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Your experience with function generators



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 18th 12, 09:06 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.equipment
Antonio I0JX
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Posts: 25
Default Your experience with function generators

The frequency stability of my HP3312A function generator is poor, very
annoying for many practical use. I am trying to determine whether that
behavior is fairly normal for function generators, or my particular unit has
got a problem.

What is your experience on function generators frequency stability?

Thanks & 73

Tony I0JX
Rome, Italy

  #2  
Old March 20th 12, 12:56 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.equipment
artie
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Posts: 8
Default Your experience with function generators

In article , Antonio I0JX
wrote:

The frequency stability of my HP3312A function generator is poor, very
annoying for many practical use. I am trying to determine whether that
behavior is fairly normal for function generators, or my particular unit has
got a problem.

What is your experience on function generators frequency stability?

Thanks & 73

Tony I0JX
Rome, Italy


Any of the VCO-based function generators, such as the 3312A, are going
to be wobbly in terms of not only stability but ability to generate a
specific frequency or range of frequencies.

You need to move to a synthesized source to get better results. One
candidate would be the HP 3314A, which is a synthesized generator, and
covers up to 20 MHz.

I have one of these; it's very flexible, and stable. It doesn't have
the ability to lock to an external standard, but it is crystal
controlled.

With a synthesized device, you have digital control over frequency,
sweep parameters, and with something like the 3314A, you also have
digital control over amplitude and offset.

eBay offers some inexpensive function generator boards as well.
  #3  
Old June 10th 12, 07:32 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.equipment
Dave McGuire
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Posts: 1
Default Your experience with function generators

On 03/19/2012 08:56 PM, artie wrote:
The frequency stability of my HP3312A function generator is poor, very
annoying for many practical use. I am trying to determine whether that
behavior is fairly normal for function generators, or my particular unit has
got a problem.

What is your experience on function generators frequency stability?


Any of the VCO-based function generators, such as the 3312A, are going
to be wobbly in terms of not only stability but ability to generate a
specific frequency or range of frequencies.

You need to move to a synthesized source to get better results. One
candidate would be the HP 3314A, which is a synthesized generator, and
covers up to 20 MHz.

I have one of these; it's very flexible, and stable. It doesn't have
the ability to lock to an external standard, but it is crystal
controlled.

With a synthesized device, you have digital control over frequency,
sweep parameters, and with something like the 3314A, you also have
digital control over amplitude and offset.

eBay offers some inexpensive function generator boards as well.


I concur. I use an HP 3325A. It's pretty solid, a synthesized unit,
and it can be used with an external reference. They're old enough to be
cheap on the used market, yet new enough to be as featureful as we
expect these days.

That said, the OP's 3312A shouldn't be THAT bad. Is it possible the
main oscillator's performance is being spoiled by aging components, like
dried-out electrolytic capacitors and such?

-Dave

--
Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA
 




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