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Reviews Categories | Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench | Leo Bodnar Electronics GPSDO Precision Frequency Reference Help

Reviews Summary for Leo Bodnar Electronics GPSDO Precision Frequency Reference
Leo Bodnar Electronics GPSDO Precision Frequency Reference Reviews: 11 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $250
Description: GPSDO Disciplined Oscillator Precision Frequency
Reference, 450 Hz to 800 MHz GPS Locked, Low-Jitter Clock
by Leo Bodnar Electronics distributed by Airspy.US
Product is in production.
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G4AON Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2017 05:44 Send this review to a friend
Nice product, better instructions needed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At £150 delivered to a UK address, the Leo Bodnar unit is too good to not have in your shack.

As currently delivered, the unit arrives "bare". You get a USB lead, GPS patch antenna and the unit itself.

While the supply Voltage is shown as 5 to 14V, when running from a 13V shack supply it runs hot. A 5V supply keeps it cooler. It can also be powered from USB.

The Windows programming software is a 140 KB download from their site and is fairly easy to use. On my Windows 10 PC, there were no drivers to install or any other issues, the software "just ran" and found the unit without any messing around. It is easy to use the software to set more or less any single frequency in it's range of 450 Hz to 800 MHz, enter the frequency in Hz into Output 1, press "Find" and the unit changes to that frequency, settling down after a few seconds.

The slightly trickier problem was how to program a 10 MHz and 1 MHz simultaneous output, as the programming software (ver 9.11) didn't give an output option of 1 MHz for output 2 when set for 10 MHz on output 1. A little investigation suggested that manually changing the parameters might produce the required outputs. For those with a similar unit, the way to set O/P 1 to 10 MHz and O/P 2 to 1 MHz is as follows:

Enter 10 MHz in output 1 and press "Find"
Change the entry in NC2_LS from the 10 MHz setting (48 in my unit) to ten times that value (480) and press "Update". The outputs will now be 10 MHz and 1 MHz. Note at this point the unit will retain the settings, but the software will not show O/P 2 correctly, close the software and re-run it if you want to read the frequencies from the unit.

The only downside is the lack of instructions...
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2016 14:39 Send this review to a friend
Great GPSDO For The Price!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I already own a Spectracom "GPS Ageless Master Oscillator" as well as an HP 58503A where they both are functioning fine. I purchased this one though in that you have the opportunity to program it to produce a different output frequency other than the normal 10 MHz reference most GPSDOs produce.

Comparing it to the HP and the Spectracom, it is dead on frequency as the others when set to 10 MHz. I then programmed it produce a frequency of 15.60000 which is the frequency used by the Kenwood TS590. I monitored it's stability on that frequency with my B&K 1823A Counter (capable to read down to .1 Hz) referenced to the Spectracom. It remained dead on 15,600,000.0 which is as close as the B&K would read.

The unit I purchased is the low noise version which is a few dollars more, but I am 1000% happy with it! I highly recommend it as a frequency reference.
SHORTWIRE Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2016 15:27 Send this review to a friend
Great Flexibility at the (small) price of some Stability  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A Real Bargain!

This device appears to have a bit less stability than most surplus competitors, in return for a lot more flexibility.

You can take it portable for microwave experiments, without the need to set a position. just connect and go..!

Low power consumption (250mA at 5V)

Small size and weight

Appears to run in navigation mode, so no survey or position setup needed. You just turn it on, and one or two minutes later it is ready for use.

Uses a modern u-blox chipset, so sensitivity is as good as it gets today.

Can be set to any frequency between a few KHz and over 800MHz, which will be locked to GPS with the below mentioned stability.


Its frequency stability appears a bit worse than most old surplus competitors, probably due to its use of a TCXO, rather than the more common OCXO.


When measured on my HP 53132A against my HP 58503A, i see frequent jumps of up to about 0.3ppb, so it might not be considered TimeNuts grade in its performance. Or I might have done something wrong(?)

Best points is the size, weight, power consumption and price.

It is a very flexible device, excellent for most HAM use, perhaps short of the most critical tasks like JT or WSPR on 10GHz+.

