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Author Topic: GPS or Rubidium Frequency Standards?  (Read 2680 times)
W7APM
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Posts: 25




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« on: February 21, 2010, 09:43:53 AM »

Looking at both types on Ebay. Is either inherently easier to use or more accurate? I am planning to use one as a 10mhz reference for a HP 5342A counter.

Can anyone reccomend a kit or seller of either?

Thanks!
Marty KL7AM
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K0IZ
Member

Posts: 737




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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 06:43:38 PM »

The GPS is perhaps 10x more accurate as Rubidium.  Having said that, the Rubidium has accuracy of about 1x10 -11 or so, which is about .001 Hz at 10 Mhz.  Good enough for most of us!

There are a number of Rubidium units available on eBay at prices less than $200, mostly about $100.  Only requires power supply and a few misc parts to use.  I had an article in QEX, Nov/Dec 2007 on this.

Most all of the Rubidium oscillators can also be disciplined by a GPS (Ie GPS is connected to Rubidum to further increase accuracy).  Not worth the bother in my opinion.
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KL0S
Member

Posts: 132




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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 07:24:51 PM »

Marty -- I have a couple of Z3801A GPS sources here that drive all the test equipment and a HF receiver.  Either Rb or GPS will give you plenty of accuracy for your counter.

See:

http://realhamradio.com/GPS_Frequency_Standard.htm

for some good background info.

Dino KL0S/4
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KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3714




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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2010, 03:08:03 PM »

hi,

take a look at this article

http://ve2zaz.net/GPS_Std/Downloads/VE2ZAZ_GPS_Derived_Std_QEX_09_10_2006.pdf

73 james
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 04:53:27 PM »

If you buy a rubidium standard from those chinese sellers ask them for the rubidium lamp voltage. Many of their standards  are at the end of there usefull life.

You notice that in their adds they have every piece of equipment to test these standards, but something as simple as putting a  multimeter on the lamp voltage  pins is not done!

In fairness there is one seller that sells Rubidiums with higher lamp voltages for longer life. Seek this guy out.
I have had rubidiums with good lamp voltages die on me, so buy from a seller who offers a long warranty so you can give it a good run in.

Why I like the Rubidium is that I have blown several GPS active antennas with RF in the nearfield. Its not supposed to happen but it does happen.

If you have the money look at the Jackson Fury GPS standard. Highly recommended.
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AA4HA
Member

Posts: 1378




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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 11:32:58 AM »

I have a rubidium standard tied into some of my test equipment, it is a pain-in-the-butt. You only get the real accuracy after the thing has been on for days. A GPS standard would be much easier to deal with.

When the rubidium standard gives up the ghost I will go to a GPS standard.

Tisha Hayes
AA4HA
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
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