[time-nuts] Mini-time lab cost and maintenance
bownes at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 10:50:43 EDT 2015
I will throw in my two cents here and add a quick opinion on the test equipment.
If you are truly on a budget, there are some interesting things that can be done with the modular measurement systems that were available in the past from both Tektronix and HP.
While neither is suitable for a very severely constrained budget, they do offer a certain amount of consolidation both of money and space.
On the Tek front there is the TM 500 stroke 5000 series. The frames come in with varying from a single slot to six slot. Instruments available include DMM's, counters, and signal generators. The 5000 series is GPIB controllable. The 5010 counter is a particularly nice instrument with a 10 meg reference input available as well as a 1.3 GHz prescaler. Many of the plug-in instrument modules can be found for well under a hundred dollars US.
The HP 70000 series is more instrumentation aimed at RF and testing in the digital domain. You can assemble a spectrum analyzer, power meters, and network analyzer's within the MMS series frames, which may be daisychained. Displays may be inserted in the frames, or be part of a common assembly with a four slot frame such as the 70004. The pricing is not as low as the Tek stuff but a decent SA can be assembled for under $1,000 if you are patient. How are meter modules are generally under $200 US. The 20GHz signal generator module and 40 GHz network transition module generally go for over $1500 US.
> On Apr 10, 2015, at 07:13, Bob Camp <kb8tq at n1k.org> wrote:
> If you go with a combo setup (OCXO + GPS or Rb + GPS) you will also need a counter or a scope to compare the frequency source
> to the pps out of the GPS over a long period of time. In the case of the OCXO you *might* want a divider on the output. The GPS / GPSDO
> will require some sort of antenna.
> All this stuff (and more) adds up. If it’s truly a start from scratch sort of thing there are more items. I’d include a DVM and a couple of power
> supplies. It’s well worth it to look at a fairly complete list if the budget it tight.
>> On Apr 9, 2015, at 10:00 PM, Tom Van Baak <tvb at LeapSecond.com> wrote:
>> A well-aged quartz oscillator will hold 1e-9 for many days, or even weeks.
>> But your 1e-10'ish requirement is more easily met by using a cheap surplus Rubidium oscillator (< $100 on eBay) or by using a GPSDO (< $200 on eBay). Depending on how you're using the frequency reference you might get by with just a Rubidium oscillator and a $20 to $40 GPS/1PPS source (e.g., https://www.adafruit.com/products/746) with monthly or yearly checks of frequency drift.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Adam Blakney
>> To: Tom Van Baak
>> Sent: Monday, April 06, 2015 10:34 AM
>> Subject: Re: Mini-time lab cost and maintenance
>> I was thinking maybe something with an uncertainty of around 1e-9 or 1e-10. Are there simple quarts oscillators that are good enough for that or is more equipment necessary?
>> Thank you,
>> On Apr 6, 2015, at 1:24 PM, Tom Van Baak <tvb at LeapSecond.com> wrote:
>> Please be more specific. Where in the spectrum between sundial and atomic clock are you interested in?
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Adam Blakney" <akblakney at gmail.com>
>> To: <time-nuts at febo.com>
>> Sent: Monday, April 06, 2015 9:30 AM
>> Subject: [time-nuts] Mini-time lab cost and maintenance
>>> I was wondering how expensive it would be to have even a small and lower
>>> level time lab. What are some less expensive models of machinery i would
>>> need, and how much maintenance is required?
>>> Thanks, Adam
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