[time-nuts] New Member + Basic Questions

Lizeth Norman normanlizeth at gmail.com
Sun Jan 10 19:08:02 UTC 2016

Spend reasonable money. Learn, ask questions, rinse and repeat. It's
how a mountain of stuff followed me home. Wife is cool with it.

Electrical fires are a learning experience. Try not to repeat those.

On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 1:25 PM, Nathan Johnson <jdownj at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello All,
> I'm a ham radio operator, for just a few years, and electronics nut for many
> more. I have been reading the archives and trying to learn a bit. I am
> wanting
> 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
> device,
> a rubidium standard, and a GPSDO. My current uses are to supply accurate
> timing
> to a signal generator(not yet purchased, HP 8640/8650-something) and a
> frequency
> 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
> device
> of some kind anyway as an interim measure while I earn for the money to
> obtain
> 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
> to
> need). The available standards are being re-imported from China, with
> unknown
> 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
> standards.
> 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 at
> item# 111514491254, but there doesn't seem to be any documentation about
> what's
> inside.
> Am I missing key points here? Or am I headed on the right path? Appriciate
> any
> and all input.
> Nathan KK4REY
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