[time-nuts] new member with questions NTP, PRS, GPS, ocxo

Frank Hughes hp_ciscovss at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 18 01:12:22 UTC 2012

New guy here, seeking Oracular pronouncements for my time/frequency quest!

I recently acquired an HP 3336B, and subsequently converted it to a "C" model,
as all the HAM and related equipment here is 50 ohms.

The 3336 has "Option 004: High stability frequency reference". 
Operates at about 6Mhz....

I am trying to decide whether to fix the 3336 ocxo, or just use the other working
ocxo in the Agilent E8285A Spectrum Analyzer.
It would really be fun to provision some type of Primary Reference and accurate 10Mhz source, and distribute the signal.

I found a bunch of them on ebay, but they are almost all in China....what is going on here?

Anyone ever had a good buying experience for this type of equipent from China? 

While decending through this particular worm-hole,  I realized that it would be great to have 
my own NTP server via GPS too. 
Found a bunch of GPS receivers w/ Ethernet and NTP server features, but none w/ ocxo, only vcxo and tcxo. 
Possibly it does not matter if the reference is the Stratum-1 GPS? 
Not sure what I am looking at here (obviously)

I only know a little about these topics, as where I work we have an Agilent_5071A, paired with a 
Symmetricom GPS PRS system. 
But as we have moved out of the old TDM and ATM technologies, we no longer need a Stratum-1 source,
(and the 5071A has used up all it's Cesium anyway). But it was fun and I learned many things.

So what I am trying to come up with now for home/shack is:
- An NTP server for our LAN 
- A very high quality 10Mhz source to distribute to all the HP and Agilent equipment here.

I have read enough forums to become dizzy, and would be glad to buy an HP Z3815A, or
an HP Z3816A or an HP Z3801A or...
I even found an HP 55300A, but w/o the shelf it is useless, 
(100 edge connector pinouts to decipher and wire manually???)

Advice much appreciated!

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