 1ppb
> difference (~100s period for 10MHz) demo with the Rb and Thunderbolt.
> The best part for me was when a former NIST researcher came by and
> participated incognito. Judging by his reactions, I'd say I'd have gotten
> about a B+ if I were being graded. He made some good recommendations for
> how to characterize and adjust my Rb based on a 12-hour comparison with
> the Thunderbolt.
>> As part of the SF Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend, I'll be showing a
>> Thunderbolt GPSDO and a FE-5680A Rubidium disciplined oscillator, both
>> connected to a $25 flea-market oscilloscope.
>> The demo is part of a hands-on "things to do with oscilloscopes." In
>> experiment, we'll have visitors use a stopwatch to measure how long it
>> takes for a 360 degree phase change, and use that to calculate the
>> fractional PPB difference between the two frequencies.
>> We'll be at the ARRL booth, which is in the Fiesta Building, near the
>> Tesla Stage entrance.
>> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
>> To unsubscribe, go to
>> and follow the instructions there.
> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> To unsubscribe, go to
> and follow the instructions there.
More information about the time-nuts