[time-nuts] How to get unknown frequency quartz crystals oscillating

Charles Steinmetz csteinmetz at yandex.com
Sat Jun 4 11:11:00 EDT 2016

Tim wrote:

> The Pierce logic-gate-biased-active oscillator is pretty reliable to start
> and will oscillate somewhere with most crystals from kHz to MHz.
> As you found out, it will often come up on one of many overtones.
> To reduce chance of coming at an overtone, a series resistor from logic
> gate output to the crystal is often enough. If not, a RC low-pass will cut
> down even further (although of course adding phase shift.)

The general strategy for discouraging overtone operation and other 
unwanted modes at frequencies above the crystal fundamental is to design 
the gain element to have decreasing gain at higher frequencies.  The 
figure attached below (from Hayward's "introduction to RF Design") shows 
one common implementation.

One of Bernd's papers has some helpful information about low-frequency 
crystals and oscillator circuits.  See pp. 1-3 of:


Best regards,


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