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Inside Frequency Control

The Secret to Maintaining Low Phase Noise in Crystal Oscillator Circuits

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on May 22, 2019 9:06:00 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 aerospace, military, and space industries... you're going to want a higher performance crystal oscillator that can maintain low phase noise & strong stability. Otherwise, you'll risk deviating from the very specific (and many times critical) center frequency selected for your design.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, RF Technology, Integrated RF

How to use Electronic Frequency Control to Enhance Crystal Oscillator Design

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on May 14, 2019 8:45:00 AM

Want to know what's better than a crystal oscillator? A crystal oscillator combined with Electronic Frequency Control (EFC). Of course, it really comes down to your specific application and what requirements you're looking for to determine if EFC would be a good addition to your crystal oscillator circuit design, and if so, which method is best for you.

There are 4 options to choose from when selecting an Electronic Frequency Control method for your crystal oscillator. These 4 options are

  1. Pulse Width Modulation & Low Pass Filter
  2. Reference RF Signal & Phase Locked Loop (PLL)
  3. Voltage Divide
  4. Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)

In this post, let's take a closer look at each option and compare the pros and cons between them.

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Topics: crystal oscillators, RF Technology

The Ultimate Guide to SAW Filters

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Apr 30, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filters offer a reduced size, weight, & cost compared to other filter technologies. However, there are many tradeoffs 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

What are GPS Disciplined Oscillators (GPSDO)?

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Mar 19, 2019 9:26:00 AM

GPS Disciplined Oscillators (GPSDO) are one 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

6 Best Spectrum Analyzers to Upgrade Your Electronics Lab (2019)

Posted by Tommy Reed on Dec 31, 2018 11:36:00 PM

Is your electronics lab in need of an upgrade? It's important to keep your equipment up to date with the latest and greatest technology to keep getting the best results (and therefore a more effective product). In this post, we're going to look at 6 spectrum analyzers that will work great in your lab. 

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Topics: engineering, RF Technology, General Topics, Engineering Equiptment

3 Great Oscilloscopes For Any Budget (2019 Edition)

Posted by Tommy Reed on Dec 31, 2018 11:34:00 PM

One of the most common pieces of test equipment for any electronics lab are 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.

Are you building out an electronics lab?  
Check out our recent post on the 5 key pieces of test equipment needed in any electronics lab!

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you.

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Topics: RF Technology, General Topics

10 Popular Software Defined Radios (SDRs) of 2019

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Dec 31, 2018 11:19:00 PM

Back in 2016, we wrote one of our most popular posts covering 12 popular Software Defined Radios or SDRs.  While the previous post still holds some extremely valuable information, a lot has changed in 3 years... especially the technology related to SDRs.  So we thought it was time for an update.

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Topics: RF Technology, general

5 MUST HAVE Pieces of Test Equipment For Any Electronics Lab

Posted by Tommy Reed on Dec 31, 2018 11:16:00 PM

Hi there! You must be looking to upgrade your engineering electronics lab with the latest and greatest test equipment on the market today. Well good news...this is the place to be! Cool engineers only please...meaning all of you.

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Topics: engineering, RF Technology, General Topics, Engineering Equiptment

What You Should Know About Stratum System Levels

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on Sep 18, 2018 9:55:30 AM

What You should know about stratum levels graphic

When it comes to stratum levels and minimum performance requirements for digital network synchronization, there's definitely a lot to know. A standard first released in 1987 entitled "Synchronization Interface Standards for Digital Networks" from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) lays out all the official information and requirements. 

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Topics: RF Technology

Laser Communication in Space Could Multiply Data Rates by 100x

Posted by Rob Rutkowski on May 15, 2018 8:06:00 AM

Since the beginning of NASA, radio communication has been the go-to method of communication for spacecrafts. Well, that's about to change. NASA has recently announced they will be making a major change to some of their upcoming communication systems by implementing new, cutting-edge, laser communication technology. 

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Topics: RF Technology, Space & Satellites