[time-nuts] TICC Timestamping / Time Interval Counter -- Available to Order

timeok timeok at timeok.it
Thu Dec 8 10:39:24 EST 2016

   Ok I know the development job is very hard with a lot of rework and time spending.
   I will try your basic unit but I hope you will develop a "multiboard" scenario with a single USB to send the real time data to Timelab.
   Thank you again to you and the group for what you are doing for us.

   From "time-nuts" time-nuts-bounces at febo.com
   To time-nuts at febo.com
   Date Thu, 8 Dec 2016 09:18:51 -0500
   Subject Re: [time-nuts] TICC Timestamping / Time Interval Counter -- Available to Order
   Hi Luciano --

   The expanded-channels scenario would use one TICC/Arduino pair for each
   set of channels. It would require much redesign to stack multiple TICCs
   on a single Arduino, and I don't think one board would have the power to
   handle it.

   What I envisioned would be a set of TICC/Arduinos each putting their
   data on USB, and then something like a RPi receiving the multiple USB
   data streams and serving as a control unit that might multiplex the data
   onto a single ethernet stream, or do processing/storage itself.

   At this point, the TICC board includes the connections to allow multiple
   boards to be synchronized but we haven't implemented the full system yet
   -- in part because until now there are only 4 working TICCs in the
   world, and they are in 3 locations!


   On 12/8/2016 8:09 AM, timeok wrote:
   > Hi John,
   > a question: In the draft operating manual is write is possible to use 2, 4 ,6 etc. input using multiple (1,2,3) TICC.
   > How are connected the extra TICC boards?
   > Is it possible a single Arduino drive multiple boards or each board is connected to an Arduino processor?
   > thanks,
   > Luciano
   > www.timeok.it
   > From "time-nuts" time-nuts-bounces at febo.com
   > To "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement" time-nuts at febo.com
   > Cc
   > Date Wed, 7 Dec 2016 14:45:17 -0500
   > Subject [time-nuts] TICC Timestamping / Time Interval Counter -- Available to Order
   > I'm happy to report that TAPR is now accepting orders for the TICC
   > timestamping / time interval counter. We've placed an order with the
   > contract manufacturer and expect to have finished product ready to ship
   > sometime in February. The TICC system will include the TICC shield
   > mounted on an Arduino Mega 2560 compatible processor, with TICC software
   > loaded. Each system will be tested for function before shipping.
   > As I mentioned in my original email, TAPR is going a bit out on a limb
   > to produce the TICC, and we have to make a significant up-front payment
   > to our contract manufacturer. So, early orders are very much appreciated
   > to help recover our cash flow.
   > The regular price will be $190 each for the TICC shield with Arduino
   > compatible processor,* but to encourage early orders, we're offering a
   > $10 discount for orders placed on or before December 21 -- that makes
   > the price $180 plus shipping.
   > You can order from: http://tapr.org/kits_ticc.html
   > Thanks!
   > John
   > * We will provide a Sainsmart version of the Arduino Mega 2560 R3. They
   > seem to be a reliable supplier and we used these boards for TICC
   > development.
   > -------- Forwarded Message --------
   > Subject: [time-nuts] New Timestamping / Time Interval Counter: the TICC
   > Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2016 10:48:57 -0500
   > From: John Ackermann N8UR <jra at febo.com>
   > Counters with resolution below 1 nanosecond are difficult.
   > They require either outrageous clock speeds, or interpolators
   > that are typically a bunch of analog components mixed with black
   > magic and stirred by frequent calibration. The very best single-shot
   > resolution that's been commercially available is 20 picoseconds in
   > the Keysight 53230A and HP 5370A/B. My 5370B has an one-second
   > noise ADEV of about 4x10e-11.
   > With the help of some very talented friends, I've been working on a new
   > counter called the "TICC" with <60ps resolution and similar jitter,
   > based the Texas Instruments TDC7200 time-to-data-converter chip. The
   > noise ADEV is about 7x10e-11, not much worse than the 5370,
   > but here's the trick: the TICC is an Arduino shield (mounting a
   > Mega 2560 controller) that weighs a couple of ounces, requires
   > *no* calibration, and is powered from a USB cable!
   > The TICC is implemented as a two-channel timestamping counter. That
   > means it can measure or two low-frequency (e.g., pulse-per-second)
   > inputs against an external 10 MHz reference, or it can do a traditional
   > time interval measurement of input against the other. It can also
   > measure period, ratio, or any other function of two-channel timestamp
   > data. (And by the way -- multiple TICCs can be connected to yield 4,
   > 6, 8, or more synchronized channels, though we haven't tested this
   > capability yet.)
   > I've attached a picture of the TICC prototype as well as an ADEV plot
   > of a 17+ day run of multiple measurements taken by two TICCs, and also
   > showing the TICC noise floor. The good news behind that plot is that
   > there are more than 6 million data points behind these results, and
   > there was not a single glitch or significant outlier among them.
   > There's more information available at http://febo.com/pages/TICC
   > The software is open source (BSD license) and is available at
   > https://github.com/TAPR/TICC -- the current version seems be reliable
   > but there are still features to add and a *lot* of cleanup to do; it's
   > currently ugly and very much a work in process.
   > As always, I'll be making the TICC available through TAPR. We're still
   > finalizing details, but we expect the price to be less than $200 for a
   > turn-key system: TICC mounted an Arduino with software loaded and
   > tested for basic functionality. We hope to ship the TICC by February.
   > I'll post a note in a week or two with final price and ordering
   > information. As a heads up, we will probably offer a small discoun
   > for pre-orders. TAPR is a shoestring non-profit group and the up-front
   > cost to manufacture this unit will frankly be a challenge for us.
   > Getting pre-orders will help our cash flow significantly, so we ask you
   > to keep that in mind.
   > John
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