[time-nuts] 53132A counter slow frequency update

Jose Camara camaraq1 at quantacorp.com
Wed Jun 29 18:52:09 UTC 2011

Check your cable, or better yet, look at the input signal with a
oscilloscope. Something is fishy (missing return plus AC couple, too low
amplitude, etc.).

I used a 33250 generator at 50mVrms and tried going from 80MHz down to 1MHz,
even 100Hz and it changed the very next gate period every time (one period
had partial counts, of course).

The 53132A doesn't have the 'green button' that presets it to a known state,
but it always powers up in the default state. 

Your signal might need some special handling - sensitivity, coupling,

Finally, if the counter is an 'eBay special', it might be bad. Run self-test
and follow confidence tests from service manual.


-----Original Message-----
From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On
Behalf Of John Pease
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:07 AM
To: time-nuts at febo.com
Subject: [time-nuts] 53132A counter slow frequency update

My new to me counter has a strange response when I change the input
frequency. With the gate set to 1s, I can measure 100 MHz with plenty of
digits. Then I change the frequency to 1 MHz and it takes several seconds to
almost a minute for the display to change from 100 MHz to 1 MHz. The delay
only occurs when I lower the input frequency quite a bit; 100 MHz to 10 MHz
changes are displayed within 2 gate times. When I increase the frequency
form 1 MHz to 100 MHz I always get the correct display after two gate times.
This delay is proportional to the gate time; the updating is 10 times faster
with 0.1 s gate time.
Is this behavior typical for this counter?
Thank you
John Pease
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