[time-nuts] Basic question regarding comparing two frequencies

David C. Partridge david.partridge at perdrix.co.uk
Sun Jul 25 11:24:18 EDT 2010


It might appear on the 2nd user market sooner, but the odds are you won't be able to either repair it or calibrate it as the manufacturer will have been the only supplier of either of these services, and no service manuals will exist.

If it is still in support, the mfr will calibrate/fix it for you if your pockets are deep enough (probably as much or more than you pay for it).  If (as is likely), it is out of support, then it will only be good for re-cycling or land-fill :-(

Hmmmm does anyone but us old fogies see anything wrong with a business model where stuff can't be fixed and has a support lifetime of 5 years or so ?????

David Partridge

-----Original Message-----
From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On Behalf Of jimlux
Sent: 25 July 2010 14:16
To: jfor at quik.com
Cc: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Basic question regarding comparing two frequencies

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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