[time-nuts] Are there any rubidiums programmahttps://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inboxble to 40 MHz?

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 25 23:23:54 EDT 2013

On 3/25/13 8:27 AM, David Kirkby wrote:
> On 25 March 2013 14:36, Jim Lux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> On 3/25/13 7:17 AM, David Kirkby wrote:
>>> The TCXO oscillator is off the board and a separate item, but costs
>>> £40 and then one ideally wants to lock that to a more precise source.
>>> The oscillator will lock to an external 10 MHz source, but then one
>>> needs to buy both a 10 MHz rubidium as well as this 40 MHz TCXO. Hence
>>> I was wondering if there was a cheaper more compact solution, which
>>> just used a rubidium, and dispensed with a TCXO.
>> The "two box" solution (10MHz ref + 40 MHz synth,e.g. the SRF040R0L) might
>> be best.  A 10 MHz source is more generally useful.
>> What you really want is a x4 from 10 MHz, *if* your Rb is clean. Some sort
>> of pair of doublers or quadrupler might be the ticket. (If the Xband
>> converter has a moderately narrow filter on the 40 MHz input, that might be
>> pretty easy.. make harmonics, just pick the right one)
>>   Some Rb sources aren't particularly clean, and the external device serves
>> as a "clean up loop" for things outside the loop bandwidth.
>> Have you asked the mfr if they can work at 10 MHz input?  It might have some
>> sort of programmable device inside, and he chose 40 because it's what he
>> had. What's inside the box, in other words?
> I think 40 MHz was deliberately chosen. The manual
> http://www.chris-bartram.co.uk/SRF040R0L.pdf
> (all manuals at http://www.chris-bartram.co.uk/manuals.html )
> state "Modern synthesisers work best with a relatively high frequency
> reference source."
> so I think the choice of 40 MHz was deliberate rather than the case of
> he had the bits around for that.
> I've been looking at the possibility of my local amateur radio club
> getting on 10 GHz. That is the cheapest solution I'm aware of sold
> commercially. Though I'm beginning to think that by the time you add a
> pre-amp and power amp, a more expensive transverter is actually better
> value. The noise figure of the cheaper unit is 13 dB and the output
> level -10 dBm. There are other units for about twice the price
> http://www.kuhne-electronic.de/en/products/transverter/mku-10-g3.html
> which have a noise figure of 1.3 dB and a power output of +23 dBm.
> They too can lock to 10 MHz external references.

We were discussing this at work the other day.. There is a weird gap in 
stuff available to hams.  You have a lot of older designs, with lots of 
discrete devices, lots of touch labor, pretty good NF, etc.  Then you 
have some really crummy stuff (10dB NF or worse). But not much in between.

But given that there are lots of inexpensive MMICs out that cover 10.5 
GHz with NF in the 1-2 dB range, it's odd that you can't buy a cheap 
LNA/DownConverter using parts from Hittite or TriQuint.

There's plenty of parts to make a reasonably low noise LO albeit with 
fairly high DC power (those GaAs PLLs from Hittite draw *watts*)

Our thought was that you have folks who worked out designs in the 80s 
and 90s, and basically just replicate those when the orders come in.

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