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Inside Frequency Control

How to Prevent Activity Dips and Frequency Perturbations in Crystal Oscillators

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Nov 16, 2017 8:10:00 AM

Activity dips, also referred to as frequency perturbations, can be difficult to spot in oscillating crystals. However, a single activity dip 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 frequency dips in crystals. It’s important to understand what activity dips are and how to avoid them from occurring in crystals...and that's exactly what you're going to learn right now!

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Topics: crystal oscillators

The TCXO Performance Guide (Plus 4 Common Types)

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Oct 13, 2017 10:47:46 AM

TCXO Performance Qualities

A standard TCXO has quite a few performance qualities. Some of the most common performance figures are summarized below:

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Topics: crystal oscillators

Could an Accidentally Shattered Quartz Crystal Lead to the "Impossible"?

Posted by Charles Bliley on Sep 27, 2017 8:20:00 AM


While looking through the Bliley archives for material to write about for this new installment of Stories From The Bliley Vault, I discovered a very interesting set of two letters— one from a minister in South Africa from 1936 and another from an Army Colonel in 1942.

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Topics: crystal oscillators

The Future of Unmanned Vehicles

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Sep 5, 2017 6:30:00 AM

Unmanned vehicles have changed our world over the past 15 years, and continue to do so one battlefield, one site inspection, and one independent film at a time. Science fiction writers, engineers and military thinkers alike had envisioned robotic and autonomous warfighting machines for years, and in the early 21st century, they became a viable and widely used option in warfare. But as they continue to advance and become less expensive, what does future hold for unmanned vehicles?

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Topics: aerospace, engineering, crystal oscillators

Common Applications for Clipped Sinewave TCXOs

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Aug 29, 2017 6:30:00 AM

One of the most important decisions an RF engineer will make when designing a new system is choosing the right type of oscillator, and determining what signal output will be the best fit for the application. Each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, wer're talking about temperature controlled crystal oscillatos (TCXO) and the clipped sinewaves they produce. We'll cover the pros and cons of the TCXO and its signal type, as well as some common applications that these oscillators are used with.

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Topics: crystal oscillators

The Complete Guide to Crystal Oscillators (OCXO, TCXO, VCXO, & Clocks)

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Aug 23, 2017 7:03:00 AM

Are you beginning a search for a high precision, low power quartz crystal oscillator for your application? Of course, it's not always simple selecting the best crystal oscillator. There's a handful of different oscillator types to choose from including OCXOs, TCXOs, VCXOs, and clock oscillators.

But, hold up! We're about to make things a whole lot easier for you. You're going to learn the basic descriptions of operating qualities and limitations of each type of crystal oscillator.

If you find an oscillator type that sounds like it may be a good fit for your application, follow the link for more related details and products related to that specific oscillator type. It's that easy! Ok, that should do for a good intro...let's get to it!

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Topics: crystal oscillators, Clocks & Crystals

How Crystal Oscillators Keep C4ISR Systems On Target

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Aug 22, 2017 6:30:00 AM
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Topics: crystal oscillators, Defense & PNT

5 Reasons Why Choosing an Ultra-Stable OCXO Might be Smart

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Aug 9, 2017 7:32:00 AM

Here’s the scary thing…

Even if you sit for hours upon hours trying to set a precise initial frequency of an oscillator, it’s still going to drift and the oscillator will not be able maintain that frequency over the full course of its use. In this post, you’ll learn the MANY sources of frequency instability and why an Ultra-Stable OCXO may be the fix-all solution.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, RF Technology, Integrated RF

CMOS vs. LVCMOS: Which is the Best Output Signal for Your Application?

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Aug 8, 2017 6:30:00 AM
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Topics: crystal oscillators, RF Technology

2 Major Problems TCXOs Solve With Quartz Crystal Oscillators

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Jul 18, 2017 6:30:00 AM

RF engineers are always trying to improve the performance of the systems they work on. A perfect, 100% stable signal which never deviates from the intended frequency will probably never be attainable in reality; the toll that the physical environment and time will take on a crystal remains a fact of life.

But that doesn’t stop us from always working towards getting as close to possible to that ideal. Both of these challenges can be mitigated by selecting a high-quality quartz crystal oscillator. Picking the right one for the job depends on the application for which it is being used, as well as other factors like the amount of power available.

In this article, we will make the case that for those who are trying to minimize the effects of aging and improve stability without using a lot of power, a temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) might be the right solution.

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Topics: crystal oscillators