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Inside Frequency Control

What Are GPS Disciplined Oscillators (GPSDO)?

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

GPS disciplined oscillators (GPSDO) are some of today's most trusted and accurate sources of timing. These powerful devices (sometimes called GPS clocks) consist of a high-quality stable oscillator and a GPS receiver. The GPSDO works by disciplining (or steering) the oscillator output to a GPS device or GNSS satellite signal via a tracking loop.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, RF Technology, GPS & GNSS, Integrated RF, Defense & PNT

The Ultimate Guide to SAW Filters

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Apr 13, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters offer a reduced size, weight, and cost compared to other filter technologies. There are many tradeoffs, however, that need to be considered when selecting a SAW filter for your system design.

What are SAW filters? What are some common SAW filter applications? How are SAW filters used for mobile communications? We'll answer these questions and more in this post.

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Topics: RF Technology

Crystal Oscillators: The Beginner's Guide (OCXO, TCXO, VCXO, & Clocks)

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Mar 28, 2023 8:00:00 AM

We'll be honest, crystal oscillators aren't the easiest topic to understand. That's mostly because there's a wide variety of crystal oscillator types that do different things, in different ways, for different purposes. This is largely due to their almost endless applications. From satellite communications in space, to military & defense, to telecom and more... there are so many different needs for crystal oscillators. 

In this post, we'll cover the most common types of crystal oscillators, which include:

  • Oven controlled crystal oscillators (OCXO)
  • Temperature compensated oscillators (TCXO)
  • Voltage controlled oscillators (VCXO)
  • Clock oscillators (XO)
  • And some other key types within these categories

I know it sounds like a lot to cover, but don't worry! We're about to make things a whole lot easier for you. By the end of this post, you'll learn the basic uses, advantages, and limitations of each crystal oscillator type.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals

3 Reasons to Order OCXOs in Large Batches

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Jan 16, 2023 8:00:00 AM

 

Virtually all electronic components benefit from mass production. As it turns out, it’s harder to benefit from buying a few parts compared to buying many. This is true for the production and ordering of Oven-Controlled Crystal Oscillators (OCXOs). There are several important advantages to buying these in bulk instead of in small quantities, including lower setup costs, shorter lead times, and reduced impact of supply chain issues. 

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Topics: crystal oscillators

Oscillator Aging: How Long Is an OCXO’s Shelf Life?

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Dec 19, 2022 8:00:00 AM

 

We’re often asked if it’s wise to purchase crystal oscillators in large batches, especially when commodity managers are aware all the oscillators might not be used right away. 

By nature, crystal oscillators are made of natural quartz material, which gives them a very long shelf life. In this article, we’ll take a look at why that is and how the stability of crystal oscillators gives them an indefinite shelf life.

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Topics: crystal oscillators

OCXO Lead Times Explained: How Aging Factors into OCXO Development

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Dec 5, 2022 8:00:00 AM

 

“Good things come to those who wait,” as the saying goes, and while aging is a part of all life cycles, crystals shouldn’t age prematurely. The careful production stages and the time it takes to complete them are necessary to the efficient operation of OCXOs. 

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals, RF Technology

Crystal Aging and a Counter-Intuitive Tip to Improve System Performance

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Nov 23, 2022 9:00:00 AM
One of the most common configurations of a frequency control device or oscillator is one where the voltage is adjusted to maintain a frequency lock within the system. In these types of systems, frequency error related to the oscillator can have a detrimental effect on system performance. In the most extreme cases, it can actually result in complete system failure when a good frequency lock cannot be maintained.
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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals

Top 18 CAD Tools for RF and Microwave Design Engineers

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Sep 27, 2022 9:00:00 AM

RF and Microwave Design can be ENJOYABLE...

Don't believe me? Many of us already know how designing can easily become extremely long, boring, and tedious. This is especially true for all you RF and Microwave Design Engineers!

Spending hours upon hours designing, finding problems, fixing problems, then repeating the process all over again...It all can become so mentally draining.

Am I bringing back bad memories? Sorry, time for the good news...

So how can you make the long and tedious design process easy (and possibly even enjoyable)? 

You guessed it... Automation and design tools are key. 

Having some great CAD tools on your side can release a significant burden off your back. These tools can save you time and dramatically increase your productivity. Our Top 4 Productivity and collaboration tools will help skyrocket your productivity even further.

Today, we thought we'd help you out by sharing these 18 CAD design tools that can lead to a more simple & enjoyable design session.

**Related Post: Check out our picks for the 5 best laptops for engineers.**

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Topics: engineering, General Topics, general

Top 12 Space Podcasts for Space Geeks

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Aug 2, 2022 10:15:00 AM

Space podcasts have become very popular, and for good reason. The space industry has been 'skyrocketing' in recent years. SpaceX showed the world it's possible to reuse a space shuttle. Companies like OneWeb are now revolutionizing satellite communications technology. There are even companies planning out the colonization of mars and using asteroids as a source of water. 

We are quickly learning more and more about the deep depths of outer space...now more than ever. Following some of the best space podcasts can be a great way to keep up with the latest space technology, space exploration, and space science. Let's explore our top 12 (updated with 3 bonus additions on top of our original 9!)

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Topics: aerospace, Space & Satellites

3 Great Oscilloscopes For Any Electronics Lab (2022)

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Jan 25, 2022 8:45:00 AM

One of the most common pieces of test equipment for any electronics lab is oscilloscopes.  Oscilloscopes, or o-scopes for short, are versatile pieces of test equipment that can be used in a multitude of different critical measurements.  While oscilloscopes are standard in almost every electronics lab, they come in many different shapes, sizes, and price points.

When trying to select the best oscilloscope for your electronics lab, it's important to understand which features drive the cost of the o-scope the most.  For example, one of the biggest cost drivers for oscilloscopes is the device's measurement bandwidth.  An o-scope that has a narrow bandwidth of 200 MHz can go for a few hundred dollars; however, a top-of-the-line oscilloscope with a measurement bandwidth of 1 GHz can go for almost $30,000!

We have done all the research and read all the reviews for more oscilloscopes than we'd be willing to admit.  We've done all this leg-work so you don't have to.  So without further ado, here is our list of the 3 best digital oscilloscopes for any budget.

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Topics: RF Technology, General Topics

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