[time-nuts] What sort of oscillator is this?

Richard Karlquist richard at karlquist.com
Sun Sep 28 10:55:19 EDT 2014

> I find it odd that an instrument that probably cost $50,000 when new 
> did
> not have a TCXO as standard,  and perhaps an oven as an option.
> But I think HP did this sort of thing a lot. Something that would have 
> cost
> very little to add, became an expensive option. In some cases these
> expensive options are nothing more than enabling a bit of software,
> although the R&D cost of the software is probably a lot more than the
> hardware cost of adding a better oscillator.
> Dave.

I worked for the HP Santa Clara Division for 19 years.  The reason
why a customer would NOT want a precision oscillator in a high end
instrument would be that he was going to use a "house standard".
At my division in those days, we had an ensemble of cesiums disciplined
by LORAN that distributed a 10 MHz signal around the plant.  We
supposedly had the most accurate clock on the west coast.

We of course made OCXO's at SCD and "sold" them to other HP divisions.
It would not be impossible for a division to use a TCXO, but it would
be out of character given that we transferred 10811's at "cost", which
was then about $400.

Rick Karlquist N6RK

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