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Inside Frequency Control

Crystal Cut Types: AT vs. SC Cut Performance Comparison

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Nov 7, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Inside every quartz oscillator is something called a crystal blank. The crystal blank is the resonating element of the oscillator that, when subjected to a voltage potential, will begin to vibrate and oscillate at its fundamental frequency.

The way the crystal blank is manufactured can have a significant impact on the oscillator's performance. In this blog, we'll be discussing how the orientation of the quartz when the crystal blank is cut can affect how your oscillator performs.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals

Which Crystal Oscillator Output Signal Is Best for Your Application?

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Oct 27, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Why is it important to choose the right crystal oscillator output signal?

The output signal types of crystal oscillators can provide different benefits and drawbacks depending on what you're trying to accomplish with your product. With that said, it's important to understand signal types to avoid as much attenuating and distorting of your clock signal as possible. You'll also want to be sure you're receiving more benefits than drawbacks from the signal to meet your specific design needs.

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Topics: crystal oscillators

Phase Noise Measurement: How to Measure Phase Noise with a Crystal Oscillator

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Oct 20, 2023 9:00:00 AM

In a perfect world, a crystal oscillator would generate a signal that remains steady, consistent, and clear with no deviations, for as long as that signal needs to be transmitted. 

But in the real world, no crystal oscillator produces a 100% perfect signal. Even if the signal is very strong and clear, there will still be tiny, random fluctuations in its waveform. This phenomenon can be represented visually in the frequency domain as sidebands on either side of the carrier. These unwanted fluctuations are referred to as phase noise.

In the blog, we'll explain why you need to measure phase noise, what the methods are for measuring it, and 

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Topics: crystal oscillators

AT vs. SC-Cut Quartz Crystals: Is EFC Over-Specification Costing You?

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Oct 12, 2023 9:00:00 AM

What if we told you that specifying more electronic frequency control (EFC) than you need could actually be hurting your company's wallet? Well, it very well may be!

Paying attention to whether your supplier is using AT-cut or SC-cut crystals will help you save money in the long run when it comes to oscillators. In this article, we'll review the difference between these two types of cuts and the impacts of EFC pull. 

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals, RF Technology

How to Prevent Frequency Perturbations in Crystal Oscillators

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Sep 19, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Frequency perturbations, also referred to as activity dips, can be difficult to spot in crystal oscillators. But a single perturbation can cause major problems in an application’s signal, including within GPS or missile systems.

Imagine launching a missile and then losing control of its navigation. Or getting a very inaccurate GPS velocity reading of an aircraft. These (and many other problems) can be caused by a failure to spot activity dips in crystals.

In this article, we'll help you  understand what frequency perturbations are and how to prevent them from occurring in crystal oscillators.

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Topics: crystal oscillators

Crystal Oscillator Manufacturers & RF Technology Best Practices

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Sep 14, 2023 9:00:00 AM

These are exciting times to be working in any field of engineering, but especially in the radio frequency (RF) industry. The modern economy simply cannot function without RF technology, and as we transition into a world of ever-faster mobile service, civilian and military space-based systems, and the Internet of Things (IoT), we’ll  rely increasingly on microwave, low-frequency engineering.

With all the rapid change in the industry and advancements in RF tech, it’s going to be more important than ever to find a crystal oscillator manufacturer that follows the best practices that have guided RF engineers in the past and will continue to in the future.

In this article, we'll provide a basic overview of the RF technology best practices your crystal oscillator manufacturer should be following.

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Topics: RF Technology, general

The Secret to Low Phase Noise in Crystal Oscillator Circuits

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Sep 12, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Quartz crystal oscillators are the high and mighty option for low phase noise and added frequency stability in circuit design. Yes, simple oscillators like those made with resistor-capacitor (RC) or inductor-capacitor (IC) resonators are fine for some circuits.

But if you're dealing with higher performance applications in the aerospace, military, and space industries, you're going to want a higher performance crystal oscillator that can maintain low phase noise and strong stability. Otherwise, you'll risk deviating from the very specific (and usually critical) center frequency selected for your design.

In this blog, we'll discuss how to measure low phase noise and how to maintain it in your applications.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, RF Technology, Integrated RF

DOCXO Guide: When Should You Use a Double Oven Crystal Oscillator?

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Aug 29, 2023 9:00:00 AM

One is definitely the loneliest number. So what's better, a single (OCXO) or double oven controlled crystal oscillator (DOCXO)?

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Topics: crystal oscillators

How to Maintain Frequency Stability in Crystal Oscillators

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Aug 7, 2023 9:00:00 AM

One of the core challenges any RF engineer faces is maintaining frequency stability in crystal oscillators. In an ideal world, an oscillator would transmit at the desired frequency indefinitely and without deviation… but of course, we don’t live in an ideal world, and frequency drift is a real problem in many applications.

There are a number of factors that can cause an oscillator to deviate from the correct frequency, but frequency drift is not an insurmountable issue. There are various approaches engineers can take to improve stability. In this article, we'll discuss the best approaches to maintaining a high degree of stability your in crystal oscillators.

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Topics: crystal oscillators

Can a Crystal Oscillator Operate Outside of the Specified Temperature Range?

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Jul 27, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Will a crystal oscillator operate outside its specified temperature range? This is a common question and the short answer is: yes, but it's complicated.

If, for example, a crystal oscillator is specified over 0 to 60 °C, it will most likely perform without any issues over -40 to 85 °C. But it's possible that it will fall outside its specified stability. This may not matter if the application needs just a stable frequency rather than an accurate frequency.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals

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