[time-nuts] Another "atomic" clock question

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Mon Mar 3 18:46:34 EST 2014

The OCXO maker is forced to use a temperature sensor because he does
not have access to a frequency reference.   If do have an external
frequency reference then the crystal itself makes a good thermometer.
So why not use THAT thermometer to control the heat added by the
resister.    Such a system would respond to changes in ambient
temperature by adjusting the power in the resister.      We don't even
have to care if the crystal's temp-co is nonlinear because we are
using a very small temperature range, so small it looks linear.

 I'll build it.    Can you or anyone else subject a simple XCO
schematic?  Hopefully SIMPLE.   What I need is a design that can be
pulled down a few PPM so that I can raise it back with a bit of heat.
I will have to be kept at a temperer above the hottest it will ever
get inside the house, maybe 100F.

On Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Bob Camp <lists at rtty.us> wrote:
> Hi
> If you are measuring temperature in a room who's temperature does not change, then yes you can hold 0.000000001 C. That of course is based on the "room does not change temperature" and that equates to absolutely no change at all.
> The only rational way to discus temperature stability is as a response to an external change. It change this amount when the temperature around it changes that amount. Trying to compare something on the table here and the table there is not a very useful exercise.
> On an OCXO the internal temperature control is always specified with a defined external temperature change. The drift in the set temperature at a constant ambient is essentially "un-measurable" even on some pretty cheap ovens.
> Bob
> On Mar 3, 2014, at 9:27 AM, Jim Lux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> On 3/3/14 2:18 AM, Hal Murray wrote:
>>>>> Junk crystals are good thermometers.  Ballpark is 1 ppm/degree-C
>>> albertson.chris at gmail.com said:
>>>> So does this mean I can epoxy a sandstone power resister to a junk crystal
>>>> and keep the frequency exactly perfect by varying the power in the resister?
>>> Sure, for some values of "perfect" and such.
>>> I've occasionally thought about building something like this, just for the
>>> hell of it to see what happens and/or what I learn, and or how good I/we can
>>> get on a low budget.
>>> I think there are two problem areas.  One is sensors and control algorithms.
>>> The other is board layout.
>>> Where is the sweet spot on complexity vs accuracy?  I'm looking for
>>> science-fair level of goodness rather than super-expensive to get another 0
>>> or two.
>>> What's the best low-cost way to measure temperature?  Many of the obvious
>>> choices are only good to 0.1 C.  That's great if you are trying to measure
>>> room temperature or or want to keep your CPU from melting, but it's probably
>>> leaving a lot on the table if you are interested in the frequency from a
>>> crystal.
>>> My straw man would be a thermistor and OP-Amp feeding into the ADC on your
>>> favorite uProc.  Maybe the other side of a bridge would be adjustable.
>> A number of microcontrollers have onchip temperature sensors (Freescale Kinetis, for instance).  If the controller were bonded to the crystal housing, that might be enough coupling.
>> Could you hold 0.1 or 0.001 degree? the chip has a 16 bid ADC, although I wouldn't trust the bottom bit or two because of noise. But in any case 1 LSB is 3.3/64k or about 50 microvolts.  The temperature sensor slope is 1.715 mV/C, so that's in the 0.03 C/LSB range.. On a good day, you *might* be able to hold 0.1 degree, assuming there's no systematic errors.
>>> How much power do you need to keep things warm?  I'm assuming something like
>>> a watt or 2 with something like a PWM from the uProc.
>> _______________________________________________
>> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
>> To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
>> and follow the instructions there.
> _______________________________________________
> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
> and follow the instructions there.


Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

More information about the time-nuts mailing list