[time-nuts] Re: Accuracy of a sound card

Chuck Harris cfharris at erols.com
Tue Aug 23 14:25:55 EDT 2005

Hi Alberto,

My point in starting this whole controversy was that there are no adjustments
on the sound cards, and the oscillators are just garden variety in quality.  Typically,
they are simply a miniature crystal that runs an oscillator on an ASIC.  The accuracy your
card gets is luck-of-the-draw.  The temperature stability is only as good as the
temperature stability of the insides of your PC, and your room.

These boards work just fine in the audio/music arena, but when used as a
spectrum analyzer, they have very questionable timing accuracy.

No one has yet addressed the actual oscillator that is on board the sound card.
What are they using on the Delta 44?  ... the Aureon Sky?  I would have much
more confidence if they would at least use a cheap TCXO module.


Alberto di Bene wrote:
> Just for the sake of curiosity and to end this topic, I measured the
> accuracy of another sound card I have in my PC, a Terratec Aureon Sky. A
> good card, but not of the same class of the Delta 44. But it was more
> accurate... 40001.5 Hz which translates into an error of 37.5 +- 2.5 ppm
> 73  Alberto  I2PHD
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