[time-nuts] any HP 5370B Available or other TIC

Paul A. Cianciolo paulc at snet.net
Tue Aug 23 17:48:56 UTC 2011

Hello Bert,

I apologize for this very late response to your email.  To be totally honest
I didn't really understand what you were talking about.
I am new at this and didn't realize I had on hand some of the equipment I
needed to do some basic testing.
My counter timer will resolve down to 2 nanoseconds,  in a 1 sec interval.
Which is not near good enough for what I want to see.
Using a piece of undisturbed coaxial cable as a time delay I was able to 

Using TimeLab, with lots of help from John Miles, and reading  " A Small
DMTD System," by Bill Riley   I now have a basic.... basic understanding of
what you were talking about.
Using a piece of undisturbed coaxial cable as a time delay from A to B  I
was able to run a test with the Z3801 as the ref.  and find in 1 sec the
best I can do is 1.74 Nsec  in a 1 second ave.
Also I ran the same test at  100 Khz , 1 MHz and 10 Mhz with the traces
overlaying and they was almost no difference at all

It appears like I have a number of options:
1) Buy a 5370A/B
2  Build/Buy a DMTD  system
3 Put a DMTD in front of my current counter.

Since I have a counter that interfaces correctly with TimeLab, I would
prefer to go with #3

So yes can I see the larger picture and more about the DMTD system you

Thank you Bert.

Paul A. Cianciolo
Our business computer network is  powered exclusively by solar and wind
Converting Photons to Electrons for over 20 years

-----Original Message-----
From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On
Behalf Of EWKehren at aol.com
Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 8:58 AM
To: time-nuts at febo.com
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] any HP 5370B Available or other TIC

following all the responses to this posting I think a old fashioned D/M is
still the answer for you. For years there have been discussions on using
latest  technology but limited to discussion no hardware. Maybe now is the
time it will  change. 
 That is why two years ago I set out do develop a D/M system based on  the
original NBS design but with its own counter and a cost goal of $ 200 and
readily available parts.. Thanks to Richard, Corby and Hubert there are now
eight systems out there with very good results. Cost goal was reached if 20
PC  board sets are purchased. The actual D/M right from NBS, more densely
packaged  for better temp. tracking and later components. Corby's tests show
a noise floor  of 1 E-13. Resolution is 1 E -15. I did post in the past a
picture but it is  115K, so off list I can send more info.
What is holding up the release is software that takes the counter  outputs
and does the Allan deviation calculations and plots.
What is not included in the $200 is the offset Osc,, power supply and
outside enclosure. Depending on the OCXO used it will drive the total cost
$300 even $ 400 if 10 Hz is used. But no counter needs to be used.
If you use a 1 Hz offset many choices for OCXO are available I have used an
Austron 1150 and more recently thanks to a lead from Hubert a Morion that is
available on ebay for $40. He characterized it with the D/M system.
If you want to use 10 Hz offset the only choice I know is the HP 10811. All
the ones I have can be mechanically moved at least + - 20 Hz.
I know nothing about the Keithly 776 so I do not know if it will work. You
may want to contact me off list.
The attached drawing of the counter (thank you Brian Kirby) gives you an
idea of my counter approach. It is $ 30 of the $ 200. Tipically the phase
between channel A and B are measured, but that creates times depending of
phase  when the counter can not keep up because it needs time for processing
and  transfer of data. My concept does also have such a counter but it is
only used  to position phase or once a run is completed to pick a section
where channel A  and B are in phase to eliminate any contribution by the
offset oscillator. Two  counters each per channel count the 1 or 10 Hz
frequency at
100 MHz, resulting  at 1 Hz with 1 E-15 and at 10 Hz 1 E-14 way better than
the D/M noise floor. The  counters work in a ping pong mode so there is
continuous counting, I call it  pseudo time stamping. It also allows you to
the unknown close to the  reference at a 1 or 10 Hz rate. These  four
counters are used for the Allan  calculations.
This unit never needs a counter, once you connect Reference and PC you can
tune the offset exactly to 1 or 10 Hz, connect the unknown, "tune" it and
you  are ready to go. PC interface is RS 232 or USB.
What is needed is some one tackling the PC software issue.
 I will not get into the kit business. At one time I was considering  to
coordinate a one time PCB run and even make some HP 10811's available since
thanks to Corby's testing, I have ten 10811  and 5071 HP OCXO's with better
than 1 E-12 over 1 to 100 sec..range, but after Jose Camara's comment that
is no  longer an option for me. I will once a final board set has run with
software make all info available, and hopefully some one will pick it up.  
The reason I am right now reluctant to release the PCB board code is if
changes  need to be done it will be impossible to get rid of the previous
If any one wants go get involved software or hardware wise please contact me
off list.
Bert Kehren
In a message dated 8/17/2011 11:11:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
paulc at snet.net writes:

Hello  Folks,
I am looking for an instrument that is better than Fluke 103a  comparator.
The purpose of this piece of equipment is help me learn more  about
oscillators and characterizing them

The HP5370B is the TIC  I keep hearing about but I am not glued to that make
or model.
I wou;d like  to hear suggestion from the group.

Another way to go might be to  build one of those units where there is a
common oscillator is split  and feeds the LO of 2 mixers.
The RF side comes from the DUT and the  REF Sorry I cannot remember the
acronym... MDMM????

I do have that Keithly model 776 Counter  time with GPIB  I am really fuzzy
on this aspect...

Comments  welcome 

Thank  you


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