[time-nuts] Modulation Domain Analysis

Robert Gilchrist Huenemann bobgh at razzolink.com
Tue Jun 16 23:57:28 EDT 2015


Thank you for your comments. I am not going to open a can of worms about 
others who claimed to invent MDA. My HP Journal article speaks for itself.

At the time I worked on the HP9540, the United States Patent Office did not 
allow software patents. If it did, I might have been able to patent my work. 
The Patent Office position was reversed by the Supreme Court in 1981 in the 
case of Diamond vs. Diehr. By then, I had moved on to other pursuits.

Bob Huenemann
--------------------------------------------------
From: "Richard (Rick) Karlquist" <richard at karlquist.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 3:17 PM
To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement" 
<time-nuts at febo.com>
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Modulation Domain Analysis

> That's interesting.  I worked for the HP Santa Clara Division
> from 1979 until just before it was closed in 1998.  I
> forget who "invented" MDA at SCD, but it was hyped like
> it was some new concept and I never heard anything about
> the HP9540.
>
> Many times someone would come to me and ask me about
> some "new" bright idea they had, and I would tell them
> "Yes, I can confirm that your idea is excellent, because
> I read the original paper on it that was published in
> 19XX."  It is interesting that people would often get
> mad at me, as if it is my fault they reinvented the wheel.
>
> If only I known about your HP Journal article, I could
> have throw it up to the "innovators" at SCD.
>
> Before I worked for HP, an HP Journal article came out
> about fractional-N synthesizers, and everyone at Zeta
> Labs was anxious to use the technology in the Zeta
> Labs designs.  Except one guy, who pointed out that
> he had invented frac-N 11 years previously, and he
> called it "digiphase."  I've never heard anyone at
> HP ever acknowledge that guy.
>
> Rick (now retired from HP/Agilent/Keysight)
>
> On 6/16/2015 12:54 PM, Robert Gilchrist Huenemann wrote:
>> I stumbled onto the time nuts list from a posting on modulation domain 
>> analysis a couple of weeks ago. I am enjoying the discussion.
>>
>> I want to comment on modulation domain analysis, or phase digitizing. 
>> This is a technique that uses a period mode frequency counter, or two 
>> such counters back to back, to recover the modulation history of a 
>> frequency modulated waveform.
>>
>> This technique was first used in the HP9540 automated transceiver test 
>> system. This system was described in the August 1973 HP Journal. The 
>> HP9540 used a single HP5326 period mode counter with a 10 MHz clock. At 
>> that time, no counter was available with a higher clock frequency.
>>
>> A breadboard system was assembled as part of the HP9540 development 
>> effort which used two HP5326 counters back to back. To insure that 
>> alternate periods were measured, the second HP5326 ran off the gate 
>> output of the first. However, it was realized that the characteristics of 
>> the HP9540 and its specific application were such that two counters were 
>> not required. Please refer to my HP Journal article for details.
>>
>> The HP9540 was developed at HP's Automatic Measurement Division. This 
>> division was disbanded in 1974.
>>
>> Modulation Domain Analysis and Phase Digitizing were terms that came into 
>> use with the later development of specialized stand alone instruments 
>> that combined computational capability, back to back period mode 
>> counters, higher clock frequencies, interpolation and algorithms for 
>> various measurements. All of these were worthwhile improvements on the 
>> basic technique first used in the HP9540.
>>
>> I would be happy to answer questions. Thank you for allowing me to post 
>> this information.
>>
>>
>> Robert Gilchrist Huenemann, M.S.E.E.
>> 120 Harbern Way
>> Hollister, CA 95023-9708
>> 831-635-0786
>> bobgh at razzolink.com
>> https://sites.google.com/site/bobhuenemann/
>> Extra Class Amateur Radio License W6RFW
>> IEEE Life Member 01189471
>>
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