If your needs are less than these, it is very highly recommended!
VE3YF Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2016 11:21 Send this review to a friend
Very Handy and Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased one of these units to correct a finger problem at this end. It might have seen like overkill but it definitely did the job, so well in fact I leave the GPSDO on 24/7 and hooked up to both of my SO2R Station radio's. Not only did this unit fix my finger problem, it also serves to keep my radio's both on frequency. I power the GPSDO right off the desktop computer's USB Port. Setup of the unit is very simple, just follow the simple computer program and it takes care of everything. I had thought of an alternate unit from China, but changed my mind and I am glad that I did. This unit has given my piece of mind and zero issues, what more could you ask for.
If you have a finger problem like I did, with this unit you can't go wrong when you are looking for a GPSDO, and Leo is only an email away for support or Force-12, something I have not needed to date.
KD8DZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2016 19:15 Send this review to a friend
High accuracy cost effective GPSDO  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have used the LeoBodnar GPSDO a good bit so far and it functions as advertised.  I had several questions which I posed to Leo, and he quickly addressed them.  It is always a good sign when the people who make an instruments provide timely support.  I have used the DO to calibrate my K3 by using the "spotting" function on the K3 and zero-beating the 10MHz signal.  Calibration using this method is good to +/- about one Hz.  I also use it to check the calibration on my HP8657A signal generator and a Tektronics frequency meter.  In the future, I plan to install an improved TXCO and the 10MHz K3EXREF  Ext. Frequency Reference Input card in the K3 and lock to the GPSDO.  I would also like to use it as the basis in some of the future precision frequency tests sponsored by ARRL as it has sub Hertz capability. I might also add that I agree with the previous reviews of this device.
VE3YF Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2016 12:51 Send this review to a friend
Very Handy and Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I ended up purchasing one of these GPSDO's as one of my radio's was off frequency. Why it was off frequency was a finger problem at this end. To bring the radio back on freq I got the GPSDO. I leave the unit plugged into the computer USB port 24/7 and it has never failed. I have both of my rigs hooked up to the GPSDO and I purchased a somewhat cheap GPS antenna and the GPSDO finds the satellites rather quickly. Setup is very easy, just download the setup program and follow a few simple steps. I could not be happier with my purchase.
K5JAZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2016 09:12 Send this review to a friend
Great reference for Flex 6500  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased this GPSDO with accessory antenna from Force 12. There was a wait of several weeks before the unit was delivered due to great demand after the QST article. My ham shack is in a portable building with a metal roof, which was great to hold the antenna with its magnetic base. Installation of the GPSDO was quick and simple, requiring only 13.8v station power, connecting the antenna, and connecting one output to my Flex 6500 external reference connector. After warming up the 6500 for a couple of hours, I executed the calibration routine against WWV at 15Mhz, which indicated a frequency difference of 0 Hz (it was ~ 760Hz). One note of caution: the GPDSO must be ON before the 6500 is booted; otherwise it will not recognize the GPDSO. Flex Radio Systems sells a GPDSO for the Flex 6xxx line that mounts inside the case and is tightly integrated with the radio. There are probably many reasons to purchase the Flex product, but after springing for the 6500 and the Maestro, I did not have a lot of money left for a GPDSO. The Flex version is twice the price of the Force 12 product, which greatly influenced my purchasing decision. I do not regret my decision, as the Force 12 product has performed flawlessly.
W6PC Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2016 06:23 Send this review to a friend
Cost effective, excellent performer  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this unit to replace a failing rubidium shop frequency reference.

Have found this unit has slightly better phase noise and jitter performance than specified by the advertising. It is certainly superior and exceeds what I need in shop setting.

I am using the unit in it's stock configuration with an active antenna supplied by Force12. It has been in operation for 5+ months and I have had no issues.

If you require a good standard at a reasonable price, give this one a try.

Looks like a winner for Bill and the crew at Force12.
K3DCW Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2016 05:08 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I recently purchased my second GPSDO from Leo and am extremely happy with the product.

While seemingly a simple device, this GPSDO is quite flexible. Once the output level is setup, and the device is connected to a GPS antenna (provided), it syncs very quickly and provides two GPS-disciplined 10MHz outputs. The software is very simple and installs nothing onto your system. Firmware updates are available although mine came with the latest version already installed.

The GPSDO support power over USB: you can leave it connected to your PC in order to keep the device powered (over USB), or you can use an external USB power source (like an iPhone or similar charging block). If you'd rather use a wall wart or even your station's power supply, the GPSDO supports external power (5-15vdc) as well through a standard input plug.

Oh, and did I mention the shipping? It shipped on Monday from the UK, arrived on Tuesday before noon here in Maryland. Outstanding!

If you want to discipline your rig using a GPS 10MHz reference, I can't think of a better way to go; doubly so if you have two rigs since this GPSDO provides two outputs for the price of one!
K6BRN Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2016 20:59 Send this review to a friend
Just works - What more can you ask?  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I Purchased the GPSDO Precision Frequency Reference GPS Locked Low-Jitter Clock and optional active GPS antenna months ago for use as a primary reference to calibrate and test a significant collection of signal sources, counters, computing oscilloscopes, a spectrum analyzer and other test equipment.

A significant burden that comes with all test equipment is that it needs periodic calibration - and the Bodnar GPSDO was selected as a primary frequency calibration source because it's a cost-effective, easy to use, reliable product that locks to a known good frequency source the U.S. Government maintains for me. Really nice of Uncle Sam to do that!

I also used the GPSDO as a phase-locked reference when re-tuning some older VHF/UHF equipment that had drifted in frequency over the years. The radios proved to be spot-on afterwards.

In the default 10 MHz dual-output reference mode, it was simple to use, reliable, accurate and had plenty of drive. I did not bother to reprogram the outputs (yet).

What I like MOST about the reference is:

1. Locks on to the GPS signal very quickly, even in marginal conditions (shaded by two buildings). Easy to use, stable and ready to go in a couple of minutes

2. Provides not one but two (buffered reference outputs - that are individually programmable (within limits) for drive and frequency. I find having TWO buffered outputs very useful when checking equipment.

3. Really is Atomic-Clock accurate and repeatable, with low jitter and plenty of drive.

In summary: Easy to use, reasonably priced and consistently works (well).

Brian - K6BRN

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