[time-nuts] New Member + Basic Questions

Nathan Johnson jdownj at gmail.com
Sun Jan 10 18:25:40 UTC 2016

Hello All,
I'm a ham radio operator, for just a few years, and electronics nut for 
more. I have been reading the archives and trying to learn a bit. I am 
to develop an accurate frequency standard for "lab" and radio use. I see 
that I
have 3 basic options that are possible on my budget, a decent OCXO-based 
a rubidium standard, and a GPSDO. My current uses are to supply accurate 
to a signal generator(not yet purchased, HP 8640/8650-something) and a 
counter(Fluke 1953), mostly used in aligning radios.
In the near future I am hoping to expand that to a homebrew HF
transceiver(probably clocking a DDS chip of some sort), and some higher
frequency(possibly up to 10GHz) transverters.
So what I have learned so far about each option:
-OCXO is probably stable enough for what I am trying to do, but by itself
provides no guarantee of absolute accuracy(I'm looking at the microwave
operators "weapon of choice", the Isotemp 134-10), has an adjustment pin 
for a
tuning voltage, but no idea what an appropriate value is for that voltage
without access to a more accurate standard. I will probably build an OCXO 
of some kind anyway as an interim measure while I earn for the money to 
something better, and to validate a distribution amp within the lab etc.
-Rubidium Standard seems like a very nice idea, but it's still not 
traceable in
terms of absolute accuracy(although the adjustment range of the available
standards appears to be several orders of magnitude better than I am likely 
need). The available standards are being re-imported from China, with 
hours or life remaining, and in some cases unknown condition. They appear 
to be
power hogs. A $200 gamble.
-GPSDOs have many options available, and are referenced to primary 
Pretty sure this is where I want to go. I'm looking at Item# 231803015799 
on the
usual auction site, and this seems to be everything I need? I also looked 
item# 111514491254, but there doesn't seem to be any documentation about 
Am I missing key points here? Or am I headed on the right path? Appriciate 
and all input.
Nathan KK4REY

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