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Archive for category Electronics Workbench

60 kHz Tuning Fork Resonator: Maximum Overdrive

Datasheets loosely associated with the tuning fork resonators in hand suggest 1 μW maximum drive power, which works out to maybe 100 mVrms = 150 mVpk at about 10 kΩ ESR. If you inadvertently apply 500 mVpk = 375 mVrms, the resulting 14 μW does this:

Broken 60 kHz Tuning Fork Resonator - overview

Broken 60 kHz Tuning Fork Resonator – overview

I was applying a precisely tuned 60 kHz sine wave to the first pass at a crystal filter grafted onto the loop antenna preamp and wasn’t paying attention to the amplitude. For all I know, though, the poor thing died from a power-on transient. I’m pretty sure I didn’t break it during extraction, because it stopped being a resonator while in the circuit.

The missing tine fell out of the can:

Broken 60 kHz Tuning Fork Resonator - tine detail

Broken 60 kHz Tuning Fork Resonator – tine detail

Laser trim scars form a triangle near the tip, a T a bit further down, a slot just above the nicely etched gap.

A closer look at the fractured base:

Broken 60 kHz Tuning Fork Resonator - detail

Broken 60 kHz Tuning Fork Resonator – detail

The metalization appears black here and gold in person.

So, yeah, one down and 49 to go …

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Amazon Packaging: PAR30 LED Bulb

The second incandescent bulb over the kitchen sink popped and a replacement LED bulb arrived with the by-now-familiar homeopathic Amazon padding:

Amazon Packaging - Satco LED bulb

Amazon Packaging – Satco LED bulb

Turns out the new bulb is slightly brighter than the old one:

Satco S9415 LED PAR30 bulbs

Satco S9415 LED PAR30 bulbs

Oh, and it’s three bucks cheaper, too.

Eyeballometrically, 5% makes no difference whatsoever, even in a side-by-side comparison.

Life is good.

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LF Crystal Tester: 60 kHz Resonator Frequency Distribution

Histogramming all 50-ish resonator frequencies shows reasonably good distributions:

60 kHz Resonant Frequencies - histogram

60 kHz Resonant Frequencies – histogram

Notably, there’s no obvious suckout in the middle, as with those eBay Hall-effect sensors.

I don’t know what to make of the difference between the parallel and serial resonant frequencies for each tuning fork:

60 kHz Resonant Frequencies - Delta histogram

60 kHz Resonant Frequencies – Delta histogram

Perhaps each resonator’s frequency depends on its (laser-trimmed) tine mass and follows a more-or-less normal distribution, but the parallel-serial difference depends on (well-controlled) etched dimensions producing quantized results from three different masks / wafers / lots?

For reference, the resonators look like this:

Quartz resonator - detail

Quartz resonator – detail

Producing the histograms uses the LibreOffice frequency() array function, which requires remembering to whack Ctrl-Shift Enter to activate the function’s array-ness.

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LF Crystal Tester: Grounded CX Case

The usual model for a quartz resonator apportions half the measured both-leads-to-case capacitance to each lead:

AT26 crystal capacitance fixture - Cpar detail

AT26 crystal capacitance fixture – Cpar detail

These AT26 / TF26 cases run around 0.6 pF, so each parasitic capacitor is 300 fF:

60 kHz Quartz Resonator - model

60 kHz Quartz Resonator – model

For ordinary quartz crystals, you solder the case to the ground plane to get rid of the sneak path around the central capacitor (normally C0, but labeling it properly in LTSpice just isn’t happening), but those little aluminum cans aren’t solderable. One could blob some Wire Glue over them, but …

So I just wrapped a wire around the case and soldered it to a convenient ground point under the board:

LF Crystal Tester - grounded TF26 case

LF Crystal Tester – grounded TF26 case

Aaaand ran the obvious measurements:

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 - CX 6 pF - grounded vs float

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 – CX 6 pF – grounded vs float

Solid lines = case ungrounded. Dotties = case grounded.

Grounding the case knocks the off-peak response down by less than 1 dB. The on-peak response remains about the same, so eliminating the series capacitance does reduce the blowthrough.

With the case grounded and CX = 6 pF in the circuit, the peaks over on the right seem ever so slightly lower in frequency, which suggests a slightly higher motional capacitance. There’s not much to write home about, though, so I’d say there’s very little effect, even on this scale.

