[time-nuts] GPS-disciplining an ordinary VCXO?

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Sun Sep 28 10:04:04 EDT 2014


A VCXO (as opposed to a TCVCXO) can have a pretty major temperature coefficient. The more the oscillator moves as the room temp varies, the wider your loop needs to be. Exactly how wide depends on a lot of things. Is it a problem if the radio unlocks when a draft blows in through the open window?  There are lots of things to think about / work out.

If your GPS module has a “couple of ns” jitter at one second, your VCXO will likely be moving by several ppb per second with a wide loop. With a more narrow loop and an OCXO, that problem will go away. Doing all the work to build a GPSDO into the radio seems like a waste if the radio is then hopping around worse with the GPS turned on than with it turned off.


On Sep 28, 2014, at 12:01 AM, Mark A. Haun <haunma at keteu.org> wrote:

> In my quest to learn Verilog and get my hands dirty with
> software-defined radio, I'm currently designing a direct-sampling
> shortwave receiver.  This uses an 80-MSPS ADC, which requires a
> low-phase-noise oscillator, e.g. Crystek CVHD-950 or Abracon ABLNO.  It
> would be nice to have some provision for locking this oscillator to an
> external reference, hence my question:
> All of the amateur GPSDO designs I've seen are disciplining an OCXO.  I
> understand this is easier because the excellent short-term accuracy of
> the OCXO means the feedback can run slower, so even a 1 PPS signal can
> be used.
> I am wondering what sort of performance could be achieved by
> disciplining my VCXO directly with a good GPS module.  I have a NEO-7N
> (Ublox) with configurable timepulse up to 10 MHz.  Someone mentioned
> that this is derived from 48 MHz, so jitter is reduced if you pick an
> integer divisor.  That is fine, but I don't have a feel for what other
> irregularities may be present in the timepulse output, and how they
> would affect the performance.  I also don't know how to go about
> designing a PLL loop filter.  I understand the goal is to marry the
> long-term GPS stability with the short-term VCXO stability but all I
> have is a phase-noise plot for the VCXO.  How do you know where to
> split the difference?
> It is not essential to the larger project, but what I am ideally going
> for is 1 ppb frequency match between two ends of a radio link, and 1 ppb
> stability over data symbol times.  That is, carrier stability of ~ 1/10
> cycle at 10 MHz over one-second symbols.  (Channel coherence imposes
> this limit.)  I know the experts here can tell me whether this is
> impossible, totally doable, or somewhere in between!
> Thanks,
> Mark
> _______________________________________________
> 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.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list