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Inside Frequency Control

Rob Rutkowski

Recent Posts

6 Emerging PNT Technologies & Solutions of the Future

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Jan 7, 2020 8:42:08 AM

The U.S Department of Homeland Security considers 13 of the nation’s 16 critical infrastructure sectors to be ‘critically dependent’ on PNT technology. Also, a loss of PNT would cost the U.S an estimated $10 BILLION a day. Not only do many everyday consumers use PNT & GPS on a daily basis, it's also crucial for military and intelligence operations. Other industries that strongly rely on GPS based PNT include

  • Radio communications
  • Network synchronization
  • Intelligence systems
  • Information gathering
  • Cruise missiles
  • Weapons systems
  • Electronic warfare
In this post we're going to cover some of the challenges facing PNT today as well as 6 emerging PNT technologies and solutions that will revolutionize the future.
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Topics: Space & Satellites, GPS & GNSS, Military & Defense, Defense & PNT

Is a Swept Quartz Crystal Necessary in your Timing Application?

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Dec 11, 2019 8:45:00 AM

What is a Swept Quartz Crystal?

Like many other things, radiation can impact a crystal oscillator's frequency. This is because radiation physically alters the quartz crystal inside the oscillator (changes position of weakly bound compensators that change the elastic constants of quartz). In some cases, radiation can even impact the crystal series resonance. The increase of resonance can be serious enough to cause the oscillator to stop oscillating if the crystal isn't radiation resistant. When a quartz crystal is manufactured to be radiation resistant, the crystal is referred to as a swept quartz crystal.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, RF Technology

7 Key Factors of Crystal Oscillator Circuit Design

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Nov 21, 2019 10:26:42 AM

There are 7 key factors of understanding successful crystal oscillator circuit design. These include

  1. Series circuit
  2. Load Capacitance
  3. Parallel Circuit
  4. Drive Level
  5. Frequency vs mode
  6. Design Considerations
  7. Negative Resistance
In this post, we're going to cover the basics of oscillator design and each of the 7 key components of great crystal oscillator circuit design.
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Topics: crystal oscillators

10 Unique Holiday Gifts for Engineers (2019)

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Oct 22, 2019 8:30:00 AM

Is it too early to start thinking about holiday gifts? Absolutely not! The holiday season is approaching quickly, so we wanted to help you start thinking through some great gift ideas for the engineers in your life (or soon to be). We also wanted to make this your not-so-average gift idea post that doesn't include your typical (boring) engineering mug or neck-tie gifts. Without further ado, here's 10 unique holiday gifts for engineers.

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Topics: General Topics, Engineering Equiptment

Warning! EFC Over-Specification May Be Costing You (Do this instead!)

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Oct 2, 2019 11:14:09 AM

What if I told you that specifying more Electronic Frequency Control (EFC) than you need could actually be hurting you pocketbook? Well, it very well may be! Paying attention to whether your supplier is using AT cut vs SC cut crystals will help you save money in the long run with OCXOs.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals, RF Technology

What The Heck is an OCXO Oscillator? (Facts & Functionality)

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Aug 20, 2019 8:20:00 AM

Ahh the mysterious OCXO. What the heck is an OCXO anyway? What's it good for? When should you use one in your electronic system design? These questions and more will all be answered in this post.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals

6 Innovative Markets Where Precise Timing & Sync Will Be Crucial

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Aug 6, 2019 8:20:00 AM

Precise timing across a variety of networks and industries is becoming a necessity. Both operationally and legally.  It's actually pretty amazing to see the evolution of timing & frequency control throughout different industries. There's been significant timing innovations over the past 5-10 years alone.

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Topics: Clocks & Crystals, RF Technology

The Ultimate Guide to Atomic Clocks in Space

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Jul 9, 2019 11:20:13 AM

Do you know all about Atomic Clocks in space and how they work? If not, it's about TIME you do. (Haha. Ha. Ha...)

Timing is everything when it comes to GPS satellites and other space applications. Even just a one microsecond error in timing can lead to an error of 300 meters on the ground. Atomic clocks can maintain very precise timing, making them a great timing solution for GPS and other LEO satellites.

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Topics: Clocks & Crystals, RF Technology, Space & Satellites

5 Best Waveform Signal Generators in 2019

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Jun 12, 2019 9:46:23 AM

I have a feeling you're in need of some new test equipment... a new signal generator to be exact. If so, you've come to the right place. Maybe your current signal generator is outdated. Or maybe you're looking for your first one (in which case we'd be honored). 

No matter the reason, we wanted to share with you the best selection of waveform signal generators on the market today to help you make the best purchase based on your needs.

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Topics: General Topics, Engineering Equiptment

What's The Differences Between the 5 GNSS Constellations?

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Jun 5, 2019 9:38:49 AM

Before we dive into the differences between the 5 GNSS constellations... It's important that we're all on the same page with the difference between GNSS and GPS.

Many people get GNSS and GPS technology confused. A good way to think about the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is as the backbone (or underlying technology) behind GPS. The Global Positioning System (GPS) GPS is a GNSS constellation, but GNSS is not always GPS. GPS one of the 5 GNSS constellations used around the world.

The 5 GNSS constellations include GPS (US), QZSS (Japan), BEIDOU (China), GALILEO (EU), and GLONASS (Russia). We'll cover each of these constellations in depth in this post.

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Topics: Space & Satellites, GPS & GNSS