[time-nuts] Basic question regarding comparing two frequencies

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 25 09:16:22 EDT 2010

J. Forster wrote:
> Probably yes.
> There are also a number of lower cost instruments (just above consumer
> grade)like HF-VHF VNAs that implement much of the smarts in a PC on the
> market.
> As to high end instruments w/ USB or Ethernet, I'm not so sure. The USA is
> doing less and less hardware development, so instruments are not being
> bought in anything like the quantity as in the past.
A lot of the new Agilent and Tek gear (at all price points) seem to have 
Ethernet, especially if it has a LCD front panel. (there's that LXI 
interface thing, too)   Even power supplies.  Not much USB (at least for 
control.. these days, using a USB stick for data transfer seems 
ubiquitous.. they've replaced the floppy drive on scopes, etc.), except 
for RF power meters.. There's a whole raft of power meter heads that are 
USB, which makes sense.. the "hard part" is in the actual sensor, not in 
the meter which displays the power reading.

Mind you, because they do this by using single board PCs instead of the 
dedicated instrument controller inside, they're subject to all the ills 
of PCs (e.g. expectation of patch cycles, etc.)

It also seems that there's a more rapid turnover of equipment these days 
(probably because accounting rules allow 3 or 5 year depreciation) and 
so the idea of a place hanging onto a signal generator for 20 years is 
less common.  So that newer gear will show up used sooner (I hope!)

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