[time-nuts] Tbolt issues

Lars Walenius lars.walenius at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 2 06:38:06 EDT 2016

Hello Bert,

For me your findings look very much the same as this:
At least for me I should say the (absolute) frequency accuracy for this Tbolt is not better than +-1E10 with 1 or 10 seconds gate times on a counter. Maybe I am totally wrong as both Tom and Charles says that your Tbolt is bad.

As Bob Camp said we need a confidence interval. For me in this case it is peak values if they occur more than a couple of times. Think of  voltmeters. If it is out of spec say for only a couple of hours but it happens several times say during a month or year and the voltmeters is not considered bad I should say change the spec. If I were going to use the Tbolt as a reference in a production environment with a 1 or 10 sec gate time I probably would set the internal spec to 2E-10.

If I understand correct the Tracor 527E has a low pass filter with a time constant of 1second so the 1 second frequency average data should be relevant.

As I am also interested in frequency accuracy with GPSDO´s used with frequency counters, I have a maybe far to simplistic rule of accuracy: (10x the worst ADEV at all Taus longer than the gate time). So for the Tbolt with time constant of 100 seconds it is a hump of about 1E-11 at 100seconds so at gate times shorter than 100seconds I expect to see excursions up to 1E-10. If you set the time constant to 1000seconds and the OCXO in the Thunderbolt is good to 2 to 3E-12 all the way 1-1000 seconds you probably don´t have excursions higher than 2 to 3E-11 at 1-100 seconds gate times.


Från: Bert Kehren via time-nuts
Skickat: den 1 september 2016 19:09

We have been following the Tbolt power discussions but what I am missing is 
 the main problem with Tbolts. All the power work will not improve the 
frequency  performance of the unit because the frequency is constantly changed 
to correct  time. Tbolt is an excellent time device but not good for 
frequency reference  past 1E-10. I noticed it when I bought it and compared it with 
my Tracor 527E on  the needle and ever since used an Austron 2110 with a 
digital 100 sec. loop for  clean up. My Swiss partner Juerg has relied on an 
OSA F3 for Tbolt clean up but  continuous bad results on our work resulted in 
a detailed analysis using a  HP53132A counter and M100, FTS44060, two 
OSA8600's and one of the best FE405's.  The rsult is that the OSA F3 does not 
clean up the Tbolt and we see +-4E-11  changes and old data shows even some +-8 
E-11 excursions. With the popularity of  the Tbolt an analog or digital 
clean up loop would make sense. We are working on  both, the analog because I 
saw similar behavior on the FE5680 and FE5650, we did  a GPSDO but do not plan 
on using those Rb's but focus on M100 and FRK. 
The collective expertise of time nuts could make a significant  contribution
For power in critical applications we use the excellent work from Bern Kaa  
a friend for the last twenty years and well known because of his published 
work  in the European HAM community
Bert Kehren
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