 

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LF Crystal Tester: Resonance Frequencies vs CX

Adjusting the series capacitor produces pretty much the expected results, with the parallel resonance still tracking the series peak.

CX = 19.3 pF
Fs peak: 59996.18 Hz 80.4 dbV
Fc peak: 59998.19 Hz 78.2 dbV
Delta frequency: 2.01

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 - CX 19.3 pF

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 – CX 19.3 pF

CX = 9.9pF
Fs peak: 59996.19 Hz 79.4 dbV
Fc peak: 59999.97 Hz 75.8 dbV
Delta frequency: 3.78

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 - CX 9.9 pF

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 – CX 9.9 pF

CX = 6.8 pF
Fs peak: 59996.10 Hz 80.3 dbV
Fc peak: 60001.48 Hz 74.6 dbV
Delta frequency: 5.38

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 - CX 6.8 pF

60 kHz Quartz Resonator 0 – CX 6.8 pF

At the frequency resolution of these graphs, none of the standard equations are helpful; this is definitely a “tune for best picture” situation.

So, assuming the same general conditions apply in a filter, a series capacitance around 10 pF should pull the resonant peak to 60.000 kHz. Unfortunately, the cheery 76 dB level is relative to the AD8310‘s nominal -108 dBV intercept at 4 μV: the log amp sees 25 mV after the MAX4255 op amp applies 40 dB (×100) of gain to the 250 μV coming from the resonator. The resonator drive is 1 μW = 150 mV, so the resonator produces a 55 dB loss for a signal dead on frequency.

The off-peak attenuation looks like a mere 7 dB, although I hope plenty of noise masks the true result in this circuit.

Phew & similar remarks.

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Google Pixel XL Camera Oddity: LED Flicker Stripes

The Pixel’s camera shows a black stripe across both the live preview and the final image:

Pixel XL Camera - shutter stripe

Pixel XL Camera – shutter stripe

That’s under the high-intensity LED lamp on my desk, which must have a high-frequency flicker. I’m amazed the camera remains in absolutely stable sync with the flicker for as long as I’m willing to aim it.

The stripe covers only the moth and greenery, not the LCD monitor in the background, so it’s caused by the overhead lamp, not something internal to the Pixel or its camera.

A closer look shows shading on either side of the deepest black (clicky for more dots):

Pixel XL Camera - shutter stripe - detail

Pixel XL Camera – shutter stripe – detail

The stripe location and width differ based on the image zoom level, although in no predictable way:

Pixel XL Camera - shutter stripe - 2

Pixel XL Camera – shutter stripe – 2

The Pixel camera definitely doesn’t have optical zoom, so it’s surely related to the scaling applied to convert the physical sensor array into the final image. Even though all images have 4048×3036 pixels (or the other way around, at least for these portrait-layout pix), zoomed images get made-up (pronounced “interpolated”) data in their pixels.

Not a problem under any other illumination I’ve encountered so far, so it’s likely something to do with this specific and relatively old LED lamp.

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LF Crystal Tester: Variable CX

Replacing the 22 pF series capacitor with a variable cap went smoothly after I got over having to rip-and-replace the adjacent socket and header, too:

LF Crystal Tester - variable CX

LF Crystal Tester – variable CX

The circuit remains the same, plus a test point to simplify measuring the actual capacitance:

Test Fixture - variable CX

Test Fixture – variable CX

I didn’t add a jumper to disconnect the crystal fixture, because (I think) it would add too much uncontrolled stray capacitance: removing the header would disconnect the socket / header wires.

The little red cap adjusts from (nominally) 3 pF to 28 pF over half a turn, without a stop. The rotor does have a marked side, but basically you’re supposed to tune for best picture and leave it at that.

The AADE L/C meter works fine, but in the low pF range everything affects the reading. The only way to measure the actual capacitance seems to be:

  • Clip one lead to the top of the 24 Ω terminating resistor
  • Hold the other within a millimeter of the test point pin
  • Zero the meter, note any residual offset
  • Touch clip lead to test pin
  • Note reading, mentally subtract residual offset

The as-installed range spans 6.5 pF to 28 pF. I think I can measure it to within ±0.05 pF, with a considerable dependence on maintaining the same pressure on the clip lead.

I suppose if you were doing this for real, you’d throw another Teledyne relay at the problem.

 

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