Archive for March 18th, 2019
An RD JDS6600 Signal Generator recently arrived from around the curve of the horizon, leading me to measure its warmup time:
Looks like it’s good to go after maybe 90 minutes and, after much longer, it settles to 10 MHz +36 Hz, for a correction factor of 0.9999964 on those days when you’re being really fussy.
The need for frequencies accurate to better than 4 ppm doesn’t happen very often around here, but it’s best to be prepared. It’s amazing what you can get for under $100 these days …
I measured the frequency by zero-beating against the Z3801 GPS Frequency Standard (purple trace in the middle):
Basically, trigger the scope on either trace, crank the JDS6600 frequency in 1 Hz, then 0.1 Hz steps, until the traces stop crawling past each other, and you’re done.
It’s worth noting you (well, I) must crank eleven 0.01 Hz steps to change the output frequency by about 0.1 Hz around 10 MHz, suggesting the actual frequency steps are on the order of 0.1 Hz, no matter what the display resolution may lead you to think.
The RDS6600 main PCB (Rev 15) sports a 24 MHz oscillator close to the Lattice FPGA:
The bottom trace is the scope’s internal function generator, also set to 10 MHz. Zero-beating the JDS6600 against the scope’s output produces a similar result:
The scope’s function generator actually runs at (9.999964 MHz) × (0.9999964) = 9.999928 MHz, a whopping 72 ppm low. The on-screen frequency measurements don’t have enough resolution to show the offset, nor to zero-beat it with the Z3801 input, so it’s as good as it needs to be.
The Z3801’s double-oven oscillator takes a few days to settle from a cold start, so this wasn’t an impulsive measurement. Having the power drop midway through the process didn’t help, either, but it’s March in the Northeast and one gets occasional blizzards with no additional charge.