[time-nuts] Very stable synthesizer, alternative to PTS(Programmed Test Sources) x10 or 040?

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 8 11:02:22 EDT 2013

On 7/8/13 7:55 AM, Ed Palmer wrote:
> In 2002, this document:
> http://www.pttimeeting.org/archivemeetings/2002papers/paper32.pdf
> stated:
> "The Programmed Test Sources, Inc. PTS model #250M6NIGSX-51 low-noise
> frequency synthesizer is
> used to offset the frequency reference to obtain the desired beat
> frequency. In our previous system, we
> used a Fluke 6160B frequency synthesizer, since the Fluke 6160B
> frequency synthesizer had the lowest
> noise contribution of all the frequency synthesizers on the market at
> that time.  The reason for having the
> low-noise frequency synthesizer is the synthesizer  noise contributions
> to the system noise-floor.
> Unfortunately, Fluke has discontinued manufacturing and maintaining this
> synthesizer. Therefore, we
> looked at the new synthesizers on the market and found that the PTS
> synthesizer was the closest to the
> Fluke 6160B frequency synthesizer in terms of noise floor. "
> Sounds like a working 6160B would be a nice thing to have.
> Unfortunately, it's too large for my already overcrowded lab. :-(

It's like a HP 8663B (not the modern Agilent E8663).. very low noise, 
not made any more, I don't think Agilent will even repair them.  We've 
got lots of them sitting on the floor, partly dead, at work: they were 
the workhorse of the Deep Space Network systems.

Fluke does make a modern copy of the HP8663B with all the same 
peculiarities (e.g. smooth sweep, modulation input, etc.) which the 
Agilent does not do.

(for instance, we feed the signal from a 3325 at around 10 MHz into the 
FM port on the 8663 and then filter to select just the modulation 
sideband, which then gets multiplied up to the desired frequency)

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