[time-nuts] GPSDO and oscillator steering - EFC vs DDS schemes?

Don Latham djl at montana.com
Wed Dec 9 16:44:40 EST 2015

A friend and I have been messing with a DDS replacement for the VFO in older
radios. The odds runs between 5 and 5.5 MHz. There are some mixers that
generate the final LO frequency. We found many many birdies (caused by spurs
for the non-hams) over the tuning ranges.  We had to put in a lo-pass filter,
7stage commercial type to get rid of the birdies. But as I recall, there have
been several cautions on this list about filters causing temperature
dependence.  I haven't read the whole of this thread, so it may have already
been mentioned.
Merry Christmas,

Magnus Danielson
> God kväll,
> On 12/09/2015 11:47 AM, Attila Kinali wrote:
>> God eftermiddag,
>> On Tue, 8 Dec 2015 23:45:52 +0100
>> Magnus Danielson <magnus at rubidium.dyndns.org> wrote:
>>> If you would setup essentially a micro-stepper design, such as those
>>> being used for cesium and hydrogen masers, but maybe adapted to a
>>> hobbyist needs and with straight-forward way of building and tune-up,
>>> then we could alter the design pattern. The phase-noise and long term
>>> stability issues is clear.
>> It doesn't look too difficult to crank something out within a rainy
>> weekend or two. But I am most likely underestimating the amount of work :-)
> Indeed. As any engineering time estimate, you need to multiply with pi.
> At work, we engineers divide our estimates with pi before giving it to
> the project managers, as they will multiply with pi before putting it
> into their time-plan. :)
>>> Doing control loop using a phase-stepper is a little bit different, and
>>> has a few minor design-challenges, but once mastered is essentially the
>>> same. EFC or C-field control then becomes more an initial setup.
>> What makes the control loop different (beside that you control phase
>> and not frequency, and thus have to integrate)?
> Well, that is a little bit different right there. Depending on your
> setup, you might have to consider how phase-wrapping and similar
> saturations that happens over a long time. If you think about it, it's
> manageable.
> One useful trick is to let the phase-wrapping be that of the numeric
> wrapping, and then handle that case for time-stamps, so that the
> numerical extension becomes trivial. If you don't, you can get some very
> interesting problems.
>>> An alternative approach divider wise is to use re-generative dividers.
>>> For Rick's approach there would be a number of these at the same
>>> frequency (nominally), so the same design-pattern would apply. However,
>>> that would only be meaningful if you need really need to keep the noise
>>> down.
>> Yes, I thought about that as well, the problem here is that the low
>> noise mixers designs use transformers, which make everything bulky
>> and expensive (the usual suspects cost 2USD/piece and use about 1cm^2).
>> The one design that comes to mind that doesn't need transformers is
>> the tripple Gilbert-Cell design, but that might be higher in noise.
>> (Heck, i should just sit down and do some noise calculations)
>> Additionally, there is a need for relative steep filters for 667kHz
> Indeed. For most uses, re-generative dividers will not be needed.
> I should do more experiments on that stuff.
> Cheers,
> Magnus
> _______________________________________________
> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> To unsubscribe, go to https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
> and follow the instructions there.

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.
Lucky is he who has been able to understand the causes of things.
"Noli sinere nothos te opprimere"

Dr. Don Latham, AJ7LL
Six Mile Systems LLC, 17850 Six Mile Road
Huson, MT, 59846
mailing address:  POBox 404
Frenchtown MT 59834-0404

VOX 406-626-4304
CEL 406-241-5093
Skype: buffler2

More information about the time-nuts mailing list