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

Mark Spencer mark at alignedsolutions.com
Thu Jan 5 16:57:37 EST 2017

Thanks John.   I just placed an order.

All the best
Mark S

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 7, 2016, at 11:45 AM, John Ackermann N8UR <jra at febo.com> wrote:
> 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 on the Texas Instruments TDC7200 time-to-data-converter chip. The
> one-second noise ADEV is about 7x10e-11, not much worse than the 5370,
> but here's the trick:  the TICC is an Arduino shield (mounting on a
> Mega 2560 controller) that weighs only 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 one 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 one 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 on 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
> <TICC_rev_c_photo_small.jpg>
> <ticc_rev_c-perf_test_adev.png>
> <Attached Message Part>
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