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Old 26th November 2004, 11:19 AM   #1
Prune is offline Prune  Canada
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Default Mains frequency stability

What is the long-term mains frequency stability in North America? Is it good enough for clocking? I want to build a Nixie tube clock, and it seems the easiest way to get a timing singal is by dividing the mains frequency.
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Old 26th November 2004, 01:23 PM   #2
markp is offline markp  United States
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The main timing is very, very stable in the US. It is designed to be used as a clock driver from the beginning. The voltage can go up and down by over 5 volts but the clock is right on all the time. It is actually 59.97hz to make it accurate to the actual day length instead of 60hz which will make a day run long.
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Old 26th November 2004, 01:36 PM   #3
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That is seriously cool.
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Old 26th November 2004, 01:43 PM   #4
gmarsh is offline gmarsh  Canada
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wall frequency is *exactly* 60hz, and the north american power grid is synchronized to atomic clock. It might not be short term stable, but long term stability is essentially perfect.

59.97 is the NTSC vertical scan frequency.
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Old 26th November 2004, 02:03 PM   #5
Prune is offline Prune  Canada
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Sweet. I got six IN-1 Nixies for $20 total, and if the local electronics joint has all the parts I'll build the clock today.
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Old 26th November 2004, 02:22 PM   #6
gmarsh is offline gmarsh  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by Prune
Sweet. I got six IN-1 Nixies for $20 total, and if the local electronics joint has all the parts I'll build the clock today.
6 for $20? where?

<-- spontaneously plans his 5th or 6th ongoing project...
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Old 26th November 2004, 02:25 PM   #7
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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Quote:
59.97 is the NTSC vertical scan frequency.
Actually, that's 59.94.

But as you said, the frequency is very accurate, and essentially all AC-powered clocks use it as a clock source. That's why you don't have to adjust your alarm clock as often as your watch.
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Old 26th November 2004, 02:35 PM   #8
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How are the mains frequencies aligned?

Say I own a power plant that feeds into a shared line. I have a load of three phase generators and I want to transmit the maximum amount of power from the generators to the grid. I would want to get the phase of my generators as carefully aligned with the grid as possible.

Is there some kind master clock, do they align with each other or does each station just emit it's power and then have it aligned at some other point?

I imagine the second could allow for the phases to drift slightly, which would result in needless power loss.
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Old 26th November 2004, 02:37 PM   #9
Prune is offline Prune  Canada
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gmarsh, go to http://stores.ebay.com/KW-TUBES and click on Nixies in the menu. This is a great seller and I've bought several things from him. Actually it was $10, not $20.
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Old 26th November 2004, 04:50 PM   #10
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Those 22K dual pots he has might be worth a try, especially for GCers. Who knows, they might track well and may be carbon comp like the old AB pots that someone said sound great.
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