[time-nuts] Vintage Frequency Measurement

Jeremy Nichols jn6wfo at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 10:57:46 EST 2017

[Hopefully this time my post is in the required plain-text format!]

The solid-state HP-5210A and its vacuum-tube predecessors, the 
HP-500A/B/C family, were analog frequency measuring instruments. The 
circuitry summed the input frequency (converted into pulses) and 
generated an analog voltage to display on a meter. Higher frequency 
meant more pulses and thus a higher voltage. My 5210A goes up to 10 MHz 
and is surprisingly accurate although the resolution, even with an 
expanded-scale switch, is only three digits. A nice tool in the 5210A is 
an FM discriminator with adjustable filters.


On 2/11/2017 10:08 PM, Scott Stobbe wrote:
> I was inspired recently coming across a Lampkin 105 frequency meter, as to
> how  frequency measurement was done before counters.
> Certainly zero-beating a dial calibrated oscillator, would be one approach.
> Is there a standout methodology or instrument predating counters?
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