[time-nuts] Which Rubidium to Get?

Brent Gordon time-nuts at adobe-labs.com
Wed Jul 21 23:18:12 EDT 2010

I'm considering buying a rubidium standard, not that I really need one, 
just because I'm a Time Nut.  I have some questions on what to look for 
and what to watch out for.  I'll probably get one from either fluke.l or 
flyingbest on ePay.

I know that they wear out.  Is there any model I should look for or 
avoid?  I see both Efratoms and Datums; some of the auctions claim more 
lamp life left for the Datums.

I know that the mating connector for the rubidiums with an RF inside the 
d-sub connector are expensive.  Is it really needed or is the header 
connector good enough?

Some of them come with an output board (290295929282).  Does this get me 
anything other than a Type-N output and a mating connector for the RF 
d-sub?  Why is this one cheaper than just a rubidium?

A programmable frequency output, such as this one (eBay item 
290301888238), might be useful.  Is it worthwhile or more trouble than 
it's worth?

Are there any gotchas I should be aware of?


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