[time-nuts] Thinking outside the box a super reference

Ruslan Nabioullin rnabioullin at gmail.com
Sat Nov 5 14:30:18 EDT 2016

On 11/03/2016 06:10 PM, Attila Kinali wrote:
> On Thu, 3 Nov 2016 16:37:06 -0400
> Ruslan Nabioullin <rnabioullin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> What about instead establishing an open-source hardware project for a
>> frequency standard fusor?  I was researching COTS solutions for this for
>> my rubidium ensemble and could only find this one product, which
>> obviously should be exorbitant in cost:
> You don't need a hardware project for this, as long as a paper clock
> is enough for you. Just buy a couple of kiwi-sdr (or anything similar),
> provide all of them with a common clock source and you get a comparison
> of all your atomic clocks with minimum effort and can build from that
> a paper clock easily. The paper clock can than be used for the measurement
> you do, using one of the atomic clocks (preferably the one with the lowest
> phase noise) as reference.

If it's so relatively straightforward, then why not establish such a 
project instead of reinventing the wheel by attempting to perform atomic 
standard R&D and fabrication on a shoestring?  It should be much more 
practical, even considering the fact that one will obtain diminishing 
returns on the ensemble's n, and furthermore should be extremely 
successful---apparently only a single Russian company holds a global 
monopoly on this product, apart from custom-fabricated setups in 
national metrology labs, and numerous people would benefit (why purchase 
an exorbitantly-expensive and short-lifespan cesium standard when one 
can fuse a redundant ensemble of rubidium standards?  Or for 
lower-budget and/or higher-MTBF setups, the same for a rubidium standard 
and OCXO standards, resp.)

Another project, much simpler in comparison but even more useful, would 
be a rack-mount standard for an OCXO or rubidium physics package, which 
should consist of just a chassis, power supply, thermal structure, and a 
monitoring subsystem with interfaces (LEDs, an LCD display, and 
RS-232/USB/GPIB/Ethernet).  The used market is flooded with cheap 
physics packages, yet actual standards are uncommon and expensive.


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