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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Frequency Reference - How Accurate?


You may remember I mentioned a GPS disciplined Frequency Reference project that I found back here:

I ordered and received the PCB for the project, here's the start of construction:

The main PCB connects to a OCXO which it alters the control voltage to adjust, and also connects to a GPS receiver.

Now, I started off with a GPS receiver that was advertised as being a timing and 1pps (pulse per second) output device. This is exactly what I need as the 1pps signal from the GPS timing is used to gate the counting of the signal from the OCXO and hence alter the frequency to be exact.

Anyhow, the GPS I bought, despite what it was advertised as being, didn't contain the 1pps firmware!

So I have another unit now, this one certainly does contain the 1pps gubbins, but I don't have the correct connector for the antenna feed! However, here's what the 1pps signal looks like:

As this is only about 3V +ve I suspect I will need to push this through a transistor switch, but whatever happens it looks good to me!

I've got 2 10MHz OCXOs here, and you can see them below on test:

The physically larger unit to the rear of the photo above has a variable adjustment between 0 and 8V, the one near the front is 0 - 2.54V. Also the one at the front seems to pull a huge amount of current while it is warming up its oven - like 2A.  That is going to present some difficulties; the rear unit only pulls about 500mA. So I'll probably go with the 8V adjust unit initially and see how it performs.

Cat's not impressed:

Fun though. egh?

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