[time-nuts] 5061A Problem Child
rbenward at verizon.net
Wed Jun 16 04:42:07 UTC 2010
"I like Didier's suggestion of the FM tuner, but the phase modulation
will need to be substantial to detect it that way."
The deviation (modulation index) of a FM broadcast signal is very large, on
the order of +/-75KHz. The phase modulation will need to produce large
frequency deviations to pick up 137Hz phase modulation. A VHF radio or
scanner is a narrow band device, you might have better luck if the
deviations are small. The modulation index is a measure of the deviation vs
the deviating frequency, but it's the AMPLITUDE of the 137Hz that produces
the FREQUENCY deviation, whether phase or frequency modulation.
Certainly a good FM receiver will pass the low 137Hz, but a VHF receiver or
scanner may have a high pass filter, yet a scope might still detect it.
Do you have a HP8901 on hand? How about a spectrum analyzer?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles P. Steinmetz" <charles_steinmetz at lavabit.com>
To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement"
<time-nuts at febo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:05 PM
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] 5061A Problem Child
> Joe wrote:
>>Short of fabricating a 'phase detector', how can I prove that the A3 unit
>>functioning in my 'problem child' unit. If I have to fabricate a 'phase
>>detector', how easy (or difficult) is that?
> I have no idea how much phase modulation there is supposed to be. If
> it is substantial, you might get a crude qualitative idea by looking
> with a stably-triggered 'scope at a scale where there are, say, 10
> cycles per cm (~100 cycles across the screen). If the signal at the
> right of the screen is fuzzy (cycles run together) while at the left
> it is sharp (cycles clear and distinct), you have phase
> modulation. Turning the mod off should make the signal look sharp at
> both ends.
> If you are lucky enough that the modulation is sufficient to show up
> this way, you can compare the two units to see if the progression
> from sharp to fuzzy looks about the same from one to the other.
> I like Didier's suggestion of the FM tuner, but the phase modulation
> will need to be substantial to detect it that way.
> Best regards,
> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> To unsubscribe, go to
> and follow the instructions there.
More information about the time-nuts