[time-nuts] Trimble Thunderbolt, any easy way to create 500 MHz reference from one?

Demian Martin demianm_1 at yahoo.com
Thu May 16 01:35:49 EDT 2013

I have had some experience with the 6130a. It's all one board inside. The
internal oscillator's crystal is ovenized. There are some power supply
issues that cause some hum spurs on the output. I reduced them a lot cutting
some traces and cleaning up the power supply rectifier routing.

I would like a copy of the schematic if possible.

Another option would be to get a demo board for one of these:
http://www.linear.com/product/LTC6945  ($125) 

Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 14:38:57 -0500
From: "Dave M" <dgminala at mediacombb.net>
To: <time-nuts at febo.com>
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Trimble Thunderbolt,	any easy way to create
	500 MHz reference from one?
Message-ID: <FF0EB0E6F4214BBA9D15C3AD8FD5EE1F at D77M7BF1>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";

> If easy means a temporary lashup, takes but one piece of gear. The 
> Ballantine 6130A time mark generator takes in 10 MHz, produces from it 
> a synchronous 1Hz to 500MHz selectable in 1-2-5 steps. I've not tested 
> mine for phase noise, probably not the best performer... but for $35 
> not a big concern, given my needs.
> Shameless plug: I'll have another one for sale at the Dayton 
> Hamvention, flea market space 1901. There will be other Time Nuts in 
> residence at 1901 as well.
> Bob LaJeunesse

> ________________________________
> From: Chris Wilson <chris at chriswilson.tv>
>> Is there any fairly easy way to multiply the output of a Thunderbolt 
>> to have a 500MHz reference at about 4dBm? Thanks.
>> --
>>        Best Regards,
>>                    Chris Wilson.
>> mailto: chris at chriswilson.tv
> ******************************************

Bob's suggestion to get a Ballantine 6130A Time Mark Gen might be your 
easiest solution if this is a one-off project.   According to the schematic,

the 10MHz oscillator is sent through a series of multipliers and filters to
arrive at the 500MHz High Freq output.  Specifically, it goes through a
doubler and two quintuplers.
I don't know how the unit is constructed (I only have a schematic, not the
complete manual), but if the RF circuitry and the digital dividers are on
separate boards, then you might be able to use just the RF board to
construct your 500MHz signal.  (I'm assuming that your intent is to
construct the project into a single enclosure).
The only other solution that might be easier would be to find a PLL board
that can be programmed to output your 500MHz signal.  I looked over eBay and
Google without much luck there.

Good luck with your project.
Dave M 

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