[time-nuts] Performance verification for time counters

Bob kb8tq kb8tq at n1k.org
Wed Nov 29 17:20:26 EST 2017


Hi


> On Nov 29, 2017, at 5:16 PM, Andy ZL3AG via time-nuts <time-nuts at febo.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> HP 5359A Time Synthesiser?

100 to 200 ps jitter …. he’s after <5 ps

Bob

> 
> 
> On 30/11/2017, at 10:24 AM, Leo Bodnar wrote:
> 
>> I am looking for an established and widely accepted procedure for verifying performance of high resolution time counters.
>> 
>> I have designed a time stamping counter for qualifying 1PPS signal performance against external reference (e.g. 10MHz master clock.)
>> 
>> Simple design verification check I am doing at the moment is gating random selection of master clock edges back into device's signal input and letting the device measure this test signal offset against its reference clock - which, for ideal design, should result in zero offset (modulo 100ns.)  My results are roughly in line with what I expect to see http://leobodnar.com/balloons/NTP/time-sampler-test1.png
>> 
>> Now, what would be recognised procedure for sweeping external input pulse delay over few hundred ns in a controlled, measurable and repeatable way? 
>> 
>> I can see few naïve approaches:
>> 1) Using selectively gated (or divided) reference clock followed by adjustable delay line.  E.g. something like mechanically adjusted delay lines used in HP test sets.  Or, perhaps, calibrated rigid coax sections?  
>> 2) Slightly offset another master clock (e.g. second Rb oscillator) gated in a similar way but without delay line, followed by statistical data analysis 
>> 3) Trusted pulse generator with high resolution delay adjustment fed from the same master clock as the counter 
>> 
>> I am looking for something with ~10ps accuracy, 100ns+ range, and reasonably low jitter (~5ps or better.)  
>> It is possible that the range needs to be split up (e.g. fixed rigid coax delay line followed by a mechanically adjust section.)
>> 
>> This is a low budget fun project so something simple and common sense is preferred to "price on application" NIST traceable equipment.
>> 
>> Thanks!
>> Leo
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