[time-nuts] Anybody want a Thunderbolt power supply?

Charles Steinmetz csteinmetz at yandex.com
Wed Aug 31 19:02:54 EDT 2016

Bob wrote:

> I don't mean to cause offense, but is everything you don't like crap?  The reality is that whatever the market will bear is what determines what comes to market.  If you can find high quality goods on ebay that can be modified to fit your needs, then you win.  There is a substantial market that either cannot do those mods or would rather spend their time elsewhere.  So, what they're willing to pay is going to determine what's available for sale.

No, but I often view things that don't do the job they need to do as 
crap, especially if they are offered in such a way as to suggest that 
they are, in fact, useful for the intended purpose.  So, let's take the 
proposed power supply -- a switching regulator to develop +5v and -12v 
supplies from an existing +12v supply, with noise of 35mVp-p, offered 
specifically as a power supply solution for Tbolt GPSDOs.  If the 
offering said explicitly that a Tbolt can't provide its best performance 
with the product because of its high noise level, then I might be on the 
fence about whether it was "crap."  But if it were offered as a power 
supply for Tbolts with no mention of what I consider to be a large 
departure from acceptable performance for the intended use, then yes, 
I'd probably consider it "crap."

The issue is that many users do not know what the relevant needs are. 
Rightly or wrongly, they are relying on suppliers to do that job for 
them.  So, offering something for a particular use carries the 
implication that it is really useful for that purpose.  If a seller 
tells a time-nut that a power supply is designed to run a Tbolt, an 
implicit representation has been made that it will work in that role as 
a time-nut would expect it to.  But IMO, the proposed product would not 
do so because of the high noise level.

So, what distinguishes this from packages that have been sold to 
time-nuts in the past that included power supplies that also did not 
work in that role as a time-nut would expect?  In those cases, due 
largely to this list, there was widespread discussion of the issue and 
equally widespread knowledge that for time-nuts-quality results, the PS 
that came with the package needed to be replaced with something better. 
  So at this point, if someone offers a PS to time nuts for use with 
Tbolts, it would be natural to assume that the seller was familiar with 
that history and was offering the "something better."  So today, if that 
is *not* the case, it should be stated explicitly.

Best regards,


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