[time-nuts] OCXO Voltage Input? (Bob Camp)

Magnus Danielson magnus at rubidium.dyndns.org
Sat Sep 6 06:09:32 EDT 2014


On 09/06/2014 03:00 AM, Bob Camp wrote:
> Hi
> Oddly enough (and yes it is odd) you can modulate an oscillator well outside the crystal’s bandwidth. The bigger issue is that the EFC does not pull the crystal very far on a normal OCXO. The FM modulation index drops to very small numbers pretty fast as you go up in modulation frequency.
> You typically only worry about modulation sidebands that are above the phase noise floor. Since phase modulation sidebands go down as 1/Fmod on an FM modulator (for small modulation index) they get pretty low pretty fast.
> If your OCXO has an EFC range of 0.1 ppm at 10 MHz, it will swing 1 Hz p-p (+/- 0.5 Hz) for the full EFC voltage. At 5 Hz, you have a modulation index of 0.1. Of course if you are multiplying to 10 GHz, the index could be quite large. This gets back to the “this all depends on what you are doing”.
> If your EFC is 5V, a reasonably quiet signal would have noise below 0.5 mV. That’s already 80 db down. A very quiet supply should be in the < 5 nV / sqrt(Hz) range.  That would put the noise down 180 db.
> It’s unlikely that your OCXO has a phase noise spec of -180 dbc / Hz at 10 Hz. We may already be done …
> To bring all the numbers together:
> At 1 Hz the modulation will do a sideband X db down at your desired frequency.
> You will drop 20 db by the time you get to 10 Hz simply due to the 1/F FM->PM.

Since the oscillator integrate frequency into phase, you have a 
1/(2*pi*f) factor. The typical LaPlace model for an oscillator is Ko/s, 
where Ko is the input sensitivity of the oscillator.
A more complete model needs to include the Q of the crystal, naturally, 
unless you are "in-band" of that Q where it has less drastic properties.

> Bottom line - it’s not all that hard to get a quiet enough EFC voltage.


I've found that thinking about systematic noises of low frequency (i.e. 
comparator frequency and overtones) as well as loop dynamics is what one 
should think about. Lack of DAC resolution hurts.


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