GPS 10MHz reference

Since some time i own a DF9NP GPSDO. Currently i only use it to lock my signal generator but i also want to use it for my microwave transverter OCXOs. When connecting a SMIQ signal generator and checking the signal output at 6GHz i noticed some +-50Hz jitter under the poor reception conditions at thelocation of this signal generator. So i want to look a bit closer into that topic. In China i ordered a Neo-M8N module that can be configured to provide a 10MHz clock at its timepulse output. I tried to compare it with the GPSDO and the OCXO of my SMY-02 signal generator.
Of cause the digital clock has significant jitter because it is generated by a CPU (specified with +-10ns).

Neo-M8N clock output at 10MHz

The picture of the timepulse at 10MHz shows, that it seems that comparing the clock to a stable oscillator over a relatively short period could be sufficient for adjusting the frequency of this oscillator to the GPS.


The screenshot shows the oscilloscope triggered to the GPSDO (green). The output of the M8N module (yellow) shows the jitter and the adjustment range within 60 seconds (yellow shadow). The third (blue) trace comes from my SMY-02 which was locked to the GPSDO. The SMY signal shows some slight jitter compared to the reference. To me it is not clear if the cause is the reference or the locking in the generator. The clock from the M8N module shows significant adjustment of the clock frequency within the 60 seconds shown compared to the GPSDO which has a TCXO that is slowly compensated by the GPS inside the reference.
Looking to the signal in frequency domain shows this picture:

Neo M8N spectrum

There are rather close sidebands that require narrow band adjustment of a oscillator eventually locked to this GPS clock. Wideband the spectrum is noisy as well.

M8N phasenoise at 10MHz

Finally i took a short video showing the the scope triggered to the 10MHz OCXO reference of the SMY and comparing the GPSDO and the M8N output. The OCXO is slightly off 10MHz and therefore the picture is moving all the time. You can also see that the M8N is slowly adjusting compared to the GPSDO output.

GPS 10MHz GPSDO vs Neo-M8N and 10MHz OCXO
Watch this video on YouTube.

Attiny RX/TX sequencer

RX/TX Sequencer with Attiny
Watch this video on YouTube.

Sequencer for Transceiver and Transverter sequence control made around a Attiny2313. It can switch a RX/TX relais lowside, a PA supply highside, has “active” and a “TX inhibit” outputs. Furthermore there is a input to lock the PTT from a second sequencer (switch on the RX/TX relais only). There is an extra 7bit output driver that is in that example used to drive a pulse controlled RF relais.

Oktober 16 @ JO60OM

Antennas in October contest 2016

The weather in JO60OM was obviously quite good compared to other contest locations. A nice and warm Saturday, no rain during the night and sunny sky at Sunday morning. In afternoon it started raining and the rain continued until we were back home.
The equipment was running quite well. 13/9/6cm was operated by 2 operator new to microwave under the DN5TA training call. The 23cm operation was nice with ODX G3XDY about 860km. But i had the impression that the activity is declining each contest. You really need to push the people in chat in order to get QSO done. Between 0100UTC and 0400UTC even the chat activity almost stopped. The band was empty.

Here you can listen to the ODX QSO with G3XDY:

Some pictures:

23cm signals are very wideband sometimes

23cm signals are very wideband sometimes

6cm Pipecap filter [part 2]

I shortened the probe pins of my experimental pipecap filter to 5mm in order to get rid of the unwanted response around 7GHz. As expected the filter is rather narrow now and the attenuation increases a lot.
Marcel made some new measurements up to 14GHz in order to see how the suppression behaves. It looks a lot better now but you can also see that at the upper end of the measurement range the attenuation is very low (keep in mind that the probes are nice quarter wavelength antennas there).
The following picture shows the filter tuned to the 6cm band:

pipecap 5mm  probes 5760MHz

pipecap 5mm probes 5760MHz

The passband attenuation is now always somewhere in the range of 2..3dB.

Tuned to the upper end of the possible range you see that it behaves more than a lowpass than a bandpass ;) The passband gets a bit wider.

pipecap 5mm probes 10610MHz

pipecap 5mm probes 10610MHz

pipecap 5mm probes 11815MHz

pipecap 5mm probes 11815MHz

I would assume that it makes most sense to design the probes beeing quarter lambda for the frequency were the notch of the filter appears (or slightly above). Since this depends on the frequency you want to tune the filter to you need to consider that before you make the filter.

Pipecap filter dimensions

Pipecap filter dimensions