[time-nuts] FE-5680A Question
lists at rtty.us
Wed Feb 15 17:12:41 UTC 2012
Which still gets us back to - why the really odd sweep on the FE's? and
should you center the VCXO as a matter of routine maintenance?
From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On
Behalf Of Magnus Danielson
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 6:09 PM
To: time-nuts at febo.com
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] FE-5680A Question
On 02/14/2012 12:11 PM, Rex wrote:
> The Efrotoms (FRS-C. Lpro) find the lock by modulating the microwave
> frequency with an audio signal (127 Hz if I remember right) which causes
> the light sense modulated signal to double in frequency when centered on
> the hyperfine frequency. See the manuals for nice description. The 5680A
> seems to accomplish the same thing by stepping the frequency +/- 700 Hz
> rather than mixing in modulation. Never saw any documentation on that,
> but seems to be implied by the great hacking Javier Herrero has done on
> the loop frequencies.
> Seems to me that finding lock, that is finding the dip, may be a bit
> harder with the stepping than with the modulation. Maybe the observed
> drop in frequency during start up is part of the algorithm to walk the
> stepped frequency to center on the hyperfine light transmission dip.
The modulation (may it be sine or square-wave) is about tracking the
absorption dip. However, the initial frequency error of the OCXO can be
so large that you don't even hit the dip at all. So, to achieve lock the
non-locked state is detected by lack of response, and a sweeping action
of the OCXO is done. If sufficient signal is detected, then the sweeping
action is stopped and the loop is steered by the detected response which
acts like a frequency locked loop. A little to much onto either side and
a positive or negative response is given. When in the middle a maximum
is achieved on the second harmonic.
So, the initial large end-to-end sweeps is about to try to lock the OCXO
onto the rubidium reference. That will fail until the OCXO has heated up
enough and also the rubidium is heated enough.
For some rubidiums you may need to hand-trim the oscillator in order to
achieve lock, since their oscillators (crystals and tuning-cap) has
wandered to far astray from locking-range.
Rubidiums is a bit intricate, but the pieces fall together eventually.
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